Watch the next video here: How To Prepare Your Wort
Suppose you were asked to brew a cup of tea. Boil the water, add the tea packet, wait a few minutes… presto! Done. Easy enough?
Well steeping your grains is about the same.
Trouble will only come if you are OCD like me and lose track of how many quarts of water you’ve splashed into the pot to add up 2 gallons. I’m not kidding… I wasn’t sure if I was on number 6 or 7 so I had to start over.
Even though you probably don’t have access to Rocky Mountain quality water to brew your very own award-winning beer, you should be using good water… meaning it should be soft. Even in Arizona where the word hard is used not only to describe the intensity of how the sun hits you, but also the H2O, I use soft water.
This means I have to harden the water just a tad using brew saltz to settle any particulate matter during the brew…
I add this to the water as it heats up to 160 F, and since this is no Martini, it’s stirred not shaken.
Bringing two gallons of water in a shiny hardened steel pot to a grain steeping temperature is no microwave-speed like event. You’ll have plenty of time to do other things like preparing your grains and sanitizing your equipment.
Your grains will go on a muslin bag. It’s basically a cheesecloth looking bag which appears to be more like a sock when it’s empty. Once the grains go in, however, it expands like a balloon. All you have to do once the grains are in is to tie it shut with a simple knot. There is no need to pull a fancy Navy style sheepshank knot on your bag unless you really want to show off, but a simple overhand knot will do…
Since this is done in a matter of minutes (if not seconds), you’ll still have plenty of time to do other things. You can prepare your strainer by cleaning it and leaving it soaking in an Iodophor solution. You may also want to fill up a cup of water and leave it standing by in the microwave.
Once the temperature reaches 155-160, you’ll want to
throw gently place the bag in the water, almost as if were asked to set a water balloon on top of sharp pointy nails without popping it.
Just like a tea bag, you don’t want to squeeze the grain bag.
You should gently stir the water every now and then making sure you don’t push the grain bag even with the current of the water.
Do this for about 25 minutes and then comes the final step… rinsing off the grain bag.
You’ll have to get the bag out of the water and using the simple skill of common sense we shall find that the water is hot and can burn you like McDonald’s coffee.
I use the stirring spoon to get the loose part of the bag out of the water and then pull it out. It is hot, but I can tolerate it. If you can’t tolerate it, use tongs or something else… just don’t use the spoon to pick it up from the bottom (Can’t squeeze the bag!)
Put the bag on top of the pot resting on the strainer and take your one minute microwaved water and pour it on top of the grain bag to rinse it off and get every drip of flavor out of it…
Leave it sitting for a couple of minutes till it stops dripping and you are done and ready to move on to mixing the rest of your Wort.
Next steps are to cool, aerate & oxygenate the wort … (click the link to watch the next video, but please take a moment to share this post with your friends)