So you’ve came up with a recipe – either your own or someone else’s. Don’t worry if you’re not making your own recipes yet; stick with it and soon you will be. In front of you is a list something like this:
- 12 lbs two row malt
- 1 lb wheat malt
- 1 lb Caramalt 20
- 1 oz Chinook pellet hops
- 1 packet Wyeast 1332 Northwest Ale yeast
This is sometimes referred to as a grain bill. Walk into your local brew supply shop with confidence: you’ve been reading the articles on here and your ready to “Talk the Talk”.
Here are a few of the questions your BBF (Best Brewing Friend) supplier may ask you.
- Do you want your grains crushed?
- Do you want them together in the same bag?
You will answer yes to both of these questions and here is why. You want to have the grain crushed so that it is able to release all the starches that convert to sugar. The individual grains have a hard shell or casing around them if you were to leave them uncrushed the mash water would be unable to reach the starches inside the grain kernel. It is these starches which later convert into sugar, which ferments and becomes alcohol. The reason you answer yes to the second question is, that by mixing all the grains together you get a more even distribution of all the different grain characteristics.
As for the rest of the list, I’ll touch on that soon.