While it is assumed that most of our loyal readers are seasoned in their art of brewing, this December Session edition will dive a bit deeper into the various beer brewing methods and their differences. To start, there are three popular methods to choose between when starting your first brew: Extract brewing, Partial mash, and All-grain brewing. Let’s explore the variations between each…
Extract Brewing: We will start the explanation with Extract Brewing because this is the method used by most brewers, especially brewers who are new to brewing altogether! It requires less equipment and much less manual effort, which is ideal for people interested in getting to drink their finished product as easily as possible! With extract brewing, a brewer uses malt extract to mix with water to create the wort. Using malt extract helps ease the brew because it removes the mashing process. From the wort, add hops, boil the mixture for 45-90 minutes, then add cold water to cool the mixture back to room temperature as quickly as possible. After yeast is added, the brew needs to ferment for 7-14 days pending the recipe and it will be ready!
Simple enough, right?
Partial Mash: For the adventurous brewers ready to step away from the malt extract and begin to produce their own sugars for the wort, a Partial Mash brew is the perfect next step. This process involves performing the mashing process, but on a much smaller scale than the All-grain brew—the next level up. The much smaller scale is often referred to as a ‘mini-mash,’ one where the mashing process is performed to extract sugar naturally from the base malt and specialty grains. The reason this is considered a Partial Mash is thanks to the fact brewers using this method will still rely a bit on malt extract to achieve a great tasting brew!
All-Grain Brewing: If you think you are ready for the big time, using the All-Grain brewing method will have you feeling in total control of your brew in no time! This method involves performing the full mashing process at the start of your brew day to produce the sugars necessary to create the wort. From this, the steps are in line with the other brewing methods. Indeed, you will feel a greater sense of pride taking the first sips out of your “All-Grain Brewed” beer, knowing it was the sugars of your labor—per se—that added to the delicious taste!
Cheers to brewing beer!