Starting small scale homebrewing

Since some month I’m thinking about home brewing. As I haven’t that much space left it will be something difficult for me to do. From a starting point of view I first have to get

- 1 plastic bucket, 30 litres for boiling and mashing
- 1 special plastic bucket, 30 liters for lautering
- 1 immersion heater
- 1 stirrer, paddle
- Raw materials
o Isomerized hopextract or pelets, Saaz, Hersbrucker
o Barley malt, wheat malt, dark wheat malt, chocolate malt

I suppose I’m brewing wheat beer as cooling is something that can’t be achieved that easy. If there are simple ideas out there you are welcome to comment.

From the receipt I’ll just go along what I have learned during my apprenticeship as a professional brewer. We’ll have a protein rest first and than go up to beta- and alpha-amylase rest. Once iodine check is cleared we’ll heat up for pre-boiling. Some means at nearly 100°C and than transfer to the lautertun. Check the rests, see how the cake forms, get some sparing in and check the first runnings. Means: First runnings have to be clear and free of husks, barley, etc. Everything that’s impure goes back to the tun.

I don’t aim any alcohol degree at the beginning, that’s why I’m not checking for the correct degree plato.

Once we have enough liquid in the boilingtun I heat up for boiling. I’m not yet sure where to add the hops. I’ll have to think about the hop flavour of the wheat beer for a while. But I’m thinking about a more Kölsch style wheat beer, perhaps it will be bitter.

Mostly hopping will happen at the end of the brew to achieve a bitter taste. I guess that’s what I’m doing. Means: The wort is boiling for some time, evaporating water, destroying enzymes, sterilizing the wort, etc.

As I’m not having a whirlpool, or a yeast inoculation device, or a flotation tank I’ll have to let the brew cool down in the bath tube in 2nd plastic bucket, bigger than the boiling bucket. Once down at 8°C I’ll get the yeast transferred with a sterile pipette. Sterile working is from that point most important I think. Every contact with the wort should from now on only happen with sterile equipment.

Pitching temperature is 8°C and from that point on everything happening by the brew itself. I’m not able to do any more cooling or heating. The brew will ferment at room temperature, which is about 20°C. That should be enough to get a wheat bear out of it..

Theory is something that has to be proofed sooner or later. Once I’ll get the investment for the equipment I’ll report back..

Dominik Jais's picture