Saturday was my first introduction to the process of all grain brewing. I have to admit that I was really intimidated before I saw the system in action. I made some mental notes about the process and below is the process as I observed it:
Cracked not crushed grains
The grains should be cracked open, but not crushed. The best way to do this is to put the grains in zip-lock bag and cracked with a rolling pin.
1lb Grain-1qt water
Using a orange water jug (like the ones that they use in sports) all of the grains are added. The ratio of grain to water is one quart to every pound of grain.
The water needs to be brought to 152 degrees and added to the grains in the water jug. The temp is important because you want the grain to open up and produce sugar, but if the temp goes too far over 152, they will produce tannins which leads to a bad taste.
The grains should stay in the hot water for about an hour. This will allow the cracked grains to release into the water. If the jug is insulated that you are using, there should not be to much of a significant change in temp during the hour.
This is a weird word for basically washing the grains. You see, the grains have releasing the sugars as they would in the growth process. By trickling water over the grains, you are washing all of the sugars off of the grains in into your wort.
Using a modified spout on the jug, release the malt (the water that has been in the jug with the grains) into your boiling pot. It is helpful to have the boiling pot that you are going to cook your wort in on the heat already, this will make the cooking of the wort a little faster because you are not going to be trying to bring 5 gallons to a boil.
After all of these steps, you continue on with the process of home brewing as you normally would with extract. Since you included all of your grains in the “all grain” method, there is no need to do anything with the specialty grains (they are in the malt). Just boil for an hour, add your hops as the recipe calls for it, pitch, ferment, bottle and enjoy!