My Brewing Process

Formulate Recipe

I brew all-grain. I formulate my recipes to produce about five gallons of beer for packaging. I lose about a half-gallon due to trub in the fermenter and another half-gallon in the boil kettle. That means that I need an original gravity volume of six gallons. I experience a boil-off rate of about one gallon per hour [Ed: TBR.] which means I need a boil gravity volume of seven gallons for a 60-minute boil or seven-and-a-half gallons for a 90-minute boil. I typically get around 75% mash efficiency. I typically use bagged pellet hops for all additions. Previously I had used Rager for bitterness predictions, but have switched to using Tinseth. I use Morey to predict beer color. [Ed. Brewing software/spreadsheet?]


  1. Specify the style (any style)
  2. Specify the barley
  3. Specify the water
  4. Specify the hops
  5. Specify the yeast
  6. Specify the process

Gordon Strong gave a nice presentation at the 2011 National Homebrewers Conference on Recipe Building And Competition Tips.

Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels has great information about recipe design.

Order Ingredients

I order everything a week in advance, requesting an ice pack for liquid yeasts if right for the weather. I order enough yeast to directly provide enough cells for the ferment, and not making a starter. When everything arrives, I store the yeast in my beer refrigerator and the hops in the freezer. I store my grains in the cellar where it is relatively cool and dry.

Mise en Place

The day before I plan to brew I weigh out [Ed: What kind of scale?] and crush [Ed: What kind of grinder?] my grain. I crush it into a six-and-a-half-gallon foot grade plastic bucket. I weigh out [Ed: What kind of scale?] my hops into paper cups marked with the time for the corresponding hop addition. I set up the brewery and measure out my strike and sparge water using a half-gallon Pyrex measuring cup. I place the strike water in my boil kettle and the sparge water in my hot liquor tank. [Ed: What are you using for a boil kettle, hot liquor tank, burner, anything else?]

I crush my grain with a Crankandstein 3D mill with a base and hopper and a hand crank.

I package and serve my beer in a Brew Logic Dual Tap Draft System.

I measure temperature with a Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapen™.

I transfer liquids with gravity or a Fermtech Auto-Siphon.

I boil in a 10 gallon Blichmann BoilerMaker™.

I keep my fermenting beer warm with a FermWrap Heater controlled with a Johnson A419 Temperature Controller.

I weigh my hops and salts with a Blade Scale™.

I heat liquids with a Camp Chef Explorer 2 Burner Propane Stove.


The first thing I do on brew day is get the yeast out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature while I brew. If I am using Wyeast smack packs, I smack them.


Light the burners under the boil kettle and the hot liquor tank.


Hear the strike water to the strike temperature plus 9 °F to account for losses in transfer to the mash tun. Measure and record the temperature. [Ed: How are you measuring temperature?]

Transfer the heated strike water to the mash tun. [Ed: What are you using for a mash tun?] Measure and record the temperature. Adjust if necessary. [Ed: How do you adjust the temperature?]

Measure out the mash and boil salts into appropriately marked paper cups. [Ed: What kind of scale?]

Add the grains to the strike water. Add the mash salts to the mash. Stir with a mash fork to wet all the grain and break up any dough balls. Cover the mash. Start a timer for the mash duration. Let the mash stand for 10 minutes. Measure and record the mash temperature. Adjust if necessary. [Ed: How do you adjust the temperature?]






Batch Sparge


Mineral Salt Addition


Full Boil


10 gal Blichmann Boilermaker

Camp Chef

Bagged pellet hops

Stopwatch function of iPhone built-in Clock app.

Chill and Drain

Immersion chiller


6.5-gallon Glass Carboy


Rock to aerate


Multi-package Yeast Pitch


Refrigerator w/ Johnson Controller



Dry Hops










Leave a Reply