By John Alexander

The advisor to Craft Brewing explains how one can brew your personal beer in transparent and easy phrases, making this renowned and worthwhile pastime obtainable to all.

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Brewing Tidy A tower to hold HLT, mash tun and copper can be made from 50mm × 50mm timber. Four 2m high uprights are secured to four crossbeams at the top, and three at the middle and bottom. The HLT sits on a stout shelf on top, and the mash tun sits on the middle shelf, which is secured between two strong runners so that it can be drawn out to mash, and pushed back when not in use. The copper sits on a trolley on the floor, and the whole operation is neat and tidy. Cooling and Gauging Vessel Take a strong 30ltr plastic container, and secure to each side at the top a 15mm tank connector with the compression fitting on the inside.

In order to trick the embryo into germinating, the maltster creates spring-like conditions by steeping the grain in water at about 20°C for two to three days. The embryo now starts to respire, taking oxygen from the water and releasing carbon dioxide. The grain is drained periodically to rest the embryo and prevent it from drowning. Re-steeping introduces a fresh charge of oxygen that promotes growth, and during this period the kernel will have softened and swollen to almost double in size. After steeping, the maltster now controls the growth of the seedling so that sufficient growth takes place to develop the enzymes necessary to modify the materials in the foodstore, without depleting the reserve store of starch.

It has a diastatic power of about 70°L. The variety Atlantis is very popular due to its resistance to fungal attack, particularly Fusaria with its tendency to promote gushing. Oat Malt This malt is popular in stouts. Its husk content is 26 per cent and so it will provide extra mash tun roughage and good running of worts. 5 per cent, and this might have a deleterious effect on head retention, although it is likely to be swamped to a degree by the acidity of the roast malt and barley. Vienna Malt This malt is produced from well modified lager malt that is toasted to 5–10 EBC°.

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