Brewing with E+G or Partial mash method
With the name of “Extract + Grains, also known as E + G, it is a brewing technique that simplifies the normal All Grain process. The main feature is the use of malt extract, which is a concentration of the wort. In practice, the producer makes a mash starting from the malt in grains, converting all the starches into sugars and concentrates the product by removing the water content in part or totally, obtaining respectively liquid or dry extract.
These ingredients allow the brewer to skip the mashing step and filtering the spent grains: keep in mind that it is necessary to dilute the product, boil it with hops to bitter and once the yeast has been added, proceed with fermentation.
Compared to the traditional technique, the E + G has some advantages in terms of practicality:
- preparation times are shorter than the All Grain technique
- the equipment to use is easier as you do not need to carry out the mashing and grain filtering step
- the same is true for the boiling equipment. This can be "leaner" and less expensive both for volumes and for materials.
The technique is better than the Kit in terms of the possibility of customizing the recipe. In fact, it is possible to add your own beer mainly:
- quantity and quality of hops;
- the "special grains" in addition to the extract;
In terms of ease of execution it is slightly more complex than Kit Beer.
However, there are limits with respect to All Grain method:
- Quality: even if there are excellent malt extracts, the concentration/dilution process is not always precise and can make changes in the organoleptic characteristics of the product
- The production process can change the color, so it is essential to pay attention and choose extracts that allow the production of very light beers. For example: Pils and Lager
Our step by step guide to making beer with the EXTRACT + GRAINS technique
- In a clean pot (no need to sanitize, as the wort will have to be boiled for some time) add the volume of water equal to the volume of beer to be produced.
- Heat the water to about 68-70 ° C and, trying to keep the temperature constant, add the milled grains in a special filter bag (grain bag), and leave them to infuse for at least 30 minutes.This step in E + G is used to extract color and flavor from special grains, as not being basic malts we do not need to convert starches into sugars as in All Grain method because we will add the malt extract which contains the sugars necessary for the fermentation.
- Now raise the temperature and start adding the malt extract, mixing well to make it melt and to ensure that it does not caramelize on the bottom.
- At this point we boil the wort. The boiling of the wort takes about 60 minutes.
- During boiling, hops are added at the times set by the recipe if possible in the special filter bag (hop bag). There are generally three hop additions, one at 60 minutes from the end which will mainly contribute to the bitterness of the beer, one in the middle which will contribute to the aroma and one at 5-10 minutes from the end of boiling which will give the beer its characteristic aroma of hops.
- After the boil, the wort must be cooled by placing the pot in a tub or sink full of cold water. The wort must be cooled as quickly as possible to prevent infections.
- Once the wort is cooled, place it in the fermenter and add the yeast. Pay attention to the temperature of the wort which need to be between 18 and 22°C, however at the right temperature range for the yeast you are inoculating.
- The fermenter is sealed by placing the bubbler on the top, with a certain volume of water and sanitizer (a distillate is also recommended, so that you are sure it will not get infected and if it enters the fermenter by mistake it will not damage the must), and let it ferment for 10/15 days.
- After that, the density of the wort is measured again and if it is possible to carry out the fermentation in 2 phases. This consists in decanting in a second fermenter for another 7 days in order to eliminate the residues of yeast and other particles deriving from the fermentation.
- At this point, once the desired FG (final density) is obtained and the fermentation is over, it is time to bottle. It is necessary, according to the style, to add a small amount of sugar to the bottles which, turning into carbon dioxide, will make the drink sparkling (carbonation or priming).
- The bottles are left to rest for two weeks at a temperature of at least 20 ° C, and then at a lower temperature for a further week.
- About 2-3 weeks after bottling, the beer is ready to be drunk. If you prefer, you can store your beers in the cellar to mature for months and months.