What makes your brew day a time craft experience? Is it your recipe or the ritual that leads to igniting the burner? Ah, yes…the ritual before lighting the almighty burner. It’s like lighting your personal olympic torch in your own backyard. Do you count down and cover your eyebrows, or do you light it like a champion pyro? What happened to the pre-lighting ritual? Yes, the ceremonial homebrew pint before you start brewing the next batch. Of course, you need a little juice in your gullet before lighting a highly flammable propane gas burner with a small flame. To our spouses surprises, we feel final decisions seem mentally soluble with homebrewed courage. For God’s sakes, it’s a ritual. It doesn’t have to make sense. This is what we think in our subconscious and say in our conscious mind. Thank God our other half does not have mind telepathy. However, we know what they are saying as they shake their head in despair.

Now that we have covered the pre brewing scenario, we need to address business. Of course, the brewing sequence. As my mission statement eloquently says, “An uncommon occurrence where science and art co-exist in one pint.” It took me weeks to create this statement, and it took me less than five seconds to write it. No more digressing, we are going on with the show.

1. The Hot Liquor Tank (HLT) is heated to 165F then transferred via pump to the Mash Tun (MT)

2. MT is filled from the bottom up via pump.

3. While MT is filling, the grist (malt) is doughed in.

4. Once the correct consistence of malt and grain is to your satisfaction, the malt/grain will mash for 40 min at 150-155F.

At this time, you need to heat more water for the sparge process.

That’s right, 40 minutes! Don’t dispute it, keep reading.

5. Once the 40 minutes has expired, you will recirculate the wort in the MT for 20 minutes.

I know what I am talking about. Relax, you have achieved your 1 hour mash. Why 40 minutes mash then 20 minutes recirculate? It only takes 30 minutes to convert starch into sugar, but the sugars become crystalized in the grain bed. The recirculation allows the sugars to become lucid again; therefore, your wort yield will reach its maximum potential.

6. After recirculation is complete, you will start the sparge process from the HLT again.

Some individuals like to conduct a batch sparge; however, the maximum amount of wort yield is achieved through a fly sparge. Ah, what? Hot water is flowing over the grain bed while wort is flowing from the MT to the Boil Kettle (BT)

7. Now, it is time for the ritual igniting of the boil kettle. In other words, it is time to consume our courage. If you have forgotten, refer to paragraph one. Step by step procedures are not necessary; however, the royal head shaking spouse will make her appearance. Do not be afraid.

8. Once the burner is ignited, refer to step seven and see paragraph one for instructions. Once wort is boiling, your ritual needs to cease.

9. Add hops as your recipe dictates.

10. Cool your wort via heat exchanger or other primitive methods that you might find in a cave painting.

11. Transfer to fermenter and pitch yeast.

I hope you enjoy your brew day. This is not a step by step procedure for the beginner, but it gives insight to what you have to look forward to, or what you are missing.