I'm definitely the laziest homebrewer on earth. Well, considering all the time required for this hobby, lazy is not the correct word, but is true that I adapted years ago my equipment to brew in a flat and I didn'd evolve much.
|'mash tun' and mill|
Since more than ten years I brew with pots on the kitchen's fires. I use a classic Marga miller for malt, a zapap flter made adapting a fermenting keg, zero automation. My batches are around 20 liters, so it's easy to deal without pumps, recirculation, counterflux etc.: I grind the malt directly in the pot, add water, heat up the mash on the fire at the right temperature and I wait for the conversion. Using pots allow me to do even complicate mash, like decoction, just moving the mash from one pot to the other.
A very important point in homebrewing is ph control, to allow enzymes work at the best, and maximize efficiency. So please don't imitate me, because I never measure Ph. If you use a grain/water ratio between 2,5 and 3 l/kg the Ph in your mash will adjust at the right value to allow enzymes work (5,2 - 5,6). Thanks to that I can reach an efficiency of 75% e l'80% even if I never used a litmus paper. Then, I just add toasted grains only in the last 20 minutes of the mash (for stout and dark beers): those grains are the ones that give more Ph fluctuation, and cause risk of tannin extraction, astringency etc. With a late addition in the mash I can avoid the toasty become astringency.
My mash tun has a spigot for the bazooka filter: that's the best solution for sparging I think, unfortunately my bazooka just worked for one batch. The second time I used it I went into a stuck sparge, so I had to recover my old zapap filter, a plastic basin where I made holes, and that I put on top of the fermenter. I put the mash there and start sparging, water is heated in another pot and flushed on the zapap. I recover the moist from the spigot (recirculating the first 4-5 liters) in the boiling pot, that is then put on fire.
|copper cooling coil|
I use a classic coil with circulating water to cool down the worth, then I put everything in the vessel. After aerating the worth and inoculating the yeast, the beer stays in the cellar to ferment!
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