You don't need the mash-tun if you are using the Brew in a Bag method. You are heating the water, and taking it through the temperature changes to get the enzymes to go to work on your starch. Once you are done, lift out the bag of grain and let it drain. No need for mashing, or sparging.
I'm looking for a bit of advice. I brewed that Ginger beer last night, mostly following your instructions Degsey. It's 12 hours on and it doesn't seem to be fermenting. I'm wondering if the yeast was dead.
I boiled the ginger for about 10 mins. While I was doing that, I mixed 800gms of sugar and malt extract (combined) with 2 litres of boiling water. I then added the lemons (in a muslin bag) and then the ginger mix (strained through a muslin cloth which was then tied and added in to float). I then topped up with cold water. When it was about room temp (20 - 25 degrees) I pitched the yeast which I mixed in a cup with luke warm water for about 5 mins before adding. Some of it lumped a small bit, the lumps are still obvious in the mix but there are not many of them, just one or two.
The problem is that it's 12 hours on now and there is no action in it at all. There is no head, no bubbles in the airlock etc. I made two other kit brews last night at the same time and they are going crazy.
I bought the yeast of Homebrew.ie, in the same order they sent me two out of date bags of malt extract. The yeast seems to be in date. Do you think I should sit back and wait or should I start ordering in some new champagne yeast?
Thanks a mil
I'd give it another day or two and then check the gravity if i still looks like nothing's happening.
Thanks - do you mean I should have let it sit in the water for longer?
The method I use for rehydrating yeast is:
1. Sanitise a thermometer, a pyrex measuring jug, and two small drinking glasses, one with a smaller diameter at the top than the other so they'll fit into each other, rim-to-rim, forming a seal.
2. Boil some water in the kettle.
3. Measure 100ml of boiled water in the pyrex jug and pour into the larger-rimmed glass.
4. Place the thermometer in the glass.
5. Half fill the pyrex jug with cold water and place the glass of boiled water in it, using it as a bath to cool the water in the glass to 27C. It takes about 10 minutes. Stir the boiled water with the thermometer to even out the temperature. Replacing the warmed water in the jug with fresh cold water will speed things up. Take care not to touch the inside of the glass.
6. Remove the thermometer and sprinkle the yeast sachet onto the surface of the water in the glass.
7. Place the smaller-rimmed glass on top of the other, forming a seal.
8. After ten minutes or so, swirl the contents of the glass gently. You want all the yeast to get wet and to blend smoothly. It will take a while for this to happen. You don't want yeast granules stuck to the side of the glass.
9. Give it a swirl every 5 minutes or so.
10. After about an hour, maybe more, foam will start to form on the surface of the yeast solution. The yeast is active and ready to pitch.
I usually kick this off around the beginning of my brewday so it's ready when I need it, two or three hours later.
Thats awesome - thanks a million.
So I checked it again this morning, nothing has changed. Og is the same and there is no visible fermentation.
I was playing it over in my head - the only thing I can think of is that I could have incorrectly washed the jug I mixed the yeast in. I had washed it with a spray bleach mix and water and rinsed it thoroughly - but maybe I didn't wash it enough? I smelt it before I used it and it had no aroma of bleach.
I gave it a stir this morning to get the sediment up from the bottom, just to see if that did anything. What do you think I should do? Should I pitch another sachet of yeast?
If nothing's happening still that's probably what I'd do.
I put in another pack of champagne (wine) yeast last night and there was still nothing by this morning. I tried to bring the temperature up a bit before I left to see if that makes a difference.
Is this a dead brew? Its such a pity because it smells amazing
What's your OG?
Cant recall - will have to check it when I get home tonight. It looks the exact same as when I put it in though, no head, no marks on the side etc. Do you think it could be happening anyway?
Yes. The only way you know for sure if fermentation is happening or not is whether the gravity changes. Are you saying you don't have a gravity reading from day 1?
I didnt take one on day 1, completely slipped my mind. I'll come clean and say I havent taken one at all. The fv I'm using doesnt have a tap and my brewferm christmas brew was spilling out of the airlock so I had to turn my siphon into an airlock to allow the overflow come down into a pot.
Bottled the Christmas brew earlier so I was able to use the siphon to take a gravity reading - I think you were right, it seems to be fermenting slowly. Its currently at 1.015. Would adding the extra yeast have damaged it? It smells amazing.