By Shotgun Joe aka Bob Mann
Shotgun Joe by Bob Mann debuts this month! Purchase your copy on our web store.
I am assuming that you, the brewer, are familiar with all-grain brewing, and terms like “tun,” “mash,” “sparge,” “OG,” etc, are not strangers to you. If this is your first brush with home-brewing, get a book on the subject (there are at least ten thousand out there) or take a home-brewing class. Your local brew supply store will be a good source of information, and may even sponsor such a class.
I also use unchlorinated water from a Pearland, TX well, and haven’t found it necessary to use Bru-Vigor or dechlorinate. If you use distilled water or chlorinated municipal water, you’ve addressed the situation for yourself, so modify the procedure accordingly.
12 lb domestic 2-row
2 lb German Light Munich
2 lb German Melanoidin
1 lb Belgian Cara-Pils
6 oz Weyermann Carafa II special malt
0.5 oz Pride of Ringwood (bittering)
1.0 oz German Tettnanger (flavoring)
1.0 oz British Kent Golding (finishing)
I use a plain 10-gallon Igloo© water cooler for the mashing, and a 5-gallon Igloo© (which can actually hold 6 gallons) as reservoir for the mash and sparge water. I add the mash water through a 5-ft section of standard garden hose that runs down to the bottom of the 10-gallon cooler, so the mash water is introduced from the bottom of the grain stack. I don’t know if it affects the flavor, but it seems to make the initial stirring easier.
- Set up the whatever you’re using for the mash tank.
- Put the grains in place and add 5½ gallons of mash water. For my system, the mash water temp starts out at 170F, and heat loss to the grain column and mash tank walls drops it down to 155-160F, the enzymatic sweet spot.
- Stir the grains and mash water to homogeneity.
- Stir again after 20 minutes.
- Stir again after 40 minutes.
- After 1 hour, start the sparge with water at 180F. That is not a typo. One hundred eighty degrees Fahrenheit, not the usual 168-170. There are reasons. Set the flow rate at about one gallon every two and a half minutes.
- Sparge until the effluent no longer tastes sweet. You should end up with 5-6 gallons of grain tea.
- Boil the tea down to a little under four gallons. At 45 minutes before the end of boil, add the Pride of Ringwood; at 20 minutes, the Tettnanger; at 5 minutes, the Kent Golding.
- Set the wort in an ice bath to cool.
- Sterilize the primary fermenter and a 22 oz beer bottle, and hydrate the yeast, while the wort is cooling.
- Once the wort has cooled to within 5F of room temperature, remove it from the ice bath and add tap water to bring the volume up to 4 gallons. Stir to avoid stratification.
- Fill the 22 oz bottle with the wort, cap the bottle, and put it in the refrigerator.
- Aerate the wort by filling a half-gallon measuring cup with it, raising the cup 2-3 feet above the wort bucket, and pouring it back into the wort, ten times. By aeration’s end, the wort should be covered with a layer of bubbles.
- Move the wort into the primary fermenter and pitch the yeast.
- Ferment for one to two weeks. More than two weeks, you run the risk of starving the yeast. Less than one week, you run the risk of a green final product.
- Transfer the green beer into a secondary container, leaving as much solid behind as possible.
- Add the 22 oz of wort from the fridge, and swirl to disperse it.
- Bottle the beer and cap it.
- Set it aside for two weeks.
Praise for Shotgun Joe:
“Masterful prose, crafted like hard-edged poetry. . . . Riotously funny and hugely enjoyable!”
-Pinckney Benedict, author of the award-winning Miracle Boy and Other Stories
“Bob Mann keeps us alternately sweating bullets and howling with laughter. Shotgun Joe maybe exactly the hero we need in these troubled times.”—George Hovis, author of The Skin Artist
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