Recipe for Stockport Bitter-Full Mash 40 pints

3 kg Maris Otter Crushed Malt

110 g Goldings Hops

250 g Crystal Malt Crushed

Yeast- Gervin Ale Yeast is good

Water Treatment if needed

Ok, here's how to mash 40 pints of mashed beer, the easiest way we can think of. There's lots of very complicated ways to do this and lots of arguments!

This way works, it's easy and produces good beer. I based it on the method used by a very succesful micro brewery pub after spending a weekend there in me camper.

It uses a few items of equipment available on the mashing stuff page! You can manage without but it's such a face ache that if you do want to mash you're better spending the dosh.

Heat 3 gallons of water to 75c in a boiler.

Tip the Maris  Otter grain and the crush crystal malt into the brupaks insulated mash tun, then add the  3 gallons of hot water at 75c or thereabouts.. The  temperature will drop to 65c which is right for mashing. Mashing is soaking the grain in hot water, this allows enzmes to convert the starches in the grain to sugars.

Stir it really well and put the lid on the  mash tun. Leave it for about an hour and a half.

Open the tap on the  mash tun, the liquid will run out sort of milky then cloudy. You did put a bucket under the tap didn't you?

Pour the first couple of really murky  pints back in the top of the mash tun then start to sparge....

Sparging is just rinsing the grain with hot water, heat up about 3 gallons of water in your boiler to 85c and slowly pour it into the mash tun, SLOWLY!!!! It should take about an hour to get that water through the mash tun.

You're aiming at getting about 5 and a half gallons of liquid so you may need to add more water to the top to get that amount out.

Pour all that hot liquid into your boiler and add the  hops.

Boil it for about an hour, it takes ages to get to the boil. You then start timing it, it's not critical but you need to keep an eye on it during the boil to make sure it's ok. It also smells strong(We like the smell!!) and creates loads of steam.

After the boil strain into a clean sterilised bucket and leave the hops behind, use a jug and a colander or sieve/ bag.

That hot sugary liquid can burn you so don't carry the bucket about or attempt to pour it from the bucket!!

You now need to cool it down, you can leave it to cool or use the cooling coil. We prefer to use the cooling coil, it's fast and stops contamination while the beer is hanging about. It might take about 6 hours if you have to leave it>

You put the bucket with the hot liquid on the draining board , that way water from the cold tap runs through the  coil and out into the sink,

When the beer ( you noticed it's now called beer!!) is cool to about 23c add the yeast and ferment out as normal.

Easy---It can go wrong and does, experimentation cures most things!


Water treatment

--People bang on and on about this. If your water is hard, kettle furs up, you don't need it.

If your water is soft, (kettle doesn't fur up). add 1 tsp of gypsum.

If you want to get clever there's whole books on the subject, it will work without any treatment at all, but bitters do tend to taste better with hard water! For the clever you're after a ph of 5.3 in the  mash tun.  Water treatment is key to good beer but it's better to leave it alone rather than blunder about in the dark, you 'll just find that you make better mild/bitter/lager or whatever your water is suited to.

There you go! Easy, don't be frightened! GIve it  a go!