The title of this article is the question that I received from a reader, so it’s only fitting to use it for my response.
I thought about answering the question with a single statement, but after thinking about how much time and effort has gone into outlining why different beer brewing processes work better for me, I really didn’t want to throw it all away in one line.
Infusion Mash for Virtually Any Beer Style
This is the question that I’m being asked so often now, and certainly the most popular of my brewing methods. For virtually any beer style, from Munich Helles to American IPA’s, you will find me doing an infusion mash these days.
Batch Sparge for a Consistent Environment and a Richer Beer
If you like brewing British or Irish ales, I’m sure you know how much of an impact the grain bill can influence the characteristics of the beer. By performing batch sparge, not only will the grain bed be consistent from brew day to brew day, but you’ll also enjoy a richer beer than if you were to do single infusion.
Fly Sparge for Best Efficiency and a Great Brew Day Experience
When I have the time, fly sparging is my favorite method to brew all grain beers. The combination of mash efficiency with easy cleanup is hard to beat on brew day.
No Sparge for Easy German Wheat Beer Brewing
If you’re brewing a beer that requires the use of a decoction mash followed by a standard lager fermentation, you may want to consider saving yourself the extra step and combine those two processes into one by not sparging your grains at all. This may be a bit more advanced for the average brewer, but if you’re experienced at lager brewing and have the ability to get your brewing water to a consistent temperature, this is my method of choice.
BIAB for Small Batches and “No Chugging” American Beers
The acronym that I’ll be focusing on today, BIAB, is short for “Brew in a Bag”. The concept works very well for those who are wanting homebrew that tastes great and doesn’t have to be chugged down quickly. This method of beer brewing will take some practice, but once you get the hang of it I’m sure that you’ll love the results.
Brew In a Kettle for a Low Impact Mash
As the name implies, this brewing method takes place in your brew kettle. Since the only equipment that you’ll need to gather is what’s already sitting around your house, I think it’s safe for me to say that this is one of my favorite techniques. The real advantage of doing your mash here is that you’ll have a consistent environment for your mash, and you can control the temperature of your wort with ease.
Yet Another No Sparge Technique for Brewing Great German Beers
This technique is pretty simple. Sure, you’ll have a few extra steps to deal with when you’re brewing your beer, but if you like doing decoctions and using the no sparge method for smaller batches, I’m sure you can get behind this technique.
BIAB for Easy Brewing on Rugged Terrain
When you’re out in the wilderness, it may be challenging to gather all of your equipment and brew a batch. In this case, BIAB will give you an easy way to do just that. This method is also great for those who are looking to eliminate some of their brewing equipment.
The Mashout Technique for Easy Hot Liquor Recovery
Now that you’ve already gone through the extract brewing process, I’m sure everyone is looking for ways to maximize their Grain-to-Glass time while minimizing the equipment needed to do so. To accomplish this, you should try using a mashout technique along with your malt extract. This will effectively raise the temperature of your wort during the extract brewing process.