Beer Making using immersion circulator

In the General Sous Vide Questions Forum
I once saw a post by a person who was attempting to make beer using their immersion circulator. It inspired me to jump in the game and see what it was all about. I tell you it's a lot of fun and I'm hooked! I never made beer before so as a novice I threw caution to the wind using my sous vide knowledge. Now 10 batches in from Porter's and American Amber's to IPA's and APA's this tool makes a huge difference when making the wort and beginning the mash. While making the wort it's really important to keep the grains at a consistent 154 degrees or so for usually 60 minutes. I don't know what better way for a home brewer to manage this feat than an immersion circulator (especially if you have one laying around). The process is great for partials as they are called when using specialty grains for flavoring and liquid or dry malt extract for the alcohol contact and base malt flavor. I'm using the Polyscience Pro and bringing water up to a 154 degrees.

Take the specialty grains which usually weigh in at 2-4 lbs and divide them among 2-3 gallon zip lock freezer bags. Then I take the circulating water and add half gallon of water to each bag, press out air and place in the circulator. Move on to bags 2 and 3 and then let sit for an hour in the water bath. Strain liquid and sparge grains with 2 more gallons of 154 degree water. This will yield roughly 3 gallons of liquid which is the beginning of your mash. From here it's the normal process of making beer. I'm getting some big thumbs up on the beer's quality and my ability to manage well rounded beer profiles. The flavor extraction methods for brewers without immersion circulators can't be nearly as efficient. The normal method is to pour hot 165 water over the grain and let steep in a cooler for an hour. This means you have a higher temp to begin which can ruin the flavor by giving an unwanted corn taste. After an hour the cooler has dropped to 140 degrees and it's not extracting the sugars or flavor as efficiently. My latest batch is a french saison dry hopped with cucumber and chai tea at about 5.7% alcohol. Anyone else making beer using sous vide equipment? Have you any improvements on method or any suggestions on doing all grain?

7 Replies So Far

This is really cool Brian! I passed the post along to a few of my friends who brew their own beer and they were really impressed. It's probably the first time they've ever been impressed by sous vide!
You can use your water oven for lots of things! Making cheese and what about yogurt!
Big roger on yogurt, my wife asked me to make a second batch in the sous vide every time she made yogurt. Her maker bit the dust so I bought a large, deep electric skillet and use the sous vide controller on that. Which reminds me, tomorrow is the day so I got to set it up tonight.

Hello folks
I'm new to sous vide, looking forward to the experiments.
do you suppose you could share your yogurt recipe with us?

1 qt 2% milk
1/4 cup of powdered dry non-fat milk
1/4 cup of plain Greek yogurt as a starter

Bring milk to 185 F.
cool to 160 F.
Wisk in the yogurt and milk powder
put in a pot that fits in your water oven
water bath should be set to 110F.
Move to refrigerator after 6 hrs.
Remove from refrigerator after 3 hrs.
Take a large strainer an line with 2 coffee filters and put into a bowl big enough to set the strainer in to let the water drain into.
Place back in the refrigerator for 8 hrs.
The yogurt is now ready to eat or packaging into air tight containers.
Save some for your starter for your next batch.
Thank you John
That looks easy enough.
Guess I better get a few mason jars
Thankx again
Temperature control is important to brewing, but so is the control of the gaseous environment. When I brew, CO2 is allowed to escape but oxygen is not allowed to enter. And, I am usually working to keep the brewing temperature low rather than heating it. I just get better results that way.

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