If you’ve read and followed my posts, you may have already tried your hand at brewing the ESB recipe, using the techniques in my first brew step-by-step guide. I’d recommend that you try the techniques in that post many, many times over. Why? It’s important to master some of the basics of homebrewing before moving on, tempting as it may be, to other methods of brewing.

But if you feel particularly competent as an extract brewer, you may want to venture into brewing an all-grain beer, using the BIAB equipment I discussed last time.

I’ve made really good extract beers and really good all-grain beers. I’ve also tasted and made some pretty horrible all-grain brews which would have made hard-core craft enthusiasts turn back to mass-produced, yellow fizzy stuff in a second.

So, just going all-grain is not an automatic pathway to making good beer. I’ve spoken to many homebrewers who’ve claimed that switching to all-grain brewing has improved their beer. Fair enough. But what a lot of them haven’t considered is that they also incorporated other techniques at the same time, such as full wort boils and proper measurement. These will make any brew, extract or otherwise, taste better.

So the message is this: don’t forget the fundamentals! Good cleaning and sanitizingaccurate measurement, and a good working knowledge of your ingredients are essential for making better beer.

Today, I’ll focus on a solid recipe for your first all-grain beer. Time to call up the homebrew shop!

BIAB American Pale Ale

For this refreshing, hoppy ale, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Grains for Mashing:

3.55 kg (7.8 lbs) of 2-row Locally-sourced Pale Malt (milled)

350 g (12.3 oz) of Wyerman Carared Crystal Malt (24 SRM) or similar

70 g (2.5 oz) of Carafa Special III (470 SRM) or similar


9 g (0.3 oz) Galena (12.5% Alpha) @ 60 minutes

10 g (0.35 oz) Centennial (10% Alpha) @ 20 minutes

10 g (0.35 oz) Mt Hood (6% Alpha) @ 20 minutes

15 g (0.5 oz) Mt. Hood (6% Alpha) @ 5 minutes

28 g (1 oz) Cascade (5.5% Alpha) @ flameout

28 g (1 oz) Mt. Hood (6% Alpha) in the whirlpool


1 tsp Irish Moss @ 10 minutes


11.5 g (0.4 oz) packet of US-05 Dry Yeast or similar American yeast.

Some Technical Notes

OG (Original Gravity): 1.046
FG (Final Gravity): 1.010
ABV (Alcohol): 4.7%
IBUs (Bitterness Units): 33

And there it is! Next time, I’ll walk you through the entire BIAB brewing of this recipe, one step at a time.