Among the obvious pros of brewing beer in a multicooker is the lack of necessity to control the temperature with an immersion thermometer and constantly standing before a hot stove. In fact, a multicooker can be transformed into a small automated brewery. The biggest con is that you can only make up to 3 liters of beer per one cooking. That’s a very modest amount, considering the complexity of the process. You’ll also have to measure the amounts of ingredients to a tenth of a gram, which requires a pair of accurate and sensitive scales. This method is recommended for those who are just getting acquainted with brewing.
To start you’ll need a 5-liter multicooker, kitchen scale, 5-6 liter fermentation vessel, cooking pot for the wort, skimmer, airlock, mug, silicone hose for decanting the beer, colander, cheesecloth, iodine or any other antiseptic agent, bath with cold water or other wort cooling method, plastic or glass bottles for beer. You can also use an electronic thermometer for wort sugariness control.
- Water – 3 liters
- Barley malt – 2.2 lbs/1 kilo
- Brewer’s yeast – according to the instructions per 5 liters of wort
- Hops – 0.1 oz/3 grams (alpha acidity 4,5%)
- Sugar – 0.25 oz/7 grams per liter of beer (you can use any other primer for carbonation.
The given proportions are average for obtaining homemade beer (lager) of medium bitterness and 4-5% ABV. You can use any other recipe. For example, you can brew white wheat beer by recalculating the amount of ingredients depending on the volume of a bowl. The following is a general technology of mashing in a multicooker. The method described is not meant for any specific recipe.
Recipe for Brewing Beer in a Multicooker
- Disinfect all of the vessels and tools to prevent the wort from getting infected with pathogenic microorganisms. For this you’ll have to prepare a homemade antiseptic agent: dissolve 10 ml of iodine in 25 liters of cold water. Fill the fermentation vessel, multicooker bowl, and cooking pot containing the tools (spoon, skimmer, airlock, fermentation vessel lid, silicone hose, colander, mug, and cheesecloth) with it. Wet all of the walls and neck of the vessels. Leave them for 5 minutes and then pour the mixture off.
You can use special antibacterial agents found in brewing stores.
- If required you can grind up the malt (it’s usually already milled) using a special grinder or mechanical mincing machine.
- Warm up 3 liters of water in a multicooker to 70-73°C. Slowly add minced malt to the water constantly stirring. You should end up with a mush of homogenous consistency.
- Warm up the mixture to 65°C, maintaining the temperature in a 61-72°C range (the preferable 64-69°C). If the opened multicooker cannot heat up to the required temperature then you should close the lid.
Don’t forget to stir the mixture
Once every 15-20 minutes stir the mash (malt combined with water) in order to prevent solid particles from accumulating at the bottom.
Warning! It’s gravely important to maintain the specified thermal conditions. Otherwise, there will be no mash conversion (splitting of starch into sugars under the influence of enzymes in malt) which is necessary for beer brewing.
Check the progress of mash conversion 90 minutes later (optional): pour 5-10 ml of the mash on a clean white plate then add a few drops of iodine and mix. The mixture should not change the color. In case it becomes dark blue there’s too much starch left in the grain, and you should continue the brewing process at least for 15 minutes. After that, repeat the test.
- Put a colander in a 5-liter cooking pot. Using a skimmer, create a filtrating layer by laying out the grain (the solid part of the mash) in a smooth layer on the colander.
- Pour the liquid part of the mash from the multicooker using a mug into the cooking pot through the colander containing the grain. Afterwards, squeeze the grain dry by pressing it with the skimmer. Thanks to this decantation the wort will be better filtered, and the mash will be relieved of the extractive residue.
The process of mash filtration using grain
- Bring the cooking pot with the wort to a boil, add the first portion of hops—0.03 oz/1 gram. After 30 minutes add another 0.03 oz/gram of hops, and after 40 minutes add the last portion (0.03 oz/1 gram). Now you can cook the wort for 20 minutes.
It’s important to maintain strong boiling to allow the wort to bubble.
You can cook the wort in the multicooker if possible, but you should wash the bowl first. This allows for an automatic time control.
Break up the yeast following the instructions on a label.
- Cool the wort down to a temperature recommended by the yeast manufacturer (usually to 5-16°C) as fast as possible (in 15-25 minutes) in order to minimize the risk of contaminating the wort with wild yeast. Usually, beginners put the cooking pot into a cold bath.
- Pour the cooled wort through cheesecloth into a fermentation vessel. Fill it up to 75% of the volume. Add yeast and shake it. Install an airlock and transfer the vessel to a dark room with a temperature fit for fermentation (it should be specified on a yeast package; for lagers, it’s usually 10-13°C). Leave the wort for 6-10 days for fermentation.
Thick foam is a sign of active fermentation
Experienced brewers determine the ending of fermentation using a densimeter. They compare two samples for the last 12 hours. If their values differ by hundredths you can go to the next step.
Beginners often take a cue from the airlock—if it doesn’t bubble for 18-24 hours it means that fermentation has stopped.
- Pour the beer through a silicone hose into sterilized bottles for storing, leaving about 2 cm of free space near the brim. If you want your beverage to be carbonated and foamy you should carbonize it with a primer. The simplest way to do it is adding 0.25 oz/7 grams of sugar per liter of beer to each bottle. Fructose or dextrose will do as well.
- Hermetically seal the bottles with corks, shake them and transfer to a dark room with a temperature of 20-24°C. Leave them for 15-20 days. Light refermentation will carbonate the beverage.
- Transfer the carbonated beer to a fridge for maturation for 20-30 days. This will greatly improve the taste.
The shelf life is 6-8 months if storing in a cellar.