Gary Glass, President of the American Homebrewers Association appears in this video. The video shows him pouring crushed malted grains into a plastic ice-chest and adding hot water (hot liquor in beer geek speak) to the grains and making a porridge (aka mash).
There is a formula for deciding how hot (the strike temp) the water you add should be to get the desired temperature for the mash (the target mash temp is quite often ~149F-152F).
After the grain(the mash) has steeped for a while (60 minutes is common), the liquid wort is drained out to be boiled. (The ice-chest has some tubing on the outside and some screening on the inside to allow the sweet wort out and keep the spent grains in.) After the wort has been captured, it is boiled (60 minutes is common) just as an extract batch would be.
The basic recipe was:
1/2 tsp Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 mins)
5 lbs Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM)
4.1 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)
14.5 oz Munich Malt (9.0 SRM)
7.3 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt – 20L (20.0 SRM)
7.3 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt – 60L (60.0 SRM)
7.3 oz Melanoiden Malt (20.0 SRM)
0.47 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] First Wort Hopped (FWH) 75.0 min
0.94 oz Centennial [10.00 %] Boil 20.0 min
1 Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins)
1/2 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 15.0 mins)
1/2 tsp Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Boil 15.0 mins)
0.91 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] Boil 10.0 min
0.91 oz Centennial [10.00 %] Aroma Steep 1.0 min
0.91 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] Aroma Steep 1.0 min
Est Original Gravity: 1.060 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.013 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.1 %
Bitterness: 56.4 IBUs
Est Color: 9.5 SRM
Once the wort had been boiled and the hops added (along with the other stuff) we mixed all the batches together and then divvied it up to different members who would then add yeast to the wort (and begin the conversion to beer).
The wort up to just before the yeast is added will taste identical. To be sure, the water, hops, and malted barleys will all have contributed to the taste of the beer. Yet, the addition of the yeast will significantly change the taste of the final products.
Here is a list of the different yeasts that were added to the worts:
American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) [124.21 ml]
American Ale II (Wyeast Labs #1272) [124.21 ml]
Belgian Golden Ale (White Labs #WLP570) [35.49 ml]
Belgian Style Ale Yeast Blend (White Labs #WLP575) [35.49 ml]
Brettanomyces Bruxellensis Trois (White Labs #WLP650 644) [50.28 ml] [Add to Secondary]
The first two American Ale yeasts are the “controls” and should produce the closest thing to a beer at a brewpub. I chose to try a California/San Francisco Lager yeast. Below is a quick video of how the yeast looks on the day after it was pitched (added).
This shows San Franciscolager yeast eating the sugars in the beer. As the Wyeast website describes this yeast as “particularly well suited for producing 19th century-style West Coast beers with woody/minty hop flavor. It retains lager characteristics at temperatures up to 65°F (18°C) and produces malty, brilliantly clear beers.” This beer is fermenting just a little out of the preferred temperature range. I may add a wet t-shirt to it to try to lower the heat.
In the past we have poured samples of our homebrew at this event. This year, sadly, we will not be pouring samples. While the California Dept. of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) may issue a special daily license to a group conducting a picnic, social, or similar gathering, the local ABC officials interpret this as applying only to commercially made beer and wine.
Are you interested in learning about brewing using malted barley grain? The Lake County Homebrewers will have at least 3 brewing systems set up and will be brewing from 11 AM until 5PM on May 5, 2012 at Mt. Konocti Winery (I know brewing beer at a winery, can you believe that?). Come over and watch us brew beer! Mount Konocti Winery is located at 2550 Big Valley Road, Kelseyville, CA 95451.
We are eager to answer any questions about the brewing process; a process that goes back 10,000 years.
The Lake County Homebrewers as a group have not yet decided where (although the Featherbed Railroad Bed & Breakfast has offered to host the club) and what to brew on the AHA Big Brew Day 2012. Last year we brewed a stout that was then aged in a bourbon barrel.
We’d like to try another barrel, so if anyone knows of a barrel–cheap–we’d love to hear about it.
Homebrewing offers you the chance to be creative. If you want habañero and pine needles infused beer, you can have habañero and pine needles infused beer. Light or dark…pink, if that’s lights your candle, is yours to make.
Homebrewing gives you honest feedback as to whether you did it correctly. Other art forms and sports require subjectivity. Beer doesn’t lie.If your beer has a problem, it tells you.
When you homebrew, you know what goes into your beer. Only the finest habañeros for your habañero infused beer.
When you homebrew, you will learn the secret handshake that all homebrewers around the world know that gets them free beer at all places that serve good beer. 
Footnotes: Obviously, when you enter tasting competitions that is different. Beer however will make you think you are stronger, wittier, smarter, cleverer, handsomer, than you really are. I made that last one up. There is no secret handshake.