Home Brewing, Part III: How to Brew Beer

>> Friday, June 18, 2010

If you've been following our home brew series, you've already learned some interesting stuff. We've covered a basic list of the things you need to get started . . . as well as how to build your very own wort chiller, saving you a ton of cash. Now, without further hesitation, we're giving you the step-by-step instructions on how to use all that stuff.

If you follow these steps, you should be just fine. But if you have any questions, we'd be happy to help. Just leave a comment or email us at neverhomemaker [at] gmail [dot] com.

Step 1: Prepare the Supplies
  1. Purchase 5 gallons of spring water from your local grocery store. Avoid tap water because of its high mineral content.
  2. Assemble your Turkey Fryer and connect the gas line to your propane tank.
  3. Unpack your beer kit and lay out your grains, hops, and malt.
  4. Fill your kitchen sink halfway with warm water and soak Malt Extract (in a plastic or aluminum can); this will make for easy pouring later.
  5. Pour your grains into the nylon steeping bag and pull closed.

Step 2: Steep the Grains
  1. Pour 3 of your 5 gallons of spring water into the pot and bring to a boil of 155.0°F
  2. Clip the nylon grain bag to the pot handle with a carabineer and steep for 20 minutes.
  3. To maintain the 155.0°F, bring the temperature to 160.0°F, turn off the burner, and cover with the lid (75% - 100%) based on outside air temperature.
  4. Remove the grain bag, drip drain, but do not squeeze it thoroughly.

Step 3: Boil
  1. Add the lukewarm malt extract to the brew pot; use a cup to pour some warm brew water into malt extract container to get it all out. Stir vigorously with a plastic paddle.
  2. Turn the burner back on and bring the water to a boil. At sight of the first bubble, add the first hops. Boil 30 to 60 minutes (45 minutes typically). Keep a nice rolling boil, but be careful not to boil over. (Especially in warm outside air temperature). These can get messy!
  3. At the end of the 45 minutes, add in the second hops, and continue to boil for another 2 minutes.
  4. Drop wort chiller in the brew pot with about 15 minutes left in the boil.

Step 4: Cool, Measure, and Store
  1. After the boil has finished, run cool water through wort chiller to bring the temperature down below 100°F (80-100°F). This will take about 15 minutes.
  2. Add 2 more gallons of spring water for a total volume of 5 gallons.
  3. Carefully, and preferably with help, transfer to wort to the primary fermenter (6.5 gallon plastic bucket).
  4. Carefully drop in the hydrometer and take a reading. If the gravity (printed on the specific beer instructions) reads higher than the suggested range, add more water until it’s within the desired range.
  5. With the temperature at 80°F or less, sprinkle yeast (if using dry) on top of wort or pour in liquid yeast. After yeast starts dissolving, stir in thoroughly with plastic paddle.
  6. Cover securely with lid, and add airlock filled with water into grommet hole.
  7. Move to basement for primary fermentation.

Next week we'll cover Part IV: Primary and Secondary Fermentation! And if you missed last week’s tips on how to build a wort chiller or our first post on what you'll need to start, check those out now!

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