I enjoy drinking a good beer and found myself over time gravitating towards craft beers. I became so focused on craft beers I was no longer drinking the main stream beers. After watching a few beer brewing shows on TV, reading about brewing and talking with some people that brewed beers at home I decided to give it a try.
After my first home brew by myself I was hooked! I knew this would be a natural fit for me as I already enjoy cooking. With 10 batches of brewing beer at home I am still as hooked as my first batch.
In order to home brew beer you some some equipment. Me I went with the Deluxe Extract kit from Northern Brewer as shown below. It looks like a lot of stuff which I guess it is but everything has it’s purpose and is easy to use.
Please note only the basic steps are shown below.
Next up you need a recipe kit which is a box that contains all the ingredients you need along with the recipe. You can see the food items above which is for American Wheat extract beer (no grains). Some kits have grains which you steep in a bag for a specified time, almost like tea.
Next up is to put about 2 1/2 gallons on water in a large pot and bring it to a boil. Once boiling turn off the heat and add the extract, the brown liquid shown in the picture above. Be sure to stir the entire time you are pouring in the extract as not to scorch the extract. Turn the heat back on and bring the wort to a boil (this is what it’s called before the finished product of beer).
Once boiling you need to add the Hops. It would not be beer if it does not have hops after all. You need to add the hops at the correct time. For example at the begin of the 60 minute boil time. Then as the recipe calls for, lets say 45 minutes into the boil then again at the last five minutes. It’s import to watch for boil over! If it gets close to boil over turn off the heat for a few seconds.
Another hop addition for this recipe. Again watch for boil over!
After 60 minutes (for this recipe) turn off the heat.
Now you need a sink full of very cold water and ice to cool down the wort as fast as possible to avoid off flavors and contamination. I have the lid on here but you should remove the lid to get rid of as much heat at the start of the cool down.
While the wort is cooling down to need to sanitize all of the equipment that will come in contact with the wort. This is very important! Here I am using my bottling bucket (not shown) to drain the sanitize from and into the carboy which will hold the wort to ferment into beer.
Next up pour the cooled wort into the car boy after dumping out the sanitized solution. You need to add enough water in the car boy to make the contents be at the 5 gallon mark. Then shake that car boy around for at 10 minutes. Yes I said 10 minutes and yes it will be hard work but you need to mix the wort and the water well so it’s aerated for the yeast. Now add the yeast and shake it up just for a minute or two this time then put the check value filled with sanitized solution on top of the car boy.
Now you just have to wait for this to turn into beer by fermenting in a cool dark place . This varies by beer type but on average I would say 3 to 4 weeks. Also for a more complex fermentation you could rack this to a secondary carboy but that will be a later update.
Bottling time! Sanitize everything that will come in contact with the beer! You can use your bottling bucket for this. Here I using siphon to transfer the beer from the car boy into the bottling bucket. You need to add priming sugar to the bottling bucket at this time to carbonate the beer.
After you fill all your bottles from the bottling bucket and put on a bottle cap then into the case they go. Let them sit in a dark cool place to carbonate for at least two weeks.
After at least two weeks put a bottle in the Frig to cool for a few hours then pop it open pour your home brewed beer into a frosty glass and enjoy! Only put in the Frig what you plan on drinking soon. The beer will continue to carbonate when not in the Frig as along as the yeast still has sugar to eat.