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How To Brew    

Download Recipe Sheet in PDF Format(17k)

Please note: new brewers have a tendency to overcomplicate this process. If you will relax and follow these instructions you will be surprised at how good your beer will be. The main thing is to enjoy the process. If you develop an anxiety please call our 800# brewers hotline 1-800-513-5196


For a variety of brewing supplies visit the equipment section of our store.

Please read instructions (Bottom of Screen) on Sanitation before proceeding.

Once you understand these basic instructions, you may want to try a more advanced method (Partial Mash) of brewing.

  1. Fill a 5 gallon stainless steel or enamel pot 2/3 full of water (3 gallons more or less).
  2. Place specialty grains into cheesecloth grain bag and add this bag to the pot of cold water. Add water treatment if called for. Heat this pot at high temperature. At the point you begin to see steam starting to rise from the surface of the water (145 to 165) turn off the stove and cover the pot with the lid. Steep grains for 35 minutes (more or less). Remove grains and discard them. You now have a grain tea and the start of your WORT.
    Note: WORT is essentially beer before fermentation.
    Note: Please do not heat these grains to anywhere near boiling, as this will leach tannins (tannic acid) from the husk of the grains and could give your beer an astringent characteristic.
  3. Heat WORT at high temperature until close to a boil (pot starts making noise).
  4. If using a gas stove turn off fire. If using an electric stove, remove the pot from the burner (very important).
  5. Add all of the malt extract (liquid or dry) and first addition of hops. Stir until well mixed.
  6. Return WORT to burner. Bring to a full boil. Watch pot carefully at this point. A foam develops on the surface of the WORT and it could rise above the surface of the pot and create a mess. Watch pot until foam disappears.
  7. Achieve a good strong ROLLING boil. This is important as the WORT needs to be agitated as much as possible to coagulate undesirable proteins and release desirable oils from the hops.
  8. Boil vigorously for 60 minutes total, adding hops at intervals indicated on the recipe sheet.
  9. At end of boil (after 60 minutes), turn off heat and COVER POT WITH LID.
  10. Place covered pot on ice and water bath (sink) for 45 minutes. This will be added to 2.5 gallons of cool water which will further reduce the temperature.
  11. START YEAST STARTER See below
    Visit the Yeast section of our store to find the yeast for your next batch of beer
  12. IMPORTANT - Place 2.5 gallons of cool water in your primary fermenter. Pour 1/3 of cooled WORT into fermenter with water. PITCH (add) yeast.
  13. Vigorously pour other 2/3 of cooled WORT into fermenter over yeast.

  14. Note: this step aerates the WORT and mixes the yeast without having to stir or shake.

  15. Place lid on fermenter, tightly (without airlock).
  16. Place fermenter someplace your environment has a steady temperature (+/- 2 in 24 hrs). Ales should be fermented at 65 to 75. lagers should be at 45 to 65 depending on the yeast.

  17. START YEAST

    a. Add 1 cup warm water in small sanitized glass, stainless steel or ceramic bowl (a Pyrex measuring cup is good). Optional - Add a pinch of diammonium phosphate (yeast nutrient). Add yeast, DO NOT STIR, cover tightly with plastic wrap and set aside.
    b. Yeast likes a location where the temperature doesn't vary much in a 24 hour period.

  18. Put a small amount of water in the airlock and insert airlock into the rubber stopper on top of the fermenter.
  19. CONGRATULATIONS! In 12 to 15 hours your beer will start to ferment, indicated by the bubbling in the airlock. Leave in your primary for no more than 6 days.
  20. Secondary Fermentation. Place primary fermenter on a table, bench or stool. Let stand for 1 to 2 hours. Take largest diameter plastic tube and attach it to the end of the spigot. Place the other end in the secondary fermenter (glass carboy or bucket) and open the spigot and drain the beer into the secondary fermenter. Place a clean airlock and rubber stopper on fermenter as in step 17.
  21. At this point, beer will be hazy. It will begin to clarify from top to bottom of fermenter. When haze has dropped completely to the bottom (6-12 days, sometimes longer) it is ready to bottle.

BOTTLING
For your bottling needs see the Bottling & Kegging section of our store

Sanitize racking equipment

  • Orange carboy cap
  • Smaller diameter siphon hose
  • Racking Cane
  • Bottle filler
  • Bottles

READ ABOUT SANITIZATION (Bottom of Page) OF BOTTLES AND CAPS FIRST.

We will be racking the beer directly from the secondary to the bottles. We are opposed to the common method of using a bottling bucket for several reasons.

a. It is unnecessary. Why not rack beer straight into the bottle?
b. You avoid oxidation by eliminating the bottling bucket.
c. You will lessen the chance of contamination.

  1. Take 3/4 to 1 cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Turn off heat, and dump in all the dextrose (normally pre-measured in the kit to 4.5 oz) in the hot water, making a simple syrup. Dump hot syrup directly into secondary fermenter. Place sanitized bottling outfit (as pictured) 2/3 of the way down fermenter and stir GENTLY and SLOWLY for 2 minutes with racking cane (carboy cap is flexible). Let settle.
  2. At this point a siphon is unavoidable. Some new brewers find this problematic. Our suggestion would be to practice siphoning before doing the real thing. This will avoid a major panic which none of us needs. The easiest way for most brewers to start the siphon is to fill the bottling outfit (as pictured) with water. Remember the tip of the bottle filler must be depressed to fill with water. From here on it is simple. Loosen carboy cap. Take a large bottle or pitcher and empty the water from the bottling outfit. When beer reaches bottle filler, start filling your bottles. Fill to the very top. Removal of the bottle filler from the bottle will displace about 3/4 inches of beer. Letting bottles sit uncapped for a short period of time allows for some CO2 production which protects beer from oxidation, so fill all bottles before starting the capping.
  3. NOW IT'S TIME TO CAP!

  4. Here are some guidelines.
    a. Practice on some empty bottles.
    b. Capping doesn't take a lot of force. Use a light touch.
    c. It will become easy after a few tries.

  5. After capping, put bottles at room temperature (65-75 for ales) for 2 weeks. At this time it will be fully carbonated and ready to drink, for most ales.

SANITIZING AND BOTTLE CAPS

Rinse bottles out (bottle washer is a help). Bottles are most easily sanitized by dry heat. Remember that 140 is pasteurization temperature, which is fully sanitizing. Keeping this in mind, place in dishwasher and spin dial to drying cycle (NO SOAP!). If you don't have a dishwasher, place bottles in an oven, set to warm for 20 minutes or so. Bottles can also be wet sanitized by soaking in idophor sanitizer solution and air drying. DO NOT SANITIZE CAPS IN SANITIZING SOLUTION. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan, turn off heat, and throw in bottle caps. This is sufficient sanitation for caps.