Basic Beer Brewing Instructions

These directions will walk you through the basic steps of brewing an ale beer from extract. The directions can be used for brewing with hopped or unhopped extract as well as different fermentors. Your ingredients can include corn sugar, as recommended by many beer kits, however, this sugar is primarily used as an inexpensive substitute for malt sugar. The corn sugar will not contribute any body or malt flavor. It tends to lighten the beer, though it does add to the alcohol content. Sugar whether it is malt sugar (malt extract) or corn sugar adds food for the yeast and thereby produces alcohol. The more food you give the yeast the more alcohol it will produce up to a point where it kills itself with the very alcohol that it produces. You should use at least 60% (we prefer 100%) malt in order to insure that the yeast has proper nutrients to ferment correctly. If you decide to use all malt, which gives a fuller bodied, richer taste, then you should use at least 8 lbs. or more of syrup malt extract. If using dried malt extract, at least 6 lbs. should be used. The amount will depend on the body and strength desired. Remember that malt sugar adds fermentables which produce alcohol as well as adding malt flavor which contributes to body. If you are using a hopped extract then hops are not necessary but can be added to give more flavor and aroma to the finished product. When using an unhopped extract then the addition of hops is necessary. About 2 oz. should do the trick. Yeast is required and often provided with beer kits, but always make sure! There’s nothing worse than not having yeast when you need it. Be sure to check that it is the appropriate yeast for the beer you are trying to create. Remember ale yeast ferments on the surface and does so in warm temperatures (ideally between 60 and 70 degrees F) but it works at higher temps too so don’t worry. True lager yeast ferments on the bottom at temps between 45-55 degrees F and true lager cultures often strictly require adherence to this temperature range. Extract cans often claim to be lager but in fact are light colored ales and should be fermented at warm ale temperatures. Real cold fermenting strains are available as liquid cultures stored in our refrigerator. The water you will use will vary on what you prefer to drink. If you don’t like tap water don’t use it, and use bottled water. Do not use distilled, as it lacks necessary minerals for healthy fermentation.

Brewing An Ale From Extract

  1. Into a large stock pot (approx.12 quart) put 1.5 gallons water and bring to boil.
  2. Once the water is boiling, remove it from heat. This avoids scorching the malt on the bottom of the pot after extract is added. * If you are using a BEER KIT CAN then you must also add some type of sugar, either more malt extract or corn sugar to make five gallons. If using corn sugar add 5 cups to your malt extract mix in pot. If using dry malt add a 3 pound bag. * If using bags of UNHOPPED DRIED MALT EXTRACT use only the malt in the bags and nothing else. No other sugar is needed since the malt contains all of the fermentable sugar that you will need. You will need corn sugar for bottling. Be sure to mix and dissolve ingredients completely before returning to heat! *If using a bucket of UNHOPPED BULK MALT EXTRACT (syrup) use only the malt in the bucket and nothing else. No other sugar is needed since the malt contains all of the fermentable sugar that you will need. You will need corn sugar for bottling. Be sure to mix and dissolve ingredients completely before returning to heat!
  3. Place the pot back on the heat and bring it to a boil. At this point, the mixture is called wort (pronounced wert). Wort is a term for the unfermented beer.If you are using a hopped malt extract can and you are not adding bittering hops, then you boil for 15 minutes. You may add finishing hops to this mixture in the last minute. If you are using an unhopped malt extract (bulk malt) then you will need to add bittering hops which should be boiled for a minimum of 45 minutes (we suggest a 60 minutes). The first few minutes back on heat, avoid a “boil over” by continual surveillance. Stirring or skimming the top will help reduce the chances of a “boil over” happening. Continue with a vigorous boil until next ingredient is added. Additional finishing hops should be added at last minute of boil to impart aroma and some flavor. *ANYTHING TOUCHING THE BEER AFTER THIS POINT NEEDS TO BE CLEAN AND SANITIZED!*
  4. Cool your wort with cold water in the fermentor. It is a good idea to chill 3-4 gallons of water overnight. If you don’t mind the tap water, it will work fine. If you don’t like the extra chlorine though, just get any type of filtered water at the store–not distilled though.
  5. Follow the directions for the type of fermentor that you have: either a 6 gallon plastic bucket, or a 7 gallon glass carboy. For a 6 Gallon Plastic Bucket: 5a. Into a sanitized primary fermentor (plastic bucket) that you have already made a 5 gallon mark on, add your boiled wort and approx. 3.5 gallons cold water up to your 5 gallon mark. More or less water may be added to achieve this mark. Your beer is now highly susceptible to contamination so remember to sanitize all equipment coming into contact with it. If you want to record the gravity of your beer this is the time to use your hydrometer. This mixture should stabilize at room temperature and be ready for pitching your yeast. Snap down lid onto bucket. Place a sanitized rubber stopper on to the sanitized airlock and insert the stopper into the bucket lid. Fill airlock half-way with water. This allows CO2 gas to escape without letting in the bad things. For a 6.5 Gallon Glass Carboy: 5b. Into a sanitized primary fermentor (7 gallon glass carboy) that you have already made a 5 gallon mark on, add 2 gallons cold water. This water will prevent cracking due to thermal shock when you pour your hot wort in. Now, funnel in your hot wort directly into the cold water taking care not to allow the hot wort to run down the sides as it may crack the carboy. Next, add more cold water up to your 5 gallon mark. Your beer is now highly susceptible to contamination so remember to sanitize all equipment coming into contact with it. If you want to record the gravity of your beer this is the time to use your hydrometer. This mixture should stabilize at room temperature and be ready for pitching your yeast. Place sanitized airlock into rubber stopper and insert into the mouth of the bottle. Remove the top of the airlock and fill half-way with water. This allows CO2 gas to escape without letting in the bad things.
  6. To use the hydrometer first cover your fermentor with saran wrap, then shake it to mix the ingredients thoroughly. Often the hotter, thicker wort will settle to the bottom. Make sure the fermentor is at an even temperature throughout to get an accurate reading. Remove saran wrap and pour out a sample into a pint glass. Pour this sample into the hydrometer test jar. Replace airlock or blow-off tubing and then check the gravity by floating hydrometer in flask. For best results the hydrometer reading should be taken at 60 degrees F. Where the fluid meets the glass rod is where the reading should be taken on the specific gravity scale.
  7. When wort has cooled to room temperature add the yeast by sprinkling (do not rehydrate dried yeast) or pouring the contents of one package over the wort. Make sure the airlock or lid is covering your fermentor securely.
  8. Let it sit and make sure it starts bubbling out the airlock within 24 hours. If it doesn’t your yeast may be ineffective. It should ferment actively for about 2-6 days. After that, the beer will need time to settle and clear. 10-12 days total is a good benchmark for the beer to be in the fermentor. Just make sure it has stopped bubbling when you decide to bottle or is bubbling no more than once every thirty seconds. If you are using a hydrometer the reading should be approximately 1.010 to 1.020 . If it is higher but inactive then just make sure it remains at a constant reading over three days. Your beer may ferment in as little as two days due to highly active yeast or warmer temperatures. Just be sure it is finished and wait 8 days even if it looks like it is done. To be sure take a hydrometer reading.
  9. BOTTLING: Take one pint of water and boil in saucepan and add 3/4 to 1 cup corn sugar or use 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups dried malt extract. The more primer added the stronger the carbonation. You may wish to start with the lower amount and adjust up on your next batch if you like a heavier carbonation. This is the primer for carbonation, which takes place within the bottle. Pour this into the empty sanitized bucket which you have mounted the spigot on.
  10. Siphon the beer off the sediment using tubing and racking cane with orange down flow tip (sanitize all equipment) into the sanitized priming bucket which contains the primer mixture. You should have 5 gallons, if you have less don’t worry. You can add water to bring it up to five gallons, but this will just water down the beer you do have. *To start a siphon attach hose to racking cane and hold cane with orange tip upwards and tubing in a “U” shape, then hold end of tubing under faucet and fill entire length with water. Now crimp tubing at end to keep water inside and insert racking cane into fermentor with orange tip down. Place bucket with spigot on ground under you fermentor and let water run down through the tube and this should start the siphon. 11. The siphon will naturally mix the primer sugar with you flat, warm beer. Your beer is now primed and should be bottled immediately!
  11. Now you are ready to bottle using sanitized bottles and caps. Place tubing on installed spigot and attach bottle filler to other end. Turn on spigot and you are ready to bottle. Depress tip on bottle bottom to allow the beer to flow. Fill bottles right to the top and when you remove filler the volume will drop to give you a uniform fill level. Fill bottles and cap with capper.
  12. Record bottling date and set aside for at least 2 weeks at room temperature. Aged beer (up to 4 months) can taste better, so try it at different periods of time. If the carbonation level is good after 2 weeks you may want to keep it cool to stall the carbonation at that level.
  13. DRINK IT!

Sanitation

ALL ITEMS THAT COME IN CONTACT WITH BEER MUST BE SANITIZED!

Hoses, buckets, spoons, bottles, caps, airlocks, rubber corks, strainers, etc. all must be sanitized with either a bleach/water solution or other sanitizing solution. Do Not mix bleach with any other cleaner. If anything touches the beer, other than your lips after opening an aged bottle, it must be sanitized. The brew kettle and mash liquid will be boiled, however, upon cooling, the wort can easily become contaminated. The key is, if you are in doubt, sanitize! After sanitizing, wash equipment with clean water before introducing beer. Bottles should be scrubbed with a bottle scrubber prior to being sanitized as should carboys. If any soap is used use only low sudsing detergents and wash extra thoroughly, as any residue will destroy the head of a beer and possibly adversely effect the taste of the beer. Use only soft sponges to clean buckets as they may be scratched. Hot water and bleach can help clean dirty buckets.Metal strainers may be impossible to sanitize and must be boiled. Sulfite is not a sanitizer. It is a bacterial inhibitor and should not be used.

Bleach

To effectively sanitize use 2 oz. Bleach (non-scented) per five gallons water and allow 10 min. contact time. After using WASH THOROUGHLY.

Iodophur

Use 1 tablespoon of Iodophur into 5 gallons of room temperature water. Soak for 2-3 minutes and then air dry. No rinsing is necessary. 

AVOID BACTERIA AND STRANGE BREWS AND BE SURE TO SANITIZE!

Steeping Grain Usage

Using steeping grains will add flavor and color to your extract brews. All you need to do is soak the grains in your water as you heat it up. Most speciality grains have already been mashed. Mashing is the process of converting the natural starch in the barley kernal into sugar. These grains are then kiln dried. As the grains are dried, the sugars inside carmelize, or crystalize. This is where the name crystal malt comes from. The Lovibond scale is used to rate how much color these grains will add to your beer. Certain grains like roasted barley or chocolate malt are not mashed or malted, they are simply burnt. The very dark grains are rated at 300+ Lovibond and give off a rich roast character. Other grains are lightly toasted, like the vistory or biscuit malt. These grains often give off a nutty taste. Steeping grains will add body and unfermentable sugars to your beer. Flaked grains must be mashed and should not be steeped. They can be easily used in a partial mash when combined with 2-row malt. If you are interested, please ask for a copy of our mini-mashing directions.

To Begin Using Steeping Grains

  1. Add 1.5 gallons cold water to your brew pot.
  2. Put grain in steeping bag and tie up bag.
  3. Put bag in water and stir till all grain is wetted.
  4. (you will notice particulate matter floating around, this is normal and will not effect clarity or taste of the finished product. If you are not using a steeping bag you will just put grain into water but it will need to be strained out before the malt is added. The steeping bag method allows you to simply remove the grain without straining.)
  5. Turn on heat and continually stir grain to avoid melting or burning the grain bag. You will continue heating until the temp. reaches 170 degrees F. or if you do not have a thermometer heat until the mix just begins to boil.
  6. You should then remove the grain either by lifting the bag up or by straining out the grain. If you want you may rinse the grain (sparge) by pouring about two pints of hot water over the grain and allow rinse water to drip back into the brew pot. Sparging rinses the flavor and some sugars that would otherwise be left behind. DO NOT WRING OUT GRAIN! This extracts harsh tannins giving the beer an astringent taste. You are now ready to bring this mix back to a boil, and when the boil is reached remove pot from heat.
  7. Add malt extract as usual and stir until completely dissolved.
  8. Bring mix back to boil and add hops.
  9. Cool as usual and ferment as usual.

Mini Mash

Mashing is the process of breaking down starch into fermentable and non-fermentable sugars through temperature controlled steeping in water. Rather than just dissolving the existing sugar from the barley kernel as in steeping, you must actually develop the proper conditions for enzymes to break down starch into sugar. To do this, temperature is critical as is the proper time allowed for the conversion to take place. The following is a general outline for the use of grain as a partial total of a recipe and not intended to be used as instructions for all-grain brewing.

GENERAL PRINCIPLES

  1. Use about 1 quart of water per pound of grain that you intend to mash.
  2. Remember that temperature is critical, so you must use a thermometer.
  3. These guidelines are for the single temperature infusion method so you will not have to raise temp during the mashing process. You will only heat the water to one level and add grain, and hold it there for one hour.
  4. Use about 1/2 gallon of water at 170 degrees to sparge each pound of grain.
  5. Follow this method for any grain with a starchy white center and for all recipes requiring the use of flaked barley, oats, or wheat etc.
  6. With any grain combination it is a good idea to use at least 50% 2-row pale malt to ensure enzyme activity and proper conversion during mash.

PROCEDURE

  1. Put water into pot and heat until you reach 168 degrees. Use water amount indicated by principle #1
  2. Turn off heat and add grain either in grain bag, or loose if you intend to strain with a strainer.
  3. Stabilize temperature of water between 150-155 degrees either by adding cold water or adding heat. Your temp should be approximately 150-155 without doing too much, just adding the grain to the heated water usually drops the temp about 15 degrees.
  4. You should now try to maintain this temp for a full hour. If the temp drops you can add heat carefully so as to not over heat the mix. By raising the temp one degree then turning off heat will usually cause the mix to raise several degrees as the temp reads slow on most thermometers. Just be careful not to heat the grain mix much higher than 158.
  5. During the one hour mash period you should be heating your rinse water (sparge water) which you will pour over the grain to wash out the sugars and flavor . This water should be heated to 170 degrees. Use water amount indicated by principle #4.
  6. After an hour of mashing and you have your sparge water up to temp, lift the grain bag up so it is dripping into the pot and begin raining the sparge water slowly over the grain allowing the drippings to fall into the pot. Do this until most of the water is run through and then discard grain. Do not wring out grain as this will cause harsh tannins to be extracted. Because you sparged, or rinsed the grain, there will be little flavor or sugar left anyway, so there is no point in worrying about the water absorbed in the grain. If you are not using a grain bag then you will need to pour the mix through a strainer into another container and then sparge the grain left in the strainer by pouring the sparge water over the grain collecting the runnings.
  7. To this mixture you can now add your malt extract syrup or dry malt extract and dissolve it completely.
  8. Bring this to a boil and add hops as usual.

Yeast Liquid Culture

Some liquid cultures require amplification, that is further growth than is provided with internal starter pouches. In the case of liquid culture with no starter packs (advanced brewing cultures from Wyeast) a starter is required and not just recommended. After starting a fresh pack of liquid culture that has a nutrient pouch, even when grown under optimal conditions, you will still be under pitching. This amount of yeast should be boosted, as the amount of yeast directly relates to the start up time of fermentation, the better your pitching rate the quicker fermentation will get underway thereby reducing the ability for other organisms to possibly contaminate you beer. White Labs Pitchable Cultures do not require amplification, however, making a starter will reduce lag times.

No matter how good your technique is there will always be some degree of contaminants in your wort and given enough time they will take over the fermentation. This means that you want the yeast to get going first and take hold of the media and effectively outcompete all other organisms.

To Begin Starter

  1. Activate yeast culture by popping internal nutrient pouch. If yeast has no nutrient pouch then go to step #3.
  2. Allow yeast to incubate in a warmer place for 24 hours or until pouch is swelled. The longer is not necessarily the better as yeast will go dormant if their food source runs out. It is better not to wait more than 48 hours before going to step 3.
  3. Take 5 tablespoons of dry malt extract or 6 tablespoons of syrup malt and dissolve in 16 ounces (1 pint) of water in a saucepan. Do not use sugar as it lacks nutrients that the yeast require.
  4. Boil this mix for 15 minutes and then turn off heat and cover pan. let cool for 10 minutes.
  5. Into a sanitized 22 ounce or larger beer bottle that has been heated with hot tap water funnel in mix from pan (funnel should be sanitized as well)
  6. Affix airlock and rubber stopper. Allow this mix to cool to room temp. (approx. 75-85 degrees)
  7. Remove airlock and quickly pour in yeast from pouch.
  8. Replace airlock and shake mix vigorously to aerate well.
  9. Allow to sit in warmer place (75-85 degrees) for 12-24 hours
  10. You will now brew your 5 gallon batch when your starter s ready.
  11. To add yeast swirl bottle to re-suspend yeast then remove airlock and using a lighter flame opening of bottle to kill any bacteria that may have settled on the lip of the bottle. Now pour contents of bottle into the cool 5 gallon batch and ferment as normal. You should expect about a 12-24 hour start up time for fermentation to be evident.

Determining Alcohol Content

In order to obtain an accurate alcohol content one must use a hydrometer before fermentation and after fermentation. The hydrometer measures the density of the liquid by floating at a given level corresponding to the specific gravity of the fluid being measured. It should be read by noting the level at which the surface of the fluid contacts the glass when the hydrometer is floating in the liquid. The first reading should be taken before the addition of yeast, and at 60 degrees F. The second reading should be taken after fermentation is complete, that is, before bottling, and before adding priming sugar. The following is a sample for determining both alcohol by weight (a.b.w.) and alcohol by volume (a.b.v.).

Mesure Alcohol

Your first reading (original gravity [O.G.]) = 1.045 
Your second reading (final or finishing gravity) = 1.010
Subtract final from original. 1.045 – 1.010 = 0.035
multiply this figure by 105: 0.035 x 105 = 3.68% a.b.w.
Therefore, you have a brew of 3.68% alcohol by weight.
To get Alcohol by volume simply multiply your figure for % a.b.w. by 1.25
3.69 x 1.25 = 4.6% a.b.v.

Carbonating Keg Beer

Although you may prime your beer when it has been kegged, it is much easier and faster to inject CO2. In order to properly keg beer in either case you should at least inject enough CO2 to seat the lid to prevent leakage.

  1. After fermentation, or when you would normally bottle, you will be ready to put your beer in the keg. If you wish you may want to transfer your beer into a secondary 5 gallon glass fermenter in order for it to clarify further. This clarification period, usually 1-2 weeks will help reduce the amount of yeast sediment that winds up in your keg. If you can cold condition, that is put the carboy in the refrigerator, you will speed up the sedimentation process.
  2. Sanitize and if needed re-seal your keg. The best compounds to use are those which will not harm stainless, like Iodophor or One-Step. If you use chlorine bleach just remember not to leave it in contact with the keg for more than 20 minutes in a 2 tablespoon to 5 gallon ratio. If using chlorine be sure to rinse well, and if you have used the Iodophor or One-Step a rinse is not required unless the recommended dosage was exceeded. It is a good idea to pump the sanitizer through the lines with CO2 and be sure to flush the lines before filling.
(Iodophor:1 tablespoon/5 gallons)
  3. Sanitize racking cane and tubing as normal.
  4. Transfer beer into keg by siphon without aerating. I usually fill to the top weld line which is about 1″ below the rubber, allowing enough space to adequately shake beer around when force carbonating. (Make sure tubing goes all the way to the bottom of the keg to avoid splashing.)
  5. When done replace top lid and lock down.
  6. Pressurize tank to seat lid, normally between 5-15 p.s.i.
  7. If beer was already cold move to next step otherwise you must chill keg in order for the CO2 to dissolve. The colder the keg the better the gas will go into solution.
  8. Attach gray fitting (which you have already hooked up to the tubing from your regulator output) to the in fitting on your keg. You will now turn up the regulator to 35 p.s.i. and you will hear gas injecting into the keg. To get the gas into the beer begin shaking the keg back and forth and you will hear gas re inject. You do not need to shake it until you no longer hear this sound, just shake vigorously for about one minute. You will learn the correct amount of time to shake as you go because some people shake harder than others so I do not give exact times. There is a way to inject a precise amount of gas to correspond with your desired level of carbonation by reading gas injection charts located in several books. I personally do it by feel, and since you are able to adjust up by adding more CO2 or down by shaking and releasing excess CO2 it is not usually necessary to refer to charts.
  9. Remove fitting from in and do not release pressure in keg.
  10. Cool keg again and wait an hour or more up to one day before next step.
  11. Release pressure by pulling release ring if so equipped. If your keg lacks a pressure relief just press on the inner portion of the in valve. You should not get fluid out of this and if you do your using the wrong valve or you need to wait for the carbonation to settle in. Remember if you shake a bottle of Pepsi it will foam if you open it quickly after shaking.
  12. Now dial regulator down to zero and attach fitting to in side on keg.
  13. Attach black (fluid) fitting which you have put the faucet on.
  14. Adjust pressure up to 5 p.s.i. and begin serving.
(If it foams it is either too warm, over carbonated or over pressurized. Chill or shake and release excess pressure or simply turn down regulator and release possible excess head pressure in keg.
  15. You may leave your CO2 tank on and hooked up, but if you are worried about leakage or are not going to be tapping the keg for a while you may disconnect the CO2 and turn the tank off at the black dial.

All Grain Brewing

General Principals

  1. Use about 1 quart of water per pound of grain that you intend to mash.
  2. Remember that temperature is critical, so you must use a thermometer.
  3. These guidelines are for the single temperature infusion method so you will not have to raise temp during the mashing process. You will only heat the water to one level and add grain, and hold it there for one hour.
  4. Use about 1/2 gallon of water at 170 degrees to sparge each pound of grain.
  5. Follow this method for any grain with a starchy white center and for all recipes requiring the use of flaked barley, oats, or wheat etc.
  6. With any grain combination it is a good idea to use at least 50% 2-row pale malt to ensure enzyme activity and proper conversion during mash.

Basic Procedure

First you must select a good recipe. Specialty malts should account for no more than 35% of the total grain bill. Once you have weighed out your grains, they must be cracked. This is best done in a roller mill (we will crack your grain free of charge). Cracking the grain is necessary for the starch conversion and enzyme activation, just like you crack specialty grains for steeping to get at the flavor and sugar inside. Wheat and specialty grains such as crystal, chocolate, munich malt, etc. should also be cracked. This cracked grain is called the grist. The grist is what you will add into your mash tun.

Mashing

The cracked grain must be mashed at a constant temperature. Depending on the flavor desired and the exactness of your equipment, this temperature should be between 150-158 degrees F for approximately one hour. An iodine test will show if starch conversion is complete. The amount of water required for this process will vary with the amount of grain employed. The rule of thumb stated by Charlie Papazian is one quart water to every pound of grain. Remember, the temperature of your water will drop when grain is added, so raise temp. to approximately 168 degrees before adding grain. Let water and grist stabilize at 150-158 degrees and MASH. The warmer temp. range will cause more unfermentable sugars to be made, resulting in a fuller bodied, sweeter beer with less potential alcohol. The lower range will create highly fermentable sugars, resulting in dryer beers with more potential alcohol. Practice will allow for correct water usage and patience will allow for proper starch to sugar conversion. When employing an infusion mash one must make sure that the malted barley is highly modified, that is , it must not require a protein rest or step mash in order to allow for protein formation and adequate enzyme activity. Some barley is of the six-row variety which must undergo a step mash with a protein rest. To insure a worry-free mash you should use a 2-row malted barley (such as Klages American 2-Row), and it should account for at least 50% of your mash. The protein rest is necessary in under modified malts in order to create the nutrients required by the yeast to ferment the finished wort. 2-Row varieties do not need protein rest, as their unique malting process develops these nutrients. Enzymes play a crucial rule in developing both nutrients and creating the starch to sugar reaction. These reactions are usually temperature specific but luckily there are temps. that allow most enzymes to work together. Don’t get overwhelmed, following the temp. guidelines above and seeing the process will calm your nerves and allow you to realize that you need not be a chemist nor a microbiologist to brew beer, only someone who pays attention to temperatures and ingredients. Most of the grain you will ever buy will be of the 2-Row variety, which is easily utilized. The reason you should always use at least 50% 2-Row in your mash is that it will provide for the necessary enzymes possibly lacking in other adjuncts and under modified barley.

Sparging

Sparging is the process of rinsing the grain with water in order to leech out all the sugars and dextrins left in the grain. This is done by slowly raining water (170 degrees F) over the grains, allowing the water to flow through the grain and out the bottom of your container into your brew kettle. Your final volume should be approximately 6 to 6.5 gallons. Usually I use five gallons of sparge water with about 10-14 pounds of grain. Remember over sparging will not only dilute your beer it will also give a grainy flavor. Under sparging results in a stronger beer but your yield will not be five gallons, which is what your shooting for. Sometimes you just have to play around with the amounts until you get it right. There is a chart in The Complete Joy, which gives pound to water ratios, which helps at the beginning. You will be boiling your wort, so remember you will lose approximately one gallon in vapor, and possibly more if you use flower hops in the boil which retain some wort, that is the reason for a seemingly large volume after sparging.

Boiling

Now the sweet liquor is boiled for at least one hour, along with the boiling hops. Heating this liquid to a boil may take a while so be patient, and keep stirring to avoid burning sediment. Keeping the kettle covered may help the heating process, but be careful of the immanent boil-over. During the final minutes finishing hops may be added, and if one enjoys a hoppy aroma they may dry hop their wort has fermented.

Cooling

A wort chiller cools the boiling water by exchanging the heat of the wort with the coolness of the flowing water in the coil. This allows the wort to cool in minutes instead of hours. Remember cooling the wort quickly enables faster yeast pitching, and thus, a quicker onset of fermentation. Since all bacteria is not killed during boiling (heat resistant spores) the faster the yeast is pitched and the faster it begins fermenting the better. It is at worst a race between the yeast and bacteria and who gets the food (wort) first. At best you will not have that many bacteria present if you are sanitary, so just cool fast and pitch fast.

Fermentation

After the wort has chilled to room temperature (approx. 75 degrees), the original gravity should be recorded. Since yeast require oxygen for their respiration phase it is a good idea to thoroughly aerate the wort by shaking your fermenter or splashing the wort into the fermenter. The yeast may now be pitched, sprinkling the yeast over the wort in a circular pattern, or if using a liquid culture you may just pour it in. Cover the fermenter and attach airlock in order to prevent infection, as well as to allow the carbon dioxide to escape. Remember record all data, including original an final gravities, brewing methods and ingredients.

Ballast Point

Are you 21 years old,
or older?

Yes
Enter Site