After all the home brewing equipment
is prepared you'll need ingredients.
Two and a half to three
kilos (six or seven pounds) of malt extract will serve well. There's an
endless variety of types and brands and you'll want to experiment.
A few dozen grams (a couple of ounces) of hops will be added to most recipes. Again, there
are as many types and brands as there are sites devoted to brewmaking and
home brewing equipment and supplies.
Check some sites and experiment. Goldings and Fuggle are two popular
brands. Don't get sucked into the "whole is better than pellets" debate
at this stage. Either will do.
Two packets of dried
brewers yeast. There may well be more types and brands of yeast than
there are malt or hops. There are also liquid preparations, but wetting
the yeast is part of the fun. Make sure not to pick up wine or bread
yeast by mistake.
Step 1. Boil 18 liters (4.5gallons) of water.
Step 2. Turn off the heat
and mix in 2.4kg (5.25 lbs) of malt extract, until the powder is fully
Step 3. Return the mixture to a boil and monitor to watch for boil-over. Lower the heat as
needed. Boil for 15 minutes, then add 42 grams (1.5 ounces) of hops.
Step 4. Boil for another
hour, then cool. Check to ensure the temperature is around
21ºC-24ºC (70-75ºF). While waiting for the
liquid to cool, wet the dried yeast with warm, sterile water.
Step 5. Stir the cooled
wort clockwise and allow the hops to settle in the center, then siphon
off the wort into the fermenter.
Step 6. Add wet yeast and
stir vigorously. Extract a few milliliters (a couple of ounces) for
measuring the specific gravity using the hydrometer. The number desired
will vary around slightly over 1. Check the package. Then seal.
Now for the most important steps: fermentation!
Step 7. Between a few hours to a
day, bubbles should appear in the airlock. If there's no sound and no
sight of bubbles within a couple of days, your yeast is probably dead,
but there are dozens of other possible causes. If you still don't see
any activity, wait a few days, then start over.
Step 8. Allow the wort to
ferment for 5-7 days. The time will vary with recipe, with environment,
yeast and several other variables. You'll need to experiment. Don't be
too disappointed if you don't get it perfect the first time.
Step 9. Siphon into the
secondary fermenter, stored in an area several degrees cooler.
10ºC/50ºF is a good starting point. Cooler for
lagers, warmer for ales. Allow to sit for another seven days.
Step 10. After
fermentation, some recipes call for 120-175 ml (1/2 - 3/4 cup) cane
sugar or corn sugar, though many consider this optional or even
undesirable. Experiment to taste. Pour into bottling container then
siphon off the top. Fill each bottle, leaving ample space near the top.
Store 2-3 weeks at room temperature, then chill.
A lot of work, but now comes the best part. Decant, serve and enjoy!
Learn Bartending at Home
Review of Beer Brewing Made Easy
The Country and London Brewer - 1736