Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Beer-30: How to Make Beer!

After long wait ,it is finally time to do what we are here to do: teach you how to make beer at home. This recipe is a very basic American pale ale that will yield about 5 gallons of beer.

Equipment Needed for Brew Day:
  • 6 gallon glass fermenter or 6.5 gallon bucket with a lid
  • Hydrometer
  • Airlock
  • #7 rubber stopper
  • Funnel
  • Fermenter brush
  • Iodophor sanitizer
  • Floating glass thermometer
  • 20qt kettle
  • Powdered Brewery Wash
  • Carboy dryer
  • Cooking spoon
With new equipment you want to start by cleaning every thing that you have with warm water and the Powered brewery wash. It is also beneficial to have a bucket full of sanitizing solution on standby for any mid-brew sanitation needs. Best practice is to clean your carboy, rinse your carboy, then fill it with sanitizing solution. After about two minutes you can empty the contents of the carboy into your bucket, and then store the carboy on top of your carboy dryer. Now you are ready to start brewing!

Ingredients that you will need:
  • 6 pounds of light dried malt extract
  • 2oz of cascade hops
  • White Labs California Ale Yeast WLP001
  • 6 gallons of purified spring water (do not use reverse osmosis or distilled)







Step by step instructions:
 
1. Into a large stock pot put 2 gallons water and bring to boil.
 
2. Once the water is boiling, remove it from heat to avoid scorching the malt and add your extract.
     *Be sure to mix and dissolve ingredients completely before returning to heat!  
3. Place the pot back on the heat, bring it to a boil and add 1.5oz of Cascade hops. Boil for 60 minutes then add the last .5oz of hops into the brew. At this point, the mixture is called wort (pronounced wert). Wort is a term for the unfermented beer.  
4. After boiling, some of the heat can be removed from the wort while still in the pot.  Put your pot, with the lid on, in a sink or bucket and run tap water around the outside for 5 – 10 minutes.  Do not get any tap water in your boiled wort. Continue to cool your wort with cold water in the fermenter. 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 bottled water at the store (a three gallon container works perfect). Do not use distilled.
 
5. Follow the directions for the type of fermenter that you have: either a 6 gallon plastic bucket, or a 6.5 gallon glass carboy.
 
For a 6 Gallon Plastic Bucket:
5a. Into a sanitized primary fermenter (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 7 Gallon Glass Carboy:
5c. Into a sanitized primary fermenter (6.5 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 fermenter with saran wrap or foil, then shake it to mix the ingredients thoroughly. Often the hotter, thicker wort will settle to the bottom. Make sure the fermenter is at an even temperature throughout to get an accurate reading. Remove saran wrap or foil and pour out a sample into a pint glass. Pour this sample into the hydrometer test jar with donut attached (the tube the hydrometer came in).Fill test jar to very top. 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, between 85 and 70 degrees, 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 fermenter securely after pitching yeast.
 
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 fermenter. 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.
 
Equipment needed for Bottling:
  • 6 gallon bottling bucket with a spigot
  • Bottle Filler
  • 3/8 Racking Cane
  • 6 Feet of 3/8 tubing
  • Plain gold bottle caps
  • 3/4 cup of corn sugar
  • 3 cases of clean 22oz bottles
  • Capper
 
9. BOTTLING: Take one pint of water and boil in saucepan and add 3/4 to 1 1/4 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 removable down flow tip (sanitize all equipment) into the sanitized priming bucket which contains the primer mixture.
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 fermenter with removable tip down. Place bucket with spigot on ground under you fermenter and let water run down through the tube and this should start the siphon. If for any reason you can not make it work then just gargle with Listerine or Vodka and suck on the hose to start the siphon.  This should be your last resort!
 
11. The siphon will naturally mix the primer with your flat, warm beer. Place bottling bucket lid on bucket. Your beer is now  primed and should be bottled immediately!
 
12. 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. It’s not a bad idea to use your racking cane to stir the primed beer every 6–12 bottles. This will ensure even distribution of sugar resulting in even carbonation.
 
13. 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.
 
14. DRINK IT! SHARE IT! GET ANOTHER BATCH GOING!
 
 
 
Cheers,
 
Ryan Pistole
 
 
 
Home Brew Mart / Ballast Point
5401 Linda Vista Road suite #406
San Diego, Ca 92110
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