For almost a year now I have been brewing my own beer. I use beer kits to gather all my ingredients I find it convent to have all the ingredients ready for me instead of looking at a recipe and finding all the ingredients myself. Plus there is so many beer kits out there to choose from. The downside is that I feel like it is cheating a little and it is hard to diverge from the given recipe in the beer kit.
During my last brew I took some pictures to share. I just want to show how simple it is to get started. Your directions may vary a little but these directions are very typical.
The steps in brewing beer
1. Get your Kit: The very step would be to get your equipment but I will explain more about the equipment in a later post. So pretending that you already have your equipment ready you will get your beer ingredient kit. I typically get mine from Northern Brewer from their Extract Section.
2. Boil the Grains: Place your crush grains inside the mesh bag and tie off the end. Pot them in your pot with 2.5 gallons of water and turn the range on. Let the grains stay in the pot for 20 min or till the temperature reaches 170F. Do not get it hotter then 170F and do not squeeze the grain bag to get the “juice” out.
3. Add malt to the mix: Now that you have took the grain bag out and brought the water back to boil stir in your malt ( this kit has a dry one and a syrup one). After you have mixed in your malt you now have “wort” which is unfermented beer.
4. Add the Hops and let it boil: Most kits will have you add the hops in after the malt but directions may vary. Let this boil for 60min. You do not have to let it do any crazy boiling just a light boil will work.
5. Cool the wort: After you have let the wort boil for 60 min cool the wort as fast you can. I typically just place it in a ice bath in the sink let it cool. If you want to be more professional then there is a cooling wort which it metal tubing that cools it.
6. Add the Yeast: Make sure you clean all the equipment at this point with bleach and water even the scissor you open the yeast packet with. Pure your wort inside your 5 gallon bucket then add your yeast when the tempature drops below 80 F. If you get the dry yeast you typically have to hydrate the yeast by putting it small amount of water and placing in the microwave for 15 sec. Add extra water in the bucket till it reaches 5 gallons. Place your bucket lid on with airlock and your done for today unless you have a nagging wife that wants you to clean up.
2 weeks later ….
7. Transfer bucket: The main reason for this is to get the beer off the ‘cake’ that is on bottom of the beer. Sometimes the instructions will ask you to keep the beer in the second bucket for another week or two. A professional at the beer store I use to go to (Hop city) told me it was not that important. Your second bucket should be a bottling bucket. It is considered bottling bucket because of the tap at the bottom.
8. Bottling the beer: Unfortunately I do not have any pictures of this step right now. But the jest of it is that you use a wand with a hose hook at the end with other end hooked on to the tap of the bottling bucket. After you bottle the beer then let the bottles condition which is fancy for beer to carbonate.