Everyone remembers their first, and often there’s some story of near disaster. However, after just a few more brews though, you’ll feel like a pro.
Here’s a simple step-by-step process on how to brew your first beer:
A. Make sure you have all of your ingredients.
- Malt Extract
- Specialty Grains
B. Make sure you have your equipment and supplies.
- Brew kettle
- Stirring Paddle
- Fermentation Bucket
- Sanitizing Bucket
- Hop Bag (comes with all kits)
- Grain Bag (comes with all kits)
Brewing Your First Beer
1. Place the clean kettle on the stove, add 1 gallon of water and heat until it reaches 165 degrees F. Place the specialty grains in the muslin grain bag, tie the top, and then place the bag of grains in the kettle. Stir the bag around with paddle for about 1 minute. Cover the kettle if possible. Let sit for 30 minutes.
2. Crack open a beer.
3. Take the grain bag out of the kettle and put the strainer over the kettle. Place the grain bag in the strainer. Warm 1 gallon of water and gently pour over the specialty grain bag to rinse. Let sit for about 10 minutes after rinse to drain.
4. Add 4 more gallons of water to kettle if possible. If the kettle isn’t big enough for 6 gallons fill it as high as you feel comfortable. Turn the heat back on.
5. Bring the water to a near boil. Turn off heat and stir in malt extract until there no clumps are felt. Turn heat back on.
6. Continue heating until the boil starts. Watch for boil-overs! A spray bottle filled with water will help keep the foam down, reducing the heat as it begins to boil helps as well.
7. Add the first hop addition! Write the time down, in 60 minutes you will turn the heat off.
8. Crack open beer #2.
9. Take note of the next hop additions and add them accordingly. A 10 minute addition means to add them at the 50 minute mark, or with 10 minutes left in the boil.
10. Make up a ½ bucket of sanitizer (in the sanitizer bucket) and put the strainer, stirring paddle, airlock,thermometer, and hydrometer in. Fill the fermentation bucket with sanitizer (and water.)
11. You’ll need to cool the wort down. Fill bathtub, sink, or something else with an ice water solution. Don’t fill it too high.
12. Turn off heat after the boil reaches the 60 minute mark, or zero minutes left in the boil.
13. Carefully place the hot kettle in the ice water solution, rinse the sanitized stir paddle and start gently stirring warm wort.
14. When the wort reaches 78 degrees F or lower rinse the sanitized bucket and put the strainer over it. Slowly and gently pour the wort through the strainer. Pour a small amount into hydrometer tube and write down reading.
15. Add the yeast. Then rinse the sanitized lid and put it on the bucket, make sure it seals tight. Fill airlock about 2/3 full of water then insert into lid.
16. Swirl gently about 80 times, this adds oxygen to wort. Fill airlock about 2/3 full of water then insert into lid.
17. Bring bucket into a cool, dark area ideally with a constant temperature below 72 degrees F. Let ferment 17 days.
Things you’ll need:
- Bottling Bucket
- Bottle Filler
- Sanitizing Bucket
- Stirring Paddle
- Priming Sugar
- Racking Cane w/ Tubing
Bottling Your First Beer:
1. Sanitize everything but the priming sugar. Many dishwashers will sanitize the bottles.
2. Place beer on higher level than bottling bucket- a counter or something.
3. Rinse bottling bucket and place below fermenter. Use sanitized racking cane to siphon down to bottling bucket.
4. Place bottling bucket up where fermenter was. Put fermenter aside and add priming sugar to bottling bucket, stir well.
5. Attach bottle filler to spigot on bottling bucket.
6. Insert bottle filler into bottle. Slowly fill about ½ way up the neck of the bottle. Cap bottle.
7. Store the bottles around 65-70 degrees F for about 2 weeks. Check a bottle to see if they’re carbonated.
8. Enjoy the fruits of your labor, you deserve it. Welcome to wonderful world of brewing at home.