Map Tack

Monday, January 17, 2011

Homebrewing - Part 1 of 2: Big Brew Day

Well it all Started here Home Brewing, here is a previous post that I posted. This was a Post on a Kit I got for an Early Birthday Gift from my Girl. For Christmas she bought me a Beer Brewing Kit. Which included a 6gal. Glass Carboy (Primary Fermentor), 5gal. Food grade Plastic Bucket (Secondary Fermentor/Racking Bucket) with a Spigot, Bottle Brush, Racking Cane, Plastic Hose, Hydrometer, Bottle Capper, C-Brite Cleaning Solution, Airlock and Home Beermaking Instruction Book.

I think this is all that came with it, it looks like it LOL. There are alot of things that come with the Kit, except for the Stainless Steel Brew Kettle. But you can use your own Stainless Steel Kettle at home if you got one, it juse needs to hold at least 2gal.

Now with that out of the way. If you are interested click on the Home Brewing Link above to see the contents of the kit and what's required to brew beer. For anyone that wants a more professional video and audio podcast or something, head on over to Basic Brewing Hosted by James and Steve. They have a Audio and Video Podcast out about every week to every two weeks and they have their own DVD's for purchase as well as a Brewing Log Book to Jot down all of your brews you want to make or attempted to make.
Here is a Picture of my 6gal. Glass Carboy my Primary Fermentor.

Here is my 5gal. Secondary Fermentor and Racking Bucket.
With the 2 Major equipment Pieces outta the way, lets begin. With what the Inscructions say, you wash your 2 Cans of Malt Extract, in the picture above, these are 2 3.3lb cans of Dark Malt Extract. It looks like a Syrup. You place them in a warm Pan or Sink such as I done, this helps warm up the Syrup so it's easier to Despense from the cans.
While your 2 Cans of Extract are warming up in the Water. Bring 1 to 1 1/2gal of water to a boil in a Kettle that will hold about 3gal of water. This is to ensure that if there is a chance of boil over, you will have enough head space to move it off the burner before it gets all over the stove. So that will give you some leaway!

The next step. Of course if you purchased the Bock Style Beer Kit. You will need to toast your Grain. For my next step, I needed to Toaste my Crushed Pale Ale Grain for 10 minutes on a Cookie Sheet at 350 Degrees. This helps release some of the Grains natural Surgers, the sugars is what's going to play a part for the yeast to do it's work to convert all of the sugars into alcohol.

After the Pale Ale Grain is Toasted, Put it in the provided Steeping bag along with the other Grains provided with your Kit. The Steeping bag makes it easier to retreive the grain after it's been spent. What you are doing, is Basically making a Tea Bag. You drop this in the hot water, let the hot water pull out all of the Flavor, Sugars and Color from all 3 grains and make a Tea so to speak. This is what will give the beer it's color. It will also provide some Flavor Profiles. But mostly it provides the Yeast Sugar it needs to produce Alcohol!

After you tied up your Steeping Bag with all your Grains, you are ready to Steep. Pull your Boiling water off the burner. Drop in the Steeping Bag with the Grain. Let it sit in the hot water for 20 to 30 minutes. This will pull out the sugars, color and everything else it needs. I put on the pot lid to help retain the heat and steem to keep it warm.

After you Steep your grain pulling out what's needed from it, put the kettle back on the burner and reheat it back up. Not boiling, but near boiling. After you bring it up to temperature, then pull it off the burner and both cans of Extract 1 at a time WHILE Stiring your Colored water, it's basically Called Wort at this point. You ALWAYS Steep your grain before you even add your Extracts. Don't ask me why LOL, Just what I read. I think maybe because if you add the extract first, it won't pull out whats needed from the grains.

After you bring the water to a boil, add the Hops. In this case for this kit, you add 1oz of hops at the beginning of the boil. This will be your Aroma Hops. It will give you your smell. These hops had a hit of Lemon Smell to them, but it won't give you a Lemon Flavor to it, Hops are for Bittering your Beer and help it from spoiling. Hops has like an Antiseptic propertys in it that help protect your beer but NOT from sunlight lol, that's why ALL or most beer is bottled in Brown bottles, Sunlight will Skunk your Beer if it's exposed to Sunlight. When your wort is boiling it will start to foam. Pull the kettle from the stove, let the foam subside then put back on the burner. Keep doing this until there is no more foam then set a timer for 45 minutes. This is how long the wort will boil.When you have 1 to 2 minutes before the END of the boil (45 Minutes) Add these hops here another 1oz of them, after the 2 minutes are up, Pull your Wort (Unfermented Beer) from the burner.

Put 3gal of cold water into your 6gal Glass carboy, then pour the wort (unfermented Beer) into the carboy to cool it down to under 90 Degrees. If you want to take a Hydrometer reading do it now. When you take your First Reading write it down cause you'll be taking another reading after you Ferment the beer so you'll know what the ABV is for your Beer.
After you transfered your wort over to the carboy and made sure that it is below 90 Degrees then add your yeast. I just sprinkled the yeast on the top, but it's better to start the yeast in a Starter first to make sure the yeast is vialable. That way you know if your yeast is reproducing and going to do it's job. If you put the yeast in, you take a chance of it not working and you'll have to purchase another package of yeast.

And here you have your Beer. Put it in a Closet and make sure it maintains inbetween 65 to 75 Degrees, It should stay at a consistant temp, I've got a heater in my closet set at 68 degrees because the wort as it ferments it will generate heat so the temp will be a few degrees higher. So this should set my Temp about 70 to 72 Degrees and it will stay Consistent. Keep an eye on it, make sure it's safe from fires. You can get other equipment in your Brewing Hobby, they make a Refridge Regulator that will help you maintain a temp in an Old Fridge. You can set the temp to higher temps out of the norm for a fridge with this regulator. You can take it off if you want to Lagar beer put it on to ferment Ales.

And here is one last Picture. This is the picture from this morning. The wort has been in the closet since last night fermenting, I wasn't sure the yeast would take off, but looking this morning, them babys are dancing around like a Hoedown. They are having one hell of a Suger Fest in that badboy.

Hope this helped, hope you enjoyed my Experience with Brewing my First Batch of Beer, I hope that it encourages you to brew your own eventually.

After about 1 to 2 weeks, We will be adding some more sugar to the wort after it's done fermenting, then we bottle the fermented beer. The sugar added to this fermented beer will give the yeast some more sugar to eat and create carbonation to carbonate the bottles. But we will get to that in a few weeks, so Stay tuned for the next Segment.

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