I Beer, and So Can You!

Introduction

First off, I’m no master brewer. This is my second brew. The first one went great so I decided to try another! This blog post is meant for beginners who are just getting into this. If you’re accustomed to the brew process and consider yourselves anything above a beginner you may not find much use out of this. However, if you do decide to read then I appreciate any feedback!

For the first brew and this brew, I used a beer kit. These beer kits are great for any beginner and reduce the risk of having a bad batch. The ingredients are listed below, but the important part is the malt extract that comes with these. Brewing with the malt extract allows you to skip the mashing process. Of course, this prevents you from getting creative with your beer and creating your own recipe. Hence, why malt extract is typically used by beginners. You can find these beer kits pretty easily online. I’ve been getting mine from Midwest Beer supplies. If you find a place you like, leave a comment!

Ingredients

  1. Boiling Pot with top
  2. Fermentation bucket
  3. Fermentation bucket lid
  4. Big Metal Stirring Spoon
  5. Thermometer that works in water
  6. 1 oz of Nugget hops (provided by hoptimus rex)
  7. 2 oz of Palisade hops (provided by hoptimus rex)
  8. 2 oz of Centennial hops (provided by hoptimus rex)
  9. 9.15 pounds of Rye Malt Extract Syrup
  10. 1.2 lbs of Ryerish Ale Grain
  11. Active Yeast

Preparation

Before you start, you need to make sure you heavily sanitize all of the equipment. The first time I brewed beer, I used cheap vodka with a high proof. The beer turned out great, so you would be ok using that if you like. When I told the guy at the local craft beer store that I used vodka, he looked at me funny but hey…it tasted awesome!

For this brew, I used Star San cleaning material. I filled the fermentation bucket and the boiling pot about 2 inches full of water and poured about an ounce of the Star San in each. Then, I took a clean rag and proceeded to sanitize both the outside and the inside of each. Note that there is a difference between clean and sanitized. Clean means there is no grime, dirt, marks, etc. You must clean the bucket and the pot before sanitizing with the Star San. Proceed to clean and sanitize the metal stirring spoon as well.

The Brew

Step 1 Steep the grains

  • Fill a boiling pot with 1.5–2 gallons (or your full boil volume up to 6 gallons) of water and heat to 155 degrees fahrenheit.
  • Fill muslin bag (sock looking thing) with the crushed grains.
  • Once water is at 155 degrees fahrenheit, place the muslin bag with the grains into the pot. Hang the end of the muslin bag on the edge of the pot so it doesn’t fall in. Note you are NOT boiling the water yet.
  • Let the muslin bag with grains steep for 30 minutes.

Step 2 Bring the water to a boil

  • Remove the muslin bag with the grains.
  • Fill the pot until it is full if you haven’t done so already.
  • Bring water to a boil.

Step 3 Add some malt extract

  • Remove the boiling pot from the heat.
  • Add 3.15 lbs of RYE malt extract (Rye LME) and stir.
  • Stir the mixture until the extract is fully dissolved.
  • Once it is dissolved, return the boiling pot to the heat and bring back to a boil.

Step 4 Adding some of the nugget hips and the rest of the malt

  • Once there is a rolling boil, add 1 oz of Nugget hops.
  • Set a timer for 40 minutes and cover the top of the boiling pot.
  • After 40 minutes, add 6 lbs of Rye malt extract (Rye LME).
  • Let boil for 5 minutes before moving on to step 5.

Step 5 Add the remaining hops

  • Add 1 Oz of Palisade hops and 1 oz of centennial hops.
  • Let boil for 10 minutes.
  • Once boiled for 10 minutes, add 1 oz of Palisade and 1 oz of Centennial hops.
  • Let boil for another 5 minutes.

After the Brew

Step 6 Cooling the wort

  • Cool wort to below 80 degrees F. _Note* Failing to do so may result in your yeast dying which will result in poor fermentation. Your beer will taste terrible.
  • You can use an ice bath, a wort cooler, or freezing 1 liter soda bottles with water.
  • Once the wort is below 80 degrees F. Transfer to fermentor.

Step 7 Aeration

You’ve got a few options for the aeration:

Option 1: Poor wort between two sanitized buckets a few times.

Option 2: Mix and stir the wort vigorously with a sanitized spoon.

Option 3: Use an aeration system or an oxygen injection system.

Step 8 Fermentation

  • Once the wort is in the fermentation bucket, add the yeast.
  • Seal the lid on top of the fermentation bucket.
  • Store the fermentation bucket in a dark room at room temperature. Light is bad for beer, so you will want to minimize it as much as possible.

Next Steps…Coming Soon!

Now we wait 14 days for the fermentation process to complete! I’ll post a new blog covering that process when the time is right.