Instructions for Our Original Beer Kits with Steeping Grains
- All equipment that comes in contact with your beer after the boil must be sanitized (refer to your book or give us a call if you're unsure about sanitizing).
- Please make sure that your kit contains Yeast, Malt Extract, Specialty Grains and Hops before brewing.
1. Fill your brewpot with 2.5 gallons of water. Place the specialty grains inside a muslin bag & tie. Add the bag to the brewpot. Turn on the heat. Remove the bag just before the water boils. Discard the grain bag.
2. Turn off the heat and add all of your liquid and/or dry malt extract to the brewpot while stirring. If adding other sugars, (i.e. honey, brown sugar, malto-dextrin, Belgian candi sugar, rice syrup, corn syrup) add them now. Do not add priming sugar or fruit extract if you have a fruit beer kit, save them for bottling.
3. Return heat to the brewpot & bring to a boil. Boil as vigorously as possible without boiling over. Fill a muslin bag with the bittering hops & tie the end of the bag (don't compress the hops into a tight ball). Add the bag to the brewpot. You will boil this mixture, called wort ("wert"), for 60 minutes. Periodically stir the wort, leaving the lid off or offset to prevent a boil-over.
4. Fill another muslin grain bag with the finishing hops. SOME BEERS DO NOT USE FINISHING HOPS. If you do not have any finishing hops skip this step. Add this bag to the brewpot with 5 minutes left in the 60-minute boil. If using Irish moss and/or yeast nutrient, add them now. When the boil is complete, turn off the heat and remove both hop bags & discard.
5. Now place your brewpot in an ice bath in the kitchen sink. Gently stir the wort to speed the cooling. If no ice is used, use cold tap water & replace as necessary. Continue to cool until the brewpot beneath the water is warm but not hot to the touch. This typically takes about 15-20 minutes.
6. Now add 2.5 gallons of cold water (ice cold if possible) to your sanitized fermenter. The colder the water, the less cooling of the brewpot.
7. Pour your wort into the fermenter (splashing is O.K.) and add the liquid or dry brewing yeast. Stir with a sanitized spoon. If you're using dry brewing yeast, do not re-hydrate it as directed on the package.
8. Secure the sanitized lid to the fermenter. Now place the airlock, which has been sanitized & left half filled with the sanitizing solution, into the lid. Shake or rock your sealed fermenter for 5 minutes, aeration is good at this point.
9. If you are using a hydrometer, reopen your fermenter & remove about 8 oz. of wort with a sanitized cup. Avoid touching the wort in the fermenter with your hands. Set the sample aside & replace the lid and airlock.
10.Place the fermenter in a relatively warm place (65-73 degrees). This is an ideal temperature range for ales. Fermentation will typically begin in 12-36 hours and continue for 3-5 days. The actual fermentation time varies according to temperature, yeast strain, amount & type of fermentable sugar, etc. Don't expect all fermentations to behave the same, even similar batches will differ. Note: cooler temperatures (closer to 60 degrees) mean slower fermentation.
11. Now that the fermenter is sealed & set aside, take your wort sample and pour it into the hydrometer test tube, leaving the hydrometer in it, until the hydrometer floats. Record the specific (original) gravity & the potential alcohol readings. Pour the sample into an old beer bottle, place a paper towel in the neck & locate it next to your fermenter. This is called a satellite fermenter. It is used to take hydrometer readings without opening the fermenter. If the satellite becomes infected, the readings are still accurate.
12. About 5-7 days after brewing, take a hydrometer reading & record it. If the readings stay the same for 2 days your fermentation is complete. If you're unsure, do not bottle, error on the side of caution. To determine the alcohol content, subtract the final alcohol percentage from the original potential alcohol (6.5% - 1.2% = 5.3%). Once you're confident that fermentation is complete you can 1) allow the beer to sit a few days to settle, then bottle 2) transfer to a secondary fermenter for at least 5 days then bottle or 3) bottle
TIME TO BOTTLE
1. Clean & sanitize all bottles; you'll need about (48) 12 oz. bottles or (27) 22 oz. bottles. Use only returnable (non-twist off) bottles. Amber is preferred but green & clear can be used, keep them out of direct sunlight. Swingtop bottles are fine, replace the gaskets if necessary.
2. Boil about 16 oz. of water, turn off the heat & add the priming sugar (3/4 cup corn sugar) to water & stir until dissolved. Add this hot solution to your sanitized bottling bucket.
3. Siphon your beer from the fermenter to your bottling bucket. Avoid excessive splashing during the transfer & try to leave behind as much sediment as possible. How to start the siphon? Locate the fermenter on a table or counter and the bottling bucket below it on the floor or chair. Remove the fermenter lid. Fill the siphon with sanitizer, once filled it will start itself when placed into the beer. Place the racking cane end (hard, curved plastic w/ black tip) into the fermenter and the other end in the bottling bucket (allow the sanitizer in the siphon to drain into a cup first). Be sure the spigot on the bottling bucket is closed.
4. Now you have your beer & priming solution in the bottling bucket. If you are adding fruit extract, add it now. Place the bucket on a table. Remove the curved racking cane from the siphon unit & attach the sanitized siphon hose to the spigot & attach the spring activated bottle filler on the other end. Open the spigot & allow the beer to fill the hose. Fill each bottle by pressing the bottle filler onto the bottom of each bottle. Leave about 1 1/2 inch of head space in each bottle.
5. Sanitize your caps by soaking them in the sanitizing solution. To cap your bottles, place a cap on each bottle and crimp with your capper. Don't apply excessive pressure, let the capper do the work.
6. Natural carbonation occurs as a result of the suspended yeast in your beer consuming the priming sugar. Allow the beer to carbonate at room temperature (60-70 degrees) for about 10 days before refrigerating. Additional aging will improve the clarity & flavor. Pour your homebrew into a glass leaving the sediment behind. CHEERS!