Instructions for Our Partial Mash Beer Kits
When you receive your kit
- Remove yeast and store in refrigerator until 3 hours before you brew
- Check to make sure you've received all items listed on the enclosed kit manifest
- If you are missing anything, please contact us as soon as possible
- 20 quart or larger brew pot and a 10+ quart pot for heating sparge (rinse) water.
- An accurate thermometer between 32 F and 212 F
- A large, sturdy colander that can rest on the rim of your brew pot
- 6.5 gallon fermenter w/airlock, hydrometer, siphon tubing and bottling or kegging equipment
Helpful, but not essential
- 5 gallon secondary fermenter (Better Bottle plastic, glass or stainless steel)
- Wort chiller
What kind of water should I use?
Generally, if your water tastes good to drink it will be fine to brew with. If your water doesn't taste good, use store bought drinking water (not distilled) to make your beer. For more information about water chemistry, visit John Palmer's site at www.howtobrew.com.
Any object that comes in to contact with your cooled wort needs to be sanitized. Bleach can be used at a concentration of 1 tablespoon per gallon, but we prefer no-rinse sanitizers like Star San, BTF Iodophor or One-Step.
What is a mash?
Mashing is simply the process of steeping cracked grains in water at a controlled temperature. Grains like crystal, chocolate and roasted malt do not need to be mashed due to the way they are processed in production. The bulk of the grain used in brewing as well as the grains included in this kit, however, need to be mashed. Grains that need to be mashed contain long starch chains that can not be consumed by yeast. When you crack these grains and then steep them at a temperature range between 145 F and 158 F, enzymes present in the grain break the starches down into fermentable sugars that yeast can convert into alcohol. If the mash temperature is too low, the enzymes will not become active. If the temperature is too high, the enzymes will be destroyed and no fermentable sugars will be created.
3 hours before you brew
Activate your yeast by popping the inner nutrient pouch. The package should begin to swell within 3 hours. If it doesn't, you will have to delay your brewing session. If the yeast is slow to activate, leave it out at room temperature until the package swells, then refrigerate until 3 hours before adding to your wort. Do not use the yeast if you do not see signs of activity. We will be happy to replace your yeast if it hasn't activated within 5 days.
1. Add 5 quarts of water to your brew pot. Heat to 168 F.
2. While the water is heating, fill large muslin bag with grains and close with a knot.
3. When water reaches 168 F, turn off heat and add grain bag. Mix with large spoon until all dry spots are saturated.
4. Cover pot and let stand for 5 minutes. Check temperature in several places. It should fall between 145 F and 158 F. If mash is too cool, turn heat back on. If too warm, add a bit of cool water. Ideal mash temperature is 152 F.
5. Maintain mash temperature for 60 minutes. Stir grains occasionally and check temperature about every 10 minutes.
6. While mash is resting, add 2 gallons of water to a second pot and heat to 180 F.
7. After mashing the grains for 60 minutes, carefully lift the bag of grains from the brew pot with tongs or a fork and place them in your colander. Rest the colander on top of the brew pot.
8. Slowly and evenly rinse the grains with all of the 180 F water in your second pot. Use a large cup with a handle or a ladle and be very careful. Take your time. The slower you sparge (rinse), the more sugars you will extract from the grain.
9. After rinsing grains, remove the colander with grains from the brew pot. Discard grains. Do not squeeze them before removing.
10. Add dry malt extract (if included) to wort in brew pot. Stir vigorously to dissolve.
11. Return heat to brew pot and bring to a boil. Watch the pot closely as the mixture nears the boiling point and be prepared to adjust the heat to avoid a boil-over.
12. You will boil your wort vigorously for a total of 60 minutes. Do not cover the pot while boiling. Start a timer when the boil begins.
13. Add bittering hops at the beginning of the boil. Again, watch out for the dreaded boil-over whenever adding ingredients to boil.
14. After boiling for 45 minutes, stop your timer, turn off the heat and stir in liquid malt extract. Liquid malt tends to sink to the bottom of the pot, so make sure you stir well to avoid scorching.
15. Return heat to pot and start timer again when wort begins to boil.
16. Our kits come with a variety of hop and other additions that will be added during the last 15 minutes of the boil. Check the ingredient label as well as the kit manifest to see when to add ingredients.
17. Add ingredients as labeled during the final 15 minutes of the boil.
18. After boiling the wort for 60 minutes, turn off the heat, cover the brew pot and move the pot to a cold or ice water bath to cool. Periodically replace the cooling water with more cold water as the brew pot gives off heat.
19. Add 2 gallons of cold water to your sanitized fermenter while the wort cools.
20. When your brew pot is warm, but not hot to the touch, remove it from the cool water bath and pour the wort into your fermenter. Top the fermenter off to 5.25 gallons with more cold water. Sanitation is very important now that the wort has cooled.
21. When the wort reaches a temperature below 80 F, open the yeast package and add the liquid to the wort. Sanitize the outside of the package before opening.
22. Close the fermenter and rock or shake it vigorously off and on for 5-10 minutes. Aeration is crucial at this stage to begin a healthy fermentation.
23. Open the fermenter and remove a sample with a sanitized half cup measure.
24. Close the fermenter again, install airlock and move to a quiet area between 65 F and 73 F. This is the ideal range for fermenting ales. Fermentation should begin in 12-36 hours and continue for about 5 days. Don't expect all fermentations to behave the same. Variables such as temperature, yeast strain and amount and type of fermentables will effect the duration and vigor of the fermentation.
25. Now, return to your wort sample and record a hydrometer reading. Do not discard the sample. Pour it into an empty beer bottle, cover with foil and place near your fermenter. This can be used to take future gravity readings without opening the fermenter again. If the satellite becomes infected, the gravity readings should still be accurate.
26. After a week has passed, take another hydrometer reading and record it. If the hydrometer reading is the same for two consecutive days, the fermentation is complete. At this point you can wait a few days to bottle, siphon the beer into a secondary fermenter to condition, or bottle immediately.
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!