Saturday, December 4, 2010

Extract brewing

Extract Brewing is a great phase of brewing. It is much more simple and less demanding then all grain and it gives you enough room to experiment with different beer types and methods. Also during this stage you build strong fundamentals in brewing knowledge that will later allow you to move onto bigger and better things (like all grain).

Extract Brewing Equipment: 

  1. 5 gallon boiling kettle.
  2. 5-6.5 gallon fermenter, preferably two
  3. siphon tool helps
  4. Wort chiller or another way to cool kettle quickly!
  5. Large mixing spoon 
  6. 5 gallon Extract brew recipe box of your choice!
  7. A cold Home Brew (if thats not possible yet a 6 pack of micro will get the job done too) 

This is a pretty decent kit Superior Home Brew Beer Kit with a helpful book The Complete Joy of Homebrewing has help shed a lot of light on brewing when I was lost.
And your ready to go!

Extract Brewing Procedure: 
  1.   Sanitize!!! The boil temperatures (170+) will kill any bacteria so you must clean everything that will come in contact with the beer from the time it's cooled from the kettle, up till it is safely tucked away in the fermenter.
  2. Read though the recipe kit instructions so you know whats coming and check to see if you have all the necessary ingredients.
  3. Fill about 2.5 gallons of water into the kettle and bring it to a rolling boil. You can add more or less water too at this point, more water will result in more wart which will bring more flavor to the beer. (if partial mash then add the grains from the time you add water till a little into a rolling boil, about 20 min., and make sure it doesn't go over 170 deg. or the grains will leak phenol enzymes.). Then add your malt syrup and later hops as your recipe demands.
  4. Once after usually a 60 min. boil you need to cool it down as fast as possible to avoid contamination to about 60-90 deg depending on if it's an ale or lager. (ale is normal around 80+, while lagers require lower temperatures. A wort chiller is the tool of choice here but an ice bath in a sink gets the job done too. (If you have a wort chiller it is best too put it in 10 minutes prior to the end of the boil so it can be easily sanitized.)
  5. Now you need to get the beer into the fermenter. I would advise to siphon the beer into it from the kettle, with your pre-sanitized siphon tool, so to avoid the heavy sediment but you can also just pour it in directly (which will definitely require a secondary fermentation phase about 1-2 weeks after the cooking date). Then add any more water to the fermenter to reach 5 gallons.
  6. Last but DEFINITELY not least you can pitch the yeast strait to the wort (unfermented beer) or rehydrate it first in some warm water and sugar to get it going faster. Both ways work fine. Now seal off your fermenter and put the air-lock in place and your good to go.
  7. Leave the Fermenter in a warm 75 - 85 deg. if it is an ale and 30-50 deg. for a lager.
Thats a small investment to make a beer that out tastes most large commercial beers.

Rolling boil 
Some hops in pellet form
My home made wort chiller after cooling some wort
Siphoning beer to fermenter

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