12090 County Line Rd
Madison, Al

Brewing Basics: Brewing

Step 1 - Preparation

A - Gather together everything you will need to start brewing (Brew pot, brew kit, spoon, thermometer, primary fermenter and air lock)

B - Sanitize, Sanitize, Sanitize. Your success will rely on how clean your equipment is. Anything that comes in contact with your beer after the boil process should be sanitized. 

C - Lay everything out and in the order that you will be using them.  If you are not using a kit go ahead and measure out ingredients.

Step 2 - Brew

A - Put two and a half gallons of water in your brew pot (if the water is good enough to drink, it's good enough for brewing.  If your tap water is not good use bottled water).

A1 - If you are using grains you want to add the to the cold water to steep, remove them after 20 min. or when the water is 170 degrees.

B - Bring the water to a rolling boil, remove the pot from the heat, stir in malt extract (stir continuously to avoid burning the malt). Return to heat bring back to a boil.

C - Hops are added at various intervals. Refer to your exact recipe as to when you need to add hops to your boil. Typically Half (bittering hops) are added at the beginning of the boil and the other half (aroma hops)10 or 15 min. before the end of the boil. This should boil for 45 min total, after which you have your wort. Never slosh hot wort around it will cause an off taste in the finished product.

D - After the boil you need to cool the wort as quickly.  To do this you can use a wort chiller or an ice and water bath in your sink.  Take the pot from the stove, place it in the sink with the lid on, fill the sink with water and ice.  Change the sink water as needed until your wort is around 70 degrees.

E - Pour the wort into the primary fermenter and add cool water to the 5 gallon mark.  It is ok to add quickly because at this point you want to oxygenate the water as much as possible so the yeast will be able to do their thing.

F - Pitch your yeast. Dry yeast is the easiest as you typically don’t have to prepare it beforehand. Sanitize the yeast pack and a pair of scissors, cut the corner off the yeast pack, and pour the yeast into the fermenter.

G - Place the lid firmly on the fermenter, add an air lock, and store in a dark, cool place.  Ale should stay at 68 degrees to ferment properly.  Lager is brewed cooler.

H - Place the primary fermenter in a cool dark place and wait...

I - You should see signs of fermentation (air lock bubbling) in 24 to 48 hours, maybe sooner maybe later, be patient.  Fermentation can take from one to two weeks and is complete after all bubbling has stopped and the specific gravity has reached it's endpoint..

J - Once the bubbling has completely stopped you can just let the beer sit in the primary for 5 to 7 days and move straight to priming and bottling or you can rack it to the secondary fermenter. I prefer to use the secondary to let the beer clear up as much as possible and mature as a batch.

K - Sanitize the secondary.  Rack the beer to the secondary with the racking cane being careful not to splash around, you don't want to add oxygen at this point.  Leave as much sediment behind as possible.  Sanitize the air lock and bung.  The less head space in the secondary the better.  Cap the carboy with the bung and insert the air lock.  Now wait...The beer should be ready to bottle in about a week.

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