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Making Good Beer

Steps:
Boiling
Hopping
Fermentation
Bottling
Enjoy!
Necessary Equipment
Brewing Kettle
Long-Handled Spoon
Primary Fermenter (plastic)
Airlock and Stopper
Siphon Tubing (4 feet)
Caps and Capper
Bottles

Optional Equipment
Secondary Fermenter (glass)
Hydrometer & Test Jar
Thermometer
Racking Tube
Bottle Filler
Wort Chiller 
 

Ingredients Needed
1 or 2 cans Malt Extract
¾ cup Corn Sugar
1 pack Burton Water Salts
1 pack Yeast Nutrient
2 oz. Hops (if plain malt)
1 cup Crystal Malt
2 packs Ale Yeast

Note: This beer recipe is written for two-stage fermentation. If using the single-stage method, as in our Basic Brewing Kits; simply omit any reference to the secondary fermenter (glass water bottle) and perform all operations in the plastic primary fermenter with airlock.

Boiling

Heat 5 gallons of water in a large kettle or brewpot. Most people don't have a kettle that large, but heat as much as you can (at least 2 gallons). Add 1 cup of Crystal Malt (#K-10) to the water. Tying the Crystal Malt in a cheesecloth bag will save having to strain it out later. Let the water heat, and remove the Crystal Malt at about 170 degrees. Stir in one pack of Burton Water Salts (#N-19) and one pack of Yeast Nutrient/Heading Salts (#N-20) and continue heating.

When the water is boiling, add 1, 1½, or 2 cans of Malt Extract to the boil and stir it in. One can will make a light-bodied beer at about 2½% alcohol, 2 cans will make a full-bodied beer at about 5%, and 1½ cans will be in between. The old "Prohibition" method was to add up to 5 cups of corn sugar at this stage, replacing some of the malt. You can do that, but good quality beer is not made with sugar.

Hopping

After the Malt Extract is in the boil, keep stirring to keep it from burning on the bottom of the kettle. If you have used all unhopped Malt Extract, now is the time to add about 8 Bittering Units of hops for bitterness. Our hops are all marked with the Alpha Acid analysis (bitterness) level. Bittering Units are the Alpha times the ounces used in 5 gallons of beer. 8 Bittering Units would be one ounce of an 8.0 Alpha hop, or two ounces of a 4.0 Alpha hop, etc. Our hops are all in 2-ounce packages, so you can go by that. Easy, huh? If one of the cans of Malt Extract was a hopped extract, don't add hops for bitterness. It's already in there! Keep stirring occasionally, and let the beer (wort) boil hard for at least one hour. If you want to use a clarifier, stir in ½ tsp. of Irish Moss about 15 minutes before the end of the boil.

After at least one hour's hard boil, turn off the heat and add about ½ ounce of Finishing Hops. The varieties of Finishing Hops are listed in the Hops Webpage. Using Finishing Hops at the end of the boil adds a fresh aroma and flavor to the beer. It is good to use Finishing Hops even with hopped Malt Extracts.

Fermentation

Pour the hot beer (wort) into the primary fermenter, straining out the hops. It is not necessary to strain if you used hop pellets. Add cold water to bring the total volume up to 5 gallons. If you are using our #B-3a Fermenter (the one in the Kits) the 5-gallon mark is the bottom ring. Cover the fermenter and wait until the temperature is down to 75 degrees. If you have a Wort Chiller (#C-44), use it to bring the temperature down quickly. At 75 degrees or less, add 11 grams of dried Ale Yeast (or 1 pack of Liquid Brewers Yeast). Close the fermenter with the lid, stopper, and airlock. Remember to put water (or Vodka) in the Airlock. Vodka evaporates more quickly, but bacteria won't live in it.

If using a secondary fermenter, let the beer work until the foam subsides, then siphon it into the secondary, leaving the sediment undisturbed. If using the single-stage method, just leave the beer alone. When the airlock has not bubbled for several days and the beer is flat, still, and clearing, it is ready to bottle.

Bottling

Siphon the beer back into a clean and sanitized container or bottling bucket, leaving the yeast behind. Draw off about one pint of beer into a pan and warm it on the stove. Add exactly ¾ cup of Corn Sugar to the pan and stir until it is dissolved. Pour this back into the beer and stir gently to distribute the sugar. Siphon or tap into clean, sanitized bottles and cap. Keep the bottles at room temperature (avoid storing them in direct sunlight;it will ruin your fine beer!), and after a week put a bottle in the refrigerator and try it. It will be even better in a month if you can keep it that long.