Your First Brew

Are you looking to get into brewing? Start off with a simple Extract brewing kit. Don’t rule out Mr Beer, it can teach you the principals. How To Brew books and sites like John Palmers can help even the advanced brewer.

Step 1 – Brew Day – 1

Find an Extract Brew Kit from online or a local brewing shop. Open the box and read the recipe. Find/Buy the equipment you will need.

Step 2 – Brew Day

Ready your equipment. John Palmer has a great checklist.

Brewpot (5 to 7 gal)  __ Clean

Stirring Spoon          __ Clean

Tablespoon              __ Clean     __ Sanitize

Measuring Cup         __ Clean    __ Sanitize

Fermentor and Lid    __ Clean    __ Sanitize

Airlock                     __ Clean    __ Sanitize

Thermometer           __ Clean    __ Sanitize

Step 3 – The Boil

Place your unopened extract container(s) into warm water. This stuff is like molasses, warm it up and you will get all the extract out easily.

Follow the instructions! Most Extract kits will specify 1.5 to 3 gallons of water. Bring to a boil. Start your timer. Add the warmed extract. Use your sterile Measuring cup to take boiling water and put some back into the extract container to get the remainder out.

Now beware of the boil-over. This will always occur if you turn your back on your brew pot! Don’t Laugh… Boilovers will frequently happen when you add hops…or turn your back.

Hops! A pre-hopped extract will not require hops to be added at specific intervals. Add your bittering hops at the specified intervals. Add your aromatic hops at the specified interval.

When the timer is done, 20, 30, 60, 90 minutes later according to your recipe, FLAME OUT! You made Wort! Taste it, pure sugar water.

Some recipes will call for adding the wort to your fermenter then topping off your fermenter to 5-6 gallons.

Step 4 – Fermentation

When your fermentor is at or below 68*F pour in your yeast. Close the lid and put tape over the airlock hole.

Locate your fermenter some place cool and dark for 1-3 weeks, where it won’t get disturbed and not on your nice carpet where it may spill over.

Fill your airlock with water, hold it upright until it stops dripping and place your airlock into the hole on the fermenter.

Enjoy your last store bought beer.

Step 5 – Bottle/Keg Time

After the recommended fermentation time it is time to bottle/keg. I hated bottling so read John Palmers bottling tips.

Sterilize a Siphon and Keg. Siphon your beer into a keg. Place the keg in the fridge overnight to chill, cold crash and settle. Hook up the CO2 and begin the carbonation at 10-20 psi. In 4-5 days you will have carbonated beer, lower the psi to 6 – 12 psi depending upon your style and your setup or preference.