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How can I brew beer at home?

How can I brew beer at home?

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Published by Lenny P.
Making craft beer at home is easy. This helpful document will tell you all of the equipment you will need, and goes through the process of brewing beer at home.
Making craft beer at home is easy. This helpful document will tell you all of the equipment you will need, and goes through the process of brewing beer at home.

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Published by: Lenny P. on Aug 03, 2011
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09/22/2012

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How to Make Beer From Malt Extract
Here is a checklist of everything you will need to make beer using malt extract: 
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Equipment Kits
 The most important part of getting started in Homebrewing is choosing an Equipment Kit. All of Midwest’sequipment kits will provide all of the components needed to brew 5-gallon batches of beer. Read each of the descriptions to determine which equipment kit is right for you.
 This equipment kit has everything you need to start brewing beer at home except for bottles, ingredientsand a brewing kettle. Our starter kit includes all of the essential equipment needed to start homebrewingand is an economical way to get started. If you are worried that brewing beer at home is complicatedand dicult, don’t be. When you get your equipment and ingredients, just put your free homebrewingvideo/DVD in your VCR or DVD player and go. Just follow along as we boil it, bucket it, and bottle it. After2 hours you’ll be surprised how easy brewing is. Our starter kit is designed to be expanded as your level of homebrewing progresses. Be sure to check our new upgrade options!*If you’re on a tight budget, this equipment kit along with a Midwest Recipe Kit will provide the basiccomponents to get started.
 This is our most popular brewing equipment kit. This equipment kit provides the essential equipmentfor the aspiring brewer who wants to make the best beer they can from the start. This is accomplishedthrough two-stage fermentation. Primary fermentation is the rst step. During this 5-7 day process, mostof the fermentation takes place and by the end of this period most of the particles and solids will settle tothe bottom. The second step is transferring the beer in to the secondary fermenter. (7-21 days) Separating
Midwest Homebrewing & Winemaking Supplies5825 Excelsior Blvd.St. Louis Park, MN 55416952-925-9854 • 888-449-2739www.MidwestSupplies.com
 
the beer from the sediment will result in clearer beer and improve the characteristics of the beer. Beer cancondition and clarify in the secondary fermenter for weeks or months depending on the style and strengthof the beer. Transferring the beer in to a 5 gallon glass carboy or better bottle will reduce oxidation of thebeer. This kit is highly recommended if you intend to brew any high alcohol or lager beers.*6 out of 10 customers purchase this equipment kit.
We have revamped this equipment kit to incorporate Better Bottles. These are becoming more and morepopular for their many advantages over glass. In addition, we have upgraded this equipment kit to includea Fermtech AutoSiphon, the easiest method of starting a siphon. The components of this kit representa considerable savings compared to being purchased separately. This equipment kit is sure to keep youbrewing for years to come.
Midwest has conveniently included everything needed to get started in homebrewing in our CompletePackage Equipment Kits. These complete packages are perfect for someone just getting into the hobby thatwants to open the box and brew a batch right away. They include the equipment, beer ingredients, brewkettle and the bottles to make a rst batch.Click hereto browse all Equipment Kits.
Midwest oers a large selection of 5 gallon recipe kits. For rst time brewers we recommend brewing an Alerecipe kit. Ales ferment at room temperature and are ready to drink faster than lagers. Some of our morepopular recipe kits include: Liberty Cream Ale, Big Ben Pale Ale, Autumn Amber Ale and our most popularrecipe kit, the Irish Red Ale. Check out our Light, Amber, Dark and Wheat beer recipe sections. Any of therecipes in these sections will be the perfect addition to our Equipment Kits. ****9 out of 10 gift givers willinclude a recipe kit with their gift****
 The brewing process requires the brewer to mix and boil the ingredients from our recipe kits in a stock pot.Many brewers might already have a stock pot in their kitchen that might work for this process. The pot mustbe at least 2-3 gallons in size. Stainless steel, Enamel and Silverstone coated pots will work ne. We do notrecommend using aluminum pots. They can oxidize the beer. Midwest oers 4 and 5 gallon stainless steelbrewing kettles for homebrewing. Our high quality pots have riveted handles and can be used for other thingslike boiling pasta or crab legs.
*Including a new shiny stainless steel brewing kettle will complement any gift equipment package from Midwest.*
Five gallons of beer will require 52-56 twelve ounce beer bottles. Roughly two cases of 24 and a six pack.Shipping glass bottles can get expensive due to the shipping weight. Many homebrewers will collect empty12 ounce as they drink them, rinse them out and use them for their homebrew. IMPORTANT: the bottles cannot be screw o bottles. They must be pop top bottles. These are the bottles that are commonly found in the24 bottle case returnable. The kind of bottle that requires a deposit when purchased. If all of that seems liketoo much work. Buy one or two cases of bottles when getting started with Homebrewing.*Most homebrewers who accumulate 10 case of bottles typically will have purchased 5 new cases andcleaned 5 used cases of pop top bottles.
A kegging system is probably the number one thing you can purchase as a homebrewer that will greatlyimprove your quality of life. It’s far easier than bottling, you don’t need to use corn sugar anymore sinceyou’ll be force carbonating with CO
2
, and you’ll be the envy of all your beer-drinking friends. Our CorneliusKeg System comes with everything you need to start kegging your beer at home. A used refrigerator canusually be found very cheaply through your local want ads or craigslist.
Before You Begin
1. Check to make sure you have all of the equipment and ingredients that you need. There is nothing worsethan starting a batch of beer, only to nd out that the spoon you use has gone missing.2. Pour yourself a good microbrew or a mug from a previous batch of your own beer. This is almost arequirement when making your own beer.
 
Cleaning and Sanitizing
3. OK, now you want to clean and sanitize anything that is going to come in contact with the beer. This includesspoons,fermenting equipment,hydrometer, etc. Midwest recommends using a product likeEasy Clean,One Step,B-Brite, orIO Starfor you cleaning and sanitation needs.For more information on cleaning and sanitizing,  click here. Now that you have all of your equipment ready, let’s get brewing!
Brewing
5. Take yourgrainsand place them in themuslin bag(if your kit comes with grains). Tie the top of the muslin bag so your grains don’t go oating all over the place in yourbrew kettle.7. At this point you want to ll your brew kettle with water.You want at least 1 gallon of head space in your kettle tohelp prevent boil over. Or, at least allow you enough time toturn the heat down. Water is the great debate in brewing.We won’t go into all the details, but just know that whatgoes into your beer aects the overall quality of your beer.So if you have water with an odor, then you will end up witha beer with an odor. As a general rule, if your tap water isgood enough to drink, its good enough to brew with.8. With the water in the brew kettle and your grain bag in thewater, start heating it up. You
do not
want a boil! You want your water to be 152° F. ADial Thermometer comes in handy for this step. Yes, you can be o by a few degrees here, but the closer to 152° F the better.Why 152° F you ask? Again, good question. Steeped grains will not add many fermentables to your beer(i.e. your original gravity will not increase much). Steeping grains, unlike mashing, does not convert thecomplex starches in the sugar into fermentable sugars, so only a small percentage of the steeped grain (<10%) will ferment. However, since unfermentable proteins are added by steeping, the body of the beer willbe increased with the use of specialty grains. Why would I want a sweet beer you ask? Sugar is what theyeast eats to create alcohol. So, more sugar = more alcohol. It really is as simple as that. But, beware; moresugar/alcohol does not always make a good beer.9. You want to “steep” the grains (just like making tea) for 30-45 minutes. Some recipes may have you do thislonger, but most call for about a ½ hour. Feel free to stir the grains if you like.10.
Once the ½ hour is up, you are ready to add themalt extract.
IMPORTANT NOTE: You want to remove yourkettle from the burner for this part.
Liquid malt is very thick and will sink to the bottom of the kettle. If your kettle is sitting on the burner at this time, it is very easy to scorch the malt. This leads to a burnt avorin your beer that most brewers try to avoid. Leave the burnt avors to your grains, not the malt extract.
11. While you are adding the malt extract, stir it in well. Try to make sure you have it dissolved as well aspossible before returning the kettle back to the burner. Once you feel the malt is stirred in well, place thekettle on the burner, and crank up the heat! You now want to bring all the liquid, or wort, up to a boil.
Hop Additions
12. Once you see the rst bubble of a boil, you are ready toadd your rst addition of hops. These hops are called yourbittering hops. The longer the hops boil, the more avor,or bitterness, will be present in your beer. Check thedirections for your beer on what hops are your bitteringhops. Each style of beer will vary on the bittering hops.Some beer styles will use the same hops for bittering aswell as the aroma hops, which we will talk about in a bit.
 13.
It is very common for the bittering hops to be boiled for60 minutes. But, you might want to play with timeframe asyou make more beers. If you boil the hops longer, you willget a bitterer avor. If you boil shorter, a less bitter avor.
14. Depending on what kit you bought or the style of beer that you’re making, the recipe may or may notcall for a avor hop addition. Just like it sounds, these are the hops that impart avor to your beer. Theseare usually boiled for 30-40 minutes. Check your recipe or kit instructions for more details.
Crystal 50
º
- 60
º
LRoasted Barley

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