Instruction for the first-time Brewer.
All of the equipment and ingredients necessary to brew your first batch of beer, is included in our Complete Starter Systems with the exception of a brew kettle (20 quart or larger stainless is preferred), a long handled spoon and bottles. When this is all gathered, you are ready to venture into the world of Zymurgy (brewing).
Time and space required
The brewing procedure takes approximately 1½ hours from start to clean up. From brew to drink, 20 to 25 days. It requires approximately a 4 square foot area of your home or garage that will support a consistent temperature between 65-75 F.
Cleanliness is very important.
Brewing Procedure - - - - - - - - - - - - - Print this section.
1. Clean and sanitize all equipment being used the day of brewing. Namely, the primary fermenter (6 gallon carboy or food grade plastic bucket), airlocks and stoppers. Do this by allowing them to soak in a light bleach water solution for 20-30 minutes (do it in the bathtub). Rinse well and sanitize with an Iodophor solution (food grade Iodine…1 Tblsp. Per gallon of water). Do not rinse, allow to air dry.
2. Put 2 gallons of clean, cold water in the primary fermenter, cover and set aside.
3. Put 2 gallons of water in the brew kettle and bring to a boil.
4. Remove from the heat and add 3 pounds of unhopped malt extract. Stir well to dissolve.
5. Return to the heat and bring slowly to a boil (watch carefully for a boil over…avoid this mess…keep an eye on it!).
6. Boil for 30 minutes, remove from heat and add the can of hopped malt extract. stir well to dissolve.
7. Cool the contents of your brew kettle (called Wort) to 100 degrees F. in a sink or
Tub of cold water and/or ice.
8. Pour the wort from the brew kettle into the primary fermenter that has 2 gallons of
cold water waiting.
9. Top the fermenter up to 5 gallons with clean cold water and cover immediately.
10. At this point, take a Hydrometer reading of the Specific Gravity by pouring a sample of the wort into the hydrometer jar and float the hydrometer in the sample. Take the reading where the level of your wort intersects on the specific gravity scale of the hydrometer. Write this reading down in your brewing notes. Do NOT return the sample of wort to the fermenter.
11. Rehydrate the dried yeast (located under the lid of the can) in 1 cup of 80-degree, clean water for 15 minutes. Stir well and add (pitch) into your wort when the temperature is below 80 degrees but not cooler that 65 degrees. Shake the contents of your primary fermenter vigorously for a minute or two, put the stopper and airlock in place insuring there is water in the plastic airlock.
12. Store your brew in a dark place that will support a consistent temperature of 65-75 degrees F. At this point, your work is done for the day. Clean up your equipment and store it for the next time, sit back and watch the show.
13. Fermentation may take between 8-24 hours to begin…have patience, the yeast is going through it’s respiration cycle. Once fermentation begins, it will take approximately 5-7 days for it to complete. Keep your beer sealed and prepare to transfer it when the activity of the airlock slows to a bubble every 30-40 seconds. If you are doing a two-stage fermentation, now is the time to transfer your beer to a secondary fermenter (normally a 5 gallon glass carboy).
14. Insure that your secondary fermenter and “racking”assembly, (cane and tubing) have been cleaned and sanitized. To get your siphon going, fill the tubing and racking cane with water. Place your thumb over the hose end, trapping the water. Insert the racking cane into the primary fermenter, which will be on the countertop and run the water off into a cup or the sink. The beer will follow the water and when it does, place the tubing all the way to the bottom of the secondary fermenter, which will be on the floor. Avoid splashing the beer.
15. When the transfer is complete, place the stopper and airlock in the fermenter and allow your beer to settle for 5 days.
5 gallons of beer is 640 ounces. This requires 54-12 oz. bottles, 40-16 oz. bottles or 29-22 oz. bottles or any desired combination. Use Non-screw bottles only. Clean and sanitize them along with a matching number of caps.
16. Repeat step #10 to attain the Final Gravity reading. Subtract this reading from the Original Gravity reading and multiply by 105, this will give you the Alcohol by weight (ABW) of your beer. Multiply this number by 1.25 to attain the Alcohol of Volume (ABV).
17. In a sauce pan, bring 1 pint of water to a boil and add ¾ cup of corn sugar or 1 1/4 cups of dry malt extract (not table sugar). Boil for 3 minutes. Pour this mixture into your clean, sanitized bottling bucket.
18. Now repeat the siphoning process of your beer, from the secondary fermenter into
The bottling bucket. The bottling sugar (syrup) will mix evenly throughout the beer and give you consistent carbonation in each bottle.
19. Bottle and cap immediately using the siphoning method, allowing 1-1 ½” of air
space in each bottle. Again, avoid splashing.
20. Store the bottled beer at room temperature, preferably in a dark area, for 10 days
and allow to carbonate. Cool and drink!
For your first few brewing experiences, we recommend that you keep it simple with the Pre-hopped canned malt extracts kits in order to get a good feel for the process without being overwhelmed. When brewing these kits following the instructions provided above, they will produce very good beers. For your convenience, Northwest Brewers Supply has packaged a Northwest Brewers Complete Refill Kit that includes all of the ingredients and supplies necessary to duplicate your favorite beer.
Soon, you will want to venture out on your own by mixing and matching different yeast, hops, specialty grains and extracts to produce the finest beers in the world.
Northwest Brewers Specialty Kits include all of the raw ingredients and supplies you will need to move to this level comfortably, complete with step-by-step instructions.
Don’t worry, Be hoppy!
Northwest Brewers Supply
Support line 800 460 7095