Archive for the ‘Instructions’ Category

Sanitation Tips for Homebrew Beer

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

Microbrewing can be one of the most engaging and satisfying hobbies to take up. Cultivating the right flavors, strength, and style over a matter of weeks or months can make the final product all that more satisfying. But one of the most important things you should take into account before you dive into your home brew operation is proper sanitation.

It’s the yeast that cultivates the flavor, but from the moment your initial product dips below half-boiling point, you’ll have to deal with all manner of bacteria that can potentially infect your brew.

Knowing how and what to sanitize–especially if you’re a beginner–can save you weeks of frustration. First, you’ll want to be sure that absolutely everything that comes into contact with your home brew has been properly sanitized.

That means sterilizing your bottles, rungs, chillers, spoons, any racking equipment, and last but not least, your hands. You’ll want to submerge all your equipment in a chemical solution–usually bleach or hydrogen peroxide, both of which are highly effective and readily available.

It is also possible to sanitize by heat, but this is not recommended for most equipment aside from bottle caps. Heat is by far the riskier method of sanitation and is not nearly as effective as a chemical agent. You’ll also want to invest in a sturdy wire brush and some Oxy-Clean. The latter can be extremely useful for cleaning and scrubbing off old labels until they look like new again.

If the bottles are new, be sure to sanitize and then rinse them thoroughly with cold water. This last step is important–you don’t want a bleach aftertaste lingering in your prize home brew! Lastly, be sure to use common sense and remember that the first rule is it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

How to Homebrew Lager

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

Thinking about brewing your own beer? The american govt. says that you can. In 1979, President Carter signed a law making it legal to brew your own beer for private consumption. It is legal to give your beer to family or friends but you may not sell it.

The beer brewing process is as follows: making wort, fermentation, conditioning, packaging and consumption. The easiest way to brew your own beer is to buy a kit and follow the instructions. These kits contain everything you need to make great beer. You can buy different kits that will allow you to make different kinds of beer, depending if you want a pale ale or a dark beer.

There is a supply list you will need in order to brew your own beer. A fermentor with airlocks or lids. A bottling bucket, a brew pot, a bottle filler attatched to plastic tubing, a capper, hydrometer and jar, siphon tubing, racking cane and an auto-siphon. Some other items you will need or will be helpful are: melt resistant spoon, tongs, funnels, scale, turkey baster, bottles and caps, a wort chiller and a burner, if you do not want to do it on your stovetop. Sterialize all of your equiptment before you use it.

Lager is distinguished from ale by the yeast you use. The yeast used in a lager is fermented at lower temperatures for longer periods of time. Lagers have less fruitiness and spiciness than ales. They are also one of the world’s most alcoholic beers.

The hops you use add flavor to the beer. The main selection of hops used for a lager generally: Hallertau, Tettnanger, lubelski or stripselspalt. The properties of hops change with each growing area and season. Some of the major hop producing areas are: the Pacific Northwest, Germany and England. Always use fresh hops when brewing your beer. They should be green, not brown or yellow. Do not use cheesy smelling hops as this tells you they are past their prime.

The main malts used are: pilsner, vienna or munich with caramel malts added to improve sweetness and head retention.

After the lager is made, you will need to store it in a cool, dry place for at least three weeks before you drink it.

How to Get Started Home Brewing Beer

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

The First things that you need to do when starting to brew beer in your home is gather all the materials that you may need. This will consist of a lot of things depending on what type of beer you are making and what recipe you are using.

Equipment
Start first getting all your equipment ready. This means you should set it all up and clean. You must start with sanitized equipment. So take everything apart and clean and sanitize, then place back together. When you set it all back up, make sure its set up where you want it to stay. Once you add the ingredients, it will be hard to move.

Start Brewing
Now it’s time to add all your ingredients and start brewing. Following your recipe you should add all your ingredients. Mix well and let it sit.

Fermentation
Now you have to let your beer fermentate. This basically means it needs to sit still. You should let it sit still for 5-7 days. If you can wait a bit longer then that’s even better. Just think, the longer that you wait, the better its going to be. Most alcohol gets better as it ages and beer is no different. After you have let it sit for a week or longer then you can begin to bottle.

Bottling
Making sure that your bottles are all sanitized you can begin bottling your beer. If your bottles are not sanitized, then you need to start off with this first. This is very important. Any left over residue can and will affect your final product. Once you have done that, you can begin pouring your beer into the proper bottles. After you have poured the beer into the bottles, tightly fit the caps onto the bottle. Make sure there are no air leaks. You want a firm fitting cap. Now your ready to wait some more.

Bottle Conditioning
After packaging your bottles and fitting then you need to let your beer sit longer. Letting them sit in their final package is vital to the entire process. If you shorten this process your final product will be altered. You need to let these sit in a dark room. A room that is not to cold and not to hot. It’s best to let them sit like this for 3-4 weeks at the least. Once you have waited the correct time, then you may place them into the fridge and once they are cold it is then time to taste your final product. Enjoy the homebrewed beer you just made.

How to Bottle Your Homebrew Beer

Saturday, December 6th, 2008

Once your beer has finished fermenting, it is time to transfer it from your fermentor to bottles or kegs. This article will describe the process of bottling, including secondary fermentation using sugar, capping, and settling.

Cleaning

Make sure that all your bottles are sterilized and cleaned extremely well. Any kind of contamination can ruin your entire batch. Any kind of brewing cleaner can be used, such as Pink Stain Remover (PSR) or Sodium Metabisulphate. Mix the cleaner with a sufficient amount of water. This changes depending on what you are using.

Soak all the bottles in hot water, and scrub them well using a bottle cleaner. Also clean the bottle caps that you plan on using. All the bacteria that can potentially ruin your beer must be eliminated.

Prepare Your Empty Bottles

Secondary Fermentation

Dissolve about 180 grams in dextrose in hot water, and pour it into your fermentor. This gives the remaining yeast some more sugar to survive on, causing a secondary fermentation to take place. This means that once the beer is in the bottles it will begin to create more carbon dioxide, carbonating the liquid.

Bottling

Insert the bottling tube or boot valve into the fermentor, and remove the air lock tube. Fill the bottles completely to the top. As soon as your remove the tube from the bottles, the amount of liquid will fall, making sure that all the bottles have a constant amount of beer.

Capping

This depends on what kind of capper you have available. I strongly recommend buying a stand alone capper rather than a hand held one. They are a hell of a lot quicker, and easier. Fill all your bottles with beer and then cap them each in turn. Make sure that the caps are sealed completely and don’t allow any carbon dioxide to escape, or your beer will turn out to be flat.

Storage

Leave your beer in a cool, dark place for at least two weeks before refrigerating and drinking it. I strongly recommend leaving it for at least a month though, and others recommend leaving it longer than that.

Once this process is complete, you can finally begin to enjoy the fruits of your labor.