Brewcraft: Malt Extract Brewing
Step 0: Drink some beer and sanitize everything...
Drink beer while cleaning
your brewing equipment. It is impossible to overstress the importance
of sanitized equipment and unheard of to clean anything too well. It means
all the difference between having really great beer and having 55 pounds
of fetid crap in a big, heavy bottle. Clean everything. Twice. And drink
Step 1: Put water
in a big effing pot...
In a 30 liter stainless
steel brew pot, bring 20 liters cold water to a boil.
Step 2: The extract...
When the big effing
brew pot reaches the boiling point, begin stirring all of that steaming
hot water and add the malt extract. Do this slowly. Stirring will prevent
the malt extract settling to the bottom of the pot and burning. That's
Step 3: Drink some
Step 4: The great
big foaming boil...
Maintain heat and
keep the mixture in the big effing pot at the boiling point. When boiling,
the mixture forms a foam layer which can rise out of the pot and skunk
up your stove. Be careful to avoid this. It is messy and difficult to
Step 5: Drink some
Drink it. Drink it
Steps 6-9: Hoppy
hoppy... joy joy...
Boil the wort for
60 minutes, adding ingredients at the following intervals:
- At the start of
the boil, add the bittering hops.
- 45 minutes into
the boil, add the flavoring hops, Irish Moss (for clarity), and yeast
nutrient (to promote vigorous booze).
- 55 minutes into
the boil, add the aroma or finishing hops
- After 60 minutes,
stop boiling the mess (or "wort").
Steps 10: Cool out...
Cool the wort to 85
degrees Farenheit or lower before placing it in the primary fermenter.
Cool the wort as quickly as possible to prevent yeast infections (really).
I do this with a "wort chiller" which is really a long coil
of copper (or stainless steel) tubing attached to a garden hose.
When cool, pour the
wort into the primary fermenter which, around here, means a seven gallon
glass carboy with an airlock on top. With that done....
Step 11: Drink some
Life is short, after
Step 12: Hey batta
batta... suwing batta... pitching the yeast...
Without yeast, you
can't have beer, so this is the big moment. Be certain that the temperature
of the wort is below 85 degrees Farenheit and add --or "pitch"--
the yeast. You can use either dry (inactive) or liquid (active) yeast.
If you really want to start things off with a bang, you can grow a "starter
culture" from the yeast several days ahead of time. We're usually
too lazy around here, but directions on how to do this should be on the
Step 13: Primary
Leave wort in primary
fermenter until fermentation subsides (usually about a week, depending
on temperature). Make certain that your one-way airlock is firmly in place,
so that gasses can escape the carboy, but can't enter it. It's also really
important to keep the wort in the dark, either by putting the carboy in
a dark closet or by covering the carboy with a crisply pressed shirt and
tuxedo jacket... or a black plastic bag for those of you that don't know
how to show your style.
Step 14: Secondary
has completely subsided, clean the hell out of a five gallon carboy using
your sanitizing solution. Using a sanitized siphon, transfer the wort
into the secondary fermenter. Leave it in there for at least two or three
weeks. Don't leave it too long... the longer you wait to bottle it, the
longer you have to wait to brew your next beer.
Step 15: More cleaning...
wouldn't your mamma be proud...
Clean your bottles
well. Around here, we dip them in santizer and then run them through the
dishwasher *without detergent*. Then, when everything is sanitized, and
I mean everything, you are ready to bottle.
Step 16: Bottling
Bottling is an individual
taste thing. Here we use 20 ounce import bottles made from heavy brown
glass that we have dutifully emptied. They should all be brown, or UV
rays will kill the yeast and make your beer skunky. We also use regular
bottle caps and, surprise, a bottle capper. Then we drink some beer and
label the bottles.
Finally, let the bottled
beer age in a cool, dark place. We recommend an absolute minimum of
two months regardless of the style of beer, but more for higher gravity
and highly hopped concoctions. Ordinarily, we age even pale ales for four
months or more, but again, this is a matter of patience. However, keep
in mind that beer can get old and flaccid, and that flavors reach a peak,
then fall off. So, don't hoard your beer. Drink it and give it away...
like, to us.
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Monks of Ann Arbor Abbey.
1997-2011 Kirk R. Humphries and Sandy Marshall. All rights reserved. Weasel
Breweries, Monks of Ann Arbor Abbey, and Olde Pyehole are trademarks
of Kirk Humphries and Sandy Marshall. And so is a lot of other stuff.
Last update: 29 August