So making beer is easy right? Well, the next step up on the difficulty scale is to obtain either a can of malt or dried malt and to do an extract brew. Ingredients for this will include malt, DME (dry malt extract, basically sugar from barley), hops and yeast. The DME will be the cane sugar substitute. Everything will be added to a large pot of water and boiled for 60 minutes. Many brewers will do a full boil at this point but not all, a full boil would be the full batch size, so 5 gallons for a 5 gallon batch. At the beginning of the boil some hops will be added, this will add bitterness to the beer and offset the sweetness by the DME, more hops will be added at the 30-45 minute mark for flavour then more will be added at the 55-57 minute mark for aroma. The whole mess, now called wort, will be cooled then brought up to 5 gallons (which is the standard sized batch). Yeast will be added. At this point the beer will ferment about 1 week in one bucket, then get moved to another bucket for another week at least then be bottled for 2-4 weeks. With this process, other things can be added to the beer that may require that the yeast take longer to break down sugars so the beer may stay in the secondary fermentor for up to 6 weeks possibly even longer. Honey takes a long time to break down and will slow the fermentation, also lagers are fermented at lower temperatures and that will affect the speed of the yeast to ferment.
There will be one more post after this. I will go into bottling and kegging a little as well as how to make beer straight from grains.
Labels: beer, homebrew, howto