Wednesday, February 14, 2007

How to make beer, pt 2

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.

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Blogger Sam said...

You may address this later, but I thought I'd ask in case you don't.

Where do you get your supplies? Hops and such don't seem like stuff you can pick up at the local grocer. Am I right in that assumption?

11:37 AM  
Blogger Canadian Loonie said...

I will mention it a little in the last post but many large towns have homebrew shops were ingredients, and help can be found. Some places even have brew clubs were like minded people get together to share and learn from each other. Hops come prepackaged as well as the yeast and sometimes even the grains and DME. Beers stores are like candy shops for beermakers. So much to try to little money or time. There are places online too where things can be ordered.

1:45 PM  

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