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Friday, August 06, 2010

Episode 060 - Home Brew

This one was a fun show to prepare because it required me to make a lot of beer. Okay, it was even more fun drinking it but anyway...

As I mentioned during this episode, this page will show supplemental instructions with pictures. These photos might be helpful but I would recommend listening to this episode if you haven't yet.

Scroll down to the end of these visual instructions for my recipes for Honey Brown Ale and a Hefeweisen.

So let's get to it:

In a large pan, heat 3 gallons of water to 155 degrees Fahrenheit (roughly 68 degrees Celsius).

Pour your grains into a cheese cloth grain bag.

Steep your grain bags for 45 minutes.
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Sterilize everything that's going to touch your beer. I recommend using Star San food grade sanitizer.

After 45 minutes, pull the grains out. Let the liquids drain out but DO NOT SQUEEZE!

Bring to a boil and then remove from heat.

With the heat off, add the malt. (Don't add the malt while it is still boiling or it will boil over.) In these photos we're using powdered malt but you may also get a thick liquid malt depending on what you're making. brew09 brew10

Bring back up to a hard boil. Boil for an hour. Here we're adding the hops during the beginning of the boil. When you do this depends on the recipe. Hops added earlier adds bitterness. Hops added near the end of the boil adds more aromatics.
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Once the boiling is done, bring the temperature down to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (around 23.8 degrees Celsius). We're dropping the temperature quicker by using an ice bath.

Extra purified water has been added to the fermentation tank so the total amount will add 5 gallons. The temperature should be around 70 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (around 21 to 22 degrees Celsius).

Pour in your wort. Notice how we're pouring. We really want it aggitated with lots of oxygen mixed in. This will be helpful when the yeast is added.

Take a sample of the wort and find the original gravity using a hydrometer.
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Add the yeast.

Seal the fermentation tank and attach an air lock.


It's time to move the beer into a secondary fermentation tank. First sterilize the secondary fermentation vessel and anything that's going to touch the beer.
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Attach a hose to the first fermentation tank and put the other end into the secondary fermentation tank. Don't worry about all the foam left over from the sterilizing liquid. The sterlizing liquid used is food grade. This foam will actually break down and become extra food for the yeast.
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Add a new air lock to the secondary fermentation tank and let it sit for two weeks. I'd recommend covering it up or at least keep it out of sunlight, which can kill the yeast.

Here it is after sitting for two weeks. You can see how all the sediment as dropped to the bottom really clarifying the beer.

Use a hydrometer to get the specific gravity. With a bit of math you can now use the original gravity and the specific gravity and get an idea of what's the alcohol by volume. Now it's time to bottle. First we need to add dextrose. This sugar will feed the yeast while in the bottle so it creates CO2 and thus carbonate the beer. Add your dextrose to water and heat until clear. Let it cool to around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (roughly 21 degrees Celsius) and then pour into the beer. Give it a light stir. Don't stir up the dead yeast cells sitting at the bottom of the tank.
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Now let's bottle. First, you sterilized your bottles and caps, right?
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Insert your "sterilized" syphon and start bottling.
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Let the bottles sit for 30 minutes before capping.

Place a cap on each bottle and use a capper to seal them.
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That's it! Set the bottles away where they're out of sunlight. A closet is best. Let the bottles sit for 3 weeks. After three weeks, chill a beer, crack it open and ENJOY the fruits of your labor!

Honey Brown Ale

Steep at 155 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes:
8 oz British Crystal 20L
8 oz British Crystal 60L
4 oz American Chocolate
4 oz American Black Patent
1 lb british 2 row
½ lb oats

Mix off heat and then boil for an hour:
6 lb amber malt extract

Add during beginning of boil:
1 oz Cascade

Add after boil:
1 lb honey
1 oz Willamette

California Ale Yeast WLP001

Bottling Sugar:
4.5 oz dextrose


Steep at 155 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes:
½ lb Wheat malt
½ lb Dextrine malt (Cara-Pils)
1 oz Belgian chocolate
½ lb American Munich

Mix off heat and then boil for an hour:
6 lb powdered Wheat extract

Add during beginning of boil:
1 oz Spalt

Add after boil:
1 oz Spalt

White Labs Hefeweisen IV (liquid yeast)

Bottling Sugar:
4.5 oz dextrose

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