In the Great Beer State, homebrewing is becoming a fast growing hobby. My in-laws were doing it before it was the “in” thing to do and married life has brought with it a closet full of beer supplies. The scientists in the family get geeked over the process, I just enjoy their hard work throughout the year. How does one brew at home? While all the parts and processes are more my husband’s thing, here are a few of the steps in the process. These change depending on the type of beer, but there are some basics involved. It all starts with a recipe. Once you know what you want to make, and have all the ingredients and equipment ready, get brewing!
Steps for a partial malt extract version of homebrewing –
Step 1 – Bring extra water to a boil to sanitize for brewing process, also use food sanitizer for any equipment that comes in contact with wort (almost beer) after beer boiling processes.
Step 2 – Steep the adjuncts, or extra grains. To complement the flavors and coloration of the finished beer, adjunct grains are put into a grain sack and steeped. It kind of looks like a big sock-teabag. Be careful to make sure the temperature doesn’t go above 170 F (to keep out the bitter inky taste associated with bad tea). Remove according the recipe.
Step 3 – Add malt extract to and carefully bring it to a boil to create a wort (pronounced wert). This foams up so watch the heat to keep it from boiling over.
Step 4 – Once the pot is boiling and has stopped foaming, add hops according the the recipe’s hopping schedule (usually an hour).
Step 5 – Rapidly cool wort to crash the protein. We did it in a bathtub full of ice. This process makes the finished beer clearer. The yeast also need the liquid to be aound 70 F before they are added.
Step 6 – Rehydrate yeast.
Step 7 – After wort has cooled, strain it into the carboy or fermentation bucked.
Step 8 – Top off with pre-boiled water and add the yeast.
Step 9 – Cover (we use an airlock) and wait for the magic to happen.