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Basic Brewing Instructions

Doing the experiments in order will teach you more about how to use ingredients & more importantly the flavour they impart to the beer. Then when you read a recipe you will
understand more about the flavour of the finished product. You can make adjustments for your own taste, or make the beer and see how close your estimated taste was.

Heat bags in pot (pot #1) of HOT water for 20 minutes(do not heat on burner with plastic bags of malt syrup (barley sugar) in the water it will melt the bag, just bring the water to a boil and take off the burner. This makes it easier to pour. In another pot (POT # 2) bring 2-3 gallon brewing water to a boil, BE ATTENTIVE DURING THE BOIL IT CAN BOIL OVER AT ANY TIME. The pot should be 5 gallons (less chance of boil over, it is messy) stainless steel is best(porcelain canning pots will work until cracked or chipped). Don't use aluminium as this can impart a metallic taste to the finished product.
Pour the warmed malt extract into your boiling pot (# 2). Rinse bags with water from the pot, to make sure you get all the concentrate into the pot. Now mix all the malt, & water together with any other sugar you are using (any sugar left on the bottom of the pot will burn there) until totally dissolved. TURN ON THE HEAT, and bring to hard rolling boil. During the boil watch out for foaming. If it looks like it is going to boil over remove from heat(electric stoves) or turn down the heat(gas stoves). Boil overs are a real mess CAUTION. Boil hard for 60 minutes making sure to watch for boil over the whole time. Place the pot after boil in a sink of ice water. When the temp. gets 80 F or so, add contents of the pot (# 2 pot) to primary fermenter and fill to the 5 gallon level with refrigerated, as cold as you can get it, brewing water not straight tap water (Chlorine).(put a 5 gallon mark on the outside of the bucket) with the cold brewing water.
Cool to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (65 is a lot better for fewer esters in your beer) by putting the bucket in a tub full of cold water(ice in the water will help to-don't put ice in the wort(beer) or warm water if it is too cold). If using glass be careful (too hot or too cold), you can easily crack them.
Once cooled, then rehydrate your yeast(see rehydrate yeast below). While re-hydrating your yeast aerate your wort (unfermented beer) well. Pitch (add) your yeast, seal the bucket and attach the air lock 1/2 full of water. If it is not bubbling CO2 through the air lock water in 24 hours call us immediately for instructions. Let it ferment out until you don't see bubbles through the air lock in 3 to 5 minute intervals if single stage or until the bubbles slow to around 30 seconds between and then rack into the secondary fermenter. Make sure it bubbles through the secondary air lock for a day at least or add a 1/2 to 1 cup of corn sugar to restart the fermentation. When the bubbles slow to 3 to 5 minutes in between, then proceed to bottling. Don't forget to try your beer while you are bottling.
Sanitation can only be accomplished with clean brewing equipment. Clean with hot water and elbow grease. Once clean, you need to do a chemical cleaning to remove the fats and protein (an organic deposit) even if you can not see it, it is there. Caustic cleaner will remove the acidic fat and protein deposits, there are may caustic cleaners. TSP., B-Brite, and many others will do the job, but most do not perform to satisfaction. My favorite is Cipton (Sodium-Potassium Hydroxide), It is the best I have used. It was formulated for large-scale brewery operations. Any deposits will harbor yeast and bacteria and prevent the sterilant from acting on them. Now that the equipment is clean, rinse thoroughly. We need to sterilize, again you have many options. I think the best is Iodine. Ours is a special Iodine solution for sanitizing. It is used by the dairy, soda and brewing industry. When using either steriliant or chemical cleaner, eye protection is essential! Both chemicals can and will cause massive and irreversible eye damage! Equipment should be cleaned and sterilized both before and after brewing, to prevent deposits from building over time. It is especially important for plastic equipment. Why allow things to grow in the porous material while you're waiting to brew again?
Use well water(as long as it is checked for contamination), bottled water, or charcoal filtered water(be careful as bacteria can grow in filters). We want all the minerals. We just want to get rid of the chlorine. We don't want soft water because of the salt. We don't want reverse osmosis or distilled water because it doesn't have minerals (unless we to add them back after). There is free water all year long at Artesian well park in Salt Lake City (800 South 500 East south west corner).
Use plain brewing water(no sugar added). Be very careful of your temperatures, too high a temperature can damage or kill the yeast. Leave to rehydrate no longer then 10 minutes(too long can damage or kill your yeast).Put the yeast in 1/2 cup of 100 degree Fahrenheit water for only 10 minutes. Before re-hydrating, make sure you have cooled your wort to pitching temperatures of
65 to 70 F. for Ales.
The grains give color, body, and flavor to the beer. Put the grains in the water used for boiling and heat slowly to 155 degrees Fahrenheit (use your thermometer). Take off the heat and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain the water out(do not squeeze it). Use this tea with everything else during the boil.

Here are the first 3 batches, do them in order for best results. These are designed for 5 gallons.

Experiment 1
Your first batch of beer will use the six-to-nine pounds of liquid malt extract found in your equipment kit. You will still need to buy hops, yeast and Irish moss to finish the batch. For this first experiment, we will teach you how to bitter your beer and control the HBU (Home Bittering Unit) level.

Once everything is dissolved in the water (Take care that there is no malt syrup sitting on the bottom of your pot as it will burn onto the pot, causing cleaning problems and imparting your beer with unpleasant flavours) Add the hops and bring to a boil for 60 minutes. Boil it hard, keeping track of when the boil starts. If it is an all malt beer, you will need to add Irish moss for clarity during the last 15 to 20 minutes of the boil. Irish Moss should be used in all your batches from this point onwards. Keep careful track of your batches, especially the alpha percentage of the hops as this can vary from season to season even if the hop variety remains consistent. Be sure and maintain dated and detailed tasting comments while you are doing this. This is so you can decrease or increase the HBU level in your next batch to better match your tastes.



Do the same as above. 2 minutes from the end of the boil (or when you turn the heat off) and add 1/2 to 3 oz flavor hops. Then add 1/2 to 3 oz hops as to dry hop after primary fermentation for hop aroma. Drop them in the carboy and rack the beer in on top of them or open the primary fermentation vessel if single stage fermentation is used and drop the hops in. When you try the first and second experiments together side by side, you will be able to tell how the hops affect complex flavor and aroma, not just the bitterness. It is important to taste the beers the correct way before making a final appraisal. First, describe the appearance of both beers in your log. Then smell both beers, starting with batch one. Describe what you are smelling in detail. Lastly, taste the beers starting with batch one. This will allow you to critically examine both beers without compromising your pallet by tasting before smelling. Again, detailed tasting comments are a must.


Do exactly the same as experiment 2 except this time, we will be adding grain to change the color, aroma, flavour and body. Add 1/2 to 6 pounds flavour grains loose (see recipes section) to 2 1/2-3 1/2 gallons cold brewing water. Put it on a burner and slowly heat to 155 degrees F. (Break out that thermometer again!). Take off burner and allow to stand for 15 to 20 minutes to make a tea. Strain the liquid out (Don't squeeze the bag as this will leak tannins into your beer) When it drips slow, discard. Use this tea in lieu of the hot water in the basic brew instructions. Proceed as above and then compare experiments 2 and 3 side by side. Again be sure to keep detailed tasting comments.

When secondary fermentation is done(no bubbles through the air lock in 3 to 5 minutes), it is time to bottle. Sanitize a small kitchen funnel (dry it) & put 1/2 LEVEL teaspoon of corn sugar in each bottle(12 oz). If you are using 22 oz bottles put 1 LEVEL teaspoon in each bottle. Fill them using your bottle filler until the foam reaches the top, then lay a sanitized cap on the bottle. Proceed to finish filling all the bottles while the escaping CO2 removes the air. Once done go back and cap all starting with the first IN ORDER . Store at room temperature for 14 days(in the dark. A box will do for this) Carbonation can take up to 2 months so be patient. Refrigeration temperatures will stop the aging so store in a cool spot(basement floor) 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit to age (as close as you can come to that temp). Most beers will improve for 3 to 6 months OR MORE, but if you don't have beer or it is so good you can't wait, drink it. Refrigerate only the beer you plan on drinking and store the rest as above to age. CHEERS! If your beers get too carbonated get as much as you can into the fridge and drink it as fast as possible. Blowing up bottles can be messy & more important CAN BE DANGEROUS!!! BE CAREFUL


Oxygen helps prevent stuck fermentations. It helps the yeast bud(reproduce). Remember to sterilize anything that will come in contact with your wort, after the boil. You won't be able to get too much oxygen into your beer wort (pronounced "wert") and you probably won't get enough. Always make sure it is at pitching temperatures (65 F) to keep the fruity and alcoholic flavors at bay before you oxygenate! Always keep oxygen out of hot wort. Shake it, splash it, use aerating stones, use an electric mixer. STERILIZE ANYTHING THAT IS COMING IN CONTACT WITH YOUR WORT(BEER) AFTER THE BOIL. KEEP AIR AWAY FROM YOUR BEER AFTER IT STARTS FERMENTING!!

Wort - unfermented beer
Racking your beer - siphoning it (make sure the hose is at the bottom of the container you are racking into so there is less oxidation)
Mashing - converting starches to sugar by mixing milled base malt with H20 at 145 to 158 F
Lautering and Sparging - converting, and draining sugar water out of the bottom while adding warm water to the top of a lauter tun vessel
Liquor - water suitable for brewing or Hot liquor tank is where the water for sparging is held.
Specific gravity - a measure of density compared to water. Distilled water at 60 F has a specific gravity of 1.000 (you need to take the starting and ending reading to get your alcohol by volume).

HBU'S are a measure of the total amount of bitterness in a given volume of beer. Bittering units are calculated by multiplying the percent alpha acid in each type of hop by the number of ounces used. Boil time should remain the same to keep HBU's consistent batch to batch. Example for 5 gallon batch. 2 ounces of Cascade hops with 5% alpha add would be 10 H.B.U.'s per batch. (2x5=10). 1-1/2 ounces of Chinook hops with 12.5% alpha acid would be 18.75 H.B.U.'s per batch. (1.5X12.5=18.75). 1 ounce of Nugget hops with 13% alpha acid and 2 ounces of Willamette hops with 6% alpha acid would be 25 H.B.U.'s per batch(1X13=13)+(2X6=12)=25.

Boiling hops in the wort extracts the hard resins that give beer its bitterness. We recommend that the wort be boiled 60 minutes for an efficient extraction (15 to 25% extraction), because it is very insoluble in water. This also helps with the hot break, for clarity and stability. TO FACILITATE THE HOT BREAK which are proteins and the extraction of the bittering resins you need a hard rolling boil for at least 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Hop flavor & aroma are two different oils and are very soluble in water. To keep the flavour & aroma they have to be added at different times, and care should be taken not to boil off and lose them!
Hop flavor; Add l/2 to 3 oz. of hops to the wort from 0 to 2 minutes from the end of the boil. I add them the last 2 min.
Hop aroma Single Stage brewers: Add 1/2 to 3 oz. of hops to fermenter after primary fermentation activity subsides. Reseal and allow hops to remain until bottling. Two Stage Brewers: Add 1/2 to 3 oz. of aromatic hops to the secondary fermenter before racking the beer from the primary fermenter. Secondary fermentation should last for at least 2 days to remove air. If not add more sugar to restart the fermentation(call for instructions). We would like to see the aroma hops in the beer for 5 to 7 days. The primary fermentation drives the aroma oils off that is why we dry hop.

Primary & Secondary fermentation are all part of the same fermentation. The primary lasts(usually) from 1 to 3 days and is extremely active. Before it starts you can see sediment at the bottom of the fermenter, once it starts fermenting it will kick it up into solution & you won't see it at the bottom. Once the sediment falls back down and the bubbles through the air lock are slower, that is an indication of the start of the secondary. Depending on temp that could be 20 seconds between bubbles. The start of the secondary fermentation is the time to rack, dry hop, or both. If it doesn't continue to bubble through the air lock after racking it is very dangerous(there is air on your beer). Boil a small amount of sugar in a small amount of water to start the fermentation again and remove the air(CO2 is heavier).

Cracked grain should be frozen to retain freshness. This is why we do not crack our grains before sale. Grain suppliers say to keep grains in a cool dry climate. Tefrigeration takes the moisture out of the grain and keeps it cool. Of course, even in our dry desert climate, the moisture is too high. Having a swamp cooler running in the summer exacerbates this even more. All of our grains are kept refrigerated until put out for sale. Very few stores can make that claim.

Hops should be kept frozen or refrigerated in their original packaging until ready to use. Oxidization is the worst thing for hops. Freezing slows this process but does not stop it entirely. We go through hops quickly enough that our stock is continuously fresh for you, the customer. Pellet hops are easier to use and generally more convenient, also boasting an average of 15% more bitterness than whole leaf (flower) hops. Pellets and plugs also have the advantage of being more resistant to aeration.

Yeast should be refrigerated constantly but never frozen as this can have lethal consequences for the yeast. Fruity flavours are produced by the yeast even before fermentation has begun. You can lower or eliminate these by adjusting the pitching temperature. Lower temperatures will slow the reproduction process but will also help keep wild yeasts and bacteria under control. I typically lower the temperature of my ales to 65 degrees before pitching. Lower temperatures produce cleaner flavours at the cost of increased fermentation time. Higher temperatures will ferment quicker but produce more off flavours. With this in mind, fermentation above 75 degrees is not recommended unless you're out of beer!
Every yeast will result in a different ending flavours so be sure to keep detailed records of the variety of yeast used in any given recipe. Due to financial difficulties, we do not presently carry liquid yeast. Liquid yeast will generally give your beer a better description (flavours, temperatures, attenuation and flocculation). The advantage of pitchable yeast is that you can conform it to your schedule and make beer any day of the week and take a step out of the process, avoiding potential contamination. No matter how careful you are, the wort can be contaminated by bacteria and/or wild yeast. Being able to start fermentation immediately mitigates this.

Malt extracts, either liquid or dry should be kept refrigerated until ready to use. Some canned malts (as sold by most stores) are often hopped meaning that they are intrinsically bitter without the addition of hops. The yeast that comes with these cans is suspect. If you do buy one of these kits either from us or elsewhere, you should buy a separate yeast. Since yeast bud (reproduce) until they reach an optimum population for the volume before fermenting, the fermentation is what protects your beer and should be started as soon as possible. Get fresh yeast, use two packages (if using a package of less than 10 grams), rehydrate it in plain water force-cool your wort and oxygenate after cooling. Using malts from the country of origin of the beer you are trying to create may help you to replicate it but not necessarily. Let your taste buds guide you. Experimentation is the backbone of this hobby so never stop experimenting. The real bummer is that you have to drink all your experiments! Start a log, keep it handy when brewing, shopping for supplies or considering a new recipe. Always always always keep detailed, dated tasting comments so you can monitor the progression of your beers over time Brands, times, alpha percentages, HBU's, procedures and quantities/ratios should all be diligently recorded. When you get to the point where you can actively design recipes, that is where the real fun of the hobby comes in!