Home Brewing Tips
Home Brewing Recipes
Brooks Brewery Associate Brewer
Arny Lands
Beer Nexus
the crossroads of the beer world
A quick reminder to my readers I'm still here brewing for the Brooks
Brewery in the Northside Lounge in Manville, NJ.   As you know the bar is
temporarily closed but you should call about take out and growler fills
during these pandemic times.  Hopefully we'll be back to normal soon..
Although we don't do it for the general public if you writeme here at
BeerNexus I'll be happy to answer any of your brewing questions along
with our head brewer Art Hanneman.

Again this month I received quite a few e-mails that many readers are
brewing at home for the first time during the shutdown.  The vast
majority of you first timers are using extract kits.  Because of that this
month I'll give you some rules every beginner should follow to make
great beer from extract..

Extract brewing is viewed by some as a streamlined process compared
to all-grain brewing. It omits one major step of all-grain brewing (the
mash) and the brewday is shorter. However, the differences between
extract and all-grain brewing are more extensive than the presence or
absence of the mash. In fact, extract brewing has its own set of
challenges not faced by all-grain brewers but just follow these tips and
all will be fine. And please stay calm while brewing, it just beer.

 1.  Thoroughly clean and sanitize everything you’ll be using to make
your own beer. Consider this to be the most important step!

 2.  Heat your clean, chlorine-free water. If you can smell chlorine in
your tap water,you’ll want to boil it\for 30 minutes first or just use bottled
spring water. The exact amount of water you use isn’t critical for extract
brewing process; shoot for 3 gallons or so. Give yourself at least a
couple inches from the top of your brew kettle.

  3.  Meanwhile, if using liquid malt extract, soak your canisters of malt
extract in a large bowl or pot of hot water. This will make it easier to
pour out the extract in the next step.

  4. When your brew kettle of water is hot (not boiling), turn off the
burner (for gas stoves) or remove the kettle from the heating element.

  5.  Slowly stir in your malt extract until completely dissolved, taking
care that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of your brew kettle. Your water is
now wort and you are brewing!

  6.  Heat your wort to a strong boil. Watch carefully to avoid a boil over!

  7. From the start of the boil, add hops depending on your extract
brewing recipe. (If you’re using hopped extract, you may not to do this)

  8. At the end of the boil, turn off the heat, give the wort a good stir,
and move your kettle to a nearby sink for an ice bath. Fill the sink with
cold water and replace as needed. The idea here is to cool your wort so
that you can add the beer yeast. Yeast is a living organism (and
responsible for creating alcohol!), so you don’t want to kill it by pitching it
into wort that is too hot.

 9.  When your wort is at about 90°F or so, pour the wort into a sanitized
fermenter. If using a carboy, you may want to siphon it.  It’s important
from here on that everything that touches your wort is thoroughly

  10. Top off your wort with water to make 5 gallons. Fermenting buckets
usually have lines on the side that show you your volume.

  11. Aerate the wort by stirring vigorously. This is to provide oxygen
for the yeast to feed on.

  12. Take a hydrometer reading,This will help you measure alcohol
content after your beer has fermented.

  13.  Add the beer yeast according to the packaging instructions.
Give it a good stir with your spoon.

  14.  Put the fermenter in a closet or other dark, temperature constant
room.  Close the lid with air-lock attached (if using a bucket) or close
with a rubber stopper and air-lock (if using a carboy).Fill your air-lock
about halfway with clean water and place it firmly in the drilled hole of the
rubber stopper.

Of course pre-packaged kits are like training wheels, they keep you on
track until you're ready to grow.. Take small steps first; try improvising
with the kit. Add additional extract and hops or fruits or whatever.. As
you learn, you’ll get more confident in changing and creating.


That's it for this month.  Hope to see you next time!

Good Brewing and Cheers!

Arny Lands
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