How to Start Brewing your own Beer

Brewing Products for Every Brewermaster

Beginner brewing kit
Castle Rock Homebrew has many products for the beginner to the most advanced brewmaster. Beginner equipment and ingredient kits are also available to help you start brewing your own beer. A traditional brewery soaks malted barley hot water to convert starches to sugars. The sugars are extracted in liquid called wort. Wort is boiled and hops are added for bitterness to balance the sweetness and for hop aroma and flavor. Then the solution is cooled and yeast is added to this wort to begin fermentation. The yeast ferments the sugars and produces CO2 and alcohol. Most of the CO2 is released from the solution and we now call it beer. When the main fermentation is complete, then the beer is bottled with a little bit of added sugar. The yeast is still present and living in the beer which will ferment the added sugar and again produce CO2. The CO2 will remain in the capped bottle to provide a carbonated beer 2 weeks later. Many home brewers replace a large portion of the malted barley with malt extract. This allows a home brewer to easily make great beer on their kitchen stove in much less time and money. Most beginners get started for less than $200 in equipment and ingredients to make their first 5 gallons, or 2 cases, of beer

Preparation

Brewing your own beer can be broken down into three phases. Preparation, brewing, and bottling or keging. During the preparation phase cleanliness is the key. Cleanliness can be broken down into Clean and Sanitized. Clean refers to removing all of the soils. Sanitize refers to killing the microorganisms that can infect and ruin your beer. Sanitizing requires it first be cleaned. Sanitize everything that touches your wort and beer as soon as you stop the boil until it pours in your glass. Heat and food grade sanitizing chemicals are the most effective methods of ensuring success.

Brewing

Brewing can be broken down into two major methods, Extract and All Grain. All Grain is the traditional method and usually described as advanced and Extract is usually considered appropriate for beginners as it can be done for less money and on a kitchen stove. However, many experienced brewers make excellent extract brews. In All Grain brewing, wort is produced exclusively from malted barley, wheat and other grains. An extract brewer often steeps roasted malts, crystal and other grains in water like tea to extract flavors, but produces the bulk of the fermentable wort by rehydrating liquid malt extract in a pot of water. Wort is boiled for 60-90 minutes to sanitize and allow for hop additions. The longer hops are boiled the more bitterness they add. All beer styles require some bitterness to offset the malt sweetness. Hops added early in the boil are called bittering additional and hops added toward the end or even after the boil add flavor and aroma. Finally you will chill the wort to a proper yeast pitching temperature, add yeast and ferment the wort in your fermenter. There are two types of brewer’s yeast. Ale Yeast ferments around room temperature from 60-72°F, while lager yeast ferments at precisely held cold temperatures around 45-55°F. Ales are the most common brewed at home due to the temperature and other requirements of lagers.

Bottling or Keging

The third phase is bottling. Sanitize your bottles and transfer the brew. Then you will bottle your beer with a measured amount of corn sugar and store these bottles for one to two weeks at room temperature. Then once you are ready to drink, pour all but a quarter of an inch left in the bottle to avoid the yeast that will accumulate at the bottom of the bottle. Alternatively, many homebrewers simply transfer their finished beer into a 5 gallon soda keg and carbonate with pressure from a CO2 system. This method can be served in as little as a day later. Finally Enjoy your own brew.

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