Fermentation Riot All Grain Beer Brewing

Basic Brewing Steps

Here are the basic steps for brewing:

1.) Acquire your sugar source. Often if you are just starting to brew for the first time the best way to learn is to use an extract kit. A liquid or dry malt extract allows you to skip the all grain method as the malt sugars you are using will already be in your kit. Don't worry about the quality of the extracts relative to all grain sugars. They are identical to the sugars that you would get from all grain and some brewpubs make beer using only extract as it is convenient for them too!

2.) Boil water and add sugars, hops, spices. During the brewing sugars and hops are added. The amount and time that the hops are added dictate the overall biterness of the beer. Late hop additions are to give the beer more aroma characteristics. Spices can also be added to give the beer a unique taste.

3.) Cool the Wort. This point is severly underated but is something that you will need to consider. Cooling the brewed wort (dissolved malt sugars) requires some though as this step needs to be done in a quick timeframe to prevent contamination. During this step wort chillers are worth their money and will pay for themselves with just one batch.

4.) Add Cooled Wort to fermentor. Next the wort should be added to a sanitized fermentor. It is important that this wort be less than the temperature that it will be fermenting otherwise the yeast can be shocked resulting a poor batch of beer.

5.) Fermentation. Here is where the yeast do the work to turn the sugars you made into beer. It is a highly sensitive process at this point. How much yeast is added to the fermentor, temperature, oxygen content, and yeast viability are all critical factors that will affect the final taste of your beer. This can not be overlooked. Secondary fermentations may also be performed.

6.) Transferring, Bottling, Kegging. At this step the beer can be bottled where priming sugar is added to rouse the yeast which then carbonate the beer in bottles by releasing carbon dioxide. Kegging is the other option where beer is added to a cornelius keg (5 gallon) and carbon dioxide is fed to the tank at a specified pressure to control the carbonation levels.

7.) Drink Time. If you were patient and did everything right you will have beer to drink in a minimum of 3 weeks depending on the beer style. Some stronger beers can take 6 months to age properly but for the majority of recipes, they will be in their prime at 3-5 weeks (fresh is best).


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