Beginner's Brewing Guide
So are you ready to brew your
first batch of beer? Lee's Brewery recommends starting with a
quality equipment kit and a couple of kit beer recipes. Your
local home brew shop is the best source for these. To start with,
here's a list of equipment you'll need:
|1-6½ gallon plastic fermenter
with lid & airlock
||1-Brew pot, at least 3
||Enough recyclable beer bottles to hold 5 gallons
|1-6½ gallon plastic bottling bucket w/spigot
||1-plastic racking cane
||1-3 feet length of siphon tubing
||large stirring spoon
Rather than formulating your own or following someone else's
recipe, Lee's Brewery recommends that you use all malt extract
recipe kits for your first couple of batches. Again, your local
home brew shop can assist you in choosing a simple kit.
The Brewing Process
- The first step in the brewing process is to sanitize everything that
the beer will come in contact with. Completely sanitize
the plastic fermenter, lid, airlock, and thermometer. You
need not sanitize the brew kettle itself, but assure it
is free of grit and grime. You can use B-Brite sanitizer,
an iodine solution or a bleach solution to accomplish
this. Note: Lee's brewery recommends using an iodine
solution, as it does not require rinsing.
- Add three gallons of cold water to the plastic fermenter.
If your water source is heavily chlorinated, you should
pre-boil this water the night before to drive out the
- Add two and half gallons of water to the brew kettle and
heat to boiling.
- To the boiling water, add malt extract and bittering
hops. This liquid is now beer wort! You should boil your
wort at a hearty rate for approximately 60 minutes. Note:
You will need to keep a close watch on the kettle during
the boil, it will have a tendency to boil over. (A boil
over is an awful mess to clean up!) Stir the wort
occasionally and reduce heat if needed.
- 10 minutes before the end of the boil add the aroma hops
to the kettle.
- After the boil, add the contents of the kettle into the
plastic fermenter. Stir vigorously in order to oxygenate
the wort. (This will help the yeast grow faster!)
- Using the thermometer, (A glass floating model is best)
take a temperature reading of the wort.
- When the wort is 75°F or below, add a sample of the wort
(follow sanitary practices) to the hydrometer test jar
and take a reading. This reading is your beer's original gravity. Refer to
the Hydrometer "How
To" page for detailed instructions on correctly
reading the hydrometer and adjusting the reading for
- Add the yeast to the fermenter and stir vigorously.
- Securely place lid on fermenter, fill airlock with vodka
and place in a cold dark place for fermentation.
In the next day or two you will see
bubbling activity in the fermenter's airlock. This means
that the yeast are doing their job, eating sugars and
producing alcohol and carbon dioxide. Fermentation will
take approximately 1 week.
- After the bubbling activity in the
fermenter's airlock has subsided for a few days, it's
time to bottle your beer.
- Sanitize your bottling bucket, racking
cane, siphon tubing, bottle filler, and bottles using
B-Brite, bleach or iodine solution.
- Sterilize the bottle caps by boiling them
- Add a sample of the beer (follow
sanitary practices) to the hydrometer test
jar and take a reading. This reading is your beer's final gravity. Correct reading for temperature as needed.
- With the original and final gravity
measurements use the Beer Calculator to
calculate your beer's percent alcohol and calories per
pint. As a beginner you need not worry about the other
values displayed on the calculator.
- Boil 1 pint of water, add to it either ¾
cup priming (corn) sugar or 1¼ cup light dry malt
extract. Boil for 5 minutes and pour the priming solution
into the bottling bucket. This solution will give the
yeast some extra food to eat while they carbonate your
beer in the bottle!
- Let the priming solution cool for several
minutes before siphoning your beer from the primary
fermenter to the bottling bucket.
- To siphon, place the fermenter on a table
and position the bottling bucket underneath.
- Attach siphon tubing to racking cane and
fill with water.
- With thumb over end of siphon tubing,
place racking cane into the primary fermenter and lower
end of tubing into the bottling bucket.
- When you release your thumb from the
tubing end, the siphon should begin. If not, you'll have
to fill the tubing with water and try again.
- Monitor the siphon being careful not to
transfer sediment for the primary fermenter to the
- When the siphon is complete, remove the
siphon tubing from the racking cane and attach the tubing
to the bottle filler.
- Attach the other end of the tubing to the
bottling buckets spigot and begin filling bottles. Leave
approximately 1 inch of head space in the neck of each
- Firmly cap each bottle using the bottle
- Age the beer in a cool dark place for 4
weeks before sampling.
- Enjoy the fruits of you labor! (Beer
should be consumed within 6 months - usually not a
problem for home brewers!)
For books on beer and brewing visit The Beer Book Store:
December 21, 1997 22:18:52
Copyright © 1996 by [Lee's Brewery].
All trademarks or product names mentioned herein are the property
of their respective owners.