Here is the basic rundown for an extract + steeped grain recipe. Come in to Barley’s for a detailed instruction guide. A common batch of beer is 23 Liters (that’s about 65 standard sized bottles) and will usually cost about $35 to $50 (That’s only ~$0.60/bottle on average!)
- Purchase your equipment. At Barley’s, you’ll find a starter kit with everything you need to get brewing.
- Choose a recipe that sounds good. We’ll help you gather the ingredients. You’ll need malt extract, some specialty grains, hops and yeast. You might need some other ingredients, depending on what the recipe calls for. Coriander or bitter orange peel, for example, are quite common in certain beer styles. (Yes, you can find those at Barley’s too!)
- Once you’re at home with everything you need, get a large stockpot (19 L stainless steel stock pots are available at Barley’s), fill it about halfway full with water and turn on the heat. We’ll call this your brewpot from now on.
- In a separate pot, you can steep your grains in hot water. This will make a nice grain tea that you can add to your brewpot
- Add malt extract to your brewpot, stir it up and boil. Congratulations! You have wort!
- Now it’s time to add your bittering hops. They’ll be in there the entire time it boils.
- Depending on your recipe, you might need to add hops throughout the boil. The longer the hops are in the boil, the more bitterness you extract from them but you’ll also boil off much of the hop aromas and flavours. Some recipes require that you add hops late in the boil for flavour and at the end for aroma. The wort will usually need to boil for 60 minutes.
- After the boil, you’ll need to cool the wort before transferring it to a sanitized primary fermenter.
- Add yeast, seal, wait for five days to a week. Inside the fermenter, there will be a yeast party going on. They bring the alcohol.
- Once that yeast party has slowed down, transfer the beer (BEER!) to a secondary fermenter using your sanitary skills and let it settle/condition for about 2 weeks. This is an important step as it allows the yeast to clean up after itself. Undesirable flavours that the yeast produces initially actually get reabsorbed by the yeast before it settles out. When in doubt, give it time.
- Ready to bottle. Hope you’ve been saving them! Keep it sanitary. You’ll be adding dextrose or some other bottling sugar during this stage to give that yeast a little extra food. This will allow it to naturally carbonate your beer.
- After 2 weeks of sitting in the bottle that beer is fizzy and ready to drink. After a few more weeks go by, that beer gets even better. It’s really something you have to taste for yourself!
So if you’ve been keeping track, only about 5 weeks have passed since you got your supplies at Barley’s to the point that you’re drinking your own homebrew. And with 23 Liters of it, you might even be able to share some with your friends. Warning: Friends might begin to worship your new brewing powers.