HOW TO BREW PERFECT BEER AT HOME
1. Prepare Brewer's LIQUOR by SPARGING, or open a tub of MALT EXTRACT and dilute to the correct SPECIFIC GRAVITY. In real terms, you have to obtain a special sugar called MALTOSE, dissolved in water at a concentration that will translate into a viable quantity of alcohol. Too little, and there is not enough food for the yeast, too much, and the yeast may die due to high alcohol levels.
2. Boil the liquor until you achieve PROTEIN BREAK. In the case of properly prepared malt extract, an hour will usually do, as your only concern will be hygiene, the factory will have done the protein break. Look at PHOTOS OF PROTEIN BREAK.
3. Add HOPS and any other flavouring you may think a good idea. Anything containing oils and fats is usually not a good idea. Simmer for ten to twenty minutes. Once you have practiced a bit, you will learn that different types of things can be added at different points of your process. For hygiene's sake, boil your raw beer (wort/wert) at least twenty minutes after adding anything.
4. Now you have to COOL THE WORT. Quickly. The quicker, the better, and you not only have to get the oxygen you boiled out, back in, but you have to do this ABSOLUTELY STERILE. Some brewers use medical oxygen released directly into the wort leaving the cooler. Theories and practices abound, and some controversy makes this an interesting subject of research. Want to build a CHEAP EFFECTIVE COOLER? Look for the correct link on this page.
5. Once you wort is cooled down, preferably to around twenty degrees, you can add your favourite YEAST. There are gazillions of species of yeast in nature, but only one that will make you that clear, golden liquid you are aiming for. Some others will make beer, usually murky, often with a taste you are not used to unless you grew up in Bavaria for example. Yeast gives by for the most flavour to beer, more than the HOPS and MALT combined. The handling and application of yeast is an entire field of science in its own right. To start with, buy some simple popular packaged dry yeast. As to HOW MUCH YEAST you will pitch, depends very much on the age and quality of said yeast, but experts seem to agree, it is very difficult to PITCH TOO MUCH. Under-pitching is a common mistake.
6. Now you have to FERMENT YOUR WORT. Seal the fermenter airtight. Nothing is to get in there for the next few days, or your beer may easily get INFECTED and develop STRANGE TASTE in your beer. You have to be absolutely sterile when working with yeast. The tun now has to be moved into a cool place. For LAGER, you may need a large fridge or cooling room. 4 Degrees is a good LAGER FERMENTATION TEMPERATURE, but you can still brew decent lager up to about 12 or 14 degrees. the FERMENTATION TEMPERATURE ALE likes, is about 14 to 18 degrees Celsius. Twenty-two has delivered good results, but cooler is better. You will need to release the high pressures during fermentation with an AIR TRAP for the fermenter. The simplest is a small pipe leading down into a bottle of water. This allows gasses to escape as bubbles, without allowing air back in to contaminate your beer. MAKE SURE THE BOTTLE IS LOWER THAN THE BEER SURFACE otherwise that water will get sucked into your beer when fermentation stops, and all pressures equalise.
7. Once your air trap stops bubbling, anything from three to five days, you have beer. Flat, but it is beer. Now you want to turn it into something that will impress your friends and amaze the rest. At GREENPETS we like to bottle our beer, but very many people prefer casking it for use in a draught machine. For bottling, it is advisable to do a SECONDARY FERMENT. You do this by adding a small amount of fermentable sugar to the raw beer as you bottle. The lazy way is to add a heaped teaspoon of fermentable sugar to every litre of raw beer. Another, slightly more laborious way, is to add ten percent new liquor to each bottle or cask before sealing. WARNING: if you add too much sugar your BOTTLES CAN EXPLODE with disastrous results. Leave your fermenting beer for another two weeks. LAGER TAKES LONGER to age, six weeks at least. LAGER is a corruption of a German word that means "STORE IT AWAY".
8. Eventually, you will open a bottle. Two tips here. Number one is that you must not expect clear beer at first. There will almost assuredly be a thick layer of sediment at the bottom of your bottle. Many people believe this is where the goodness hides, I like to DECANT BOTTLED BEER carefully. Never allow the beer to gurgle, which will stir up the sediment. Even opening the cap too fast will cause an explosion of gassiness that will stir up solid lumps of sediment. Pour slowly and with one movement. This takes some practice, as your beer, being hand brewed, will foam like nothing else, forcing you to break the pour. Use big glasses and mugs that allow a large head. Another solution is to rinse the glass first... with beer! Just a lick, swirl it around to coat the entire inside if the glass, throw it out, pour your beer. This works with all beers, operators of draught taps take a hint.
Of course, the above is very much abbreviated. This is enough to make beer with. To make REAL BEER just like you buy in the shops, do not buy a recipe book. What you need to do, is practice and improve your technique. Only once you can brew three successful and identical beers in a row, can you consider yourself qualified. to talk about recipes. Let's face it, friend, you do not even understand the effect of temperature on the taste your yeast imparts, and you want to play with subtle variations in flavour afforded by genuine American Pale Gold Chrystal Malt grown in only one valley under strict organic conditions and personal individual care of each barley stalk by a certified Cree Indian burger flipper's daddy. Spend your money on HYGIENE and COOLING, before you spend a red cent on imported fancies. The only shortcut to heroism for the beginner brewer, is to sit in on another brewer’s session. Take note of how everything gets scrubbed and wiped all the time. You may also see some worry when it comes time to cool the wort, always a stressful moment, always.
Some harsh chemicals are used in the cleaning, and as such brewing is an adult occupation.