To make sure your home brew doesn't have any off flavours make sure you sterilize your equipment well. Anything that may come in contact with your brew has to be sterilized!
Take the paper wraper off your tin of brew mix. Place tin in hot water for 10 to 20 minutes. This will soften your mix and make it easier to pour into your brewing bucket. While your waiting for your tin of brew mix to soften boil the kettle. (Make sure it is full!)
After your tin of brew mix has had a chance to soften pour it into your brewing bucket. Pour the boiled water from the kettle in the bucket with your mix. Use some of the water to wash out the tin to make sure you have all of the brew mix. While the water is still hot mix your brew up in the bottom of the bucket. Keep mixing until there is no more seperation in your brew. Pour in 1 kg of corn sugar or glucose and continue to mix untill it is totally disolved.
Fill your bucket (up to the 6 gallons / 23 liters mark) with cold water. This should bring your brew to the right temperature range. Anywhere between 71 - 86 degrees (22 - 30 degrees C) is fine. However most beers brew best between 23 - 25 degrees C. Get your Specific Gravity (SG). As soon as your brew is at the right temperature sprinkle your yeast. I usually sprinkle my yeast and let it fall through the brew but most people stur it in for about 30 seconds. It really doesn't matter which you do. The main thing is that the brew and the yeast come in contact with each other.
Note - If you choose to stur the yeast in make sure you stur gently. If you stur too vigerously you may smother the yeast and your brew will not ferment out!
Now that that's done seal your primary fermenter with the lid and an air lock. Make sure to fill the air lock half way with boiled water.
Fermentation should stop in 3 - 4 days. If the temperature is below 25 degrees C fermentation may take an extra day or two. Be patient.
During fermentation your brew will develop a thick layer of froth on the surface. As the fermentation subsides the froth will go down. Once the froth discipates the activity in the airlock should slow down. The SG should now be 1005 or below. By now there is usually 2 bubbles per minute or less in the air lock.
Note - Make sure your SG is 1005 or less before you continue on the the next step.
If the SG is not 1005 or below, or there was no activity in your brew, you may have used a bad yeast. For instructions go HERE
Now that your brew has fermented out it is now time to transfer it into your secondary fermenter (carboy).
Syphon your brew from your bucket to your carboy but be careful of two things.
- Make sure not to let your brew splash in your carboy. Either have a syphoning hose long enough that reaches to the very bottom of your carboy or have your brew syphon down the side of the carboy, avoiding any splashing. At this point your brew is most suseptable to spoilage. If it splashes you may accidently oxygenate it and it will spoil.
- Be careful to leave as much sediment in the bottom of your bucket as possible.
Put in your clarifier and wait for your beer to clear.
Clarifying can take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. It depends on the temperature and the brew. Some brews take longer than others.
Note - When your beer is fermenting, the higher the temperature the quicker it will ferment. The lower the temperature the slower it will ferment.
When your beer is clearing, the lower the temperature the quicker it will clear. The higher the temperature the slower it will clear.
Once your beer is clear it is ready to bottle.
Clean and sterilize enough bottles for your brew (about 6 dozen). Steralize your brewing bucket, paddle and syphoning hose.
Note - Make sure you have enough crown caps and a capper. You would be surprised to know how many home brewers get to this point and realize that they don't have a capper or don't have enough caps.
Syphon your brew into your bucket leaving as much sediment as possible in the carboy. Add one cup and a quarter of priming sugar to your brew and stur. Stur until completely disolved. Be careful not to splash.
Syphon beer into bottles and cap. As you cap each bottle give it a quick shake to make sure the cap isn't leaking.
Now store your beer in a warm place for 5 - 7 days. This will give them a chance to ferment. Then store them at room temperature for another 10 days to mature. Your beer will continue to mature for up to 3 months.
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Site last updated 10/19/01