*Disclaimer: This post is intended for people of legal drinking age, 21 and older. Drink responsibly.*
Welcome back for another day of brewing with Household 7!
Today, we’re going to go over the basic brew process for extract recipes using my honey wheat recipe.
What you’ll need:
- 6lbs of Wheat DME (Dry Malt Extract)
- 3tbsp of Cocoa Powder
- ½ tsp of cinnamon
- Nutmeg (just a dash, very little)
- Wyeast 1010 American Wheat Yeast (Smack Pack)
- 2 to 2.5lbs of honey (I used 2.5lbs)
- 1oz of Cascade Hops (Pellets)
The first step will be to get all of your ingredients listed above together. Also gather up your equipment. You will need your brew kettle, stirring spoon, primary fermenter with lid and airlock, thermometer, and hydrometer.
Make your sanitizer solution in your primary fermenter. I like to do 4 gallons of water in there. You will mix 1tbsp of the one-step per gallon. Drop all your items (except the brew kettle) into the fermenting bucket and attach the lid. You don’t need to sanitize the brewpot because the boiling water will do that for you. Now plug the hole in the lid with your thumb and shake it really well being sure to get all interior surfaces covered. Now that everything is sitting in the sanitizer, we can move on.
Grab your yeast out of the fridge and follow the instructions….i.e: give it a good hard smack to get those puppies started. There is a nutrient pack inside and it will give your yeasties something to eat to get nice and healthy before going to town on your wort. Set this aside for now in a place away from your heat source.
Measure about 2.5 gallons of water into your brewpot. 3 gallons is better if you have a bigger brewpot, but I started with a small one. (Don’t worry about exacts, we will finish with about 5.5 gallons either way)
Now, bring that sucker to a boil!
With your water boiling you will introduce your 6lbs of Wheat DME and ½ ounce of the hops into the brewpot. This is important! Move the brewpot to a burner that is not turned on and pour the DME in while stirring. This will reduce the risk of a boilover (you don’t want it….it creates a HUGE, SITCKY mess) and will prevent the DME from sticking. Also, it will reduce the amount of steam that clumps the DME before it makes it to the brewpot. If you have a small brewpot like I did and you are already close to the top, drop a drop or two of fermcap into the brewpot. That stops boilovers too. Now you can return the brewpot to the heat source and continue to stir while adding the ½ ounce of cascade hops.
Hops added earlier in the boil contribute flavor and hops added later add aroma.
Boil for 15 minutes and add the other ½ ounce of hops. Then boil for 15 more minutes.
Now that we’re done boiling, turn the burner off and move the brewpot to another burner that was not turned on. (Flameout is the word homebrewers use to describe turning the heat off/ the end of the boil) You can now add your cocoa powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg into your brewpot.
At some point during the boil, you will want to get rid of the sanitizer solution in the fermenter. Usually, I just take the items inside and place them on a paper towel, then dump the save some of the sanitizer in a bowl and dump the rest down the drain.
Here is where your process may differ from mine:
You cannot put the yeast into the wort before the wort cools down below 80F. There is a piece of equipment called a wort chiller that you can use. I do not own one, but wish I did. It cools down the wort MUCH quicker that what I do without one. If you happen to get one (and I recommend it), there are instructions available on how to properly use it.
Here is what I do without one:
Pour about 1.5 gallons of COLD COLD water into your fermenting bucket. Don’t add ice, it can cause sanitation problems. Now, add your hot wort. Next, pour all your honey in. There should be marks on the side of your bucket showing how much liquid is inside. Add enough COLD water to bring it up to about 5.5 gallons.
Now, that finished wort in there will still be pretty hot, so I insert the airlock into the lid and attach the lid. You will need to add some water into the airlock for it to keep air out. We do this so that the wort doesn’t get contaminated while we cool it. Carry that bad boy into the bathroom, set it down in the tub and turn on the coldest water you can. Plug that tub up and let it fill. Sit back and chill out for a while, it will take a bit to cool. Grab a beer and wait. You may have to change the water out a few times. It will help cool the wort more quickly. Check on it every so often and when the temperature is below 80F, take the fermenter back into the kitchen.
Before you “pitch” the yeast, take a hydrometer reading and record the specific gravity/density as an initial reading.
Use the sanitizer you set aside earlier to sanitize a pair of scissors and cut the top of the yeast package open. Simply dump the yeast into the wort and drop in a few drops of fermcap. Next, seal the lid with the airlock back onto the fermenter. If you want, add a drop of food coloring into the airlock so you can see the bubbles more easily later.
Now we play the waiting game. Stick it in a darkish place that stays at a temperature of about 70F. It will remain in the fermenter for about 9 days. Most beers are done with their “primary ferment” after about a week, but this beer is a little stronger and will come out to about 8.5-9%ABV, so it needs a little extra time.
That’s it for today! Tomorrow, we will go over what is called racking and cover bottling. I will explain what primary and secondary ferments are as well as the 1:2:3 rule. Stay tuned, because later this week, we are going to brew a nut brown (doesn’t actually contain nuts) of my own making. I will also be answering questions on the final day. So now, you can go get brewing. Move out!!!
Day 1: Equipment & Ingredients