Home Brew Instructions

Brewing your own beer at home is not just a matter of saving money, but a hobby which will allow you to brew beer styles to YOUR taste and with quality that even some micro-breweries can’t compete with…

If you think about it… a micro-brewery has to maintain a profit margin and may therefore follow practices, which may take a hit on brewing quality, where as home brewers can spend an extra dollar or two and improve the quality of their beers significantly…

So… if you want to learn how to brew beer and need instructions, you’ve come to the right site…

To get started, you should get to know what the actual process of brewing is really like and figure out where you stand… are you an extract brewer, a kit brewer, or an all-grain brewer?

This video below explains the difference…

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Now, that you know what brewing entails, here are some simple instructions you can follow to brew your own beer…

Step 1. Mash Your Grains (extract brewers skip this step)
Mashing grains simply means to convert starches from barley into sugar… that is done by soaking malted barley at a temperature of 150 °F +/- 10 °F for at least half an hour…

That is about as simple as it gets… and notice that you have a total of 20 °F of play room, so messing up a batch of beer is kind of hard…

The most common mashing temperature is 154 °F, and the most common time to leave grains soaking a this temperature is one hour…

What you have at this point is water with a bunch of sugar from the barley grains… the next step is to boil…

Step 1. For Extract Brewers
If you are an extract brewer, then you don’t need to mash… what you do is buy dry malt extract or liquid malt extract which is the sugar extracted from barley… you add that to your water and you get the same thing, water with a bunch of sugar from barley grains…

Step 2. Boil Your Sugar Water…
Boiling is done for many reasons… but to keep things simple I’ll give you just the most important ones…. primarily it is done to add hops and extract bitterness from the hops… hops can only become bitter after being boiled for at least 45 minutes… therefore the most common standard time for boiling is 60 minutes to maximize the bitterness extracted from hops…

The second reason to boil is to break apart proteins that contribute to haze in beer although this can’t be overdone, because proteins are also an important part of foam when serving your beer… 60 minutes boils is standard with a few exceptions to boil longer…

Hops are added to the beginning of the boil to get bitterness out of them… but you can also add hops towards the end of the boil to add hop flavor and hop aroma without extra bitterness…

There are many other hopping methods, but this is the most common and will get you through your first few batches….

Step 1. For Kit Brewers
Kit brewers use liquid malt extract which has already been hopped and boiled… therefore kit brewing is the simplest, easiest and fastest brewing method, which only requires the brewer to mix the extract kit with water and boil for 10 to 15 minutes to mix and pasteurize and tadda… they get the same product, boiled water with sugar from barley and hop bitterness, aroma and flavor…

Step 3. Cool down the hopped sugar water…
Whether brewing all grain, extract or kit, at this point everyone is working with the same stuff… hopped barley-based sugar water…

Since we boiled this solution, it is going to be upwards of 200 °F and we want to cool that down to 70 °F so that we can add our yeast…

Yeast are living creatures and they die at high temperatures…. the hopped sugar water is going to be their home and we must therefore keep their home at a livable temperature… different yeast strains like different temperatures, so to make it simple I’ll break it down into two major groups, ale and lager yeast strains…

Ale yeast strains like temperatures of 60 to 72 °F while lager yeast strains like temperatures of 45 to 55 °F… so make sure you know what you are brewing and choose your yeast strains correctly and most importantly… maintain the temperature of your hopped sugar water accordingly…

Step 4. Ferment…
Once you cool down your hopped sugar water and add your yeast, the yeast will go to work and convert the sugar in the water into alcohol and a bunch of other stuff… we call this fermentation… and we love it!

… the trick here is good temperature control during fermentation… and patience to allow the yeast to produce alcohol and clean up any other by-products to get a nice clean beer without any off flavors… this is the time when you see your airlock bubble and what not, and if it’s not bubbling, then I recommend you join my newsletter and checkout our training program… you may be doing something wrong…

Step 5. Carbonate
Once fermentation is complete you carbonate your beer… and this is done by adding more sugar to our beer right before we bottle…

This extra sugar will restart fermentation on a much lower scale… one of the by-products of fermentation just happens to be CO2 and we are just trying to take advantage of that natural process to carbonate our beer, not to produce more alcohol…

When you bottle, CO2 will begin to develop slowly over the next couple of weeks… you must however give CO2 enough time to dissolve back into the beer due to the increasing pressure…

Too much pressure can make a bottle explode so don’t add much more than 4.5 oz of corn sugar at bottling (5 gallon batches)…

Last Step… you Drink!

… and if you want to learn more advanced tips, then I suggest you join my newsletter below where I talk about up to date brewing practices and share tips and techniques that I am currently using… it’s free!… so join below…

4 Comments

  • jeff

    Reply Reply December 2, 2011

    Jorge, You you tell me what happened? I brewed an extract kit with specialty grains. I kit directions called for 2.5 gal steep at 150 to 165. I used 6gals . But when all said and done my og was 1.15 not 1.079. Could this be the 6gals getting more sugars out og the grains? I have done the full boils with extracts before and never had this happen. Thanks Jorge I enjoy your site.

    jeff

  • Jorge

    Reply Reply December 3, 2011

    Jeff – I highly doubt your OG was 1.15, that would require almost 22 lbs of DME! I would need to know your full recipe to figure this out, but for now I’d just say it’s a misreading…

    Also, steep your grains with less water… otherwise the pH will rise and you could end up extracting polyphenols (tannins), which can give your beers astringency…

  • Chotiwat

    Reply Reply September 20, 2012

    Thanks for sharing !!! I really love this !!

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