Dry malt extract or liquid malt extract is mixed with water to create the same ‘sugar water’ you get when you brew all-grain…

This means that as an extract brewer you save about 2 to 3 hours worth of work and get right into boiling… except for partial mashes…

So to brew beer using extract follow these steps…

Step 1. Steep specialty grains (Optional)
Steeping specialty grains or partial mashing is how extract brewers can brew virtually every style you can brew with all grain…

Specialty grains is nothing more than malted barley which has been stewed to convert starches into sugars and caramelized those sugars to give you a whole range of flavors… so your only job here is to extract the sugars from those grains by steeping in hot water (154 °F) for 15 to 25 minutes at a ratio of less than one gallon of water per pound of malt…

Once this is done, you can move on to the next step…

Step 2. Boil your DME/LME

Take the “sugar water” from your specialty grains and top it off with water… ideally you want to boil 6 to 6.5 gallons of water for a 5 gallon batch, but most home brewers get 5 gallon pots and boil only 3 to 4 gallons and then top off to make 5 gallons…

When boiling with less water, the sugar is concentrated and can caramelize easier… but you can still brew good beers…

Once your water comes to a boil, add your Dry or Liquid Malt Extract… you may have to remove the water from the heat to avoid the mixture to rise due to the heat… boilovers is what they call them…

You stir the DME and once you have everything boiling, you begin to countdown 60 minutes…

At the beginning of the boil you will add any hops you are using to bitter the beer… the longer the hops boil, the more bitter it becomes…

If you just want aroma, you can add hops towards the end of the boil when there is less than 15 minutes left to boil… you can even add hops after the boil for more aroma…

Step 3. Pitch Your Yeast

Pitch means to pour your yeast into the mix, but this should only be done once the mixture is cooled down to 70 °F…

Also, before you pitch your yeast, you have to oxygenate the mixture… this can be done by aerating the wort using the splash method… that means you pour the mixture back and forth from one container to another to expose it to oxygen… you will see foam form as you splash it…

Step 4. Ferment

Once you’ve poured your yeast in, you ferment the beer. Most brewers leave the beer sitting without worrying about temperature, but this is a big mistake… keeping the temperature steady will make the biggest difference in the quality of your beers…

Next to temperature, time left fermenting is the next biggest mistake new brewers make…

Most want to bottle immediately after fermentation, but beer needs to condition after fermentation and leaving the beer in the fermentor for a few days will do this… I normally leave my beers about 3 weeks in the fermentor as opposed to the typical 10 to 14 days…

Step 5. Prime and Bottle

Once the beer is done fermenting you have to prime your beer and bottle it… priming means you add sugar to it (about 4.5 ounces) just before bottling… that creates a mini-fermentation in the bottle and one byproduct of fermentation is carbon dioxide… that’s how beers are carbonated…

It takes about 2 to 3 weeks for this to happen at which point you Drink THE BEER!!


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