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How to brew using a basic kit

Beer contains four main ingredients water, malt, hops and yeast.

The malt is in liquid form with the hop flavour already added. If you prefer beer that has a very pronounced hop flavour and aroma you should ask for some finishing hops when you buy your beer kit.

Following the instructions with your beer kit you will add the water to the hopped malt. The mixture is called wort (pronounced ‘wert’) Sometimes the instructions will say to add sugar to this mixture. You will get a much better beer if you add a pack of beer kit enhancer instead.

Then you will add the yeast (in a small packet) which is a strain specially selected for the beer you are going to brew. The wort must be at the right temperature for your yeast.

 

Yeast is a living organism. Each packet of yeast contains billions of yeast cells in suspended animation. When you add these to the wort they will wake up and quickly multiply to even greater numbers.

They feed on the sugars and other nutrients contained in your wort and as a consequence produce the alcohol and other substances which change the wort into beer – (Three cheers for yeast!)

 

The wort would also be the ideal place for wild yeast or bacteria to live and since these are everywhere around us we must take some precautions to make sure only our yeast gets into the wort or the beer.  If bacteria or wild yeast get into the beer first they will turn it into vinegar! Everything that touches your wort or beer must be sterilised. Follow the instructions on the tub of steriliser in your kit.

The instructions that follow are designed to give the yeast the best chance to give you a quality beer that you will be delighted to drink and proud to share with your friends.

 

Equipment needed:  (Click to see the Brewmonkey Starter Equipment kit)

  • Brewing bucket - (minimum 25 litres)

  • Sterilising powder or solution

  • Brewing thermometer

  • Syphon

  • Beer paddle

  • Hydrometer

 

Instructions

  1. Clean and sterilise all equipment.  (Follow instructions on tub of sterilising powder)

  2. Remove the label from the can and read the instructions on the back. This will tell you the amount of sugar needed. We strongly advise that you use Beer Kit Enhancer instead of sugar. This will give a beer with better flavour and body and help get your fermentation off to a faster start. (Kits in boxes have all the ingredients included in the box and sometimes have flexible bags rather than cans) Stand any cans in hot water for 5 minutes to soften the contents.

  3. Boil 6 pints of water

  4. Empty the can into the sterilised fermenter. Then add the bag of Beer Kit Enhancer. Fill the empty can with water from the kettle, stir with sterilised spoon and empty this into the fermenter (use a cloth to protect your hands). This will wash out any remaining concentrated wort from the can. Pour the remaining hot water into the fermenter.

  5. Add cold water to bring the volume up to 40 pints (23 litres).

  6. Check the temperature with a sterilised thermometer. It needs to be at 22oC or below before the yeast should be added. If it is too warm cool it down as fast as possible but keep the lid on to keep bacteria out.

  7. Vigorously swirl the wort around in the fermenter for about 5 minutes to allow it to absorb oxygen. The yeast will need this at the beginning to multiply.

  8. Add the contents of the yeast sachet to the wort. Fit the lid and the airlock (half fill the airlock with water).

  9. TEMPERATURE CONTROL – IMPORTANT

How you control the temperature will have a big effect on the quality of your beer. Aim to keep your beer at around 18oC to 20oC (65oF to 70oF) while it is fermenting. Keep the temperature as constant as you can. Sudden changes in temperature cause the yeast to produce off flavours or become dormant. Too low a temperature can slow down or stop the fermentation while too being too warm causes bad flavours and can also make the yeast become dormant.

A good tip is to insulate your fermenter with an old duvet or blanket or put it in a large cardboard box.

 

After a week use a sterilised siphon to fill the trial jar and allow the hydrometer to float freely in it.

If the hydrometer reading is 0.014o or below then the beer is ready to bottle or cask. Otherwise replace the cover and test again a day or two later.

 

Bottling: Make sure your bottles are sterilised. Put half a teaspoonful of sugar (no more) in each bottle before filling with beer almost to the top but leave a little space for expansion. Even better use a bottling bucket. Fit the caps and place the bottles in a warm place for 2 days then in a cooler place for at least 2 weeks before sampling. Being left for longer will improve the taste of your beer. Keep the bottles upright to allow the yeast to settle to the bottom of the bottle and pour carefully to avoid disturbing the sediment.

 

BREWMONKEY HOMEBREW   27 HIGH STREET  CRADLEY HEATH  WEST MIDLANDS  B64 5HG         

Tel: 01384 620238  Email: kball@brewmonkey.co.uk  Online shop: www.brewmonkey.co.uk

 

COPYRIGHT: BREWMONKEY HOMEBREW 2016

 

THESE INSTRUCTIONS ARE INTENDED FOR BASIC KITS INCLUDING:

YOUNGS HARVEST BITTER

YOUNGS HARVEST LAGER

YOUNGS HARVEST PILSNER LAGER

YOUNGS HARVEST MILD

YOUNGS HARVEST STOUT

YOUNGS HARVEST BARLEY WINE

 

BETTER BREW EXPORT LAGER

BETTER BREW CZECH PILSNER

BETTER BREW IPA

BETTER BREW YORKSHIRE BITTER

BETTER BREW MIDLAND MILD

BETTER BREW NORTHERN BROWN ALE

BETTER BREW IRISH STOUT

 

BREWMAKER VICTORIAN BITTER

BREWMAKER LAGER

BREWMAKER PILSNER LAGER

BREWMAKER EXPORT BITTER

 

COOPERS LAGER

COOPERS MEXICAN CERVESA

COOPERS STOUT

COOPERS REAL ALE

THOMAS COOPERS IPA

COOPERS WHEAT BEER