Brewing Process Part 2

This is part two of the beer brewing process. After this article you’ll know how to make beer using all the proper beer brewing equipment.

Once the wort is cooled, pour it into the sanitized fermenter so that it splashes and moves vigorously. This splashing aerates the wort to provide an optimum environment for yeast growth. The more air you can get into the wort, the better. You should also stir and splash it with a sanitized spoon for a few minutes. Some brewers use an aquarium pump with an airstone attached to thin plastic tubing to aerate their wort. Run the pump for about 5 minutes. And be sure the tubing and airstone are thoroughly sanitized. Keep the wort loosely covered during aeration with a pump.

Top up the fermenter with water (you can use filtered water or spring water) to make 5 gallons. Add the re-hydrated yeast and put the lid on securely. Half fill the airlock with vodka and put the top on the airlock. Push the airlock into the o-ring on the lid. Ferment the beer at the recommended temperature specified by your kit and remember that abnormally high fermentation temperatures will cause off flavors in your beer. For a great and highly detailed step-by-step description of the brewing process, see the following website:

Now the hard part: waiting! After about 24 to 36 hours, you should see bubbling in the airlock. This means the beer is actively fermenting. At first, the bubbling will be rapid and vigorous, but as the sugars in the wort are converted to alcohol, bubbling will subside. Be sure to leave your wort in the fermenter for a full 2 weeks to be sure it ferments fully, even if you don’t see activity in the airlock.

After 2 weeks, you can bottle the beer. First, mix 3/4 cup of corn sugar with 2 cups of water in a small pan and bring to a boil. Boil for a couple of minutes, then cover and let cool.

Next, get your bottles and caps ready. If you’re using used bottles, wash and rinse them thoroughly inside and out. Be sure to use your bottle brush liberally inside the bottles, even if they’re new. Make up a fresh batch of sanitizer in a large sink or tub. Fill a small container with sanitizer as well. Submerge the bottles in the sanitizer, being sure that each bottle is filled with sanitizer. Put your caps in the small container of sanitizer. Leave bottles and caps in the solution for at least 5 minutes. Thoroughly rinse the bottles and caps with clean water.

While the bottles are soaking, sanitize your bottling bucket and a length of plastic tubing to transfer (or “rack”) the beer from the fermenter into the bottling bucket. Be sure to remove and disassemble the spigot when cleaning and sanitizing. Put your fermenter on a table or counter. Position your bottling bucket on the floor near the table or counter. Attach one end of the sanitized tubing to the spigot on the fermenter, making sure the spigot is in the closed position. Attach the other end of the tubing to the spigot on the bottling bucket, making sure the spigot is in the closed position. Open both spigots and transfer the beer to the bottling bucket. Loosely place the lid on the bottling bucket to protect the beer.

When the transfer is complete, close the spigot on the fermenter and remove the tubing. Move the filled bottling bucket to the table or counter. Attach the bottle filling tool to the free end of the tubing and fill your bottles by inserting the tool into the bottle and pressing it gently against the bottom to release beer into the bottle. Loosely set a cap on the bottle to protect the beer. Once all the bottles are filled, use the cap crimping tool to secure the caps on the bottles. Store the beer at room temperature. It will take 1 – 2 weeks for the beer to carbonate.

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