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Introduction to Beginner Beer Brewing Great Basin Community Food Coop July 27, 2014 Chip McVey Blog/Site:

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Beginner Beer Brewing Great Basin Community Food Coop July 27, 2014 Chip McVey Blog/Site:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction to Beginner Beer Brewing Great Basin Community Food Coop July 27, 2014 Chip McVey Blog/Site:

2 About Me Brewed about 12 batches over the past 2 years Not an expert brew master – advanced beginner Have only brewed using LME kits so far Have made mistakes & learned Brewing is my hobby, alongside gardening

3 Fermentation Simple, ancient process: Sugar + Yeast -> Alcohol + CO2 Enabled by a medium, usually liquid Beer, wine, mead, spirits all variations of this basic process Beer requires a boil, but is ready faster than wine No boil for wine, long fermentation/aging time, but otherwise similar

4 Why Brew Your Own? Taste Custom creative recipes Economics Most 5 gallon kits are between $25-$45 Will produce between 50-60 beers This means: 40-90 cents per beer for some darn good beer! Fun! It’s a great at home hobby. Amaze people – you brewed this?!?! And… it’s not that hard!

5 The Recipe Kit Will vary by recipe/type of beer We will discuss liquid malt extract (LME), not all grain General ingredients: Liquid malt extract (provides sugar) Yeast (many different strains, liquid or dry) Grains Hops Finishing sugar

6 The Brew – Equipment At least six gallon pot Sanitizing bucket/pot Paper towels Cloth sack for steeping grains (usually included in kit) Heat source Sink + Ice and/or wort chiller + hose Brew bucket Stopper + Airlock Sanitizer Sanitized water or vodka

7 The Brew – Procedures: The Boil Sanitize equipment using sanitizer & warm water – No soap! Steep (not boil) grains in 5 gallons of water ~15-30 minutes Use clean water – garbage in, garbage out! Add malt extract slowly & stir Avoid scorching on bottom Rolling boil for ~ 1 hour Do not leave unattended! Pay attention! Boilovers are NASTY! Add hops as directed during boil

8 The Brew – Procedures – The Chill Cool as fast as possible (ice / wort chiller) This is an excellent opportunity for contamination, so be clean & keep pot mostly covered. Get it down to ~75 degrees – use sanitized thermometer to be sure Pour into brew bucket Some sloshing is good – introduces air. Add yeast to top. Seal Add airlock with filtered water / vodka Massive cleanup!

9 Fermentation (Single Stage) Store bucket in cool, dry, dark place for ~ 2 weeks Observe the airlock It will start to bubble after 12-24 hours. It should bubble strongly for a couple days, then die back Jostle the bucket slightly every couple days Just to cause some movement, let yeast find sugars Optional: You can check with a hydrometer before and/or during fermentation. I don’t bother any more – it’s just another chance to introduce contamination.

10 Bottling - Equipment Bottling bucket Siphon hose (Auto siphon very helpful, but optional) Bottle filler Bottle capper Bottle caps (have at least 60 on hand) Bottles! Small pot Finishing sugar Sanitizer & Sanitizing bucket Paper towels

11 Bottling – Procedures – The Siphon Sanitize bottles on HOT/SANITIZE setting in dishwasher with no soap. Sanitize: bottling bucket, siphon hose, bottle caps, tubing, etc. Tip: don’t let bottle caps sit in sanitizer too long – they will rust! Boil finishing sugar water solution & allow to cool Add finishing solution to bottling bucket Siphon from brew bucket to bottling bucket Don’t siphon the sludge at the bottom of the brew bucket Cover bottling bucket with lid

12 Bottling – Procedures – Bottle It Up Attach tubing with bottler to spigot Open spigot Bottler will allow liquid to flow when it is pressed against something, otherwise it will not Fill bottle to top, remove bottler – perfect head space left! Cap bottles ASAP Great 2 person operation: one filler, one bottler If solo, fill about 8 bottles, cap them, repeat Store bottles in a cool dry place, at least 2 weeks typically Massive cleanup!

13 How to Get Started? Equipment Kit as a bundle Minimum: Brew bucket, airlock + stopper, bottling bucket, siphon tube, bottle filler, bottle capper. You’ll also need the other necessities: bottle caps, sanitizer, bottles, and a recipe kit to actually brew Save bottles from store bought beer, but DO NOT SAVE TWIST OFFS!! Extra (VERY) nice to have: auto siphon wort chiller Glass carboy (two stage fermentation)

14 Brewing Legalities Federal law: production of beer per household per year without payment of tax for personal or family use may not exceed: 200 gallons if 2 or more adults in household 100 gallons if 1 adult in household 200 gallons is 40 batches of 5 gallon brews More than 3 per month Each batch takes at least 4 weeks, so… Incidentally: same law for wine making States / counties can also regulate home brewing, so YMMV Most important thing to remember: No Selling, or else it gets a LOT more complicated!

15 Miscellaneous Tips for the Beginner Darker beers are easier b/c if you mess up, it’s less noticable When using wort chiller, run outbound water into your garden after it is no longer super hot (two birds, one stone!) Sanitize your entire workspace & clear of clutter before starting Pay attention to the boil – boilovers are NASTY! When filling into bottles, do so over towels – drips are inevitable Allow beer to age for at least what is specified, preferably double. If beer is sweet, it is either an abort or has not aged enough. After drinking, rinse bottle out THOROUGHLY before storing. Prefer liquid yeast to dry yeast – costs more but worth it.

16 Resources “How to Brew” - John Palmer – book. Website: Reno Homebrewer ( – local Washoe Zephyr Zymurgists “WZZ” ( – local club IMBIB ( – local club Midwest Brewing ( – internet Look for kit Groupon deal to get started

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