The Lazy Girls Guide to Brewing Beer

Ok everyone, I realize that brewing beer isn’t the healthiest of activities, but it’s fun and it’s tasty and it makes me happy. Also, you can do it too! That’s why I decided to put together this easy step-by-step guide to brewing an IPA (beware, I am a novice). I haven’t done a recipe in awhile and this is kind of like a recipe! You can order many of the ingredients together online in convenient kits to make it easier. Here is where we ordered ours.

What you need:
Gas burner
Propane tank
10 gallon metal boiling pot with lid
Thermometer
1 lb. crushed grain in mesh bag (we used the one from the kit)
6.6 lbs. Briess gold malt extract (syrup)
1 lb. Briess gold malt extract (dry)
3 oz. pellet hops (we used Warrior, Columbus and Centennial)
5 gallons purified water
Water for sanitization
1 packet yeast
Sanitizer
Air bubbler
Large metal stirring spoon
2 Large plastic buckets (one with lid)
2 bags of ice
Large plastic container for cooling
Beer for drinking while brewing (not a requirement, but feels wrong without it)

IMG_4996Step 1:
Sanitize EVERYTHING and setup. Sanitization is vital when brewing. If bacteria gets into your brew it can change the taste and make it taste funky. You want to mix your sanitizer with water as per the directions and keep it around during your brew. Make sure to sanitize your pot, bucket, spoon, bubbler, thermometer and anything that will come into contact with the batch. Attach your propane tank to burner and grab any of your ingredients that are stored in the fridge. Pop open a fresh beer for drinking (optional).

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IMG_4999Step 2:
Steep your grains. Pour 3 of your 5 gallons of purified water into your large boiling pot and heat your water to between 150 and 155 degrees Fahrenheit. When it reaches temperature, add your mesh bag of grains into the water and maintain the temperature while it steeps for 45 minutes to an hour. You don’t want to let it boil.

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Step 3:
Remove your grain bag and place in a bowl. Set aside. When cooled, lift out mesh bag and drain excess water into bowl. Add back the remaining liquid to your brew. Discard grains (can be great compost!)

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Step 4:
Bring your grain liquid to a boil. Turn off burner and add all malt extract. Stir to prevent malt from sticking to the bottom and sides of your pot. Turn burner back on and bring back to boil. Maintain the boil for 55 minutes stirring often and ensuring it doesn’t boil over (you will be adding hops during the 55 minute boil). Feed excess malt to dog. (ok don’t do this, she just loved it)

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IMG_5040Step 5:
Add hops! There will be 3 hop additions. Set a separate timer after malt is added for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes it’s time for your first hop addition. Pour in your first bag of hops and stir. Set another timer for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes is up, add the second bag of hops and the third bag (the aroma hops) is added when your 55 minute timer for the boil goes off. After addition of last hops, turn off burner, cover pot and let sit for about 3 minutes.

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Step 6:
Cool your wort! Add your ice to a large plastic container and fill with water from a hose or tap. Make sure your container is large enough to accommodate your plastic bucket (fermenter). Immerse your fermenting bucket into the ice water. Add the remaining 2 gallons of purified water to the fermenter. Carefully pick up you boiling pot (WITH GLOVES OR OVEN MITTS) and add wort to the water in the fermenter that’s resting in the ice water. This will cool your wort so you can add your yeast. You don’t want to add the yeast before you cool the wort or the heat will kill it and your beer won’t ferment! Stir the wort often to allow it to cool uniformly. Cool to around 74 degrees Fahrenheit, roughly room temp. (We had to guestimate because someone *cough husband cough* dropped and shattered our thermometer).

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Step 7:
Add the yeast. Sprinkle in the yeast packet and stir vigorously with a sanitized spoon to aerate the brew. Tightly seal the bucket with the lid. Fill bubbler to fill line with sanitized solution of purified water and affix to bucket.

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Step 8:
Store your batch. Store it in a cool, dry, dark place for at least 2 weeks before it’s ready to bottle or keg!

THE END.

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One thought on “The Lazy Girls Guide to Brewing Beer

  1. Pingback: 2014 Recap | ashleyeats2live

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