Hey, friends. Below is a short summary of how our first Myriad Home Brew, The Red Headed Amber, came to be. Because we were still in the learning phase of home brewing, we used what is known as the “extract method.” It is a good way for beginning brewers to learn the ropes, and there is a smaller chance for error. We plan to try the “all grain method” for our second batch, so we will explain the differences once that process is complete. The entire process took us roughly two full days (6-8 hours per day). We spent one day brewing the beer and one day bottling the beer.
The Brew Process
Step One: Sanitize EVERYTHING. This is incredibly important throughout the entire brewing process. If you’re not meticulous, you can ruin your beer. Poor sanitization can allow bacteria to alter the flavor of the beer, and it will compete with the yeast.
Step Two: Steep the grains in 155-degree water for 20 to 30 minutes. For our beer, we used one pound of specialty grains and good old spring water.
(Brewmaster Jake is above, steeping the grains on our official Brew Deck)
Step Three: Bring everything to a boil.
Step Four: Add the malt extract and hops. It takes about an hour to add the hops in small increments, according to your specific hops schedule.
Step Five: After another hour, cool the beer to 80 degrees as quickly as possible. There are various methods for the cooling process. We hadn’t gotten fancy yet, so we used two cartloads of ice; however, our equipment has improved since then. 🙂
Step Six: Pour the wort into the fermentor (wort is the term for your brew before it has turned into beer).
Step Seven: Add the yeast.
Step Eight: Seal the fermentor and wait patiently for 7-10 days. Keep the beer in a cool, dark place. A location that constantly stays between 60 and 70 degrees is best.
Step Nine: After roughly ten days, bottle the beer. When you open the fermentor, you will want to check the alcohol content. This guy explains the various methods better than I ever could. Make sure you sanitize everything as you work, including the bottles and caps.
Before we bottled our Red Headed Amber, we added a few ounces of sugar in the form of a simple syrup. This is an important step, because when the yeast consumes the sugar, it produces CO2. Since the bottle is sealed, the CO2 is forced into the beer and… dun duh duh duuuuun, the beer becomes carbonated!
Step Ten: Let the bottles carbonate at room temperature for 7 to 10 days.
Step Eleven: Prior to drinking, refrigerate the bottles for at least 3 days. This lets the yeast fall to the bottom, so that the beer is smooth and clear.
Step Twelve: Drink the beer… responsibly… and bask in its delicious, hoppy glory!
One important note: No dogs are allowed on the Brew Deck, no matter how cute they are.