Phil and I have been getting into the homebrew scene in the last few months, and I’m proud to present this photo walk-through of the brewing of our third batch of kit beer.
Making beer with a kit is fairly simple and the initial setup takes only an hour from go to whoa.
The first thing you will need: enthusiasm!
Here are the ingredients you will need: A can of concentrated wort, a bag of brewing sugar, and a sachet of yeast (the can has some yeast under the cap, but we used some extra special yeast for extra special homebrew!). Not shown: homebrew sterilising powder.
A large pot, stirring spoons, and a scoopy-bowly-thing are also handy. Not shown: tongs, can opener, scissors, hydrometer.
You can see all the equipment is sitting in a sterilising solution. After that’s done, make sure you rinse well!
Now that everything is sterilised (don’t forget to wipe and sterilise the bench!) we’ll … wait. Let’s read the instructions again to make sure we’re getting everything right:
Yup! Ok, now we’re ready to start heating the can of concentrated wort in the pot of hot water. Remove the label from the can first, the instructions are important!
After a few minutes, the contents of the can will be liquid enough for our purposes. Fish the can out, open ‘er up, and dissolve the wort in the water. Remove the empty can (here’s where the tongs come in handy!).
Now add the bag of brewing sugar and the kit yeast (if you’re using separate, special yeast) to the hot water:
Mmm, smells good! Stir it up and pour it into the sterilised (and rinsed!) fermenter:
Now we’ll top up the fermenter to within about an inch of the top with cold tap water.
While brewing this kit, I had lost my voice. My primary method of communication with Leanne was …
… yes, interpretive dance. We managed, somehow. (And yes, there are plenty more retarded photos where this came from).
Having topped up the fermenter, it’s time to aerate the wort:
Shake it like a polaroid picture.
Now we just sprinkle the yeast on top, and screw on the airlock. Don’t forget to put some boiled water in the airlock to keep out the nasties.
Our fermenter lives in our hot water cupboard:
The airlock has a collar around it – that’s just a rag to catch any spillage if the fermenting gets too vigorous and tries to escape by foaming out the airlock.
… and measure it’s specific gravity (i.e., dissolved sugars):
The original gravity of this batch was a whopping 1.062. Together with the final gravity after fermentation, this indicates how much sugar has been converted to alcohol, and hence, how strong your beer is. This batch is likely to be around 5.5 – 6%.
The beer now ferments in the hot water cupboard for around a week, then it will be bottled into sterilised bottles and conditioned for a few weeks before the Thorndon Chapter has it available for tasting, drinking, giving away, etc.
So there you go! Not that difficult was it?
Photos: Leanne.Â For more information on Pacific Empire homebrewing, see FLAWHB.Â