I made my first batch - alone. The beer was good, and Pam loved it, but I needed to share the brewing experience with someone equally as enthusiastic. Then, Scott and Katherine came along. Scott is easy to get along with, is all about beer making, and not only that, he has nice boobies (that was a joke).
We have made more than a few batches and have committed a few very serious errors. But we have come through with something we are proud of.
Our goal is to make relatively inexpensive, easy to drink beer that tastes good. We use the same basic formula each time, but we change the variety of hops and yeast to make each batch taste unique. We have written detailed recipes a couple of times and each time it came out tasting like crap, so we quit doing that.
Our basic formula is as follows this batch cost in the $50 range and makes 5 gallons (2 cases):
- Get the yeast going with about 2 cups of lukewarm water and 3 tbs light malt or honey. Cover it.
- Boil 3.5 gallons of water - we boil outside on a propane turkey fryer
- Add 3lbs Dry Amber Malt, 1 lb Dry Light Malt and 2lbs Honey
- Wait till it boils again and don't let it boil over (that is a mayday)
- When it begins boiling, add .5 oz of boiling hops (hops with alpha acid > 6%)
- Look at the time and continue to boil
- Wait 30 minutes continue to boil
- Add a dash of Irish Moss to help clear the brew
- Wait 10 more minutes continue to boil without boiling over
- Add one oz finishing hops (hops with alpha acid <>
- Wait 5 more minutes and continue to boil
- Take wort (not yet beer) off heat and put it in a big sink full of ice water to quickly cool.
- Add a 2 gallons of cold water to the pot of wort
- Wait until wort is 80 degrees F and rack (siphen) to a sanitized 7.5 gallon bucket.
- Pitch (add) the yeast
- Cover the wort with lid and top with an airlock
- Let it bubble at room temp for 1 week
- Rack to glass carboy
- Let it bubble at room temp for 1 week - at this point it shouldn't be bubling much
- Rack to keg
- Add 2 cups corn sugar. Put about 10lb co2 pressure on top of keg and ensure that there are no air leaks.
- The sugar will ferment in the keg and will naturally carbonate the batch
- Wait 6 days.
- Refrigerate Keg
- Wait 1 day
- Hook up Co2 tank
- Drink more