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Hello all, sorry its been a while since my last Tap This post. There will be plenty coming for the next few weeks as I am going to walk you through the process of home brewing. Since this is a pretty involved process, I am going to break it down into several posts. The first step to the process of brewing beer starts with gathering all of the equipment and ingredients necessary. To do this you are going to have to find a good brewing supply store. I am very lucky because I have an excellent one right around the corner from me called SF Brewcraft. Every time you walk into the place the extremely knowledgeable Griz is sitting in the corner in his overalls, listening to some jazz, equipped with a tablet of blank beer recipe sheets ready to write off a new recipe on command for any customer that walks in the door. You can be confident that in almost any brew supply store, the staff is going to be passionate about beer and will help you the best they can, so don't be shy. SF Brewcraft even offers a free class every Monday night.

Griz in his element:

Let’s start off with Equipment. Most stores sell a complete kit that will give you everything you need or you can get them online if you do not have a place nearby. Here is an example of a good beginner’s beer kit: Here is what you need (pictures below): - Primary Fermenting Container: either a 6.5 gallon plastic bucket or glass carboy - Secondary Fermenting Container: same size as above - Rubber stoppers - Airlock - Siphon hose - Bottle brush - Bottle capper - Caps - Some type of thermometer (stick on ones work well) - Hydrometer - Bottle filler - Bottles - Sanitizing powder or bleach - A huge freaking pot that holds at least 5 gallons Equipment 1 (left to right): huge pot, siphon and hose, glass carboy (I freaking broke my other one), plastic fermenting containers with lids.

Equipment 2 (left to right): caps, capper, sanitizing powder, bottle brush.

Equipment 3 (left to right): airlock with rubber stopper, hydrometer.

That should just about do it for your equipment needs. You may need a more powerful heating source depending on what you have at home but more on that later. Also, I will fill you in on what this stuff is all used for as we go through the process. And now on to ingredient. The easiest way when you are first learning is to simply buy a complete kit that comes with everything you need. You would be surprised at the quality of beer you can make your first attempt. I can remember my first time well. I had to do a group project in college using one of the things I learned in my biology. BINGO fermentation! And that’s how I convinced my school to buy all the supplies we needed to brew beer. Some of the grains at SF Brewcraft:

Basic beer kits include malt extract, dry or liquid yeast, hop pellets, a small bag of dextrose, and a recipe. This batch I will be brewing an India Pale Ale (IPA) with a partial mash, which adds the process of steeping grains to the equation and rewards you with more depth in flavor. For your first batch, I’d recommend starting with an all malt extract kit. Ingredients (left to right and top down): bucket of malt extract, all my grains, 3 types of hops (Simcoe, Amarillo, and Cascade), liquid yeast, dextrose for bottling.

Now that we are done with all of the foreplay we can get down to business in our next post with "The Boil." -CJ
Column: Tap This

1 comment

  • This is sweet! I can’t wait for the rest. Btw, if you’re interested, the Jan/Feb ‘09 issue of Imbibe magazine has George Washington’s original beer recipe as well as the recipe for Ben Franklin’s Spruce Beer, both printed verbatim (read archaic and difficult to understand!).

    Paystyle on

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