All the steps for brewing a superb batch of beer and explained & demonstrated. Tips & time saving "tricks" are provided. These "tips & tricks" makes the video a valuable resource for both beginning and experienced home brewers. I have made over 100 batches of home brew. I've learned what equipment and steps are necessary, and (importantly) what are NOT necessary. I also debunk some myths and unneeded steps that make the brew day more difficult and do nothing for the quality of the beer.
5 gallon Kettle with lid (Stainless or Aluminum)
6.5 gallon carboy or a plastic fermentation bucket
Airlock & Bung
Extract Home Beer kit with yeast. (Some are recommended below, but any will do)
"Jet Bottle Washer"
Long Spoon (Wooden or Stainless)
8" diameter funnel
Thermometer (Taylor Digital recommended for about $12 on Amazon)
Milk Crate (Optional but helpful.)
**And that's it*** Packaging (bottling or kegging) will be covered in another video.
Unnecessary & Time Wasting Steps
1) Gravity readings. We are making extract beer from a kit. The gravity will be close to or equal to the stated gravity on the kit. Save your valuable time and energy for something else.
2) Taking constant temperature readings during the specialty grain seeping process to make sure the temperature doesn't go over 170f. Do this instead: Place about 3 gallons of water in the kettle, turn your kitchen stove on high, steep the grains for 25 minutes and take them out and discard the bag. The water temperature will be about 155 to 160 F at that point—well below 170 f. Use this time saving method. Don't stand over your stove with a thermometer!
3) Secondary fermentation. One of the best home brewers at our local brew club explained that this is a waste of time for the overwhelming number of ale & wheat kits. Most recipes tell the brewer to leave the wort/beer in the primary fermenter (6.5 gallon carboy or plastic bucket) for 2 to 3 weeks and then move it to a secondary fermenter for about another month. Unless you're making a big Belgian Ale (8% abv or higher) or a lager, this is a total waste of time. Do this instead: Leave the beer/ wort in the primary fermenter for 2 weeks minimum to about 3 weeks maximum. Then package. Your beer will be perfect. Don't waste your time with secondary fermentation!!!!
Home brewing is fun!!!!! Don't do unnecessary work.
Kettle Controversy. Aluminum vs. Stainless. Internet legend would have you believe that aluminum kettles are no good for home brewing. That's total nonsense. While I currently use a stainless kettle, only because I got a great deal on one—and my aluminum kettle wore out, aluminum kettles (including turkey fryers) work just fine for home brewing. I have made dozens of batches using an aluminum kettle and the beer was always superb.
Some recommended kits from online brew stores:
American Wheat kit from Northern Brewer. This is a simple kit and the beer is a huge hit with everyone. Just add 24 oz of clover honey at flame out (the end of the boil—not earlier or you'll kill the honey flavor). This will impart an awesome honey flavor and raise the abv to about 6%. This one is always "on" at my house. (Even non-beer drinkers enjoy it.)
Northern Brown Ale from Austin Homebrew Supply. . (Get their 1% alcohol boost with the kit.) Awesome
Green Zinger from Asheville Brewers Supply . Great hoppy beer with 5 hop additions! Uses both DME (dry malt extract) and LME (liquid malt extract). Fun to brew. Great to drink.
Caribou Slobber from Northern Brewer. Just terrific.
Gold Seal Cream Ale from Austin Homebrew Supply. (Get their 1% alcohol boost with the kit.) Delicious