Extract brewing is an easy, quick and efficient way to brew delectable beers at home, especially when you are new to brewing. When it comes to the process, certain steps need to be followed.
All-Grain vs. Extract Brewing – it’s a tough call. Both brewing methods have their share of pros and cons that make them valuable. Extract brewing ensures efficiency, consistency, and quicker brew day, making it tailor-made for new home brewers. If you are one, get ready to brew your beer the extract way. Need help? Here’s your rundown on 10 steps to better extract brewing.
- Choose the water and boil it:
The extract brewing gets underway with you choosing the water. Prefer bottled water over tap water to usher in taste. Remember, good tasting water makes great-tasting beer. Avoid distilled water, as it lacks the minerals required for yeast health. Once done choosing, bring it to a boil.
- Get on with steeping grains:
Steeped grains render a palatable flavour, colour and body to the brew. Steeping grains is simpler and quicker than you might think. Add the grains to the water boiled for at least 20 minutes at a temperature ranging from 140F to 160F. Prefer crushing the grains to extract sugars within the grain. Either use a grain bag or run the mixture through a strainer to get rid of the grains.
- Introduce the malt extract:
Again, bring the sweet infusion to a boil and remove it from heat after a few minutes. Now, it’s time to introduce malt extract. Stir the extract well to make it dissolve completely and ward off scorching. The last thing you need is a spoilt brewing experience due to clumping or settling.
- Initiate the boil:
Yet again, get the wort to a boil. However, avoid overboiling. Boiling would result in the hot break, which is characterized by foam rising from the wort and forming a smooth surface. When over boiled, the foam abruptly billows over the side, causing harm to the concoction. Restricting the heat or spraying water on the surface can help avoid over-boil and related ramifications.
- Let the hop hop-in:
The extract brewing process has by now reached the stage where the hop should hop into the mixture. Ensure the hop is introduced as per the hop schedule of your beer recipe. Feel free to use a hop spider to minimize the hop debris and other residues left in the brew kettle.
- Cool the concoction:
Now, it’s time to end the boil and cool the concoction to the temperature suitable for adding the yeast. Feel free to submerge the brew pot in the sink filled with cold water for a couple of minutes to cool the wort. Ensure placing a lid on the brew pot to keep the inside content intact. Need speedier cooling? Place the brew pot in a chiller or give it an ice water bath.
- Transfer the concoction:
Transfer the cooled concoction to a fermentation vessel (FV) where it’ll be fermented into beer. Use a siphon and hose for quick and effortless transfer. The FV and everything that comes in contact with it need to be sanitized to keep up with hygiene standards in home brewing.
- Get to the cleanup:
With the fermentation process initiating, your brew day finally ends. It’s now time to focus on the cleanup. All tools or equipment involved in the brewing process should be properly scrubbed.
- Time for packaging:
The yeast takes time to get fully attenuated. Meanwhile, you can search for a storage solution. Kegging can be a safe bet, offering easy cleanup, quicker beer carbonation and other benefits. Like so many home brewers, you too can add priming sugar before bottling and capping the beer. The priming sugars speed up the carbonation significantly in the bottle.
- Last but not least, condition it:
It typically takes about two weeks for your brew to carbonate. If not, it’s advisable to wait a week more. Almost all homebrews tend to improve in flavor and aroma when conditioned.