- 5 Gallon Carboy
- 6.5 Gallon Bottling Bucket w/ Spigot
- Sparging Bag
- 12” Lab Thermometer
- 5/16” Tubing
- 1” Blow-Off Tube
- Capper & Caps
- Ingredient Mix
Equipment Not Included But Needed:
- Stock Pot(s) - to hold 6.5 gallons
- 50 Empty Non-Twistoff Bottles
You might be surprised to learn that sanitization might actually be the most important thing here. If things are not completely clean, your yeast will die. You will not drink good beer, and the next few steps will only provide you with a valuable learning experience instead of a decidedly more valuable drinking experience.
- Dillute your sanitizer according to its instructions.
- Soak everything you are going to use.
- Keep the extra sanitizer in a container for now. Chances are you’ll want to re-sanitize something later.
- NOTE: Follow the instructions on your sanitizer. Sanitizers are different. C-Brite should be rinsed off. StarSan does not need to be.
Ingredients Not Included But Needed
- 1 2/3 cup Agave syrup for brewing
- 1 cup Agave syrup for bottling
- 5 Jalapeños, chopped (for milder spice discard seeds)
1. The Mash
- Heat 12.5 quarts (11.8 liters) of water to 160°F (71°C).
- Add grain (This is called “mashing in.” Take note of jargon. Or don’t).
- Mix gently with spoon or spatula until mash has consistency of oatmeal. Add water if too dry or hot. Temperature will drop to ~150°F (66°C).
- Cook for 60 minutes at 144-152°F (63-68°C). Stir every 10 minutes, and use your thermometer to take temperature readings from multiple locations.
- You likely don’t need to apply heat constantly. Get it up to temperature, then turn the heat off. Monitor, stir, and adjust accordingly to keep in range.
- After 60 minutes, heat to 170°F (77°C) while stirring constantly (“Mashing Out”).
2. The Sparge
- Heat additional 4 gallons (15 liters) of water to 170°F (77°C).
- Line your bottling bucket with the sparging bag.
- Attach small tubing to spigot and set it in a pot to collect liquid.
- Carefully add the hot grain mash to the bucket, collecting the liquid that passes through.
- This liquid is called “wort” (pronounced “wert”). It will be your beer.
- Slowly and evenly pour 170°F (77°C) water over the mash to extract the grain’s sugars.
- You want to collect 6.5 gallons (24.6 liters) of wort. You will lose about 20% to evaporation during the boil so you will want to start with a bit more.
- Re-circulate wort through grain once.
3. The Boil
- In a pot, heat wort until it boils.
- Keep boiling until you’ve hit the “hot break” (Wort will foam - you may need to reduce heat slightly so it doesn’t boil over.)
- Stir occasionally. All you want is a light boil – too hot and you lose fermentable sugars and volume.
- The boil will last 60 minutes. Start your timer and add in the rest of the ingredients at these times:
- Add 1/2 Pacific Jade Hops at start of boil.
- Add remaining Pacific Jade Hops 30 minutes into boil.
- Add Jalapeño 55 minutes into boil.
- At 60 minutes turn off heat. Dissolve 1/3 cup agave syrup & Belgian Candi Sugar.
- Twenty percent of the wort will have evaporated in this step leaving you with 5 gallons (18.9 liters) of wort. If your boil was a bit high, the surface area of your pot extra large, or brewed on a particular humid day you may have less than the full 5 gallons. Don’t worry – you just reduced your beer a bit too much. You can add a bit more water in the next step to get it up to volume.
- Place brew pot in an ice bath until it cools to 70°F (21°C)
- Once cooled, place strainer over funnel and pour your beer into the glass fermenter. Yeast needs oxygen, so the strainer helps aerate your wort and clarify your beer (as well as catch any sediment from going into the fermenter).
- “Pitch” yeast. (Toss the packet in )
- Rock the carboy aggressively. You’re basically waking up the yeast and getting more air into the wort.
- Attach sanitized blow-off tube into the carboy place the other end in small bowl of sanitizer.
- Let sit for two or three days or until vigorous bubbling subsides. This is when fermentation is at it’s highest there will be lots of bubbles and foam at the top of your beer.
- Assemble airlock, filling up to line with sanitizer.
- Insert airlock into hole in stopper and replace the blow-off tube.
- Keep in a cool, dark place for two weeks without disturbing other than to show off to friends. (If beer is still bubbling, leave sitting until it stops.)
- In the meantime drink beer from non-twist off or swing-top bottles. Or go to a bar that has some and ask for empties.
5. Two Weeks Later: Bottling
- Thoroughly rinse bottles with water, removing any sediment.
- Fill each bottle with a little sanitizer and shake. Empty and dry upside down.
- Dissolve 1 cup agave syrup with 1 cup water. Pour into a sanitized pot.
- Connect auto-siphon to sanitized tubing - allow beer to flow into the pot with sugar solution.
- Siphon beer from pot into bottles, pinching tube clamp to stop flow after each bottle.
- Close bottles.
- Store in a cool dark place for 2 weeks.