The Oakland Post

A recipe for brewing beer

Sergio Montanez, Contributor

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For the sake of keeping things relatively simple, I decided to brew an extract recipe: English Brown Ale. Extract recipes are slightly different from all-grain recipes, making them simpler. Here’s how you do it:

Gather 2.5 gallons of clean water and pour it in a 5 gallon stainless pot and begin to heat. While the water heats, pour all three different types of specialty grains into the grain bag and tie a knot at the top.

Once the water heats to 160°F, steep your grains in the water for 20 minutes. Be sure to tie the grain bag to the handle of the pot, leaving the grin bag floating for easy removal. After the 20 minutes are up, remove the grain bag from the water. Do not squeeze the bag, just let it drain over the water. This is now called the “wort.” Bring the wort to a boil.

Once the wort is boiling, remove the brewing pot from the stovetop to add both LME (liquid malt extract) and DME (dry malt extract). Be sure to add the DME first. Stir the malt extract continuously until it has dissolved. Any undissolved extract will burn. Move brewing pot back on stovetop, and return the wort to a boil.

Once the wort starts boiling, add two packs of 0.5 oz. hops to the wort. The hops will add bitterness to your finished beer.

Boil the wort with hops another 60 minutes. Be sure to adjust stovetop to a comfortable temperature (210° F) where it won’t boil-over.

After 35 minutes, add the last pack of 0.5 oz. hops to the wort. These are your aromatic, or finishing, hops. These will add more of an aroma to your beer.

Boil for final 25 minutes, then terminate boil.  Cool the mixture down as quickly as possible. If you don’t have wort chiller, there are other ways to cool it. What I typically do is get a storage container, fill it with cold water and ice and dip the wort in it, gradually adding ice to the water until it drops below 100°F. Once the wort drops below 100°F, it is ready to be transferred to the fermenting bucket. 

Pour the wort into the sanitized 6.5 gallon bucket, or your fermenter. Avoid transferring any sediment at the bottom of the pot. Add enough clean water to the fermenter to bring your wort to five gallons. Seal your fermenter and aerate it by rocking it back and forth. Do this for about five minutes.

After aerating your wort for five minutes, remove the lid to for pitching the yeast. Before pitching in the yeast, be sure to take the wort’s temperature. It should be cooled down to about 75°F. With sanitized scissors, cut open a sachet of dry yeast. Pitch the yeast over top of the entire wort surface.

Firmly seal the lid onto the fermenter. Fill the airlock halfway with water and gently twist it onto the lid.

Move the fermenter to dark place, such as a closet, where the temperature is stable between 64°-75°F. Wrap a blanket around the fermenter and leave it there for the next two weeks. Within 24 hours, you will notice CO2 bubbling out of the airlock.

Keep an eye on your fermenting wort and be patient. The beer is worth it, trust me.

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