Equipment Glossary Acknowledgements


Site Map
Introduction
Section 1
Brewing Your First Beer With Malt Extract
1 A Crash Course in Brewing
2 Brewing Preparations
3 Malt Extract and Beer Kits
4 Water for Extract Brewing
5 Hops
6 Yeast
7 Boiling and Cooling
8 Fermentation
9 Fermenting Your First Beer
10 What is Different for Brewing Lager Beer?
11 Priming and Bottling
Section 2
Brewing Your First Extract and Specialty Grain Beer
Section 3
Brewing Your First All-Grain Beer
Section 4
Formulating Recipes and Solutions

 

 

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Chapter 2 - Brewing Preparations

2.1 Preparation


Figure 16: All the equipment and ingredients for the day's brew are set out on the counter and ready to go. The crushed specialty grain is tied in a muslin grainbag, and the hops have been weighed and put in three separate bowls.

Preparing your brewing equipment is principally a matter of cleaning and sanitizing, but organization is a part of the process too. For each of the brewing processes, some preparation can be done to make the process work better.

Consider what you are going to do:

Check the Recipe - Make a shopping list of your ingredients and amounts. Plan ahead on how you are going to measure them. Do you need extra bowls or measuring cups? Do you have good water out of the tap, or should you buy some?

Equipment - Make a checklist of the equipment you will be using and note whether it needs to be sanitized or only cleaned. Don't try to clean something at the last minute just as you need it, you are inviting trouble. Use a checklist to organize your thoughts and see if you have overlooked anything. You may want to purchase utensils expressly for brewing; don't stir with a spatula that you often use to cook onions. More instruction on cleaning is given later in this chapter.

Table 2 - Cleaning and Sanitizing Checklist

Brewpot

    __ Clean

 

Stirring Spoon

    __ Clean

 

Tablespoon

    __ Clean

    __ Sanitize

Measuring Cup

    __ Clean

    __ Sanitize

Yeast Starter Jar

    __ Clean

    __ Sanitize

Fermentor and Lid

    __ Clean

    __ Sanitize

Airlock

    __ Clean

    __ Sanitize

Thermometer

    __ Clean

    __ Sanitize

Preparing The Yeast - This step is paramount; without yeast, you can not make beer. The yeast should be prepared at the beginning of the brewing session (if not before) so you can tell if it's alive and ready to work beforehand. If you have spent time preparing the equipment and making the wort and then you have nothing to ferment it with, you will be very disappointed. See Chapter 6 for detailed information on yeast preparation.

The Boil - Weigh out your hop additions and place them in separate bowls for the different addition times during the boil. If you are going to steep crushed specialty grain (see Chapter 12), then weigh, package and steep it before adding your extract to the boiling pot.

Cooling After The Boil - If you plan to chill the wort using a water bath, i.e., setting the pot in the sink or the bathtub, make sure you have enough ice on hand to cool the wort quickly. A quick chill from boiling is necessary to help prevent infection and to generate the Cold Break in the wort. A good cold break precipitates proteins, polyphenols and beta glucans which are believed to contribute to beer instability during storage. A good cold break also reduces the amount of chill haze in the final beer.

Sanitizing - Anything that touches the cooled wort must be sanitized. This includes the fermentor, airlock, and any of the following, depending on your transfer methods: Funnel, strainer, stirring spoon and racking cane. Sanitizing techniques are discussed later in this chapter.

By taking the time to prepare for your brewday, the brewing will go smoothly and you will be less likely to forget any steps. Cleaning and sanitizing your equipment beforehand will allow you to pay more attention to your task at hand (and maybe prevent a messy boilover). Preparing your yeast by either re-hydrating and proofing or making a Starter will ensure that the afternoon's work will not have been in vain. Having your ingredients laid out and measured will prevent any mistakes in the recipe. Finally, preparing for each stage of the brewing process by having the equipment ready and the process planned out will make the whole operation simple and keep it fun. Your beer will probably benefit too. As in all things, a little preparation goes a long way to improving the end result.

Previous Page Next Page
Brewing Preparations
2.0
The Road to Good Brewing
2.1
Preparation
2.2
Sanitation
2.2.1
Cleaning Products
2.2.2
Cleaning Your Equipment
2.2.3
Sanitizing Your Equipment
2.3
Record Keeping
Real Beer Page

Buy the print edition
Appendix A - Using Hydrometers
Appendix B - Brewing Metallurgy
Appendix C - Chillers
Appendix D - Building a Mash/Lauter Tun
Appendix E - Metric Conversions
Appendix F - Recommended Reading

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All material copyright 1999, John Palmer