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UK-Homebrew

Beer & Lager options

Home
My equipment
Beer & Lager options
Making lager from a kit
Lager kit progress
Barrelling the Lager kit
The Finished Lager
Wine making options
Making wine from a kit
Wine kit progress
Filtering the wine
Bottling the wine
Labelling the bottles
The Finished Wine
All Grain Recipes
All Grain Brewing Introduction
All grain equipment and sterilising
Dry Yeast Starter
Splitting a Whitelabs yeast
Fermenting the Whitelabs yeast
Bottling and storing the Whitelabs yeast
Whitelabs yeast starter
Water Treatment
Mashing
Sparging Options
Fly Sparging
Batch Sparging Calculations
Batch Sparging
Boiling
Cooling
Aerating
Fermenting
Cask conditioning
Bottling
The finished beer
Storing my brews
General Information
My previous brews
Links

 
 
There are three main options for making beer and lager at home. 

 

Using Kits

 

Kits are by far the easiest option for making beer or lager at home, cider is also available.  They come in various sizes, the most popular are 1.5 kg, 1.6 kg, 1.8 kg which require the addition of 1kg of sugar or spraymalt and 3 kg all malt kits.  Most of these kits make 40 pints although some of the higher gravity kits make in the region of 24 pints.  It is very easy to brew from kits, while there are a few variations in the method depending on the choice of kit the majority can be made by heating around 6 pints of water, place the water in a fermenting bin, then mix with the contents of the kit and any sugars required, top up to 40 pints or the amount required, add the yeast and that's it! 

 

There is a vast range of kits available these days so it should be easy to find a kit which suits your requirements, however if you wish to customise your kit there are not many options for doing so.

 

Check my pages on Lager kit brewing for a step by step description of the process complete with photos.

 

 

Malt Extract Brewing

 

This is ideal for brewers who wish to make the step up from kits but do not wish to do all grain brews.  You have much more control over the finished brew and can easily make a beer of your own preferred style.

 

There are two methods of brewing with malt extract, no mash and partial mash.

 

No Mash Method

 

Simply heat up the amount of water required to around 40c, mix in the amount of malt extract required, add any other grains which do not need to be mashed, i.e. crystal malt, black malt.  Then bring to the boil and add the hops, if any sugars are required add them about half way through the boil. 

 

 Boil for a minimum of 1 hour, at the last 15 mins add any late hops required and irish moss, then either force cool the brew with a wort cooler or allow the brew to cool to around 20c before adding the yeast. 

 

A suitable malt extract for this type of brewing would be EDME SFX.

 

Partial Mash Method

 

This requires a different type of malt extract such as EDME DMS.  This allows non malt grains (adjuncts) such as torrified wheat, flaked barley, flaked maize, etc to be used.  Heat the water required to around 40c, mix in the malt extract and grains required, slowly heat the water up to around 66c and maintain this temperature for around 30 mins, then bring to the boil and add the hops, if any sugars are required add them around half way through the boil. 

 

Boil for a minimum of 1 hour, at the last 15 mins add any late hops required and irish moss, then either force cool the brew with a wort cooler or allow the brew to cool to around 20c before pitching the yeast. 

 

Unfortunately I have had no experience of extract brewing therefore I am unable to offer any step by step pages about this, it is one of the things I keep telling myself to do but have not got round to it yet.

 

 

All Grain Brewing

 

This method is my preferred choice of brewing, the brewer has 100% control of all aspects of the brew from start to finish and any style of beer or lager can be made from scratch.

 

This method can be time consuming and requires more equipment, but this is the method which you will produce brews that are the envy of your family and friends at a fraction of the cost of commercial brews.

 

Simple Instructions

 

Mashing

 

The first step is to find a recipe which suits your taste, weigh the grains required, add the heated water to your mash tun at the rate of 2-3 litres of water per kg of grains, mix well, aim for a temperature between 62c-68c and maintain at this for 90 mins.

 

Running off and Sparging

 

The next stage is to run the wort produced by the mash into a collecting vessel, preferably a boiler.  The grains in the mash tun then need gently rinsing with hot water, around 78c, to flush the remaining wort from the grains.  This can be done by fly sparging using a sparging arm, a water can rose or a shower head, or you could use a different method called batch sparging.

 

Boiling

 

The wort is then brought to the boil at which stage the hops are added, if any sugars are required add them about half way through the boil. 

 

 Boil for a minimum of 1 hour, at the last 15 mins add any late hops required and irish moss, then either force cool the brew with a wort cooler or allow the brew to cool to around 20c before adding the yeast. 

 

Check my all grain brewing pages out for a step by step description of the all grain brewing process, complete with photos.

 

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All the information given on this website is from my own personal experiences and are well tried and tested.  However, if you try something you have seen here and it does not work out, I accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or injury that may occur.