STEP 1: Sanitizing
Cleaning is one of the most important steps in brewing. It kills microscopic bacteria, wild yeast, and molds that may cause off-flavors in your beer. Make certain to clean all equipment that comes in contact with your beer by following the directions below:
1. Fill clean keg with warm water to line mark 1 on the back, then add ½ pack (about 1 tablespoon) of No-Rinse Cleanser and stir until dissolved. Once dissolved, the solution is ready to use. Save the remaining ½ of No-Rinse Cleanser because you will need it for bottling.
2. Screw-on the lid and swirl the keg so that the cleaning solution makes contact with the entire interior of the keg, including the underside of the lid. Note that the ventilation notches under the lid may leak the solution. Allow to sit for at least 2 minutes and swirl again.
3. To clean the spigot, open it fully and allow the liquid to flow for 5 seconds, and then close.
4. Pour the rest of the solution from the keg into a large bowl. Place your spoon/whisk, can opener, and measuring cup into the bowl to keep them cleaned throughout the brewing process. Leave them immersed for at least 2 minutes in a cleaning solution prior to use.
5. After all, surfaces have been thoroughly cleaned, do not rinse or dry the keg or utensils. Return lid to the top of the keg, proceed immediately to brewing.
STEP 2: BREWING
Brewing beer is the process of combining a starch source (in this case, a malt brewing extract) with yeast. Once combined, the yeast eats the sugars in the malt, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide (CO2). This process is called fermentation.
1. Remove the yeast packet from under the lid of the can of Brewing Extract, then place the unopened can in hot tap water.
2. Add 1 packet of the Sitiva hops into one hopsack and add the other into another hopsack. (The third will be used for dry hopping).
3. Using the clean measuring cup, pour 4 cups of water into your 4-quart or larger pot. Add your booster packs slowly while stirring the cool water until dissolved. Bring water to a low rolling boil.
4. Once you have hit the boil add 1 hopsack containing the Sitiva hops into the pot and allow it to boil for a total of 30 minutes.
5. WIth 10 minutes left in your boil from step 4 add in the second hop sack containing the Sitiva hops and allow this to boil for the remainder of your 30-minute boil.
6. Once your 30-minute boil is up remove the pot from the heat.
7. Open the can of brewing extract from the bottom of the can and pour it into the pot. Stir until thoroughly mixed. This mixture is the wort.
8. Fill your fermenter with cold water to mark 1 (4 quarts) on the back. If using any other fermenter this would be approximately 1 gallon of water.
9. Pour the wort including the hop sack, into your fermenter, and then bring the volume of the fermenter to mark 2 by adding more cold water, WATER MUST BE COLD. (If you have a different fermenter top it off to 8.5 liters).
10. Stir your wort mixture vigorously with your sanitized spoon or whisk.
11. Sprinkle the W-34/70 Dry brewing yeast packet into the keg, and screw on the lid. Do not stir.
Put your fermenter in a location with a consistent temperature between 68° and 78° F, and out of direct sunlight. Ferment for 14 days.
STEP 3: Dry Hopping
Dry hopping is the process of adding hops to a beer which will impart more hop flavor and aroma to your beer.
1. On day 4 of your 14-day fermentation you will dry hop with the last packet of Sitiva hops. Using clean scissors cut the packet open. Quickly open the lid of your fermenter and carefully pour in the Sitiva hops. Put the lid back on and allow your beer to ferment for 10 more days (14 total).
STEP 4: Bottling & Carbonating
After 14 days, taste a small sample to determine if the beer is fully fermented and ready to bottle. If it tastes like flat beer, it is ready. If it’s sweet, then it’s not ready. Let it ferment for 3 more days (17 total). At this point, it is time to bottle. Do not let it sit in the fermenter for longer than 24 days total.
1. When your beer is ready to bottle, fill a 1-gallon container with warm water, then add the remaining ½ pack of the No-Rinse Cleanser and stir until dissolved. Once dissolved, it is ready to use.
2. Distribute the cleaning solution equally among the bottles. Screw-on caps (or cover with a metal cap if using glass bottles) and shake bottles vigorously. Allow to sit 10 minutes, then shake the bottles again. Remove caps and empty all cleaning solution into a large bowl. Use this solution to clean any other equipment you may be used for bottling. Do not rinse.
4. Holding the bottle at an angle, fill each bottle to about 2 inches from the bottle’s top.
5. Place caps on bottles, hand tighten, and gently turn the bottle over to check the bottle’s seal. It is not necessary to shake them.
6. Store the bottles upright and out of direct sunlight in a location with a consistent temperature between 70°-76°F or 21°-24°C. Allow sitting for a minimum of 14 days. If the temperature is cooler than suggested it may take an additional week to reach full carbonation.
Tip from our Brewmasters
After the primary carbonation has taken place your beer is ready to drink. We recommend putting 1 bottle in the refrigerator at first for 48 hrs. After 48hrs. give it a try and if it is up to your liking put the rest of your beer in the fridge. If it does not taste quite right, leave the bottles out at room temp for another week or so. Keep following this method until your brew tastes just how you like it.
This process is called conditioning and during this time the yeast left in your beer can help clean up any off-flavors. Almost everything gets a little better with time and so will your beer.