This is a list of the home brewing supplies a common kit will contain:
- Malt Extract Syrup
- Specialty Grains (some kits contain this)
- Grain Bag
- Priming Sugar
Now let's review the home brewing supplies and provide you with a general notion of how you will be using them.
Malt Extract Syrup:
Making use of malt extract is one thing which helps make home brewing easier. Malt extract is made of concentrated sugars extracted from malted barley. It's for sale in either a syrup or dry powdered form. The syrups are around 20% water, which means that 4 pounds of dry malt extract (DME) is approximately comparable to 5 pounds of malt extract syrup. Additionally, malt extract can be bought in either a hopped or unhopped variety. Munton & Fison, Alexanders, Coopers, Edme and Premier are good brands. When choosing malt extracts make sure to look at list of ingredients in order to avoid any kinds with additional processed sugars. These processed sugars are sometimes put into Light Beer-style kits.
Anytime you are home brewing with unhopped extract you'll want to add 1-2 ounces of hops during the course of the boil for bittering and flavor. Hops can be added to the hopped extract brews near the end of the boil to provide increased hop character to the finished beer.
Specialty grains are small amounts of some types of malted barley that are used to enhance your extract brewing. Using this method does not require any extra equipment except a grain bag and gives you quite a lot more versatility in producing the wort for your intended type of beer.
The grain bag can be used to steep your specialty grains in the wort in your brew kettle.
Hops can be an involved subject. There are many varieties of hops, however they are generally split up into two main groups: Bittering and Aroma. Bittering hops are high in Alpha Acids (the primary bittering agents), normally more than 10%. Aroma hops are lower, approximately 5%. A number of hop varieties can be in between and can be used for both purposes. Bittering hops are added at the beginning of the boil and normally boiled for an hour. Aroma (or finishing) hops are put in near the end of the boil and they are normally boiled for 15 minutes or less. A mesh bag, called a hop bag, is sometimes utilized to help retain the hops during the boil to make removing the hops easier previous to fermentation. Straining or removing the hops before fermentation is definitely advised.
Some more advanced brewers also add hops in the fermenter for extra hop aroma in the finished beer. This is known as dry hopping, however, this is usually carried out while in a secondary fermentation.
The yeast is one of the most important home brewing supplies. Without it there'd be no fermentation and hence no alcohol. Additionally, it plays a substantial role in determining the taste of the beer. Different yeast strains will produce unique beers when pitched in identical worts. Yeast comes in both liquid and dried forms. For the first-time brewer, dried ale yeast is normally recommended. Some leading and well-performing brands of dry yeast are Yeast Labs, Cooper's, DanStar, Munton & Fison and Edme. Stay away from any no-name yeast packet that came taped to the top of the can of malt extract. You have no idea where it came from as well as how old it is.
Ale yeasts are classified as top-fermenting due to the fact that since of the fermentation activity takes place at the top of the fermenter. Alternatively lager yeasts do their job at a reduced rate and remain toward the bottom part of the fermenter. The fermentation temperature is another fundamental difference. Ale yeasts prefer higher temperatures, most will go dormant below 55F (12C), on the other hand Lager yeasts will gladly perform well at 40F. Using lager yeast at ale temperatures 65-70F (18-20C) can lead to a beer with mixed character, a slightly fruity tasting lager, called California Common Beer. Anchor Steam Beer is one of the most recognized examples of this particular style.
If this will be your very first home brewing attempt it is likely you desire to use an ale yeast, simply because it'll finish fermenting much quicker. An ale yeast usually takes just a couple of weeks when compared with a lager yeast that could possibly take anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks to completely ferment.
Priming sugar will be added to the beer after it's done fermenting. This is done in your bottling bucket before the beer is bottled. This method of introducing a tiny bit of fermentable sugar previous to bottling gives the beer carbonation following a week or two of conditioning.
Now that you've got a concept of what kind of home brewing supplies are required all you have to do is pick a type of beer to make. When you have all of the home brewing equipment and supplies you'll be able to get started making your own beer.