' Fulkerson Winery - Make your own beer

Make your own beer

Basic Process for beer making.

1. Prepare the wort

1. Wash, Rinse and Sanitize all equipment with 1tsp Potassium meta-bisulfite / gallon of warm water.
2. Steep Grain:
1. In 3 gallons of water, slowly bring specialty grains (according to your specific recipe) up to 160 degrees F and remove from heat for 10 minutes.
2. Remove grain (if in bag do not squeeze).
3. Make First addition of Fermentable (DME/LME/SUGAR/etc).
4. Bring contents (now called Wort [wort rhymes with Bert]) to a boil.
(Contents may foam so be prepared to turn off heat if it boiled over)
5. Add "Bettering Hops" according to recipe.
6. Boil for 45 minutes.
7. Add any "Flavoring Hops" in a steeping bag.
8. Add rest of DME/LME per your individual recipe. (Stir for one full minute at least).
9. Boil For 15 minutes.
10. Add any "Aroma Hops" per the recipe in a steeping bag and turn off the burner (your wort should now have been boiling for approximately one hour).

2. Cool your wort

1. Pour 2 gallons of cold distilled or filtered water into your sterile carboy or fermentation container.
2. Carefully remove the hop steeping bags.
3. If you have an Immersion Wort Chiller or Heat Exchanger you may use one of these to cool your wort as quickly as possible following manufacturer instructions; if you do not own one of these, skip to step four.
4. (Very carefully) pour your hot wort into your fermenter (fill to the 5 gallon level with more water) and place into a bath of ice water to cool it as quickly as possible. The wort must be below 85 degrees F in order to add yeast or you run the risk of killing them.
5. Monitor your chilling progress with a sterile thermometer, once the temperature is below 85 degrees F, you may take a sample of wort with a sterile wine/beer thief and check the Specific Gravity with a sterile hydrometer. Record your results and discard (Or drink) your sample (record any tasting notes).
6. Pitch your desired yeast by sprinkling it on the surface of the wort or by making a yeast culture with a little "Yeast Starter". (The contents of your fermenter is now officially "BEER")
7. Place a water-filled fermentation lock on your fermenter.

3. Monitor fermentation

1. Lag phase (Cell build-up) By yeast may last a couple of hours to a few days so do not worry if nothing happens for 24-48 hours.
2. Your beer will start to "bubble" and foam for around 3 days to a week. (depending on how vigorus your fermentation is, it may "foam over" always ferment in an "easy to clean area")
3. Once fermentation slows, you will not notice bubbling anymore and your beer will begin to clear.
4. After around 10-20 days (longer for lagers and higher gravity beers) your beer will be "finished".
5. Carefully check the specific gravity with a sterile hydrometer (See step 2-5) and record your results. By subtracting this number ("Final Gravity" or "FG") from the "OG" you recorded before fermentation, you will get the approximate "Strength" or alcohol level of your beer. Use the formula: OG___- FG___ / .0075 = ___% Approx alcohol by volume. Discard, or taste sample; Record any tasting notes.

4. Carbonate your beer with one of 2 methods

1. Add Priming sugar (about one cup of granulated or corn sugar per 5 gallons of beer) and bottle.
2. Keg and force carbonate.

5. Bottling your beer

1.    Sanitize all of your equipment with 1tsp K-Metabisulfite/one gallon warm water.
2.    Boil your priming sugar in in 2 cups of water and place in the bottom of a sterile bottling bucket.
3.    Transfer your clear beer from the "lees" with sterile siphon equipment into the bottling bucket leaving behind the sediment. (Discard sediment and clean fermentation container)
4.    Stir to mix the sugar well.
5.    Clean and Sterilize 50 new or used beer bottles (NOT THE SCREW CAP KIND).
6.    Begin bottling by slowly filling each bottle (make sure fill levels are consistent). It is best to use a bottle filler as it is designed to stop when you lift it off the bottom of the bottle.
7.    Cap each bottle with NEW clean and sterile crimp style beer caps.

6. Age your beer

1.    Put your beer in a dark place around 70deg F. (Light will degrade the beer)
2.    After approximately 2 weeks, put your beer in a cooler place or cold storage (The Fridge) for longer storage.
3.    Drink (Beer is the best between 3-12 weeks after bottling. Stronger beers may be best after 12-20weeks in the bottle. Lagers are best if not bottled until at least 4 weeks after brewing and usually need to sit for another 4-6 weeks in the bottle until they reach their peak).