Brewing Basics

These instructions are designed for the first-time Brewer. What follows can be considered an annotated recipe for a fool-proof Ale beer. Why an Ale beer? Because Ales are the simplest to brew. Brewing Beer is simple and complicated, easy and hard. Compare it to fishing – Sit on the end of the dock with a can of worms and a cane pole and you will catch fish. Going after a specific kind of fish is when fishing gets complicated. Brewing the specific kind of beer you want is the same thing. There are many different styles of beer and many techniques to brew them.

Brewing a beer is a combination of several general processes. First is the mixing of ingredients and bringing the solution (wort) to a boil. Second is the cooling of the wort to the fermentation temperature. Next the wort is transferred to the fermenter and the yeast is added. After fermentation, the raw beer is siphoned off the yeast sediment and bottled with a little extra sugar to provide the carbonation. But there are three important things to keep in mind every time you brew: Cleanliness, Preparation and Good Record Keeping.

Cleanliness
Cleanliness is the foremost concern of the brewer. After all, Fermentation is the manipulation of living organisms, the yeast. Providing good growing conditions for the yeast in the beer also provides good growing conditions for other micro-organisms, including bacteria. Cleanliness must be maintained throughout every stage of the brewing process.

Preparation
Take the time to prepare your brewing area. Have the ingredients ready on the counter. Prepare your brewing water. Have the ice on- hand to cool the wort when its done boiling. Is the Fermenter clean and sanitized? Make sure that all equipment is clean and ready to go before starting. Patience and planning are necessities.

Record Keeping
Always keep good notes on what ingredients, amounts and times were used in the brewing process. The brewer needs to be able to repeat good batches and learn from poor ones.

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