Kit Brewing Guide for 1st Time Brewers. Beer and Ale.

Discussion in 'Beer Brewing "How-To" Guides' started by Kyle_T, Jan 18, 2013.

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  1. Jan 18, 2013 #1

    Kyle_T

    Kyle_T

    Kyle_T

    The Essex Brewer

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    Kit Brewing Guide for Newbies.

    As a relative newbie myself to the beer brewing world, I have decided to do a 'How to' for sterilising and mixing the kit together that will hopefully make it easier for the first timer to have a successful first brew, Others may have different opinions on methods involved but this is the way I have done it and it has worked well so far, I haven't had a failed brew yet. I shall do my best to include photos when I do my next brew so people have a visual aid.

    One note to remember is I use Dried Malt Extract (DME) in most of my kit brews to increase the flavour and generally brew between 20 litres and 23 litres, Dextrose is also used throughout the brewing process except in some cases of priming. Without further babbling, lets get cracking.

    Stage 1: Equipment and Sterilising.

    I can't emphasise the point enough that CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO GODLINESS when it comes to beer brewing, having horrible little bacteria ruin 20 litres of your finest brew will be a morale crushing  experience, so, to make sure everything is sterile is a serious business.

    You can purchase sterilising solution from places such as Wilkinson's, all local home brew stores and from starter kits.

    All you have to do is follow the instructions on the label in reguards to amounts of sterilising solution to use. But as a general rule of thumb I use 4 teaspoons for the Fermenting Vessel (FV) and 2 large teaspoons for the sink/sink bowl.

    As for the pot of water I haven't seen necessary to sterilise this as getting the water to the boil does this naturally. I will also include a list of basic equipment that you will need to make sure your kit is completed in a couple of hours.

    Here is the list of what I use:

    1 tin of Liquid Malt Extract (LME) Kit of your choice.
    1 set of kit supplied instructions.
    1 sachet of kit supplied yeast.
    500g DME (colour matching the brew I'm doing, This is optional).
    1kg Brewing Sugar (Dextrose).
    2 tins of 454g Black Treacle.

    [​IMG]

    Brewing Equipment:

    Sterilising Solution.
    Teaspoon.
    25 Litre Fermenting Vessel.
    9 Litre Stock Pot.
    Starter Kit Beer Paddle.
    Starter Kit Thermometer.
    Starter Kit Hydrometer.
    Wilko Plastic Trial Jar.
    Waterproof Oven Gloves.
    Top Removing Can Opener (Less syrup wasted).
    20 Litres of bottled water.
    Scissors.

    Stage 2: The Brew!

    I shall start this stage by reiterating the point of STERILISE EVERYTHING AND RINSE THOROUGHLY. Once it has been rinsed and you can no longer smell the solution on the equipment, we can begin.

    Step 1: I start by filling up the 9L Stock Pot with 4L of cold tap water and heat it to the point of boiling and I fill the other pot with 2L to heat the treacle, fortunately my pots both have a lid so this doesn't take long for me, it might take longer for you.

    [​IMG]

    Step 2: After the water has been heated, remove any labelling from the kit can and place the tin on its side with the seam of the tin facing upwards, this reduces the chance of getting glue in your lovely and sterile water, Stand both the tins of treacle in the other with the lids on and then set the timer for 17 Minutes, I have found this length of time liquidates the syrup much better and makes it easier to mix later on, but it is also getting close to the time of the lids popping off so watch them carefully.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Step 3: Use your oven gloves to remove the tins after 17 minutes, being careful to avoid touching the water as we can use this again later, Place upright on the side and use your can opener to remove the lid and place to one side somewhere which is clean and sterile.

    Step 4: Take the tin and pour the contents into your Fermenting Vessel, taking care to avoiding spilling any, when the tin is empty place it with the lid to one side and re-heat the water in the pot on the stove. Again bring the water to a near boil, but just before steam starts to rise.

    [​IMG]

    Step 5: Ensuring you kept your tin and lid clean you will have residual Malt Extract on the side, rinse these in the re-heated water to make sure you get as much of the extract out as possible. Once they have been rinsed discard in a safe manner. After that you will want to repeat for the 2 tins of treacle and discard them safely also. The next step you can skip if you are not using DME.

    Step 6: With a pair of scissors, open your packet of DME and carefully pour the DME into the wort and stir continuously, try to avoid having the bag too close to the wort as this can cause it to clump, make sure the DME has dissolved thoroughly and use a little of the water to rinse the packet out, throw the packet away as normal. Keep the scissors.  

    Step 7: Use the scissors again to open your pack of Brewing Sugar/Dextrose, again, Pour with one hand and stir continuously with the other, ensure the contents are thoroughly dissolved, throw the packet away as normal, if you have done this quick enough the wort will still be hot enough for the next step.

    Step 8: If doing this by yourself, This step is done in 6 Litre stages, ensuring you have turned off the stove safely, take the stock pot and pour into the Wort, I usually do this from a standing height so it will aerate the Wort sufficiently, give it a thorough and vigorous stir.

    [​IMG]

    Step 9: Next you'll want your bottled water, take as many bottles as needed to make it to 10 Litres, pouring it in again from a standing height to aerate the Wort as much as possible, When at the 10 Litre mark, stop pouring and again give it a thorough and vigorous stir. Repeat this process for every 6 Litres of bottled water you add up to your desired Batch Size (20 Litres for added body, flavour and head retention, 23 Litres for the standard 40 pint brew).

    [​IMG]

    Step 10: When you have reached your desired Batch Size take your Thermometer and take a temperature reading, anywhere between 18C and 22C and you are ready to pitch your yeast supplied with the kit, If it is higher, allow it to cool, I just let it stand for a couple of minutes but usually it is already at this temperature after mixing.

    Step 11: Next take your plastic trial jar or suitable piece of equipment and fill it just over 3/4 full of Wort, Next drop your hydrometer in and if everything has been mixed thoroughly you will get an accurate reading, record this number in a notebook or something similar, along with the date you started and the brew number. Drink the sample as it is brewers law to drink it all as NONE is allowed to be WASTED. This is the holy grail of life were making here.

    Step 12: The final step, considering all the hard work you have put in today, you get the honour of pitching the yeast, open the sachet and sprinkle over as much as the foam as possible, I generally do a top to bottom, zig-zag motion and this works for me, before going around the edges to make sure I've used all the yeast. Seal the Fermenting Vessel with the lid, I don't use an airlock as the lids are designed to let small amounts of CO2 to escape naturally. Finally move the Fermenting Vessel to a room or area with an ambient temperature of 20C and let it do it's magic.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And that's it, that's how I make my shop bought kits. Hopefully this will provide some useful knowledge for the first time brewers and I wish you all the best of luck, I shall include a guide on how to barrel/keg and how to bottle.

    Good Luck and many happy brews.
     
    Baldilocks likes this.
  2. Jan 19, 2013 #2

    Dunfie

    Dunfie

    Dunfie

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    Good post Kyle. :thumb:

    One of the best pieces of advice I got when I first started brewing was to spend some time documenting my processes. This was you not only get a a chance to share you experiences but it also allows you to analyse it objectively yourself. This will become even more relevant if you have any plans to move to the dark side.
     
  3. Jan 19, 2013 #3

    Kyle_T

    Kyle_T

    Kyle_T

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    Thank you.

    There are some bits I want to add, hopefully someone can make use of it.
     
  4. Jan 19, 2013 #4

    mattrickl06

    mattrickl06

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    I would add that it is much easier to mix the DME with warm (not hot) water first in the fv as it mixes much better and avoids clumping. :)
     
  5. Jan 19, 2013 #5

    Kyle_T

    Kyle_T

    Kyle_T

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    Either way but personally I find it easier doing it in the pot. That's why I wrote the guide as an 'In my experience' type of way.
     
  6. Feb 17, 2013 #6

    mrs moosey

    mrs moosey

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    I've only just seen this thread, but I shall definitely have a few more reads of it before I start my next brew. Great stuff Kyle :thumb:
     
  7. Feb 17, 2013 #7

    Kyle_T

    Kyle_T

    Kyle_T

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    Thank you very much, it is still a work in progress as I have yet to add the photos.
     
  8. Apr 7, 2013 #8

    Kyle_T

    Kyle_T

    Kyle_T

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    As promised, all be it somewhat later than I said, I have added to photo's and made some minor adjustments to the steps involved now I've had more practice, If you come up with any other tips or tricks feel free to suggest them. Enjoy and Happy Brewing!
     
  9. Oct 3, 2013 #9

    remaerd

    remaerd

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    thank you i have copied your recipe ,apart from using i can treacle, can you tell me please what was the final gravity reading when finished, mines been on 7 days and the gravity is 6.5 so far. i will wait out the 11 days , and see . thanks Kyle T, :cheers: i will be using your method as a base from now on , thanks again
     
  10. Oct 3, 2013 #10

    Kyle_T

    Kyle_T

    Kyle_T

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    Hello mate,

    I believe that it started at 1.065 and finished at 1.012 making it around 8% - 8.2%.
     
  11. Oct 3, 2013 #11

    remaerd

    remaerd

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    i think i sent message to the wrong place , will try again, i would like to say thank you for using your recipe apart from 1 can of treacle , could you tell me please what the final gravity was when finished , after seven days mine is 6.5 , but i will wait the 11 days , let it run its coarse . i will be using your recipe all the time from now on as a base for future brewing , thanks again Kyle T. :cheers:
     
  12. Oct 3, 2013 #12

    remaerd

    remaerd

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    cheers my friend :thumb:
     
  13. Oct 15, 2013 #13

    Manxnorton

    Manxnorton

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    Kyle,
    top read there m8.
    thanks very much, I am going to use your method and see where I am at.
    I tried beers a lotta years ago and only used a kit without all the extras.
    now my head will be on fire deciding what kit to get.
    looking forward to reading about kegging etc. as apart from reading on it I have had no experience other than using old brown ale bottles with red snap on tops many years ago and adding small ammounts of sugar to it.
    I am looking forward to using a beer keg.
    all exiting stuff can't wait
    ATB
    Bri
     
  14. Oct 15, 2013 #14

    Kyle_T

    Kyle_T

    Kyle_T

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    Hello mate,

    I appreciate the positive comment, glad it was of use to you, I shall get around to altering it slightly again soon now that I have plunged into the dark side. As for kegging, it is straight forward enough and is pretty convenient should you wish to have a suitable thirst quencher on tap but I have found it a little lacking in the finesse that brown bottles and caps give after a six month maturing session.

    There has also been a few problems along the way with barrels also that I shall be more than happy to explain in a pm if it is at all helpful.

    Cheers,
    Kyle_T
     
  15. Oct 16, 2013 #15

    Manxnorton

    Manxnorton

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    Hallow m8,
    chuffed to bits getting a PM or two :thumb:
    been a very very long time since I done a few batches, it was nut brown ale back then.
    The bottles were Broon Ale bottles kindly donated from the working mens clubs when I used spin the decks lol.
    Any good online shops for bottles and the caps would be appreciated marra as I have 99% of the kit.
    Going to stick with brown beers for now.
    I really have to get off my backside and get cracking getting your recipe together.
    catchya soon m8
    ATB
    Bri
     
  16. Oct 18, 2013 #16

    gazkilla

    gazkilla

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    Hi,I'm on my fourth brew and I've got the same stout kit in your picture. I'm still learning do i was wondering why you have the black treacle as it doesn't say anywhere to add it,what does this do? Also is it best to use bottled water instead of tap water? Nice TUT btw :thumb:
    Thanks in advance,Gary
     
  17. Oct 18, 2013 #17

    Kyle_T

    Kyle_T

    Kyle_T

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    Hello Gary,

    The treacle is optional, you can make it as a bog standard kit but the treacle helps to improve the body, mouthfeel and gives a better taste to the brew.

    For kits I used bottled water as it had already been treated and the chlorine neutralised as I live in a hard water area. And it also reduces the chance of a bacterial infection.

    Cheers,
    Kyle_T
     
  18. Oct 19, 2013 #18

    gazkilla

    gazkilla

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    Ok Kyle thanks, would you recommend using the treacle with pale ale kits as well?
     
  19. Oct 19, 2013 #19

    Kyle_T

    Kyle_T

    Kyle_T

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    Personally I haven't tried it but I can imagine it would work, make the beer darker and give it a treacle after taste but the only way to tell is give it a try.

    Cheers,
    Kyle_T
     
  20. Oct 23, 2013 #20

    Manxnorton

    Manxnorton

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    you know what Kyle, I'm as bright as a two day eclipse :doh: as ive not checked the water here, I was gonna get bottled water and yes you've guessed it...forgot to get them.
    so my Golden ale batch is in the hands of the Gods!
    i'll know for next time, saying that I saw some guy use some powder in his mash PH5 or something and cant find the page anywhere to try and research all this, as the water is quite hard here.
    Funny that my neighbour works for the Water authority :lol:
    ATB
    Bri
     

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