Introduction There are thousands of different styles of beer in the world today but the one thing they all have in common is that the brewing process has been the same for 4, 500 years (Papazian, 2003). The steps are basic: clean the equipment, make the wort, ferment, and bottle. There are many books on brewing beer and they are exhaustive with theory. This being the case, the fermentation process, and the bottling will not be cover herein. By following these simple instructions, anyone can make the transition from Beer Lover to Beer Aficionado. As I was once told, it takes beer to make beer.

So grab a beer and let us get started. Equipment Needed Inspect your equipment for cracks, leaks, chips, etc. Ensure your equipment is safe for use and sanitized properly. o a 20 qt. brew pot (large canning pot) o large stirring spoon (non-wood) o ordinary table spoon o timer (a clock will work) o measuring cup (preferably Pyrex glass) o ferment or (food-grade plastic bucket or glass carboy) o airlock (get from home brew shop) o sanitizer (Iodine concentration) o thermometer Preparation 1.

Assemble ingredients. Gather the ingredients for the brew. A kit usually consists of malt extract, yeast, and hops. The extract may already be 'hopped' and the kit may not include any hops. 2. Clean and sanitize.

Note It is not recommended to use chlorine bleach to sanitize the brewing equipment. Bleach makes a great sanitizer but corrodes many metal brewing parts. It may seem strange, but the most important thing in brewing is cleaning and. Clean all equipment and then sanitize it in an iodine solution with the exception of the brew pot, wort chiller (if available) and the spoon. Sanitization will occur for these items during the boil. The home brew shop sells a great iodine concentration for this or medical iodine is a suitable substitute.

Make a sanitizing solution and allow these items to soak. To make this solution, add one tablespoon of iodine concentration for every gallon of water. Table 1 - Cleaning and Sanitizing Checklist Tablespoon Clean Sanitize Measuring Cup Clean Sanitize Yeast Starter Jar Clean SanitizeFermentor and Lid Clean Sanitize Airlock Clean Sanitize Thermometer Clean Sanitize Making Wort Wort is what brewers call the sweet, amber liquid extracted from malted barley that the yeast will later ferment into beer. 1. Boil the brew water. In the brew pot, bring two gallons of water to a boil.

Pour this water into the ferment or and leave it to cool. Now bring three gallons of water to boil in the brew pot. You will be boiling all of the extract in just three gallons and adding this concentrated wort to the water already in the ferment or to make the total five gallons. 2. Rehydrate the dried yeast. While many people say this step is not necessary, re-hydrating the yeast assures the best results.

While waiting for the brew water to boil, rehydrate two packets of dried ale yeast. Put one cup of warm (95-105^0 F), water into the sanitized jar and stir in the yeast. Cover with plastic wrap and wait 15 minutes. 3. Add malt extract. Once the water in the brew pot comes to a boil, turn off the stove and stir in the malt extract.

Be sure the extract is completely dissolved (if the malt extract is the dry variety, make sure there are no clumps; if the extract is syrup, make sure that none is stuck to the bottom of the pot). Turn the heat back on and resume the boil. Stir the wort regularly during the boil to be sure that it does not scorch. Try to maintain a "rolling boil" (a boil that is just on the verge of boiling). 4. Add hops.

If using an un hopped extract, add the first (bitter ing) hop addition and begin timing the hour-long boil. 5. Watch for boil overs. As the wort boils, foam will form on the surface. This foam will persist until the wort goes through the 'hot break's tage. The wort will easily boil over during this foaming stage, so stay close by and stir frequently.

Get a spray bottle with clean water and spray the wort as it starts to foam over. Doing this prevents a sticky mess from getting everywhere. 6. Add finishing hops.

During the last 15 minutes of the hour-long boil, add the finishing hops to the boil. The finishing hops add a happy flavor to the finished beer. Insert the wort chiller into the wort at this time to sterilize it before use. 7.

Shut down the boil. Nothing special happens here; just remove the pot from heat. 8. Cool the wort. Note Temperature is critical during this stage. If the water is too hot, damage to the yeast may occur.

If the temperature is too cold, the yeast may take longer to start fermenting the wort. Chill the yeast to pitching temperature (65-90 ^0 F) as quickly as possible. A wort chiller is ideal for this but if one is not available make an ice bath in the sink and then stir the wort until it reaches a temperature of about 75 ^0 F. Summary: Beer brewing is believed to have begun with the Mesopotamian's. They not only began modern human civilizations, they made it more enjoyable by producing beer! Evidence of beer brewing has been found in all human civilizations since then. Now you will be able to make your life more enjoyable by brewing your own beer.

This practice has become a highly respected art utilized by the novice all the way up to the Master Brewer. Experiment with different flavors and techniques to make this practice more enjoyable, and tasty. Document the things you do, for example, noting the temperature of the wort at certain intervals, the types of grains used, or the age and type of hops utilized. This will help you adjust the flavor in future brews, and avoid mistakes. Brewing can become a skill that you will enjoy for many years to come. ReferencesPapazian, C.

(2003) The Complete Joy of Home Brewing (3 rd ed. ). New York: Harper Collins.