A. If you're new to brewing we recommend starting with partial grain brewing. Partial grain is much less complicated than all grain brewing but just as fun. In partial grain brewing one uses a pound or two of grain along with extracts, which are prepackaged malts, that come in either liquid or dry form. Together, this combination provides all the fermentables needed to brew a quality beer. Liquid extracts contain about 18 to 20% water while dry extracts have the moisture removed. You use less dry extract than liquid extract because the dry is a bit more concentrated pound for pound. The rule of thumb is - 16 ounces of liquid malt extract (by weight not by volume) is equivalent to about 12.5 ounces of dry extract. When using extracts there are three simple steps you need to accomplish: Boiling (or Brewing), Fermenting, and Bottling. Each of these steps requires its own equipment. For example, for boiling you'll need a fairly large stainless steel or enamel coated pot that can hold several gallons of liquid depending on your batch size. If you're brewing one of our American Home Brewer's 2.5 gallon EZ Brew kits you'll need a smaller pot, if you're brewing one of our 5 galllon EZ Brew kits you'll need a larger one. In order to ferment the beer you'll need a Fermentation or Equipment Kit. Now, you could spend hundreds of dollars on this stuff, but why? The American Home Brewer offers the least expensive Fermentation Kits on the internet, guaranteed! Finally, once fully fermented, you'll need to bottle your beer. The American Home Brewer also sells complete bottling kits for either 2.5 gallon or 5 gallon batches.That's pretty much it, you've got it covered!
Q. What kind of equipment do I need for home brewing?
A. Well, you're in luck! The American Home Brewer has a nice selection of very fairly priced EZ Brew ingredient kits for 1.25, 2.5 and 5 gallon batches. Our ingredient kits contain malt extracts, grain, hops, adjuncts, finings, yeast, and a recipe sheet. In other words everything you need comes neatly packaged in an American Home Brewer Ingredient Kit. And, to put some icing on the cake, our ingredient kits are probably the least expensive on the internet. Why you ask? Well, it's really quite simple. We don't have any fancy full color printed boxes and fancy packaging, you know, the stuff you end up throwing in the trash when you're done brewing. Also,our malt is manufactured from organic grains right here in the United States so there's no expensive importation and customs costs. Believe it when we say, as a consumer, you end up paying for that pretty full color box and all that imported malt.
Q. Where do I get the ingredients needed to brew?
A. Most brewers brew their beer in the kitchen. A kitchen is the most common and convenient place to brew because fire, water and refrigeration are generally at your disposal and all within reach. Some brewers have custom set ups in their garages while others have dedicated out buildings they call their "breweries". Eventually, you may enjoy brewing so much that you actually want to start or build your own brewery. But for now, all you're going to need is your kitchen provided it has a stove that works and some running water. We at The American Home Brewer are huge proponents of the 2.5 gallon batch. There are a number of good reasons for this. First, when it comes to overall volume and weight, 2.5 gallons of anything is alot easier to manage than 5 gallons. Next, if you mess up a batch it's only 2.5 gallons down the toilet, not 5 gallons. Brewing 2.5 gallons instead of 5 gallons means you can brew more often, after all it is alot of fun. Brewing more often means you can brew a larger variety of beers and learn which ones you like best. Basically you can experiment with a lot less risk. And finally, if you end up not liking your beer, do you really want to be stuck with 5 gallons of it? Home brew shops across the country swear by the 5 gallon batch and typically ingredient kits found in these shops and online are for 5 gallon batches. We have nothing against brewing 5 gallons of beer, we just think our reasons for brewing 2.5 gallons make a lot more sense. We think you'll agree!
Q. Where do I brew, do I need a lot of space?
A. Ah! Patience, a virtue some of us are blessed with, while the rest of us, quite frankly, are not. This is definately a two part question and it all depends on what you mean by the word "brew". If you're referring to the process by which you boil the wort, add the ingredients, fill your kitchen with that wonderful aroma of malt and then get your wort into the fermentation vessel, you're lookin' at about 2 hours total plus some clean up time. Now, if you're talking about calling over all your buddies to suprise them with your very own home brewed beer, add about 3 weeks to that. Good things take time, Rome wasn't built in a day! Here's the process in a nutshell. After your wort has cooled down from the boil you transfer it (or rack it as the pro's say), to your fermentation vessel (your bucket). You then pitch (add) the yeast put on the lid, install the airlock device, and set it in a part of your house that maintains an average temperature of about 65 to 75 degrees. In about 8 hours or so, sometimes more, sometimes less, you begin to notice bubbles developing in your airlock. This means the yeast is very happy because they are hunting down the sugars in your wort and converting them to alcohol. At the same time the yeast is creating CO2 and the bubbles you see is the CO2 gas escaping. In about 6 to 8 days your beer will have fermented at which time you'll remove it from the fermentation vessel (your bucket) and rack it (transfer it) to your bottling bucket. You'll add a little dextrose (corn sugar) to your bottling bucket and then bottle up all your beer. Once bottled you'll store the bottles for another 10 to 12 days. After 10 to 12 days you'll put a couple of bottles in the fridge and when you get home from work the next day you'll crack one open, and then decide if it's time to call in the troops.
Q. How long does it take to brew beer?
FAQ's 1 - I'm new to home brewing, please fill me in!
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