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How to make beer at home the easy way using a partial grain extract beer recipe kit.

Posted by paul tower on

If you're new to homebrewing and looking for information on how to brew beer at home, or if you're brewing simple no boil kits like Coopers and are looking to take the next step in your brewing hobby, then this tutorial is for you.  We will show you how to make an extract with steeping grains kit, also known as a partial grain kit in this guide.

What you will need:

- A 5 Gallon or larger brew pot is recommended although a smaller pot can work

- Mixing Spoon

- Primary fermenting pail or glass carboy

- Thermometer

- Extract Beer Recipe Kit

- Chlorine free water.  We like using RO or distilled water but treated or filtered tap water should be fine.


Step 1. Add the required amount of water to your brew kettle.  This will be listed in your instructions and will usually be 3-4 gallons.


homebrew beer tutorial step 1


Step 2. Bring the water up to roughly 160F (71C) and turn off your burner.

beer brewing tutorial guide


Step 3. Add your included crushed grains to a grain bag and insert it into your kettle

adding beer grains to your homebrew kettle


Step 4. Stir the grains well with your mixing spoon and check the temperature.  You want it to be around 155F (68C) but as long as it's between 145F and 165F you will be fine.

mashing your beer grains


Step 5. Put the lid on your pot and start a timer for 30 minutes.  Your grain will lose temperature during this period but don't worry about it.  We're just looking to get some color and flavor out of the grains so temperature is not nearly as important as when you're mashing grains for an all grain brew.

starting a timer for your homebrew beer mash


Step 6. Once your timer ends remove the grain bag and hold it over your pot.  Let the liquid drip into your brew pot.  Don't worry about getting all the liquid out of the grain bag.

steeping grains dripping into brew pot


Step 7. Bring the liquid to a boil.

boiling wort


Step 8. Turn off your burner and remove your pot from the burner.  If you leave your pot on the burner the malt extract might hit the bottom of your pot and scorch.  Pour in your liquid malt extract while constantly stirring.

adding liquid malt extract to your brew pot


Step 9.  Bring the liquid (now called wort) to a boil.  Watch your pot closely since there is a possibility of a boil over at this point.  Keeping a glass of cold water on hand and pouring a bit in will help controlling the foam that builds up while reaching a boil.  You can also add a few drops of Fermcap which will greatly reduce your boil over chances.


Step 10. Add in your 60 minute (also known as bittering addition) hops. Some people choose to add their hops to a bag and some add them straight into their kettle.  This is a matter of personal preference and either method is fine.  

adding hops to the boil


Step 11. Once your hops are in the kettle start a timer for 60 minutes.


Step 12. Add the rest of your hops as per your recipe instructions.  If it says 40 minutes you add them with 40 minutes left in the boil.  If they say 20 minutes then add them with 20 minutes left etc.  This recipe has a 15 minute addition.

flavor hop addition


Step 13. Although not necessary we like adding a whirlfloc tablet and yeast nutrient with 5 minutes left in the boil.  The whirlfloc tablet helps in naturally clarifying the beer.  The nutrient provides the yeast with vitamins and minerals that will help them have a healthy and complete fermentation.

yeast nutrient and whirlfloc tablet


Step 14. When your 60 minute timer is done put your brew pot into an ice bath in your kitchen sink.  Stirring it with a sanitized mixing spoon will help it cool down faster.  Using an immersion chiller is recommended if you have one.

cooling wort in an ice bath


Step 15. Once the wort has cooled down to about 85F (30C) or less pour it into a clean and sanitized fermenter.  We like using diversol for cleaning and Star San for sanitizing.  Add cold water until you've reached the volume indicated in your recipe instructions.  Usually this will be 5-6 gallons.  Your wort should be around 65-68f (18-20C) before proceeding to the next step.  If it's not insert your air lock and wait for it to cool down.


Step 16. Oxygenate your wort by mixing rapidly with a spoon or by using a drill attachment like the degas-x, then sprinkle in your pack of dry beer yeast.  At this point you should also check the gravity with a hydrometer and write it down.  Having an initial gravity reading and a final gravity reading will let you calculate your beers ABV.

adding beer yeast


Step 17. Put on your air lock and keep your fermenter somewhere ideally around 18C.  We also like covering our carboys with something to keep the light out.  Wait about 2 weeks and check the gravity.  Most beers finish around 1.010-1.015.  Once your gravity stays the same over the period of a few days you can proceed to bottling or kegging.


That's all there is to it.  If you keep everything clean and sanitized and don't ferment to cold (below 16C) or to hot (above 22C) your beer will turn out awesome.  Keep in mind this will vary by yeast strain.  The recommended temperature will be indicated on your yeast pack.  

If you have any questions feel free to comment below.

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