My first homebrew day 2 - The Mix

 Steeping the grain

Steeping the grain

 
 Adding the malt extract

Adding the malt extract

If you haven't read day 1, be sure to go back and see how I started my journey as a homebrewer. Today I started mixing my hoppy "potion" in a 5 gallon pan which admittedly looks slightly out of place in my kitchen! Here are the steps that I followed as per my instructions.

1. Take your grain and put it in a steeping bag and placed it into my pan with 3 gallons of water on the hob for 25 minutes at a temperature of 68°C. The bag was included in my brewing kit and looks like a net to infuse the flavour of the grain into the water creating what brewers call a 'wort'.

2. Remove the grain bag from the wort, which was a golden brown colour at this point, and bring the wort to a boil. Once boiling, I added the malt extract, I used a hopped extract which I think will be more to my taste. The extract is really thick and sticky and the wort needs to be stirred continuously to stop it sinking to the bottom making life more difficult. The instructions warn at this point that there could be an overspill of foam whilst adding the malt but this didn't occur in my batch.

3. Hop o'clock! Now that the malt has been mixed in on the heat for about 10 minutes, it's time to add the hops. There are hundreds of different type of hops but the chap in the homebrew shop recommended 'Citra' hops to get the flavour that I described to him. He also advised that I go for the hop pellets as you can just add them to the mix and leave them to infuse the wort.

4. I cooled the wort by transferring the pan into my sink which I filled with ice and water. The instructions didn't really explain why it had to be cooled quickly but I didn't want to take any chances! Following the cooling, I poured the mixture into the fermenting tank which I sterilised thoroughly. 

5. Add the yeast. Time to turn this bad boy alcoholic! I was told that I could use either liquid yeast which will need to be 'activated' or freeze dried yeast, I went for the freeze dried to save an extra activation step. I simply poured it in and added water to bring the total contents up to 5 gallons. I then added an airlock which I understand lets Co2 escape without letting air in which would make the brew stale.

Now all I have to do is wait for a couple of weeks before syphoning the beer leaving the yeast behind and it'll be ready to rack. Watch this space and if I've done anything horrible wrong... Please tell me how to save my beer!