How to Brew Beer in India – A Beginners Guide
Recipe to brew 8 Liters
Step 1: Read
Read through this entire brewing process before your brew day. This blog is modified to suite equipment’s available in India. Find all you need at diybrew.in
Step 2: Collect your equipment
Ensure you have all the below Ingredients and equipment’s before you start.
- 900 Grams Dried Malt Extract
- 20 Grams of East Kent Golding (EKG) Hops
- ½ Pack of Dry yeast
- Fermenter – 10 or 20 liter plastic water can
- Rubber stopper
- Water – A fresh can of mineral water should be fine. Avoid RO water as they are devoid of minerals
- Lots of ice – about 2 to 3 KG of ice for 8 liters.
- Cleaner brush and mild unscented soap
- Sanitizer – Iodine from your nearest medical store
- Boil Pot with capacity of 10 to 12 liters. Bigger the better
- Yeast Proof Jar: Small vessel with 1/2 or 1 liter capacity
- Kitchen Weighing Scale (Should be able to measure 2 to 3 Grams minimum)
- Stirring Spoon
Step 3: Cleaning and sanitizing (Very important step)
Using unscented soap, clean ALL brewing equipment. Debris on equipment can harbor microorganisms that can spoil a batch of beer, even with proper sanitation.
Next, Sanitize equipment: Sanitizing would reduce the amount of microorganisms on the equipment.
To sanitize the equipment, do the following:
- Add one teaspoon of iodine to 1 liter of filtered water
- Stir the water to completely dissolve the iodine
- Dip the equipment in this solution (just before use) for minimum 2 minutes
- After 2 minutes, pour out the remaining iodine solution from the equipment
- Do not rinse the equipment with water after step 3-4
Step 4: Heat water and yeast proofing
- Boil about 8 liters of water
- After the water boils, take ¼ cup of water in your sanitized yeast proof jar and keep it aside to cool. Dip the jar in cold water if needed. Keep it covered always
- After the water in the yeast proof jar cools below 25C, open to the yeast pack and pour half its content into the yeast proof jar
- Close it with a lid
- Do not shake the jar
- Put a clip on the other half of yeast in the packet and store it in your fridge, you don’t need it until your next batch of beer
Step 5: Add Dried Malt Extract Powder
Remove the water from the flame. Add ¼ to ½ KG DME slowly. Stir continuously while adding the DME. Do not allow the DME to settle to the bottom.Stir until completely dissolved. This is now called ‘Wort’. Keep the remaining DME aside for use later in step 9.
Remember: Keep an eye on the wort, if you boil too much, the wort will boil over and create a mess. Do not close the boiler with a lid from now until the end of the boil
Step 6: Return to heat
- Once the malt extract has dissolved, return the liquid to medium flame
- Keep an eye on the wort, it may overflow if you boil too much
- If you think the wort may overflow, reduce the flame immediately
Step 7: Hops Addition
- After returning the wort to flame, add 20 Grams of Hops
- Boil on medium flame for 15 minutes
Step 8: Sanitize equipment
- Start sanitizing all equipment
- Everything that comes into contact with the wort after the boil must be sanitized to prevent risk of infection that could spoil a batch of beer
Step 9: Add DME
- Switch off the flame
- Add the remaining the DME into the wort slowly
- Stir continuously while adding DME
- Turn on the flame and continue boiling at low flame for 5 more minutes
Step 10: Chill wort
- Everything the wort touches from now on should be sanitized. (See step 3 on how to sanitize)
- Dip the boiler into a bucket with ice and water
- Wait until the wort is cool. The temperature of the wort should reach 22 to 25C. Remember: use Sanitized Thermometer to take readings
- Do not stir or splash the wort too much while cooling
- After cooling, all extra hops should settle to the bottom of the boiler
Step 12: Hydrometer reading
- Pour some wort into the Hydrometer and take the Hydrometer reading.
- Note this down in a book as ‘Original Gravity’ (OG). In the above picture, the OG is 1.045
- This reading will help you calculate the amount of alcohol in your beer after fermenting
- Discard this sample, do not pour it back into the boil pot
Step 13: Fill and aerate the wort
- Carefully pour the contents of the boiler into a 10 or 20 Liter jar (Cleaned and sanitized fermenter )
- Make sure you do not pour the hops at the bottom of the boiler into the fermenter. Use a filter if needed
- Close the lid of the fermenter with a sanitized rubber stopper
- Shake the fermenter vigorously for about 1 or 2 minute. This should dissolve oxygen into the wort. The yeast needs oxygen to grow and multiply. More Oxygen, more better
Step 14: Pitch yeast
- Pour the yeast (from Step 4-3) into the wort slowly and evenly
- Do not shake too much
Step 15: Seal fermenter
- Seal the fermenter with a clean/sanitized rubber stopper and airlock
- Pour some iodine solution prepared in step 3-1, into the airlock
- Do not pour more than the ‘Max’ limit marked on the air-lock
Step 16: Store
- Store the fermenter in a cool dark place away from your kids or pets for a minimum of 14 days
- If room temperature is more than 22C, keep the fermenter in a tub of water with ice for the first 24 to 48 hours
- Be careful, do not let the temperature drop below 17C
- After about 6 - 12 hour, you should see some bubbling activity in the airlock. This indicated that the yeast has started eating the sugar in DME to produce Alcohol
- The bubbling would stop after about 2 to 3 days
- Do not open the fermenter for the next 14 days (minimum)
Step 17: Bottle cleaning
While the yeast is busy munching on the sugars and producing the good stuff, you would need to go around and collect old bottles. I prefer using old beer glass bottles. You can use just about any food grade, plastic bottle with a tight cap.
Used bottles need to be cleaned thoroughly before sanitizing. The first time a bottle is used it should be soaked in a cleaning solution (like bleach water), and scrubbed inside and out with a nylon bottle brush. Heavy duty cleaning is needed to ensure that there are no deposits in which bacteria or mold spores can hide. This helps the sanitizing solution reach all areas.
After the bottles have been cleaned with a brush, soak them in sanitizing solution (Iodine solution) for about 5 minutes. Allow the bottles to drain upside down on a rack, or rinse them with boiled water. Also sanitize the siphon unit, stirring spoon, and bottle caps. But don't boil or bake the bottle caps, as this may ruin the gaskets.
Step 18: Priming
Congratulations, your beer is almost ready. What you have now is un-carbonated beer. If you drink it now it's going to be flat. Priming is the process of adding a measured amount of additional fermentable sugars just before bottling. Live yeast still in your beer will convert the additional sugars to carbon dioxide while in the bottle. The carbon dioxide has no way to escape the bottle resulting in carbonated beer.
Before you prime your beer, take the hydrometer reading of your beer. Note it down as Final Gravity (FG) in your book. To calculate the Alcohol by Volume (ABV) of your beer, simply take the difference between OG and FG and divide by 7.362. You can also use the lookup chart here.
Boil about 80 to 100 grams of regular cane sugar in about 1/2 cup of water. Wait for it to cool and gently pour it into the beer. Stir the beer gently with a sanitized spoon, trying to mix it in evenly while being careful not to stir up the sediment too much. Wait a half hour for the sediment to settle back down and to allow more diffusion of the priming solution to take place. Do not splash the beer.
Fill the clean and sanitized bottles using a siphon. Let it slide down the side of the bottle slowly, do not splash the beer. Carefully cap the bottles with sanitized caps.
Place bottles in a cool dark place around 22°C away from light. Carbonation should take about 4 to 5 days. Next carefully transfer the beer bottles into your fridge and let it sit for about a day.
Next.... Enjoy your beer! Cheers!