Up next in Learn about Beer (16 videos)
Beer is good! And it can taste even better with the brewski tips in this Howcast video series.
You Will Need
- A fermenting bucket or carboy
- An airlock and stopper
- Household bleach
- A medium saucepan
- 2/3 c. priming (corn) sugar
- A bottling bucket
- A racking cane and plastic tubing
- A jar or glass
- A long metal spoon
- A spring-loaded bottle filler
- 48 “pop-top” beer bottles
- An assistant
- 48 caps
- A capper
- Sodium percarbonate sanitizer
- A hydrometer
- An auto-siphon
After you've completed Part 1 by sealing the fermenter, store the beer at room temperature in an undisturbed area. Fermentation for this brew will take two to three weeks, depending on the strain of yeast you use, and even the weather.
As the yeast nibbles away at the malt, the beer will swirl and bubble, especially over the first few days. When you notice less than one bubble per minute, (usually after about two weeks), check the beer. If it's still hazy, then the yeast needs more time to settle. If it's clear and dark brown in color, initial fermentation is complete.
Prepare to transfer
Move the fermenter to a tabletop or countertop, wash your hands, and sanitize all equipment in a bleach solution. Place the bottling bucket, jar, bottles, caps, and capper close at hand.
Take a hydrometer reading
If you are using a hydrometer, take a final reading to determine the alcohol percentage of your brew.
Boil the priming sugar
Boil one to two cups of water in a medium saucepan and add the priming sugar. Continue to boil the mixture for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, wait until the mixture stops bubbling, and pour it into the bottling bucket. Place the bucket below the fermenter.
Open the airlock and stopper. Insert the shorter end of the racking cane, a rod used to pull beer from one vessel to another, into the tubing. Fill the tubing with clean water. Holding your thumb over the tube, dip the racking cane into the beer. Lower the end of the tube into a jar, and release your thumb.
Move your beer into the bottling bucket
Let the initial clear liquid run into the jar or glass; discard it later. As soon as the liquid in the tube runs dark, begin siphoning it into the bottling bucket. Transfer all the liquid, stirring it gently with the spoon as you mix it with the priming sugar. Don't stir too vigorously. Leave excess sediment behind in the fermenter.
Transfer the siphon
Once the bottling bucket is full, lift it off the floor and onto the tabletop. Remove the plastic tube from the racking cane. Attach one end of the tube to the valve on the bottling bucket, and the other end to the bottle-filler attachment.
Bottle your beer
Insert the filler attachment into a bottle. When it hits the bottom, the beer will begin to flow. Fill until there's one inch of space left in the neck—the beer needs this room to carbonate properly.
Pass off the bottle to your accomplice to crimp on the cap using the capper. Continue until the bottling bucket is empty or all 48 bottles are full.
Condition the beer
Store the sealed bottles at room temperature for 7 to 10 days, during which time the yeast will eat the priming sugar, causing carbonation. When it's ready, chill the beer in the fridge. Never drink straight from the bottle, as there may be yeast and sediment on the rim. Pour yourself a tall one, and say hello to the freshest beer you've ever tasted.