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Introduction to Homebrewing

Introduction to Homebrewing

A talk I gave at SeatGeek as one of our employee classes. The talk covers a history of brewing and then how to brew a batch of your own!

Stephen D'Amico

March 19, 2015

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  1. Going to play a game… Inspired by his book “the

    homebrewer bible” The Complete Joy of Homebrewing
  2. First, What is Beer? • Water • Fermented Sugars (Alcohol)

    • Non-Fermented Sugars • Yeast • “Adjunct grains” • Alpha Acids (Hops) • … can keep going to increasingly more painful detail
  3. The First Batch (~7000 b.c.) • Beer was likely first

    created as an accident when barley for a batch of bread was left, wet, in a bucket outside • Barley germinated in the water • Natural airborne yeast got into bucket • Bucket sits there for awhile • Someone was like, “hmm, I wonder what this is?” • Taste… Profit.
  4. Early Years (5000 b.c. - 500 a.d.) • Mesopotamia ◦

    First brewers were women ◦ Brewing was considered similar to baking bread ◦ “One of the oldest professions” • Egypt ◦ Drink of the Pharaohs ◦ Used ceremoniously • Asia ◦ Chinese and Japanese develop rice wines/sake
  5. Early Years (5000 b.c. - 500 a.d.) • Romans ◦

    Had beer early but... ◦ Developed “more sophisticated palate” (wine) ▪ Probably led to downfall of Roman society; all of those pretentious Roman wine-o’s • Germanic Tribes ◦ Made “gruel-like” beers ◦ Heavy on the grist, usually drank with straws ◦ Probably tasted pretty terribly
  6. Early Years (5000 b.c. - 500 a.d.) • Early brewers

    often worked in what would be considered a “‘highly unsanitary” fashion today ◦ Reuse of tubs/spoons/stirrers that provided yeast to the beer accelerated process over natural fermentation • Was described as “strong with a taste that must be acquired” in ~500 b.c. ◦ Not much has changed!
  7. Middle Ages (500 - 1200 a.d.) • Challenging to grow

    grapes in northern Europe ◦ Grow a lot more grain; grain-heavy diet ◦ Beer becomes most common beverage (after water (no really, the thing about drinking beer instead of water is false)) • Unsophisticated packaging and preservatives make it hard to transport ◦ Origin of alehouses ~800 a.d. ◦ Evolved from Roman Inns
  8. Middle Ages (500 - 1200 a.d.) • Start using hops

    ~900 a.d. ◦ Some brewers thought they were “impure” ◦ London brewers defined “ale” as only water and barley, while “beer” was water, barley, oats, hops, etc. ◦ Didn’t quite catch on… yet! • Monasteries ◦ Abbeys became famous for brewing beer ◦ Monks dedicated themselves to brewing ◦ Became major beer suppliers in the period ◦ Weihenstephan Abbey 1040 a.d.
  9. Early Modern Era (1200 - 1700 a.d.) • Birth of

    the Brewery (~1200 a.d.) ◦ Germans standardized barrel sizes ◦ Pave way for beer exportation ◦ Took a few centuries for these processes to spread • Hops ~1300 a.d. ◦ Hoppy beers become popular ◦ Natural preservative properties discovered ◦ Greatly improved beer quality ◦ Hoppy beers gain acceptance in London by the ~1400’s
  10. Reinheitsgebot (1576 a.d.) • German Beer Purity Law • Required

    beer to be created from three ingredients ◦ Water ◦ Barley ◦ Hops • Yeast has not been “discovered” yet ◦ Generally just took some of the sediment from the last batch and threw it in the next • Sets the standard for quality
  11. Industrial Revolution (1700 - 1850 a. d.) • Lots of

    technological improvements! ◦ Thermometer, ~1760 ▪ Consistent heating made beer brewing more easily reproducible ◦ Steam Engines become economical, ~1765 ▪ Power the pumps and automatic stirrers needed for brewing ◦ Hydrometer, ~1770 ▪ Allows brewers to measure sugar content in their mash (we’ll get to this later!) ▪ Major efficiency improvements
  12. Industrial Revolution (1700 - 1900 a. d.) • The “smoky”

    problem ◦ Until this point, barley is roasted/dried in wood-fired kilns ◦ Imparts smoky flavors in the malt ◦ Tried to avoid by using dry wood/straw ▪ Expensive… ◦ Add more hops! ▪ Usually works, but tastes strong • Solved: Drum Roaster ~1817 ◦ Porters and stouts become viable without too much smokiness
  13. “Discovery” of Yeast (1857 a.d.) • Louis Pasteur discovers the

    role of yeast in brewing beer ◦ Was previously thought to be a chemical reaction creating the alcohol • Brewers now cultivate various yeast strains • Learn which ones do not have “off- flavors” • Now there are 100’s of strains used in commercial brewing
  14. Industrial Revolution (1700 - 1900 a. d.) • Two big

    innovations ◦ Bottom-fermenting Yeast 1870 ◦ Refrigeration 1871 • These two lead to production of Lagers • Lagers will eventually replace ales in terms of production volume and popularity
  15. Modern Brewing (1850 - 1970 a.d.) • In Europe... ◦

    Lots of breweries try to stick to “traditional” process ▪ Lots of abbeys still brew beer ▪ Process matures regionally ▪ Belgian “lambic” style still open-air ferment ◦ Family breweries grow to massive operations ▪ Create the brewing conglomerates that we have today ▪ SABMiller, Anheuser-Busch InBev, etc.
  16. Modern Brewing (1850 - 1970 a.d.) • In the USA

    ◦ Lots of breweries (in the 1000’s) until Prohibition in 1920 ◦ After prohibition, only large breweries remain ◦ During prohibition, beer gets “watered down” to increase profits ▪ The beginning of “American-style Lager” ▪ Uhg. ◦ Consolidation to a few major players post WW2 ▪ Schlitz, Bud, Miller, Coors, Pabst
  17. Homebrewing! (1978 a.d.) • Homebrewing remains illegal after prohibition is

    lifted • 1978, Congress passes bill to legalize small-scale brewing at home! • Charlie Papazian founds American Homebrew Association within months • He then publishes Complete Joy of Homebrewing in 1984
  18. US Craft Beer Explosion (1980 - today) • 1980 -

    92 breweries in the US • 1990 - 284 • 1995 - 858 • 2000 - 1566 • 2005 - 1477 ◦ Sadface… mostly brewpubs failing • 2010 - 1813 • 2014 - 3464
  19. Homebrewing Today • Has grown into major hobby in US

    • More and more home brew shops are opening in the US • Estimated 1.2M homebrewers in the USA • Ready-to-brew kits have come way down in price; reasonable starter kit will run ~$100 • Competitions all over the place!
  20. What goes into beer? • Many ingredients over the years

    and brewers experiment with more all the time! • Generally, though you’ll be using Malt, Hops, Water and Yeast
  21. Malt • Dried, germinated barley • Can be roasted to

    add flavor ◦ Through Caramelization ▪ Caramelized malts ◦ Or Through Burning ▪ Black malt/Chocolate malt • 2-row or 6-row are “base malts” • Extract sugars to produce Wort • Malt Extract is dehydrated Wort
  22. Hops • Bittering agent powered by their Alpha- acids •

    Styles are rated on their potency ◦ 3-4% alpha acid is fairly standard for flavoring ◦ 10-14% is very strong, used for bittering • As well as rated on their perfumes ◦ Grapefruity, piney, citrusy, spicy ◦ Lots and lots of varieties • Natural preservative ◦ Used in styles that were transported (IPA)
  23. Hops (cont.) • IBU = International Bittering Unit ◦ 10-20

    is fairly mild ◦ ~50-60 is a Pale Ale ◦ ~80-100 is an IPA ◦ 100+ are usually “Imperials” because they need more hops to balance the strong alcohol • Add during the boil to add bitterness to the beer • Impart more scents the later they are added (aroma hops at the very end)
  24. Water • Clean water is an absolute must • Tap

    water is fine, you can view your city’s water profile online ◦ New York City’s water is pretty neutral • Also, can buy bottled water for a consistent profile • Avoid water chemistry unless you really know what you’re doing
  25. Yeast • Ale yeast is easiest • Comfy in temps

    from ~55º to 70º • Rehydrate your dry yeast before adding to beer • Create a starter for old yeast ◦ A “starter” is just a small batch a beer to get the live yeast count up • Lots of different strains that have different flavors. Experiment!
  26. Equipment • Kettle ◦ 7gal, usually want a few gallons

    of head room for boiling to prevent boil-overs ◦ Stainless is ideal, aluminum turkey fryer works • Spoon ◦ Can be metal or wood, wood being harder to clean... • Fermenter ◦ A 5gal food-grade pail works ◦ Lids specifically made for brewing (airlock)
  27. Equipment (cont.) • Grain bag ◦ Used for steeping non-fermenting

    grains in wort • Hop bag ◦ Not necessarily required, but can be helpful, especially when brewing low-hop styles • Thermometer ◦ Floating is usually good, though you have to be careful to keep it clean
  28. Equipment (cont.) • Airlock ◦ Allows CO2 to escape while

    keeping air out • Hydrometer (w/test tube) ◦ Measure specific gravity of the beer • Siphon/Racking cane ◦ Auto-siphon prefered! ◦ “Racking” is process of transferring between containers • Bottling Bucket ◦ Second 5gal food-grade pail is great
  29. Equipment (cont.) • “Bottle filler” w/tube ◦ Spring-loaded stopper at

    end of tube to fill bottles from bottom to top • Bottles ◦ To put the beer in • Bottle Brush ◦ To clean the bottles • Bottle Caps ◦ To put on the bottles • Bottle Capper
  30. Equipment (cont.) • Cleanser ◦ Used for cleaning equipment before

    use ◦ Recommend an oxygen-based cleanser like PBW (professional brewery wash) because its great on organics ◦ Avoid cleansers with perfumes • Sanitizer ◦ Used for anything touching the beer after boiling; doesn’t require rinsing ◦ Recommend an acid-based sanitizer like Star
  31. Equipment (cont.) • Heating element ◦ Propane burners are great

    ◦ Can use a gas stove ▪ Electric stove = really slow • Wort chiller ◦ To chill the hot beer after the boil ◦ Sink full of ice works just fine ◦ Can get immersion chillers that will work faster, but require more work to setup/clean
  32. Ingredients • 8lbs light dry malt extract ◦ More malt

    = more alcohol ◦ Malt extract is dehydrated wort so we don’t need to extract sugars ourselves (all-grain) • .5lb 60L Caramel Malt ◦ Mostly for head retention and some malty flavor • 4oz Cascade Hops ◦ Get that nice, American Pale Ale flavor
  33. Ingredients (cont.) • Safale US-05 Dry Beer Yeast ◦ Classic

    American Ale yeast strain ◦ Easy and reliable • 3cups of Corn Sugar, for bottling
  34. Preparation • Clean everything. ◦ Lots and lots of cleaning

    ◦ Use the cleanser liberally ◦ Never leave visible dirt or grime ◦ Use one of your pails as a cleansing bucket • Get your sanitizing solution ready ◦ Follow the instructions on the package ◦ Make the solution in your other pail ◦ Anything that touches the beer after boiling must be sanitized
  35. Get Started • Bring about 4 gal of water to

    a boil in your kettle • While the water temperature is rising, put your crystal malt into the grain bag and steep it in the water • Once the water gets above 190ºF, take the bag out ◦ If you leave it in too long, the proteins in the husks with break down and cloud the beer
  36. The Boil • Now that you’re boiling, slowly add your

    dried malt extract to the water ◦ Slowly is key, add it too quickly and I’ll guarantee that you’ll get a boil-over • Add water to ensure you’re at about 5.5 gallons of wort • Bring the wort to a boil • We’re going to boil for about 60 minutes, so...
  37. The Boil (cont.) • Stir occasionally • Keep the wort

    boiling ◦ Not quite a powerboil, but a good rolling boil • After about 15min add your first 1oz of hops ◦ Repeat this every 15 minutes after • After 60min, turn the heat off and add your last 1oz of hops ◦ These are your aroma hops!
  38. Cooling • I recommend putting a lid on your wort

    at this point • The number one concern now is not letting the unfermented wort come in contact with any germs that might add off-flavors to the beer • Ensure your racking cane and tubes are sanitized • Move your kettle to your sink
  39. Cooling • Surround your kettle with ice and fill in

    the rest with cold tap water • Monitor the temperature of your wort, we’re waiting to get the temperature down to ~80ºF • This will likely take a while, so...
  40. Racking • Empty your cleansing bucket • Rinse out the

    cleanser from the bucket • Sanitize it with your sanitizing solution • Place your kettle on a chair above your bucket (hooray gravity) and get your auto-siphon going • Being careful not to disturb the sediment at the bottom of the kettle, siphon the wort to the bucket
  41. Racking (cont.) • Once the beer is racked to bucket,

    its a good time to check the specific gravity, using a sanitized siphon, draw a sample from the beer and test the gravity with the hydrometer; record that • Put the lid on the bucket, fill your airlock with sanitizer and put it in the airlock hole on the bucket’s lid
  42. Pitching the yeast • Prepare your yeast ◦ To rehydrate

    dry yeast, get about 2 cups of 75º water, add the yeast, stir it vigorously to create foam and let it rest for a little while (20 - 30min should suffice) • Open your fermenter and “pitch” the yeast in • Wait 3 weeks...
  43. Packaging • Bring enough water in a clean saucepan to

    a boil to dissolve all of the corn sugar • Sanitize your second bucket and add the corn sugar to the bottom • Rack the beer from the fermenter into the bottling bucket with your auto- siphon, be careful not to disturb the layer of yeast at the bottom
  44. Packaging (cont.) • Clean your bottles ◦ I usually do

    a sanitize run on the dishwasher ◦ You can scrub by hand with a rinse and then quick soak in sanitizer if needed • Using the bottle filler and your auto- siphon, fill each bottle • Cap the bottles • Wait 1-2 weeks