You Can Brew It – Wine and Homebrew

Proper Cleaning and Sanitation of your Homebrew and Wine Equipment

February 18, 2012 11:22 pm

Today we are going to cover the proper cleaning and sanitation of your Homebrew equipment. Cleaning and Sanitation in Wine Making and HomeBrewing is extremely important. Without properly cleaning sanitation and you risk contamination which can severely affect your beer.

The first item we are going to cover is P.B.W which is a Powder Brewery Wash. This is used to remove debris and stains from your equipment. I usually use about ¾ oz per gallon of warm water and wipe everything down with a soft sponge or I soak my equipment in the solution for at least 30 minutes. I then proceed to rinse everything out thoroughly.

The next step is sanitizing your equipment. What this process does is kill off any unwanted bacteria that could be hiding out in your equipment. The 2 most popular types of sanitizers that exist are Iodophor which is an Iodine based sanitizer and Star San which is an acid based sanitizer. The nice thing about both of these sanitizers is that they are no rinse sanitizers. The ratio for both is 1oz per 5 Gallons worth of water. I myself preferably do not need 5 gallons worth of sanitizer, so I use a ratio of ¼ oz per 2 gallons. I then use some of it in a spray bottle and the rest to rinse threw my siphon. I myself do not really see any advantages or disadvantages between the two other than Iodopher will sometimes stain your equipment with a light brown color.

We really emphasize proper cleaning at You Can Brew It. When you put this much time into making your beer or wine the last thing you want to go wrong is contamination from improper sanitization.

For more detailed information on these cleansers please visit: You Can Brew It

How to keg and force carbonate your beer – Homebrew Tutorial

January 7, 2012 10:57 pm

In today’s tutorial we are going to show you how to keg and force carbonate your beer. You are going to first siphon “rack” your finished beer from your fermenter into your keg after fermentation is complete. Once the keg is full you will want to seal it up and let your beer get cold. Cold beer absorbs CO2 better than warm beer. After I have my keg in the fridge for 5 hours or more I will remove it and start my force carbonation.

We are going to force carbonate our beer threw the dip tube. The dip tube is the tube inside the keg that the beer is dispensed out though. The reason why I like to use the dip tube is that is carbonates my beer from the bottom up. I am going to attach my CO2 to my black ball lock with is normally used to dispense out our beer but we are going to use it to carbonate our beer instead. Once you attach the black ball lock along with your CO2 to the keg you will want to apply pressure on your CO2 Regulator all the way to 30-35 psi. Shake your keg for a few minutes then put it back into your fridge for the next 12-24 hours.

Now that I have applied 35 psi of pressure on my keg for 24 hours, I am now going to tap my beer. First remove your black ball lock and turn off your CO2. Next you will want to bleed out all the extra CO2 inside the keg. You can do this by pulling up on the release valve on your keg. If you keg does not have a release valve, you can push down on the gas in poppit on your keg.

Now that you have released your pressure, you will want to attach your black ball lock to your dispenser “tap” and attach it to the keg on the liquid out. Next you want to attach your grey/white gas in ball lock to your CO2 and attach it to the gas in. Adjust your regulator to apply 4psi of pressure and tap your beer. You will want to pitch the first glass of beer because it will contain a small amount of sentiment. Your first few glasses will come out a little foamy, but will die down after a few beers. Enjoy!

I hope you found this tutorial helpful. For more tutorials on Homebrewing and Winemaking, please visit us at YouCanBrewIt.com

Cheers!

How to Make Beer from Home Using All Grain – HomeBrew Tutorial

December 30, 2011 8:38 pm

In this tutorial we are going to cover the all grain brewing process. All grain brewing is usually the next step in brewing after a home brewer has tried brewing with extract and wants to move the next level using just all grains.

To start all grain brewing you are going to need a few pieces of equipment. First piece of equipment you will need is going to be a mash ton. A mash ton is a large container that you soak your grains in a controlled temperature for a period of time. Soaking these grains in hot water will break down the starches in the crushed grains converting them over to sugars. I personally like to use a 10 Gallon Rubber Maid Cooler with a stainless steal false bottom. Other types of false bottoms include a braided hose or a manifold. A False Bottom strains out the particles in your crushed grains when you go to drain your wort “beer” from your mash ton.

Other pieces of equipment include a hot water tank that applies hot water rinsing your grains of the left over sugars. A sparge arm that gently applies the hot water without compacting your grains causing your mash to get stuck. You are also going to need a 7 Gallon Stock Pot or greater, a fermenting bucket, turkey fryer, wort chiller, and your ingredients.

For the first step we are going to heat up our strike water. Strike water is the water you add to your grains and soak them in your mash ton. This is the trickiest step to master when making beer from all grain. I usually target a mash temperature of 152°F. From experience I know to do this that I need to heat my strike water to 165°F because by the time I add it to my grains and mash ton that are cooler than the hot water I am adding, it drops down to 152°F. Now that I added my strike water, I stir it in with my grains really good within the mash ton. I then add my lid and let it sit for an hour and break those crushed grains into sugar.

Now that my grains have mashed for an hour I am going to start the recirculation process. The reason you do this is to let the fine particles to fill in the gaps within your false bottom which help filter your wort giving you a clearer wort. I usually do this for around 15 to 20 minutes then I proceed to mash out “drain” into my kettle.

Now that I have started to collect my wort from my mash ton I am going to add my sparge arm to the top of my mash ton and gently apply hot water from my hot water tank over my grain bed. This process for a 5 gallon batch should take any where from 20 to 30 minutes. I usually leave about an inch or two above the grain bed. Once I have collected 6 and a half gallons of wort I am going to start my boil. The reason you collect an extra gallon and a half is because you will loose it during your boil.

We are now going to start a 90 minute boil. We do 90 minute boils for all grain because it helps break down the sugars which add to a better clarity. After the first 30 minutes we are going to start our 60 minute hop additions. Through out the 60 minute boil we are going to add our hop additions based on the recipe we are following then we will flame out at 0 minutes.

For the last step we are going to chill our wort and pitch “add” our beer yeast. To cool my wort I like to use a wort chiller. I sterilize my wort chiller by adding it to my kettle the last 5 minutes of the boil. A wort chiller works by pumping cold water through the copper coils that you submerge into your hot wort. By doing this, your wort chiller acts like a large ice cube cooling your beer down. This process usually takes about 10 to 20 minutes. Once my wort is chilled below 80°F I am going to oxidize my chilled wort by transferring between two buckets a few times. After that I add my yeast and let it sit at room temperature between 60°F & 70°F for two weeks. After two weeks your beer is ready to be bottled or kegged.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful. For more tutorials on Homebrewing and Winemaking, please visit us at YouCanBrewIt.com

Cheers!

How to Bottle and Cap Your Finished Beer – HomeBrew Tutorial

December 24, 2011 5:38 pm

In this tutorial we are going to show you how to bottle and cap your finished beer. To do this you are going to need bottles, caps, bottling bucket, siphon, bottling wand and priming sugar. In this tutorial I have an Ale that has fermented for over 2 weeks that I am now going to bottle. I am now using my auto siphon the transfer my finished beer from my primary fermenter into my bottling bucket leaving the sediment behind in my primary fermneter.

Now that my beer has fished transferring over into my bottling bucket I am going to add my priming sugar. What I like to do is dissolve my priming sugar into a 1/2 cup of water that I heated in the microwave for 1 minute. Once it is completely dissolved, I add it to my finished beer that is now in my bottling bucket. I stir it in well and insert my auto siphon. I attach my bottling wand and prepare to fill my bottles.

Before we fill our bottles we need to first sterilize out caps and bottles. I like to soak my caps in sanitizer then dry them over a paper towel. I then proceed to sterilize my bottles by running them threw the dishwasher with no detergent. The heat cycle from the drying process will then sterilize my bottles.

Now that are bottles are sterilized we are going to start filling them. You want to put your bottles below the bottling bucket and insert your bottle wand so it touches the bottom of the bottle. You will then give your siphon a few pumps to start the siphon. Once your beer reaches to top of the bottle lift out the bottling wand and it will stop filling. Place the bottle aside for capping and proceed to fill the next bottle until all bottles are filled.

Now that your bottles are filled we are going to cap them. Attach your bottle cap to the magnetic strip on the wing capper, place it on top of the bottle and push down the crimp it onto the bottle. Repeat this step until all your bottles are capped. Now that all your bottles have been capped you will let them sit at room temperature for two weeks. During these two weeks the priming sugar you added is going to start fermenting in the bottle creating CO2 which carbonates the beer right inside the bottle. After two weeks you can start enjoying your beer.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful. For more tutorials on Homebrewing and Winemaking, please visit us at YouCanBrewIt.com

Cheers!

How to Make Beer from Home Using an Extract Kit – Homebrew Tutorial

December 23, 2011 5:30 pm

Today we are going to cover the basic steps on how to brew beer using an extract kit with grains. Extract brewing is a great way to start off if you are new to brewing beer. You will need a few pieces of equipment when extract brewing. You will need a minimum 20 Quart Stock Pot, Fermenting Bucket, and a Wort Chiller (optional). When opening your extract kits you will see that they will contain directions, grains, malt extract, hops and your yeast. These directions will cover the entire the entire brewing process from start to finish.

Now that we reviewed what comes with your Extract Kit we are now going to start making our beer. The first step includes steeping your grains. Each extract kit includes a bag of specialty grains that add color and flavor to your beer. Your kit also includes Disposable Muslin Bag that we are going to use to steep our grains in. You want to bring a minimum of two and a half gallons of water to a temperature of 155°F and steep your grains for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes is complete, remove your grains from the pot and then remove your pot from the burner. You now want to add your malt extract; most kits will include dry, liquid or both. Once your malt is fully dissolved you want to put the pot back on the burner and start your boil.

Now that our wort “beer” has started to boil we are going to start our hop additions. Most extract kits are done in 60 minute boils, so set your timer for 60 minutes and add your first addition of hops. Proceeded to add your hops based on the hop schedule provided by your kit. Once you have reached the end of your boil remove the pot from the burner.

We are now going to cool down your beer. There are several ways to do this. One option is an ice bath. You will need to fill your sink or tub with cold water and ice and soak your pot until your wort is cooled down to around 80°F. Another option is a wort chiller. A wort chiller pushes cold water threw a metal coil. You take this metal coil and submerge it into your hot wort and cool it to 80°F. After you cool your beer you want to transfer it to your primary fermenter. You want to make sure you have 5 gallons worth of wort, if you are below 5 gallons just top it off with water. Next step you want to add your yeast. Stir your yeast in well and add your lid. Fill your air lock with water and ferment your beer in a cool dark place between 60°F & 70°F for two weeks. After 2 weeks your beer is ready to be bottled or kegged.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful. For more tutorials on Homebrewing and Winemaking, please visit us at YouCanBrewIt.com

Cheers!

The Basic Equipment needed to start Homebrewing

October 14, 2011 3:36 pm

Today we are going to cover the basic equipment needed for Homebrewing and how they are used. Most homebrew supply shops offer a starter home brew equipment kit which we highly suggested if you are a first time brewer. These kits provide all the necessary equipment you need to get started.

We at youcanbrewit.com offer a kit called the Brewcraft Starter Brewery. I am going to review with you today all the equipment that comes with one of these kits and what they are used for.

First item we are going to review is the PBW cleanser and Star San sanitizer that comes with your equipment kit. Proper cleaning and sanitation is extremely important in homebrewing. 90% of bad beer comes from contamination because of improper sanitation. The PBW cleanser is used to remove debris, and the Star san is used to sterilize your equipment. The nice thing about star san is that it’s a no rinse sanitizer; once it dries, it’s sanitized.

Next two pieces of equipment we are going to cover is the fermenting bucket, airlock, lid and bottling bucket. The fermenting bucket is used for primary fermentation and the other bucket is used for bottling. Once you are done fermenting in your primary fermenter you will siphon “rack” your finished beer using the auto siphon into your bottling bucket leaving behind the sediment left by fermentation. From here you will then use the auto siphon to fill your beer bottles with your bottling wand.

Other items included in our starter kit are your bottle brush which is used for cleaning your beer bottles, a Wing capper which is used to cap your beer bottles, a boil proof spoon, a temperature test strip, and a hydrometer which is used to test your alcohol level. We do offer a video tutorial on how to used your hydrometer which can be found on our website.

Two items not included in your kit is a stock pot that is able to hold a minimum of 3 gallons for boiling your wort. Most people have these at home, if not, we do offer them on our website. The other item is your beer bottles. We suggest saving your beer bottle. They need to be pop off, not twist and can be sterilized threw the drying cycle in your dish washer.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful. For more tutorials on Homebrewing and Winemaking, please visit us at YouCanBrewIt.com

Cheers!

Hello and welcome to our new blog.

October 11, 2011 2:27 am

Hello All!

We have just launched our new blog page. On this page we will be providing tips on making beer and wine from home. We will be offering video blogs and will even go into various wine recipes and beer recipes. Be sure to bookmark this page, lots of free information will be available for you! We look forward to your feedback and comments. We will try our best in assisting you in all your brewing and wine making needs. Cheers!

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