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Praise for Homebrewing
For Dummies
“Marty Nachel has penned an outstanding, surefire guide for homebrewers at
every level of expertise.”
— Tom Dalldorf, Publisher, Celebrator Beer News

“Homebrewing For Dummies clearly fills a void in the homebrewing how-to
arena. Marty Nachel has very effectively communicated his extensive knowledge of the brewing process and his passion for the subject.”
— Tom Sweeney, America’s Brewing Co.

“Homebrewing For Dummies is written as if Marty Nachel is standing right next
to you in the brewery, always ready to let you tap into his vast experience.
Whether contemplating your first batch, or ready to move up to advanced
brewing, Marty’s there to help you along.”
— Gregg Smith, Managing Editor,
Beer and Tavern Chronicle and Author

“Homebrewing For Dummies tells you all you need to know about homebrewing
— from a simple first batch to the most advanced procedures, it’s all there.”
— Jim Dorsch, Co-chair,
North American Guild of Beer Writers

“This book is by far the most thorough homebrewing book I have ever seen.”
— Bill Owens, Brewmaster and Publisher

“Most people don’t know that homebrewing is easy and fun, with incredible
awards. With a little care and attention, anyone can make beer at home as
good as, if not better than, the big commercial brewers. Beginning with the
basics, Marty outlines all the steps needed, and all the pitfalls, in making great
beer. With Marty as your guide, you’ll be making great beer in your own
kitchen in no time at all.”
— Daniel Bradford, Publisher,
All About Beer Magazine

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“From alpha acids to zymurgy, Homebrewing For Dummies covers the brewing
basics in an informed, user-friendly manner. Marty Nachel should help create
a whole new wave of homebrewing enthusiasts.”
— Byron Burch, Author of Brewing Quality Beers

“This book is essential to any beer drinker’s library. From novice to expert,
from East to West Coast, Marty clearly and creatively shares his knowledge of
the brewing industry. Informative and lighthearted, this is the best guide I’ve
ever read.”
— Ken Wright, Beer Across America

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Homebrewing
FOR

DUMmIES
2ND

by Marty Nachel



EDITION

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Homebrewing For Dummies®, 2nd Edition
Published by
Wiley Publishing, Inc.
111 River St.
Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
www.wiley.com
Copyright © 2008 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana
Published simultaneously in Canada
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or
by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning, or otherwise, except as permitted under Sections 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without either the prior written
permission of the Publisher, or authorization through payment of the appropriate per-copy fee to the
Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, 978-750-8400, fax 978-646-8600.
Requests to the Publisher for permission should be addressed to the Legal Department, Wiley Publishing,
Inc., 10475 Crosspoint Blvd., Indianapolis, IN 46256, 317-572-3447, fax 317-572-4355, or online at http://
www.wiley.com/go/permissions.
Trademarks: Wiley, the Wiley Publishing logo, For Dummies, the Dummies Man logo, A Reference for the
Rest of Us!, The Dummies Way, Dummies Daily, The Fun and Easy Way, Dummies.com and related trade
dress are trademarks or registered trademarks of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the United
States and other countries, and may not be used without written permission. All other trademarks are the
property of their respective owners. Wiley Publishing, Inc., is not associated with any product or vendor
mentioned in this book.
LIMIT OF LIABILITY/DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY: THE PUBLISHER AND THE AUTHOR MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES WITH RESPECT TO THE ACCURACY OR COMPLETENESS OF THE
CONTENTS OF THIS WORK AND SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, INCLUDING WITHOUT
LIMITATION WARRANTIES OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. NO WARRANTY MAY BE CREATED OR EXTENDED BY SALES OR PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS. THE ADVICE AND STRATEGIES CONTAINED HEREIN MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR EVERY SITUATION. THIS WORK IS SOLD WITH THE
UNDERSTANDING THAT THE PUBLISHER IS NOT ENGAGED IN RENDERING LEGAL, ACCOUNTING, OR
OTHER PROFESSIONAL SERVICES. IF PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE IS REQUIRED, THE SERVICES OF A
COMPETENT PROFESSIONAL PERSON SHOULD BE SOUGHT. NEITHER THE PUBLISHER NOR THE
AUTHOR SHALL BE LIABLE FOR DAMAGES ARISING HEREFROM. THE FACT THAT AN ORGANIZATION
OR WEBSITE IS REFERRED TO IN THIS WORK AS A CITATION AND/OR A POTENTIAL SOURCE OF FURTHER INFORMATION DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE AUTHOR OR THE PUBLISHER ENDORSES THE
INFORMATION THE ORGANIZATION OR WEBSITE MAY PROVIDE OR RECOMMENDATIONS IT MAY
MAKE. FURTHER, READERS SHOULD BE AWARE THAT INTERNET WEBSITES LISTED IN THIS WORK
MAY HAVE CHANGED OR DISAPPEARED BETWEEN WHEN THIS WORK WAS WRITTEN AND WHEN IT
IS READ.
For general information on our other products and services, please contact our Customer Care
Department within the U.S. at 800-762-2974, outside the U.S. at 317-572-3993, or fax 317-572-4002.
For technical support, please visit www.wiley.com/techsupport.
Wiley also publishes its books in a variety of electronic formats. Some content that appears in print may
not be available in electronic books.
Library of Congress Control Number: 2008922656
ISBN: 978-0-470-23062-6
Manufactured in the United States of America
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

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About the Author
An occasional welder and steel fabricator, Marty Nachel is also a freelance
writer on beer and brewing. As a member of the North American Guild of
Beer Writers, in September 1996 Marty was voted one of the three best beer
writers in the United States at the N.A.G.B.W. Quill & Tankard Awards at the
Great American Beer Festival in Denver.
A former President of the Chicago Beer Society and founding member of the
Brewers Of South Suburbia (B.O.S.S.) homebrew and beer appreciation club,
Marty has been brewing his own award-winning beers since 1985. In 1986, he
was the first person in the state of Illinois to become a Certified Beer Judge.
In addition to his homebrew judging duties, Marty served on the panel of
beer evaluators at the prestigious Beverage Testing Institute in Chicago,
home of the World Beer Championships, as well as the Great American Beer
Festival in Denver, Colorado.
Marty has been the writer of the newsletters that accompany monthly shipments of microbrewed beer from Beer Across America since October 1992.
His articles have also appeared in All About Beer magazine, Brew Magazine,
Brew Your Own magazine, Celebrator Beer News, Drink magazine, Fine
Cooking magazine, Zymurgy Magazine, and Epicurious.com. In 1998 Marty
was also tapped to write the beer and brewing entries for the latest edition
of Microsoft’s Encarta Encyclopedia. His first book on the microbrewing
industry, Beer Across America (Storey Communications), was published in
July of 1995. Marty’s second book, Beer For Dummies (Wiley Publishing),
was a huge hit when it was published in August of 1996.
Travel in search of good beer has taken Marty to over 200 breweries and
brewpubs and assorted beer festivals and shrines throughout Europe
and North America. When he can find the time, Marty also likes to collect
breweriana.

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Dedication
Were it not for my wife, Patti, and the 32 years she has dedicated to her
career, I would not know the pleasure of writing about beer for a living.
Though she and our two children reap secondary dividends from our professional/domestic arrangement, no one benefits more from it than I. Thank you,
Dear, from the bottom of my pint glass.

Author’s Acknowledgments
My sincere thanks to all the people at John Wiley & Sons for creating this
unique opportunity. I would especially like to thank Acquisitions Editor
Tracy Boggier for her part in making this all happen, as well as for giving
me the proper focus in the early stages of this project. I also enjoyed working
with my talented Copy Editor, Megan Knoll, and I’m grateful for her amazing
attention to detail. A big thanks also to my Editorial Program Coordinator
Erin Calligan Mooney, who helped re-secure all of the permissions for the
recipes that appear in this book. Finally, heartfelt thanks to the Composition
Services crew for all their behind-the-scenes help and effort. I owe you all a
round of my best brew!
Most importantly, I would like to thank my Project Editor, Alissa Schwipps,
for her patience, focus, and direction (did I mention patience?) — all of
which created a comfortable and confident working relationship that made
the writing and editing of this book much easier and more enjoyable.
Again, I would like to thank my agent and book producer Steve Ettlinger for
his boundless energy and enthusiasm while working on Beer For Dummies, a
project which subsequently paved the way for this book. I am indebted to
him for his vision, guidance, and professionalism.
Over the years I have been fortunate to meet and befriend many beerknowledgeable people who have influenced me and my brewing ability. One
of these people is Mike Pezan, a dedicated homebrewer-turned-professional
brewer and Beer Geek of the highest order. His technical know-how pumped
life into the more advanced chapters of this book and his quick wit and sense
of humor helped infuse these otherwise dry subjects with much needed levity.
Speaking of technical know-how, many thanks to Dr. Joe Formanek, my
Technical Editor. Dr. Formanek is well respected in homebrewing circles,
especially in the Midwest, where he continues to win scores of awards for his
incredibly tasty homebrew. A couple of Joe’s award-winning beer recipes can
be found in the recipe section of this book.

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Thanks also to Jim Dudley, sales manager at Northwestern Extract Co. Jim
was kind enough to share his database of homebrew recipes with me for this
project. And my sincere thanks to Steve Kamp, Joe Formanek, Tim Reiter,
Mark Merisco, and Tom Dennis, who graciously responded to my call for
some last-minute beer and mead recipes — I think you’ll really like the
award-winning brews they provided.
Too numerous to mention by name are the many gifted homebrewers in the
Chicago Beer Society, the Urban Knaves of Grain, and the Brewers Of South
Suburbia (B.O.S.S.) whose talents inspired me to take up homebrewing in the
first place and continue to challenge me to new brewing heights each and
every year. Through this book, may their enthusiasm infect you all. . . .

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Publisher’s Acknowledgments
We’re proud of this book; please send us your comments through our Dummies online registration
form located at www.dummies.com/register/.
Some of the people who helped bring this book to market include the following:
Acquisitions, Editorial, and
Media Development
Senior Project Editor: Alissa Schwipps
(Previous Edition: Jennifer Ehrlich)
Acquisitions Editor: Tracy Boggier
Copy Editor: Megan Knoll
(Previous Edition: Michael Bolinger,
William A. Barton)

Composition Services
Project Coordinator: Patrick Redmond
Layout and Graphics: Reuben W. Davis,
Melissa K. Jester, Erin Zeltner
Proofreaders: Laura Albert, John Greenough,
Christine Sabooni
Indexer: Broccoli Information Management

Editorial Program Coordinator:
Erin Calligan Mooney
Technical Editor: Joseph A. Formanek, PhD
Senior Editorial Manager: Jennifer Ehrlich
Editorial Assistants: Joe Niesen,
Leeann Harney, David Lutton
Cover Photos: © MaXx Images/Stockfood
Cartoons: Rich Tennant
(www.the5thwave.com)

Publishing and Editorial for Consumer Dummies
Diane Graves Steele, Vice President and Publisher, Consumer Dummies
Joyce Pepple, Acquisitions Director, Consumer Dummies
Kristin A. Cocks, Product Development Director, Consumer Dummies
Michael Spring, Vice President and Publisher, Travel
Kelly Regan, Editorial Director, Travel
Publishing for Technology Dummies
Andy Cummings, Vice President and Publisher, Dummies Technology/General User
Composition Services
Gerry Fahey, Vice President of Production Services
Debbie Stailey, Director of Composition Services

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About the AHA
The rules, guidelines, and beer styles used in this book follow those provided
by the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) and the Beer Judge
Certification Program (BJCP). For more information on homebrewing,
beer styles, beer evaluation, publications, or the American Homebrewers
Association National Homebrew Competition, please contact the American
Homebrewers Association at (phone) 303-447-0816, (fax) 303-447-2825, or visit
the AHA’s Web site at www.beertown.org.
The following recipes have been reprinted with written permission of the
American Homebrewers Association and Brewers Publications. The original
recipes appear in Victory Beer Recipes (Brewers Publications) and are
winning recipes from the American Homebrewers Association National
Homebrew Competition:
Ales: “Bridge House Bitter,” Andy Leith, p.161; “A Peek Under the Kilt,” Jim
Campbell, p.165; “Scotch Ale,” Jerry Bockmore, p.165; “Cedar Mountain
Brown Ale,” Jim Dilldine, p.171; “Southeast Texas Northern Brown Ale,” Steve
Daniel, p.171; “Coal Porter” Dennis Kinvig, p.175; “Entirely Yours,” Paddy
Giffen, p.175; “New Years Day,” Paddy Giffen, p.181; “D & J Stout,” Brian and
Linda North, p.183; “New Stout II,” David and Melinda Brockington, p.185;
“Fountainhead Black Magic,” Rande Reed, p.187; “Rose’s Russian Imperial
Stout,” Dick Van Dyke, p.187; “Cream City Abbey Ale,” Robert Burko, p.197;
“Ester the Molester,” Brian Bliss, p.203; “Boobs Barleywine,” Chuck Boyce,
p.209; Lagers: “Butt Scratcher,” Steve Daniel, p.213; “Meltdown Lager,”
Brian and Linda North, p.215; “Helles,” Dave Miller, p.215; “Grain-n-Beerit,”
Norman Dickenson, p.217; “Yellow Dogs Pilsner,” Matthew Holland, p.219;
“Dominion Day Oktoberfest,” John Janowiak, p.221; “(unnamed),” Dennis
and Cindy Arvidson, p.221; “League City Dark,” Steve Daniel, p.223; “Lady
of the Morning,” Ross Herrold, p.225; “Stu Brew,” Stu Tallman, p.225;
“Basically Bock,” Phil Rahn, p.229; “Dopplebock Two,” Thomas Griffith,
p.231; “Scintillator,” Steve Dempsey, p.231; Mixed Styles: “Arlington Ale
No. 33,” Richard Schmit, p.235; “Colby’s Cream Ale,” Rodney Howard, p.235;
“Great Wheat,” Jack H. Denny, p.239; “Fat Brothers Original American,”
Stephen Morelli, p.241; “Memphis Steamer,” Phil Rahn, p.241; “League City
Alt Part 3,” Steve and Christina Daniel, p.243; “Pale Moon Rizen Weizen,”
Paddy Giffen, p.249; “Cherry Ale,” David G. Hammaker, p.251; “Leftover
Strawberry Ale,” Dan Robinson, p.251; “Herb Alpert,” Ron Page, p.253;
“Anne’s Choice Christmas Ale,” Phillip Fleming, p.255; “Chocolate Chambord
Stout,” Ron Page, p.255; “Beech Beer,” James Cannon, p.257.

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In Memoriam
In 1985, a talented brewer by the name of Russell Schehrer won the coveted
“Homebrewer of the Year” award at the National Homebrew Competition in
Boulder, Colorado. Using that accomplishment as a springboard, Russell
launched a short but brilliant career as a brewer and brewing consultant in
the fledgling microbrewing industry.
I had the pleasure of meeting Russell Schehrer briefly one summer afternoon
several years ago. Amidst his busy brewing schedule, he took the time to
show me around his brewhouse at Wynkoop Brewing Company in Denver.
The impromptu tour included a visit to the lagering cellar downstairs, where
he proudly proffered samples of his beers fresh from the fermenters. Once
back at the bar, he casually chatted with me as I tasted my way through a
complimentary flight of house brews.
Though our meeting was brief, it gave me a short insight into Russ’s love of
good beer and his dedication to his craft. And it was cause for me to mourn
his sudden passing in 1996 at the age of 38. Russ’s spirit and enthusiasm
sparked both the homebrewing and craft brewing communities in the United
States; he has, likewise, been missed by both.

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Contents at a Glance
Introduction .................................................................1
Part I: First Things First ................................................9
Chapter 1: Welcome to the Wonderful World of Wort .................................................11
Chapter 2: Setting Up Your Beeraphernalia ..................................................................17
Chapter 3: Creating Your Own Department of Sanitation ...........................................33

Part II: It’s in There: The Nuts and Bolts of Beer ...........41
Chapter 4: Malt: A Tale of Two Sources (Grain and Extract) ......................................43
Chapter 5: Hop Heaven....................................................................................................51
Chapter 6: Yeast and Fermentation................................................................................63
Chapter 7: On the Water Front........................................................................................73
Chapter 8: Adjuncts and Flavorings...............................................................................81
Chapter 9: Making Your Brew Bionic: Additives, Preservatives,
Finings, and Clarifiers....................................................................................................91

Part III: Ready, Set, Brew!..........................................97
Chapter 10: Beginner Brewing Directions .....................................................................99
Chapter 11: Intermediate Brewing Directions ............................................................107
Chapter 12: Homebrewing Directions for the Serious Beer Geek ............................117
Chapter 13: Bottling Your Brew ....................................................................................135
Chapter 14: Kegging: Bottling’s Big Brother................................................................149

Part IV: Homebrew Recipes .......................................157
Chapter 15: Ale Recipes.................................................................................................159
Chapter 16: Lager Recipes.............................................................................................211
Chapter 17: Mixed-Style Recipes ..................................................................................233

Part V: Alternative Brewing.......................................263
Chapter 18: In-Cider Information..................................................................................265
Chapter 19: A Meading of the Minds............................................................................273
Chapter 20: Going Green: Being an Eco-Friendly Homebrewer ................................283
Chapter 21: Gluten-Free Brewing..................................................................................293

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Part VI: Putting Your Brew to the Test........................299
Chapter 22: Storing and Pouring ..................................................................................301
Chapter 23: You Can’t Judge a Bock by Its Cover: Evaluating Beer .........................309
Chapter 24: Troubleshooting ........................................................................................319
Chapter 25: Homebrew Competitions..........................................................................333

Part VII: The Part of Tens ..........................................341
Chapter 26: Ten (or so) Ways to D.I.G.I.B.I.Y. (Do It, Grow It, Build It Yourself).....343
Chapter 27: Ten Gizmos That Can Make Your Brewing Easier .................................353
Chapter 28: Just the FAQs: Ten (or so) Frequently Asked Questions......................357

Appendix: Ingredients: The Building Blocks of Beer.....361
Index .......................................................................395

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Table of Contents
Introduction..................................................................1
About This Book...............................................................................................2
Conventions Used in This Book .....................................................................3
What You’re Not to Read.................................................................................3
Foolish Assumptions .......................................................................................4
How This Book Is Organized...........................................................................4
Part I: First Things First .........................................................................4
Part II: It’s in There: The Nuts and Bolts of Beer ................................5
Part III: Ready, Set, Brew! .......................................................................5
Part IV: Homebrew Recipes...................................................................5
Part V: Alternative Brewing...................................................................5
Part VI: Putting Your Brew to the Test.................................................5
Part VII: The Part of Tens ......................................................................6
Icons Used in This Book..................................................................................6
Where to Go from Here....................................................................................7

Part I: First Things First.................................................9
Chapter 1: Welcome to the Wonderful World of Wort . . . . . . . . . . . . .11
Homebrewers Abound!..................................................................................11
All the Right Stuff ...........................................................................................12
Gathering the equipment you need ...................................................12
Tracing the homebrewing timeline ....................................................13
Adding ingredients galore! ..................................................................14
Preparing wisely ...................................................................................15
All done — now what? .........................................................................16

Chapter 2: Setting Up Your Beeraphernalia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
Sniffing Out Sources.......................................................................................18
Square One: Equipment for the Beginning Brewer ....................................19
So much equipment, so little time . . . ...............................................19
What do I do with all these gadgets? .................................................20
Square Two: Equipment for the Intermediate Brewer...............................25
Now what do I need?............................................................................25
What do these gizmos even do? .........................................................27
Square Three: Equipment for the Advanced Brewer.................................28
I need even more stuff?........................................................................29
What else could I possibly need another doodad for? ....................30

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Homebrewing For Dummies, 2nd Edition
Chapter 3: Creating Your Own Department of Sanitation . . . . . . . . . . .33
No Dirty Words: Sanitation Lingo.................................................................33
Battling Bacteria (and Fungi)........................................................................34
Soaps for Suds: Cleansers and Sanitizers ...................................................35
Cleaning Up Your Act: Equipment Cleaning Practices ..............................37
Bottle Cleanliness Is a Virtue........................................................................38

Part II: It’s in There: The Nuts and Bolts of Beer ............41
Chapter 4: Malt: A Tale of Two Sources (Grain and Extract) . . . . . . . .43
Going with Grain.............................................................................................43
Malting ...................................................................................................44
Mashing .................................................................................................45
Mixing it up with other grains ............................................................45
Manipulating grain: Kilning and milling.............................................46
Enjoying the Ease of Extracts .......................................................................47
Graduating to other malty methods ..................................................49
Comparing liquid versus dry malt extract ........................................50

Chapter 5: Hop Heaven . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51
Seeing the Hop Flower up Close...................................................................52
Hopping with Variety .....................................................................................55
Selecting the Best Hops.................................................................................57
Freshness is fundamental....................................................................57
Bittering potential is important too...................................................58
Taking Note of Top Hops ...............................................................................60

Chapter 6: Yeast and Fermentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63
There’s a Fungus among Us ..........................................................................63
The Magic of Fermentation ...........................................................................65
It’s cyclical.............................................................................................65
Factoring in fermentation variables...................................................65
Liquid yeast versus dry yeast: A foamenting debate ......................67
Propagating yeast.................................................................................69
Yeast energizers and nutrients ...........................................................71
Considering Alcohol Content .......................................................................71
ABV versus ABW ..................................................................................71
N/A (nonalcoholic) beer is n/a (not achievable)..............................72

Chapter 7: On the Water Front . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .73
H2OH: Understanding How Water Chemistry Affects
Your Homebrew ..........................................................................................74
Something Is in the Water .............................................................................74
pHundamentals of pH balance............................................................75
Antibacterial agents .............................................................................75

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Table of Contents
Hard facts, fluid concepts ...................................................................76
Mineral ions ..........................................................................................77
Trace metals..........................................................................................78
Buying Brew-Friendly Bottled Water ...........................................................78

Chapter 8: Adjuncts and Flavorings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .81
Adjuncts: Sugar, Sugar . . . Aw, Honey, Honey.............................................82
Flavoring Your Brew with Flavorings...........................................................84
Funky flavorings: The exotic and the esoteric .................................85
Herbs and spice and everything nice ................................................87

Chapter 9: Making Your Brew Bionic: Additives,
Preservatives, Finings, and Clarifiers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .91
To Add and Preserve .....................................................................................92
A Little Clarification, Please..........................................................................93
The Acid Test..................................................................................................96

Part III: Ready, Set, Brew! ..........................................97
Chapter 10: Beginner Brewing Directions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .99
Gathering the Tools You Need....................................................................100
Brewing Your First Batch ............................................................................101
Taking Hydrometer Readings .....................................................................104
Brewing day reading ..........................................................................104
Prebottling reading.............................................................................104

Chapter 11: Intermediate Brewing Directions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .107
Taking Control of Your Beer........................................................................107
Fooling Around with Ingredients................................................................108
Grain and strain ..................................................................................108
Hop to it...............................................................................................109
Yeasty beasties ...................................................................................110
Conditioning for Better Beer ......................................................................111
Secondary fermentation ....................................................................111
Tertiary fermentation ........................................................................115

Chapter 12: Homebrewing Directions
for the Serious Beer Geek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .117
Yes, We Have No Potatoes: Mashing Procedures.....................................118
Three important variables ................................................................118
Gimme some water: Simplified water treatment for mashing ......119
And then there were three: Mashing types .....................................120
The aftermash or mash-out...............................................................122
Easing into Mashing with a Partial Mash ..................................................124
Going All Out with All-Grain Brewing ........................................................128
Increasing Your Batch Size..........................................................................131
Harvest Time: Reusing Your Yeast .............................................................133

xv

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Homebrewing For Dummies, 2nd Edition
Chapter 13: Bottling Your Brew . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .135
Picking Out Bottles ......................................................................................135
Ready, Set, Bottle!.........................................................................................136
Tanks a Lot! Bottling Kegged Beer .............................................................142
Carbon-aid: Sharing kegged beer in plastic bottles .......................142
Counterintelligence: Flowing from keg to bottle
for competition ...............................................................................143
A Primer on Priming ....................................................................................144
Getting ready to prime.......................................................................144
Deciding which and how much primer to use................................145
Exploring alternative primers...........................................................146
Crowning Achievements .............................................................................147

Chapter 14: Kegging: Bottling’s Big Brother . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .149
Roll Out the Barrel: Buying Your Kegging Equipment .............................149
Getting Your Keg Up and Flowing ..............................................................151
Clean ’em out and fill ’em up: Sanitizing and
racking procedures.........................................................................151
Making bubbles: Carbonating procedures ......................................154
Enjoying Your Brew: Tapping and Lapping Procedures ..........................156

Part IV: Homebrew Recipes ........................................157
Chapter 15: Ale Recipes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .159
Extra Special/Strong Bitter (E.S.B.) (8-c)...................................................160
Irish Red Ale (9-d) ........................................................................................162
Strong Scotch Ale (9-e) ................................................................................164
American Pale Ale (10-a) .............................................................................166
American Amber Ale (10-b) ........................................................................168
American Brown Ale (10-c) .........................................................................170
Northern English Brown Ale (11-c) ............................................................172
Brown Porter (12-a) .....................................................................................174
Robust Porter (12-b)....................................................................................176
Baltic Porter (12-c).......................................................................................178
Dry Stout (13-a) ............................................................................................180
Sweet Stout (13-b) ........................................................................................182
Foreign-Style Stout (13-d)............................................................................184
Imperial Stout (13-f) .....................................................................................186
English India Pale Ale (IPA) (14-a)..............................................................188
American India Pale Ale (IPA) (14-b) .........................................................190
Imperial India Pale Ale (IPA) (14-c) ............................................................192
White (Wit) (16-a).........................................................................................194
Belgian Pale Ale (16-b).................................................................................196
Dubbel (18-b) ................................................................................................198
Tripel (18-c) ..................................................................................................200
Belgian Golden Strong Ale (18-d) ...............................................................202
Belgian Dark Strong Ale (18-e)....................................................................204
Old Ale (19-a) ................................................................................................206
English-Style Barley Wine (19-b) ................................................................208
Fun Label Ideas.............................................................................................210

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Chapter 16: Lager Recipes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .211
American Premium Lager (1-c)...................................................................212
Münchner-Style Helles (1-d) .......................................................................214
Dortmunder/European-Style Export (1-e).................................................216
Bohemian-Style Pilsener (2-b) ....................................................................218
Märzen/Oktoberfest (3-b) ...........................................................................220
American Dark Lager (4-a) ..........................................................................222
Munich Dunkel (4-b) ....................................................................................224
German-Style Helles Bock/Maibock (5-a)..................................................226
Traditional Bock (5-b) .................................................................................228
Doppelbock (5-c)..........................................................................................230
Fun Label Ideas.............................................................................................232

Chapter 17: Mixed-Style Recipes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .233
Cream Ale (6-a) .............................................................................................234
Blonde Ale (6-b)............................................................................................236
American Wheat (6-d)..................................................................................238
California Common Beer (7-b)....................................................................240
Düsseldorfer-Style Altbier (7-c)..................................................................242
Weizen/Weissbier (15-a) ..............................................................................244
Dunkelweizen (15-b) ....................................................................................246
Weizenbock (15-c) ........................................................................................248
Fruit Beer (20) ..............................................................................................250
Herb, Spice, and Vegetable Beer (21-a) .....................................................252
Christmas/Winter/Specialty Spiced Beer (21-b) ......................................254
Smoked Beer (22-b)......................................................................................256
Wood-Aged Beer (22-c) ................................................................................258
Specialty Beer (23).......................................................................................260
Fun Label Ideas.............................................................................................262

Part V: Alternative Brewing .......................................263
Chapter 18: In-Cider Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .265
Exploring the Cider Option .........................................................................265
Comparing apples to apples .............................................................266
Sorting cider styles ............................................................................267
Making Cider.................................................................................................269
Cider Considerations: Recipes ...................................................................270
Common Cider (27-a).........................................................................270
New England-Style Cider (28-a) ........................................................271
Specialty Cider (28-d) ........................................................................272

Chapter 19: A Meading of the Minds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .273
Mulling Over the Mead Option ...................................................................273
The honey bunch: Appreciating honey ...........................................273
The honey-brew list: Mead styles.....................................................275
Sweet Success: Making Magnificent Mead ................................................277
Choosing your honey.........................................................................278
Mead-iocre? Not! Fermenting your Mead ........................................278

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I Mead a Drink: Mead Recipes ....................................................................280
Traditional Mead (24-a) .....................................................................280
Open Category Mead (26-c) ..............................................................281
Pyment (grape melomel) (25-b) .......................................................282

Chapter 20: Going Green: Being an Eco-Friendly Homebrewer . . . .283
Brewing Green Beer: It’s Not Just for St. Patrick’s Day Anymore...........283
Reduce .................................................................................................284
Reuse....................................................................................................285
Recycle.................................................................................................286
Organically Speaking ...................................................................................286
Why use organic ingredients?...........................................................287
Tracking the trend..............................................................................288
Certifiably nuts: Determining what’s really organic.......................289

Chapter 21: Gluten-Free Brewing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .293
Getting to Know Gluten ...............................................................................293
From Intolerant to Tolerable: Brewing Gluten-Free Beer at Home ........294
Readying your equipment .................................................................294
Substituting safe ingredients ............................................................294
Brewing gluten-free beers from all grain .........................................296
Last, but not yeast..............................................................................297

Part VI: Putting Your Brew to the Test ........................299
Chapter 22: Storing and Pouring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .301
Storing Your Suds.........................................................................................301
How do I store it?................................................................................302
Where do I store it? ............................................................................302
How long do I store it? .......................................................................303
Pouring Procedures .....................................................................................303
Out of the bottle. . . ............................................................................303
. . . and into the glass .........................................................................304
Dirty Deeds: Cleaning Beer Glassware ......................................................307
Storing Your Steins.......................................................................................308

Chapter 23: You Can’t Judge a Bock
by Its Cover: Evaluating Beer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .309
Tuning In to Your Beer.................................................................................309
Evaluating One Sense at a Time .................................................................310
The nose knows..................................................................................311
Seeing is beer-lieving .........................................................................313
In good taste .......................................................................................314
From Observations to Reflections .............................................................317
Relaying the Results: Homebrew Lingo, Jargon, and Vernacular...........317

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Chapter 24: Troubleshooting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .319
Fermentation Lamentations........................................................................319
No fermentation..................................................................................320
Stuck fermentation .............................................................................321
Never-ending fermentation ...............................................................321
In Bad Taste: Off Flavors and Aromas .......................................................322
Butter/butterscotch flavors ..............................................................322
Sour/tart flavors .................................................................................323
Medicinal/plastic/smoky flavors ......................................................323
Papery/cardboard/sherry-like flavors (oxidation) ........................324
Dry/puckering mouthfeel (astringency)..........................................324
Harshness/hotness.............................................................................325
Metallic flavor .....................................................................................325
Skunk aroma........................................................................................325
Sulfury odors ......................................................................................326
Vegetal flavors and aromas ...............................................................326
Flavor and Aroma Therapy Quick References..........................................326
Conditioning and Appearance Problems ..................................................329
Flat out of gas......................................................................................330
Thar she blows! Overcarbonated beers ..........................................330
In a haze: Cloudy beers......................................................................331
Poor head, bad body..........................................................................331

Chapter 25: Homebrew Competitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .333
What’s Involved in Homebrewing Competitions? ....................................334
How are the entries judged? .............................................................334
How do I enter a homebrew competition,
and what are the rules?..................................................................336
How do I send my beer? ....................................................................337
Becoming a Barrister of Beer......................................................................337
What it takes to become a beer judge .............................................337
Advancing to supreme quart justice................................................339

Part VII: The Part of Tens...........................................341
Chapter 26: Ten (or so) Ways to D.I.G.I.B.I.Y.
(Do It, Grow It, Build It Yourself) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .343
Banking Yeast................................................................................................343
Preparing to open your own bank....................................................344
Creating yeast .....................................................................................344
Handling Grain..............................................................................................345
Roast-a-rama .......................................................................................345
Smoke ’em if you got ’em...................................................................346
Di-vine Intervention: Growing Hops ..........................................................346
Here we grow!......................................................................................347
Pick a hop, any hop............................................................................347
Drying and storing your hops...........................................................348

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Building Brewing Equipment ......................................................................348
Chillin’ out: Immersion wort chillers ...............................................348
Tuns of fun: Lauter tun ......................................................................349
Pot o’ plenty: Large-volume brewpot...............................................351
Cold feat: Lagering cellar...................................................................351

Chapter 27: Ten Gizmos That Can Make Your Brewing Easier . . . . .353
Digital Thermometer and pH Meter...........................................................353
Wort Aeration System..................................................................................354
Auto Siphon ..................................................................................................354
Counterpressure Bottle Filler .....................................................................354
Beer Filter......................................................................................................354
Germicidal Lamp ..........................................................................................355
Wort Transfer Pump ....................................................................................355
Refractometer...............................................................................................355
Mashing Sparge Arm....................................................................................355
Counterflow Wort Chiller ............................................................................356

Chapter 28: Just the FAQs: Ten (or so)
Frequently Asked Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .357
How Much Is Taking Up Homebrewing Going to Cost? ...........................357
How Much Does the Average Batch of Beer Cost?...................................358
Where Can I Buy Homebrewing Supplies? ................................................358
How Long Does Making a Batch of Homebrew Take?..............................358
Is Homebrewed Beer Better Than Commercially Made Beer? ...............359
How Do You Carbonate Homebrew?..........................................................359
How Do I Add Alcohol to Homebrew? .......................................................359
Can I Distill Homebrew into Whiskey?.......................................................359
Can I Sell Homebrew? ..................................................................................360
Why Shouldn’t I Age Beer in the Plastic Primary Fermenter?................360
Do I Have to Worry About Things Blowing Up in My House?.................360

Appendix: Ingredients: The Building Blocks of Beer .....361
Malt: Grainy Names and Extract Excerpts ................................................361
Producers of grains ............................................................................362
Types of grains ...................................................................................363
Malt extract brands............................................................................369
Top Hops: Hop Varieties and Descriptions ...............................................370
Yeast: Dry and Liquid ..................................................................................379
Liquid top-fermenting yeast (Ales) ..................................................380
Liquid bottom-fermenting yeast (Lagers) .......................................382
Advanced liquid yeast (Ales)............................................................384
Liquid top-fermenting yeast (Ales) ..................................................386
Specialty/Belgian yeast......................................................................388
Bottom-fermenting yeast (Lagers) ...................................................390
Suggested strains for specific beer styles.......................................391
Mead and cider yeast.........................................................................393

Index........................................................................395

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Introduction
I’m just a humble homebrewer,
I’ve got no shiny copper.
I only brew five gallons a batch —
I just boil ’er up and hop ’er.
No foil labels, no fancy caps,
just plain glass bottle and stopper.
I pay no tax — just brew and relax,
then grab a beer and pop ’er!

H

omebrewing is one of the most sublime hobbies. Like growing vegetables in your backyard garden or baking bread in your own kitchen,
homebrewing enables you to recapture the hands-on rusticity of the olden
days while producing something that’s an absolute delight to consume. Just
as nothing can substitute for layering a salad with tomatoes and cucumbers
picked fresh from your own garden, nothing is as gratifying as sipping a fresh
beer brewed on your own kitchen stove.
In addition to the personal enjoyment you can gain from drinking your own
beer, you can’t deny the deep sense of gratification that accompanies the kudos
and congratulations of friends, family, and coworkers who equally enjoy your
homebrewing efforts. Perhaps best of all is the widespread recognition that
comes from winning awards — often quite valuable — in acknowledgment of
your brewing prowess and expertise. This list of benefits is a just a glimmer
of what homebrewing is like today.
The hobby hasn’t always been this way. Modern homebrewing in the United
States wasn’t even a legal enterprise until 1979. Even after it became legal,
homebrew still bore the disparaging mantle of bathtub booze and other such
pejoratives, a residue of the illicit beer-making days during national prohibition.
Fortunately, we’ve come full circle. Homebrewers have been rightly credited
with being the catalyst of the recent American brewing renaissance. The
early homebrew pioneering spirits, longing for a beer more satisfying than
the homogenous mass-market brands, were the ones who went on to open
the first of the microbreweries that are so popular today. And as more of these
craft-brewing operations open across the country and throughout the world,
they expose more and more people to small-brewery quality and diversity.
Inspired by the craft-brewing ethic and enthusiasm, many more people are
now interested in brewing beer at home.

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Homebrewing For Dummies, 2nd Edition
Following in footsteps far greater than my own, I began brewing my own beer
in 1985. I didn’t start homebrewing for lack of good beer, because plenty of
good, locally available commercial beers were available. I chose to brew my
own beer because I wanted to personally experience the magic of the beer
making process. After I started homebrewing, I quickly became hooked and
realized only much later that as much as I was consuming the hobby of
homebrewing, it was also consuming me.
So I had my own reasons for homebrewing — but why should you start?
Because homebrewers tend to develop a love and enjoyment and respect for
beer beyond its simple consumption. Homebrewers are ethereally connected
to both the brewing past and the brewing future; they’re champions of both a
medieval art and an advanced science. Plus, the homebrewing community-atlarge shares a common sense of purpose — of sharing information and ideas,
of promoting education as part of the hobby, and of enriching and enlightening
the general public by improving its collective perception of beer.
And despite anything you may have seen or heard or assumed on your own,
facial hair isn’t a prerequisite to being a good homebrewer. On the other
hand, growing wild hair now and again is strongly encouraged among those
who brew their own beer at home.

About This Book
I’ve written this book primarily with brewer wannabes in mind — those who
have always stood on the sidelines wondering what it’s like to play in the
game. But unlike baseball, football, soccer, or any other team game of physical
ability, homebrewing is more like a singles card game — one in which you can
improve your skill through repetitive play (and at your own pace).
But this book isn’t just a primer on the joy of playing Solitaire (if you’ll excuse
the analogy). This book tells you everything you need to know about this
particular deck of cards, how to shuffle the deck, how to deal the cards, how
to play various card games at different levels of difficulty, and finally, how to
find and associate with others who share your interest.
Unlike other how-to books, Homebrewing For Dummies, 2nd Edition is arranged
in such a way that you need not read it in order, cover to cover. Using the
many cross-references provided within the text enables you to jump around
to those sections that are of greatest interest to you. Please notice, however,
that certain chapters deal with topics that depend on your having read some
previous chapters for basic comprehension. But don’t worry; where this sort
of thing occurs, I make the point clear.
Whether you’ve ever made a homebrew — or even tasted one, for that matter —
isn’t important for you to read and appreciate this book. Even with so many
different beers to make and so many different ways to make them, you should

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Introduction
eventually be able to master them all after reading Homebrewing For Dummies,
2nd Edition. This book not only provides all the parameters of tried-and-true
beer styles but also encourages you, the reader, to go off on your own brewing
tangent. Be bold, be daring; invent a beer style all your own — just be ready
and willing to share it with others.

Conventions Used in This Book
The following conventions are used throughout the For Dummies series to
make things consistent and easy to understand:
All Web addresses appear in mono font.
New terms appear in italic and are closely followed by an easy-tounderstand definition.
Bold is used to highlight the action parts of numbered steps.
I use many additional conventions throughout this book, and I think I should
explain them to you:
All recipes and text assume that the batch size is 5 gallons: Unless I
say otherwise, you can assume that all recipes create a 5-gallon batch of
beer. The same goes for any other times that I discuss quantities or
aspects of a batch of beer.
The text and recipes use U.S. measurements: Every weight and liquid
measurement is given in standard pounds, gallons, and ounces. See the
Cheat Sheet at the front of this book for conversions.
All beer styles and beer-style parameters are based on the American
Homebrewers Association Beer Style Guidelines: This hierarchical listing
of major beer-style classifications and substyles (which you can find on
the Cheat Sheet at the front of this book) was established by the AHA for
recipe formulation and evaluation purposes.

What You’re Not to Read
I’ve written this book to help you achieve your dream of becoming a worldclass homebrewer. I made a special effort to include as much information
about homebrewing as possible. However, you may consider some of this
information nonessential and choose to skip certain parts. Here are some
parts you may want to pass over, at least until you’ve had a chance to read
the more important stuff.

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Homebrewing For Dummies, 2nd Edition
Text in sidebars: The sidebars are the shaded boxes that appear
occasionally throughout the book. They share anecdotal information
and observations, but aren’t necessary reading.
Technical Stuff icons: This information is geared toward those folks
who thrive on tech-heavy details about homebrewing.
Any of the fine print: None of this hard-to-read information is going to
help you brew good beer anyway.

Foolish Assumptions
I wrote this book with some thoughts about you in mind. Here’s what I
assume about you, my reader:
You like beer.
You want to brew your own beer at home.
You weren’t convinced brewing good beer at home was possible.
You want to impress your friends and family with your new hobby.
You’ve already brewed your own beer but want to make it even better.
You’re already a homebrewer, but you’re looking for all the latest tips,
trends, and recipes available.

How This Book Is Organized
I’ve organized this book into eight parts and crammed several chapters into
each part. Feel free to check out the table of contents to find the subject that
interests you most (or, more likely, is giving you the most fits). No matter how
you decide to use this book, the following sections give you a general idea of
what you find between its yellow and black covers.

Part I: First Things First
When you’re ready to begin brewing, you gotta start somewhere. This part
gives you the basic homebrewing overview and equipment list so you can get
started making your own beer. It also includes the all-important chapter on
how to keep your home brewery and equipment clean and sanitized in order
to make good beer. After you start brewing and are looking to progress in your
hobby, c’mon back to Part I to check out the upgraded equipment lists —
you’ll be glad you did.

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Part II: It’s in There: The Nuts
and Bolts of Beer
Beer is made with four basic ingredients: barley (malt), hops, yeast, and water.
In keeping with this breakdown, I dedicate an entire chapter to each of these
gems. Because these ingredients are the very being of beer, I’m sure you’ll want
to savor every word of these chapters (and every drop of the beer they create).
Having said this, however, you’ll also find many more ingredients and additives
and such that you can use to your advantage when brewing beer at home.
That’s why I’ve included an additional two chapters in this part.

Part III: Ready, Set, Brew!
From making your very first kit beer to brewing an entire batch from scratch, the
chapters in this part walk you through the various steps necessary at the
Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced levels of homebrewing. And then, of course,
you’ll need to keep your beer in something until you’re ready to drink it, so I’ve
added another couple of chapters to explain options for packaging your beer.

Part IV: Homebrew Recipes
This part is your ticket to paradise. More than 100 recipes at three levels of
difficulty are here for you to try and enjoy; many of them are proven awardwinners. I also include many beer-style profiles. Bottoms up!

Part V: Alternative Brewing
Sometimes the same-old, same-old doesn’t always work for people. That’s
why I’ve included some chapters on making alternative beverages by using
the equipment you already have. Most of these beverages are about options
and personal choice, but at least one chapter deals with making a beverage
that addresses important dietary restrictions.

Part VI: Putting Your Brew to the Test
Is your homebrew good? How do you know? Part VI not only helps you to
discern quality homebrew on your own but also points you to outside sources
of helpful feedback on your beer. Ultimately, this part is about making better
beer and about maximizing your brewing and drinking pleasure.

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Homebrewing For Dummies, 2nd Edition

Part VII: The Part of Tens
In the For Dummies tradition, the Part of Tens is a small collection of valuable
information designed to help answer vexing questions or provide direction to
even more helpful information found elsewhere. If you happen to get a
chuckle along the way, so much the better.
This book wouldn’t be complete without the appendix. I’ve compiled tons of
important homebrewing information for your benefit, and I cross-reference
this information often throughout this book. Don’t miss it!

Icons Used in This Book
In keeping with the traditional For Dummies style, this book uses icons — those
little pictures in the margins — to serve as guideposts for various kinds of information. You can use them to pick out information customized to your needs.
Explains technical subjects that are important only if you’re really getting
into homebrewing (or you’re a techno-head). Those who are neither of these
can skip these sections altogether.
Flags information that, if not read carefully, can cause you to botch a
batch of beer.

Shows pointers, suggestions, and recommendations that can make your
homebrewing go more smoothly.

Draws your attention to important information you should remember for
future reference. Sometimes it flags material that I’ve already mentioned elsewhere but that you should read again (for good measure).
Highlights some highly recommended products, services, or techniques.
Try ‘em — you’ll be glad you did!

The “things that make you go ‘huh!’ “ member of the icon family. Tells funny,
intriguing, or just plain interesting beer trivia or lore. Excellent material for
homebrewing banter with your friends, if you’re into that sort of thing.

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Where to Go from Here
Now that you have a quick overview of what to expect from this book, you
can begin your trek through the world of homebrewing. Go ahead, flip through
the book or begin with Chapter 1 — it doesn’t matter to me. All I ask is that
you have fun with your hobby and never take yourself or your brew too
seriously.
Still here? What are you waiting for?

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Part I

First Things First

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In this part . . .

omebrewing is a fun and enjoyable hobby, but
you can’t join in the fun until you have a little understanding of the craft as well as the necessary equipment.
Chapters 1 and 2 give you just the information you need
to get started. Chapter 3 tells you how to keep your
brewery and all your equipment good and clean, and a
good, clean brewery means good, clean beer.

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Chapter 1

Welcome to the Wonderful
World of Wort
In This Chapter
Why brew at home?
Do I have what it takes?

O

ne vexing question for the homebrewer wannabe is “why go through the
trouble of brewing beer at home when I can just buy it at the local store?”

Well, for starters, brewing beer at home is no trouble if you enjoy what you’re
doing, and with the help of this book, you can certainly enjoy homebrewing.
Secondly, homebrewed beer can be every bit as good as — if not better than —
a lot of commercial beer, with more flavor and character than most. In fact,
avoiding mass-market beer was the original inspiration for homebrewing.
Thirdly, homebrewing is a hobby that pays many dividends, from having your
own house brand of beer to hanging colorful award ribbons on your wall to
earning the undying admiration of your beer-drinking buddies. (Warning:
Admiration can be addictive.)
In this chapter, I give you an overview of the topics covered in detail in the
rest of the book as well as a bit of the history of homebrewing and its recent
surge in popularity.

Homebrewers Abound!
Becoming a homebrewer means you’re in good company. According to the
American Homebrewers Association (AHA) in Boulder, Colorado, an estimated
1 million homebrewers are brewing in the United States. That’s a lot of brewers.
And the hobby continues to expand every year. Recent estimates indicate that
over 1,000 homebrew supply retailers and several hundred homebrewing
clubs have popped up in response to homebrewing’s growing popularity.
Most of these clubs are small, but the national group (AHA) boasts 15,000
members. Homebrewing associations are growing worldwide, too.

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Part I: First Things First
The explosive growth in homebrewing has been closely mirrored by a tremendous increase in small, craft breweries in the U.S. — this is no coincidence.
Since homebrewing became legal almost 30 years ago, the interest in handcrafted beer has blossomed, and over 1,500 brewpubs and microbreweries
have opened in this same period of time. The growth in the American craftbrewing industry has been so dynamic that even European countries with
long and respected brewing histories have had no choice but to sit up and
take notice. Small, craft breweries have begun opening up in Canada, England,
Germany, and elsewhere in Europe.
In the more than 20 years that I’ve been involved in homebrewing, I’ve had
the pleasure of meeting and speaking with hundreds of people who share a
common interest in beer and homebrewing. Here are some of the reasons so
many folks seem to enjoy brewing their own beer:
To participate in the do-it-yourself homebrewing trend — what other
hobby allows you to drink the fruits of your labor?
To make beers comparable to hard-to-find microbrews and expensive
brews from around the world.
To share homebrewed beer with friends and family members (beware of
mooches).

All the Right Stuff
New homebrewers are no different from other hobbyists; they’re champing at
the bit (or foaming at the mouth) to get started with their hobby. Although
this unbridled enthusiasm is good, jumping headlong into the unknown isn’t.
You need to incorporate some degree of planning into your decision to homebrew. What kind of equipment do I need, and where can I find it? How much
time do I need to dedicate to this whole process? What kind of ingredients do
I need, and where can I buy them? What other preparations do I need to make?
What do I do with the beer when I finish brewing? Can I take a homebrewer’s
deduction on the IRS 1040 long form? These are the questions you need to
ask (and answer!) before you make the plunge. Conveniently, all the answers
you need are right here in this book. (And no, the IRS doesn’t give a homebrewer’s tax deduction. Sorry.)

Gathering the equipment you need
Like having the right tools to do work around your house, having the right
equipment for brewing your beer is essential.

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Although the equipment needed at the beginner level is relatively inexpensive,
you may want to try your hand at brewing beer without the cost commitment
of buying the equipment first. If you’re fortunate enough to live near one, try
brewing a batch of beer at a Brew On Premises (BOP), using the BOP’s equipment
and facilities. (BOPs are breweries at which individuals can brew their own
batch of beer.) If you happen to know of other homebrewers in your area, ask
to participate in one of their brews so you can get a feel for the hobby, or
search out local homebrew clubs for assistance.
If you’re ready to commit to buying your own equipment, check out Chapter
2 for all the details on the equipment required to get started and pursue each
level of brewing thereafter.

Tracing the homebrewing timeline
Homebrewing wannabes are understandably concerned with how much of a
time commitment is necessary to brew beer at home. To someone not familiar
with the fermentation processes, this takes a little extra explaining. First, you
have the hands-on part of brewing: the actual cooking of the wort (unfermented beer; rhymes with dirt) on the stovetop, the fermentation (conversion
of sugars to alcohol and CO2 by yeast) and aging (maturation) processes, and
then the bottling of the beer. What most people aren’t aware of is the hands-off
part of brewing — the stage when the brewer does nothing but wait patiently.
This part not only constitutes the longest segment of the timeline, but it also
represents a test of the brewer’s patience and self-restraint.
At the beginner level, you need at least two or three hours on brewing day to
properly sanitize the equipment, brew and cool the wort, pitch the yeast (add
it to your wort), seal the fermenter, and clean up whatever mess you made.
(Part III details the brewing day process.) You need to set aside the same
amount of time on the day you bottle the beer. (Chapter 13 provides all you
need to know about bottling.)
In between the brewing and bottling days, however, you face the little matter
of fermentation. The yeast needs at least seven days to complete the fermentation cycle — sometimes more, depending on extenuating circumstances.
You need do nothing more than wait patiently for the yeast to complete its
task. Even after you’ve bottled your beer, you still need to wait patiently while
your brew conditions in the bottles — two weeks is the recommended minimum length of this conditioning process.

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At the beginner level, if you brew on a Saturday your brewing timeline may
look something like the following:
1. Brew day (S). Ferment the beer Su-M-T-W-Th-F.
2. Bottle day (S). Condition the beer Su-M-T-W-Th-F-S-Su-M-T-W-Th-F.
3. Drink the beer!
As you begin to employ different ingredients, equipment, and processes in
your beer-making repertoire, expect the timeline to expand. Secondary fermentation (a helpful extra aging step — see Chapter 11) adds another two
weeks to the timeline, and advanced brewers, for example, may spend as
many as eight to ten hours in a single day brewing their beer from grain (see
Chapter 12).
Please note that homebrewing is a pursuit that requires a higher degree of
dedication than, say, su doku puzzles, but the rewards are considerable (and
tasty!) In addition to personal gratification, quality homebrew can inspire a
certain respect from your fellow brewers, awe in nonbrewers, and other
intangibles that make all the effort worthwhile.

Adding ingredients galore!
Like various kinds of bread, all beer styles consist of the same basic ingredients.
The difference is that the ingredients vary slightly in attributes and quantities
required from one beer style to the next. Although wheat bread may look and
taste different than rye bread, they’re very much alike and made in very much
the same way.
At the commercial level, brewing uses grain (mostly malted barley), hops,
yeast, and water (see Chapters 4 through 7). Thanks to many stores and
Internet sites that specialize in homebrewing supplies, homebrewers today
have access to most of the same ingredients used by corporate brewhouses
everywhere. Of course, these shops don’t just provide the everyday ingredients
for the average beer; different hop varieties and yeast strains from around the
world are now available in the homebrewing market.
With the help of specially made products, such as malt syrup derived from
grain (see Chapter 4), beginner homebrewers can easily produce beers that
emulate those made commercially. Intermediate- and advanced-level homebrewers may even make their beer with the same grains used by their
favorite commercial brewers.

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Beyond the four basic building blocks of beer, dozens of other flavorings and
additives can contribute different flavors and textures to your brew (see
Chapter 8), and a number of other agents can affect the appearance of your
brew (see Chapter 9).
Although thriftiness is a virtue, you need high-quality ingredients to produce
high-quality beer — so loosen your grip on the purse strings when buying
homebrew ingredients.
Not all of these ingredients are necessary to make great beer, but they exist
for you, the brewer, to use if you’re so inclined. In your house, you’re the Head
Brewer — you make the choices (but read about ‘em in Parts II and III first).
Like home cooking, homebrewing doesn’t come with an automatic guarantee
of quality. Certain responsibilities and expectations are squarely on the
brewer to ensure that each batch of beer turns out right. Failure to heed
simple rules and suggestions can result in a less-than-perfect brew and a
waste of time, effort, and money.

Preparing wisely
Good homebrew starts with good preparation, and good preparation starts with
a complete list of ingredients. Nothing is more aggravating than starting your
brewing procedures only to find that you’re missing a necessary ingredient. Before
you head off to your homebrew supply shop or submit a mail-order form, consider all your needs. Occasionally, homebrewers fail to look beyond the beer
recipe and forget something as simple — but essential — as bottle caps.
Another important preparation consideration is having the brewery in order —
clearing your workspace of clutter and having all your equipment present
and accounted for (see Chapter 2). Removing free-roaming pets to another
part of the house is always a good idea.
Sanitizing your equipment is also high on the preparation checklist (see
Chapter 3); you never want your brew to come in contact with equipment that
isn’t properly clean and sanitized to protect against beer-ruining bacteria.

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All done — now what?
So, say your beer is done and ready to drink — what next? Well, grab a bottle
opener, a clean beer glass, and a seat, because it’s time to revel in your success. While you’re admiring the brew in your glass and savoring its flavor on
your palate, consider how you can best commemorate your efforts:
Invite a bunch of your closest (and thirstiest) buddies over to sample it.
Give it away as gifts to close friends and family members deserving of
your time and talent.
Increase your good standing with bosses and other influential people by
presenting them with a bottle of beer of your own making.
Swap a couple of bottles with other homebrewers in your area.
Submit some entries to homebrew competitions around the country.
(See Chapter 25 to find out more about homebrew competitions.)
One of the most incredible awards is having your homebrew replicated and sold
by a nationally distributed brand — kinda like your mom’s chocolate chip
cookies being made by Sara Lee. Several well-known microbrewers solicit homebrew entries to their own annual, sponsored competitions. The winners may
receive a cash award and royalties or have their beer recipe reproduced as a
one-time-only specialty beer and sold to the public. For example, every year the
Boston Beer Company hosts the Samuel Adams LongShot competition. Two
winners get their beer brewed, packaged, and nationally distributed for a
limited time in the LongShot Variety Pack. Check out http://www.samuel
adams.com/promotions/LongShot/Default.aspx for more information
on entering this contest.
Or you can do as I do when I’m particularly pleased with a batch of brew —
hoard it, hide it, jealously guard it, and only take a bottle out to celebrate the
most sublime accomplishments in life — like making another batch of great beer!

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Chapter 2

Setting Up Your Beeraphernalia
In This Chapter
Shopping for homebrew shops
Understanding the three levels of equipment and equipment prices
Deciding what equipment you need and when

F

orget any preconceived notions you may have about shiny copper
kettles and coils taking up your whole kitchen and huge wooden vats
bubbling and churning in the cellar — those notions are the product of
vivid imaginations and vintage Hollywood movies. Human civilization is well
into the stainless-steel and plastic age, where everything is smaller, more
durable, and lighter weight.
Every homebrewer is a first-time brewer at least once, which means that
every homebrewer needs to start with at least the minimum amount of equipment. With its barest essentials, homebrewing requires three tools: a brewpot
in which you boil the wort (the German term for beer before it’s fermented),
a container in which you ferment the beer (the fermenter), and bottles in
which you package the beer.
If this list sounds overly simplistic, that’s because it is. Actually, the proper
brewpot needs to conform to specific acceptable parameters, the fermenter
must be airtight and yet be able to vent carbon dioxide, and the bottles
require bottle caps, which in turn require a bottle-capping device. And your
list of needs has only begun.
You also want a number of smaller (but no less important) items that all
brewers need to have in their breweries. And as you may find out, brewers
who continue to brew beer are likely to continue to buy or build additional
time- and effort-saving equipment as they need it. This chapter discusses the
necessary equipment at all levels of homebrewing because more advanced
equipment is required to produce the more advanced beer styles found later
in the book.
Don’t panic — just follow along at your own pace. You don’t need to progress
to levels you’re not comfortable with. Although some brewers feel compelled
to advance as rapidly as possible, others find their niche and stick with it.
Above all else, homebrewing should be an enjoyable undertaking.

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Sniffing Out Sources
The first step in your homebrewing expedition is to locate your local homebrew supply retailer. I suggest that you start with the phone book; try looking
under “Hobbies” or “Beer.” Stop in at your local homebrew supply shop and
ask for a catalog and price list (if they have one). Take a look at the equipment and supplies; ask questions about the stock — especially the ingredients. To the first-timer, the vast quantities of equipment and ingredient
choices can be somewhat intimidating.
You may find (as many people have) that you don’t have a local retailer in
your area, in which case mail order is the next best thing. Many mail-order
shops have toll-free phone numbers or Web sites for ordering, and most offer
free catalogs, many of which are both extensive and information-packed.
Homebrewing equipment varies, as shown in Figure 2-1, and any homebrew
supply shop worth its salt can get you just about anything you need or
desire (for homebrewing, that is!)

HDPE-plastic bottling bucket
3-piece airlock
Airtight lid
16-quart
enamelcoated or
stainless
steel
brewpot

HDPE-plastic
primary fermenter

Returnable
glass bottles

Spigot

Figure 2-1:
Many
homebrew
shops sell
this basic
equipment
as a
start-up kit.

Stainless steel
or plastic spoon

Curved racking cane
Flexible plastic racking hose

Triple-scale
hydrometer

Bench-type
bottle capper

Sample cylinder
Bottling tube

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Square One: Equipment for
the Beginning Brewer
Square one generally denotes a starting point (although it’s also been used to
describe this author), and this section is no different: It serves as the starting
point in your homebrewing career. Before you can embark on this career
path, however, you need to buy the tools of the trade.

So much equipment, so little time . . .
For the benefit of beginning homebrewers, in this section I recommend and
discuss only the minimal amount of equipment needed; however, I may mention additional convenient and time- and effort-saving pieces along the way.
Thrift is also a consideration; I typically recommend cheaper alternatives
over more expensive equipment and methods.
Many homebrew equipment suppliers sell prepackaged starter kits that can
range from the bare-bones to the top-of-the-line — all-inclusive starter kits
can run up to $200. All these kits include the basic equipment essentials, but
some kits also throw in books, videos, or other unnecessary items that just
inflate the price. Before you buy a kit, consider what you need and what you
want to spend. To help you get the wheels turning, Table 2-1 gives you a
starter list of necessary items and their approximate costs.
If you go high-end on all your equipment, your cost adds up to well over
a couple hundred dollars, not including the cost of bottles (see the section
“What do I do with all these gadgets?” in this chapter for more information
about bottles and their cost). If you buy the smaller brewpot and a twohanded capper to cut some corners, you can save about 25 bucks.

Table 2-1

Beginner Brewing Equipment and Its Cost

Equipment

Approximate Cost

Brewpot, 16 qt. minimum

$40/20 qt., $80/30 qt.

Brew spoon (HDPE plastic)

$4 or less

Primary fermenter (HDPE plastic) with spigot, lid

$20 or less

Airlock

$2 or less

Drilled rubber stopper for airlock

$2 or less

3 to 4 feet of food-grade plastic hose, 1⁄2 inch in diameter

$3
(continued)

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Table 2-1 (continued)
Equipment

Approximate Cost

Bottling or “priming” bucket (HDPE plastic) with spigot

$15 or less

Bottles (must be the reusable type that don’t use
twist-off caps)

$20–$30 for one
batch of beer (5 gallons); the exact
number of bottles
depends on their
size: 12 oz., 16 oz., 22
oz., or 1 qt.

Bottle rinser

$12

Bottle brush

$3

Bottling tube (HDPE plastic) with spring valve

$4 or less

Bottle capper

$35 (bench-type) or
$15 (two-handed)

Hydrometer (triple scale) with cylinder

$10 ($5 or less for the
cylinder)

What do I do with all these gadgets?
Okay, you’ve read the list in Table 2-1 and made your own list of what equipment you need. You’re ready to go shopping, right? Not so fast. You probably
want to understand a little bit about what it is you’re buying. The following
list gives you some insights into what all these gadgets do so you can be a
more informed consumer.
Brewpot: Chances are you already have a large pot of some sort in your
kitchen, but if your brewpot is made of enamel-coated metal, make sure
it’s not chipped where it may come in contact with your beer. Your
brewpot also needs to have a minimum 16-quart capacity, but I highly
recommend you go ahead and upgrade to the 20- or 30-quart pot listed
in Table 2-1.
The more of your wort you boil, the better for your finished beer. So,
when it comes to brewpots, the bigger the better.
Brew spoon: Regardless of how well equipped your kitchen is, every
homebrewer needs to have a spoon dedicated for brewing beer and nothing else. A brew spoon needs to be stainless steel or HDPE (food-grade)

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Chapter 2: Setting Up Your Beeraphernalia
plastic, and it needs to have a long handle — 18 inches or more. Avoid
wooden spoons because they can’t be kept thoroughly sanitized (and
they can splinter).
Primary fermenter: The primary fermenter is where you pour the cooled
wort shortly after you’re done brewing. You must be able to seal this
vessel airtight for the duration of the fermentation. A primary fermenter
needs to have a minimum capacity of 7 gallons and an airtight lid with a
hole in it (to accommodate an airlock with an attached rubber stopper).
These specially made plastic fermenters come with removable plastic
spigots positioned near the bottom for easy use.
The kinds of plastics used in homebrewing are of the same quality and
standards as those plastics used in the food industry. In fact, another
name for HDPE (high-density polyethylene) is food-grade plastic. Unlike
lesser grades of plastic, HDPE restricts gaseous transfer through the
plastic (though not completely).
Airlock: An airlock is an inexpensive (but incredibly simple and
efficient) tool that allows the carbon dioxide gases to escape from the
fermenter during fermentation without compromising the antiseptic
environment within. Filled halfway with water, this setup lets gas escape
without allowing any air (and, therefore, germs) into the fermenter.
A similar contraption, called a bubbler, is a two-chambered device that
works on the same principle. The difference is that you can easily
clean and sanitize the inside of an airlock (unlike the totally enclosed
bubbler). Both mechanisms work equally well otherwise, but the
airlock, shown in Figure 2-2, is my first choice.

Figure 2-2:
An airlock
allows
carbon
dioxide to
escape
from the
fermenter.

Bubbler

3-Piece airlock

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Drilled rubber stopper: You need a rubber stopper to fit over the stem
of the airlock or bubbler to act as a wedge when you insert the airlock
into the hole in the fermenter lid. These drilled stoppers come in numbered sizes (for example, a #3 stopper). Be sure you buy a stopper
that fits the opening in your fermenter lid. (Your homebrew equipment
supplier can determine what you need.)
Plastic hose: Flexible plastic hosing is a multifunctional piece of equipment you use to transfer your beer from vessel to vessel or from vessel
to bottle. It’s an important part of your equipment package and one that
you need to always keep clean and undamaged. You want to have 3 to 5
feet of hosing.
Bottling bucket: The bottling bucket is a vessel you need on bottling
day. It doesn’t require a lid, but it’s considerably more efficient if you
buy a bucket with a removable spigot at the bottom. The bottling bucket
is also called a priming vessel because you prime your fermented beer
with corn sugar just prior to bottling. (I discuss the priming process in
detail in Chapter 13.)
Glass bottles: Your bottles must be the thick, heavy, returnable kind.
Don’t use any bottle with a threaded (twist-off) opening — a bottle cap
doesn’t seal properly across the threads. You need enough bottles to
hold 5 gallons of beer: 54 12-ounce bottles, 40 16-ounce bottles, or any
combination of bottles that adds up to 640 ounces. You can buy brandnew bottles from a homebrew supply shop, but you can get used
bottles much more cheaply from commercial breweries.
Find out whether a local liquor store sells any beer in returnable bottles
(not the cheap recyclable kind). If it does, buy a couple of cases, drink
the beer, and voilà! You have 48 bottles (not to mention a swollen
bladder and a nasty headache).
Another alternative, albeit an initially more expensive one, is to buy the
self-sealing swing-top bottles. See the sidebar “Swingtime” in Chapter 13
for more information.
Bottling tube: A bottling tube is a hard plastic tube that’s about a foot
long and comes with a spring-loaded valve at the tip. You attach the bottling tube to the plastic hosing (which you then attach to the spigot on
the bottling bucket) and insert the tube in the bottles when filling them.
Bottle brush: A bottle brush is another inexpensive but important piece
of equipment. You need this soft-bristle brush to properly scrub the
inside of the bottles prior to filling.
Bottle rinser: A bottle rinser is a curved plastic or brass apparatus that
you attach to a faucet. It works as an added convenience for rinsing
bottles. This device isn’t an absolute necessity, but for the money it’s a
good investment.

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If you buy a bottle rinser, take note of which faucet in your home you
plan to use. Utility faucets usually have larger hose threads and others,
such as bathroom and kitchen faucets, have fine threads where an
adapter may be needed. Make sure the bottle rinser and any adapters
have a rubber washer (gasket) in place.
Bottle capper: You need a bottle capper to affix new bottle caps to the
filled bottles. These come in all shapes, sizes, and costs.
Most cappers work equally well, but I suggest that you choose a benchtype capper, like the one shown in Figure 2-3, over the two-handed style.
A bench capper is free-standing and can be attached to a work surface
(permanently, if you like), which leaves one hand free to hold the
bottle steady.
Triple-scale hydrometer: A hydrometer is a fragile glass measuring
device used to calculate the density of your beer as well as the amount
of alcohol that the yeast has produced in your homebrew. Triple scale
refers to the three different measuring scales within the hydrometer (see
the sidebar “Of liquid density and hydrometers . . .” in this chapter).
Some people argue that a hydrometer isn’t a necessary piece of
equipment at the beginner level. I disagree. A hydrometer isn’t very
expensive, it’s easy to use, and anyone who wants to progress in the
world of homebrewing needs to learn how to use one. Therefore,
I recommend adding a hydrometer to your initial shopping list —
and be sure to buy a plastic cylinder to go with it.

Figure 2-3:
You can
attach a
bench-type
bottle
capper to a
work
surface for
easy use.

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Of liquid density and hydrometers . . .
A hydrometer is a long, cylindrical, narrow glass
device designed to measure liquid density. It’s
weighted at the bottom and has a numeric scale
or scales inside for measuring purposes. With
the weighted end submerged in the liquid, the
calibrated stem projects out of the liquid; the
density of the liquid determines the height of
this projection.
A triple-scale hydrometer features three separate scales. Two of them — the specific gravity
scale and the Balling scale — measure liquid
density (the density of liquids in relation to
the density of water), but the third measures
potential alcohol. Ordinary water has a specific
gravity of 1.000 at 60 degrees Fahrenheit. (For
comparison’s sake, at the same temperature,
gasoline has a specific gravity around 0.66,
whole milk is about 1.028, and mercury is
13.600!)
The Balling scale performs the exact same
function as the specific gravity scale, except
that it reads in different incremental numbers
called degrees Plato. A homebrew with a specific gravity of 1.048 has a density of 12.5
degrees Plato. (The difference between these
two measurement scales is similar to the difference between the Fahrenheit and Celsius temperature scales; homebrewers seem to prefer
the specific gravity scale.)
So, what’s the point? Measuring the density of
your brew accomplishes two goals: It tells you
when your brew is done fermenting (and thus,
when it’s time to bottle your beer), and it allows
you to calculate the alcohol potential of your
brew. Of course, potential alcohol and actual
alcohol are two different things, which is why
you need to take two different hydrometer readings. Taking a hydrometer reading before you
ferment the wort gives you the original gravity;
it tells you the alcohol potential. Taking a second

hydrometer reading after fermentation is over
gives you the final gravity (also called terminal
gravity) and a final alcohol potential. Subtracting
the F.G. (final gravity) from the O.G. (original
gravity) on one scale and the final alcohol potential from the initial alcohol potential on the other
scale tells you, in mathematical terms, how
much of the sugar your yeast ate and how much
alcohol is in your brew.
When yeasts eat sugar they produce alcohol, so
any decrease in gravity results in a reciprocal
increase in alcohol.
A few things to remember:
Although a hydrometer is a very reliable
method of measuring specific gravities and
figuring alcohol potentials, the readings
skew if the liquid temperature is not near 60
degrees Fahrenheit at reading time. Hot wort
readings are lower than they should be and
cold bottling readings are higher than they
should be due to the temperature-sensitive
nature of liquid density. Therefore, always
measure at 60 degrees Fahrenheit (or use a
temperature correction scale — ask your
homebrew retailer for details).
Alcohol potential readings are measured in
alcohol by volume (ABV), not alcohol by
weight (ABW) (see Chapter 6).
Surface tension in liquids causes something
called a meniscus effect. The tendency of
liquids to cling to other surfaces creates a
meniscus. The meniscus is the concave
appearance of the beer between the wall of
the cylinder and the exterior of the hydrometer. Be sure to sight your reading at the
lowest point of the meniscus.
A hydrometer, like the one shown in the
figure, can also call attention to possible

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Chapter 2: Setting Up Your Beeraphernalia

Detail of hydrometer scales
1000

0%

Triple-scale hydrometer

0

10
5

20
30
40

5%

Meniscus

10

Actual reading

50

Potential alcohol by volume

Balling scale

15

60

Specific gravity scale

fermentation problems. Average healthy
yeasts consume at least 65 percent of available sugars (usually more); if the final gravity reading of your beer is not 35 percent or
less of the original gravity, a lot of sugar may
still be in the beer (see Chapter 10 for details
on taking hydrometer readings).

Sample cylinder

Square Two: Equipment for the
Intermediate Brewer
Okay, you’ve mastered homebrewing techniques at the novice level and
you’re looking for a bigger challenge. Well, you’ve come to the right place.
This section is for the budding homebrewer who intends to get more
personally involved in the brewing processes. A more hands-on approach
to anything calls for more specialized equipment (a car owner intending to
do her own vehicle maintenance can’t get far without the right tools). A lot
of different procedures await you at the intermediate level of homebrewing,
each with its own degree of difficulty (see Chapter 11).

Now what do I need?
The list of equipment in Table 2-2 is based on the additional needs of the
homebrewer who endeavors to try all of the procedures outlined in Chapter
11. Those brewers who aren’t compelled to try all the intermediate brewing
procedures need to pick and choose the items that best suit their needs and
levels of confidence. Figure 2-4 shows a couple of the more important items
you need.

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Part I: First Things First
Table 2-2

Intermediate Equipment and Its Cost

Equipment

Approximate Cost

Glass carboy (5 gallon)

$23 or less

Another airlock

$2 or less

Rubber stopper for carboy (drilled)

$2 or less

Carboy brush

$5 or less

Racking tube or cane

$3

8-inch plastic funnel

$10 or less

Kitchen strainer

$10 or less

Sparge bags

$5 (reusable nylon)
$.50 (throw-away)

Figure 2-4:
A glass
carboy and
a handcranked
grain mill
are
important
additions
that you
may want to
make to
your home
brewery.

Lab immersion thermometer (or similar)

$8

Grain mill

$100 and up

Kitchen or postal scale

$20–$30

Glass carboy
Hand-cranked grain mill

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What do these gizmos even do?
New challenges in homebrewing often call for new equipment. Before you
take off on this new adventure, take a gander at the following list so you know
exactly what you need and why you need it.
Glass carboy: Carboys are the large cylindrical jugs that water
delivery companies used for years until they switched to the plastic
carboys used today. Because plastic carboys aren’t really appropriate
for homebrewing use, you need to purchase a glass carboy from your
local homebrew supply store. The principal use for a glass carboy in
homebrewing is as a secondary fermenter, where you age and mature
your beer.
Carboys may come in 3- to 15-gallon capacities, but the 5-gallon size
best matches the typical batch of homebrew; therefore, it’s probably
the best choice for homebrewing purposes.
Rubber stopper: If you intend to use the carboy as a fermenter, you
need another drilled rubber stopper to fit the carboy’s neck (usually
a #6 or #7 stopper). As with the plastic primary fermenter, the carboy
needs to be sealed with an airlock while the beer inside is aging.
Airlock: You may not actually need another airlock in the brewery, but
you may find you like to have a spare one around — besides, it costs
less than a couple of bucks!
Having a second airlock allows you to brew two batches in quick succession. While one batch is aging in the carboy, another can be fermenting
in the primary fermenter.
Carboy brush: If you want to continue to use the carboy as a fermenter,
you need a carboy brush. This heavy-duty, soft-bristle brush is specially
designed to reach every curve and corner of the carboy during cleaning.
Racking tube: Racking is the act of transferring beer from one vessel
to another, or into bottles, while leaving yeast sediment and particulate
matter behind. Because carboys don’t offer the convenience of a spigot,
you need a hard-plastic, curved racking tube — also called a cane —
to siphon the beer out.
Funnel: Because the opening of the carboy is so small, a good funnel is
a handy thing to have around. I recommend one with an opening at least
8 inches in diameter.
Kitchen strainer: With the addition of loose grain, hops, and other
ingredients to your brewpot, a strainer with a handle becomes a necessary piece of equipment. Food-grade steel mesh is better than plastic;
don’t settle for a strainer with a diameter of less than 10 inches or one
without a strong handle. You may have to go to a culinary specialty
store to find the right one.

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Part I: First Things First
Sparge bags: Regardless of whether you have a strainer, sparge bags are
effective for steeping grain or keeping whole-leaf hops under control in
the brewpot. You can buy reusable nylon bags with drawstrings, or you
can buy the inexpensive throw-away kind.
Lab immersion thermometer: Because temperature control becomes
more and more important in brewing at the intermediate level, you
probably want to have an immersion thermometer in your brewery. A
lab-quality immersion thermometer is capable of temperature readings
above the boiling point (212 degrees Fahrenheit or100 degrees Celsius at
sea level) and as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit (or 4.4 degrees Celsius).
Grain mill: A grain mill is one of the more expensive items you need.
You use the grain mill to crack the grain prior to brewing with it. You can
buy precracked grain, but many homebrew stores don’t crack it properly (and precracked grain can also go stale more quickly). The mill-less
homebrewer can find inventive ways to crack the grain, such as putting
it into a large sealable plastic bag and rolling it with a rolling pin or
baseball bat.
Whatever you do, don’t use a coffee grinder to do your grain milling.
If you do, your grain ends up looking like sawdust — and how it looks
is just the beginning of your problems. Grinding your grain too finely
causes your beer to have an unpleasant, bitter, astringent taste.
Kitchen or postal scale: After you start to brew beer according
to specific recipes, you may find that you need many ingredients in
small quantities. A good kitchen or postal scale is vital to getting these
quantities just right because it can measure fractions of ounces.

Square Three: Equipment
for the Advanced Brewer
Some homebrewers become so completely engrossed and absorbed
in their hobby that their craving for homebrewing information is only
surpassed by their need to take full control of the brewing processes they
perform. Welcome to the world of advanced homebrewing (also known as
homebrewing geekdom).
What separates this level of homebrewing from the intermediate level
(besides this mania) is that you produce wort from grain only — just like
the commercial brewers make beer. To do so, you must master the process
known as mashing. Mashing is the method of producing your wort from raw
grain instead of using malt syrup. (See Chapter 12 for more on mashing.) And
even though the learning curve is pretty steep, mashing allows you to make
cheaper and potentially more-flavorful beer.


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