Brewing with extract is typically the entry point for most beginning homebrewers into the hobby of making their own beer. The process can be as simple as adding pre-hopped canned extract to boiling water, cooling, and adding yeast or be a bit more complex with the inclusion of specialty grains and hop additions. Enjoyment of the process and beer quality tend to improve as the brewer takes responsibility for more and more of the ingredients.
This article will discuss the three ways to brew with malt extract.
In order to brew beer with extract you will need the following pieces of equipment:
- Brew Kettle - Typically a stock pot which can hold at least 20 quarts (required)
- Mixing Spoon (required)
- Thermometer (required)
- Wort chiller (optional)
- Sanitizer (required)
- Fermentation Vessel - Can be a plastic bucket or glass carboy (required)
- Funnel (only required when using a glass carboy for fermentation
- Airlock (required)
- Hydrometer (optional but highly recommended)
- Racking cane (required)
- Siphon tubing (required)
- Secondary fermentation vessel (optional)
- Bottling bucket (optional)
- Brown bottles - Will need at least fifty 12 oz bottles for a 5 gallon batch of beer (required)
- Bottle filler (optional)
- Bottle caps
- Bottle capper (required)
Brewing with Pre-Hopped Extract
All that is needed to brew beer with a pre-hopped extract is a can of pre-hopped extract, some water, and yeast. The cans are often referred to as kits although a distinction should be made between these "canned kits" and other types of ingredient kits which include grains and hops and are available at most homebrew supply sites on the internet.
The steps for brewing with pre-hopped extract are as follows (remembering to follow proper sanitation techniques):
- Combine contents of canned kit with water
- Add mixture to your fermenter
- Pitch the yeast
- Seal fermenter and add airlock
While this is the easiest way to make home brewed beer, it may not be the most enjoyable. Increasing the complexity by adding your own hops or specialty grains can vastly improve both the experience of brewing and the quality of the final product while still remaining a fairly simple process. See below for details on these methods.
Brewing with Extract and Hop Additions
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Brewing with Extract, Specialty Grains, and Hop Additions
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