Monday, November 19, 2007

Bear Ridge Bush Beer

This is a good starter beer recipe, simple and inexpensive.

2 5 gallon buckets with lids and air locks (home brew store)
1 3 lbs can of hops flavored malt syrup (home brew store)
4 lbs cane sugar
1 pack of beer yeast (bakers yeast will work but beer yeast settles better)
5 gallons of water

Boil malt, 4 Lbs. sugar and 3 gallons of water for 30 minutes, cool slightly, then pour into a sterilized food grade plastic bucket marked at the 5-gallon level. Add cool water to the 5-gallon mark, cover with a plastic trash bag secured with rubber bands. When cooled to room temperature, add yeast cover with bucket lid that has air lock and let it work until only a few bubbles are breaking the surface (about 5 days at room temperature.)

Next, siphon your beer into another sterilized bucket, leaving the gunk (lees) that's settled to the bottom behind. Cover with air locked lid and let settle for about 3 days and bubbling has ceased. Your beer is now flat and ready to bottle, except that you must add 1/4 cup of sugar per gallon so it will carbonate in the bottle. Do this by dissolving 1-1/4 cup of sugar in about a quart of boiling water and pouring it into a sterilized bucket (first bucket), then siphon the beer into it carefully to leave the gunk (lees) behind again, mix and bottle. Let beer set for 10 days then enjoy.

Regarding bottle strength, use only bottles that require a bottle opener to remove the cap. Bottles with twist-off caps are thinner and prone to explosion, or use the 2-liter plastic containers. You should buy new caps and a capper from a home brew store. 5 gallons of beer makes 54-12 oz bottles or around 28-22 oz bottles. I use 22 oz bottles.
This was a good first beer. I use glass carboys now instead of buckets and have adjusted the recipe slightly. I would recommend buying new bottles at a home brew store. Next big step is to try brewing with the malt seeds instead of malt syrup. I will include pictures in the next few days.

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