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Course: Drinks
Keyword: Beer, Drinks, Game Day, Good Brew

Good Brew

TOTAL TIME: 2 hours 49 minutes
Yield: 5 gallons
Brewing beer at home is easier than you might think. Here's how to do it.
Sure, home brewing takes a little bit of work. It requires some specialized tools and some rather exotic ingredients, but they're not hard to find, nor are they difficult to implement. In a way, it's like setting up an aquarium because it's all about creating an environment where unicellular critters called yeasts can grow and eat and raise little baby yeasts and live out their amazingly short little lives...lives we can press into service creating...mmm...beer.
This recipe first appeared in Season 6 of Good Eats.
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  • 8 ounces crystal grain, milled
  • 4 gallons plus 1 pint filtered water
  • 7 pounds pale or light liquid malt extract
  • 1 (1 1/2-ounce) vial liquid British Ale yeast
  • 1 ounce Cascade hops
  • 1 3/4 ounces Kent Goldings hops
  • 1/2 teaspoon Irish moss
  • 1 (7-pound) bag ice
  • 3/4 cup priming sugar

Specialized Hardware

3- to 5-gallon pot
Muslin or grain bag
Probe-style thermometer
2 (7-gallon) fermenters; 1 with a spigot and 1 with an air lock
6 feet of plastic tubing that will fit the spigot
Bottling tube
Bottling brush
32 (20-ounce) Grolsh-style bottles
TOTAL TIME: 2 hours 49 minutes
Yield: 5 gallons


  • Sanitize all equipment in 5 gallons of water mixed with 2 ounces of household bleach: Fill one fermenting bucket with the solution and place the remaining equipment in it. Be sure to wipe the outside of the bucket with the solution as well. Only the probe of the thermometer should be sanitized. Let sit for 30 minutes and then thoroughly rinse everything in hot water and air dry.
  • Place the crystal grain in a muslin or grain bag, and situate it along with two gallons of water in a large pot over medium-high heat. Attach the probe thermometerA binder clip works well for this. to the side of the pan and set to 155ºF. Steep the grains at 155ºF for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, loosen the container of malt extract by placing it in warm water. This will aid in removing it from the container.
  • After 30 minutes, remove the grain bag. Allow the bag to drain, but do not squeeze it. Add another gallon of water and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. The liquid will foam at the top, some proteins should coagulate and look like clumps. This will take 10 to 20 minutes.
  • Remove the yeast from the fridge and bring to room temperature.
  • Add the malt extract to the boiling water, stirring constantly to dissolve, and return the water to a boil. Carefully add the Cascade hops and 1 ounce of the Kent Golding hops and continue boiling for 45 minutes. Add the Irish moss and continue to boil for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the remaining Kent Golding hops, and steep for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine the remaining gallon and pint of water with the ice in the fermenting bucket. Set the colander inside the strainer on top of the bucket. Strain the mixture into the bucket and cool to at least 80ºF. Thoroughly whisk this wort for approximately 1 minute. You want to aerate the wort, but avoid creating a whirlpool or splashing. Give the vial of yeast a hardy shake, let settle for 30 seconds, and open away from you. Add the yeast to the wort and give the mixture one good stir.
  • Lid the fermenter and secure the airlock (make sure there is about 1 fluid ounce of water in your airlock for it to operate). Place the fermenter in a cool place68 to 72ºF is optimal. for 10 to 14 days. The airlock should bubble within 24 hours and continue bubbling on and off during fermentation. Fermentation is complete when bubbling from the airlock stops for at least 24 hours.
  • To bottle: Thoroughly clean all equipment. Sanitize the fermenting bucket, spigot, bottles, bottling tube, plastic tube and metal spoon using 5 gallons of water mixed with 2 fluid ounces unscented household bleach. Rinse with hot water and allow to air dry.
  • Bring the priming sugar and 16 fluid ounces of water to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool.
  • Place the full fermenter of beer on an elevated surface, such as a countertop, and place the empty fermenter on the floor below. Attach the plastic tubing to the spigot and lead into the empty fermenter. Remove the airlock from the fermenter. Add the cooled priming sugar into empty fermenter and slowly add the beer through the plastic tubing. When all the beer is removed to the second fermenter, stir the mixture once.
  • Elevate the now-full fermenter as before and attach the bottling tube to the spigot. Use the bottling tube to fill the sanitized bottles. Remember to only fill bottle to within 2 inches of the top. Close or cap the bottles. Place the bottles in a cool, dry place for another 10 to 14 days. Refrigerate and enjoy within 2 months.
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