Purchase our Big Red Check Porter Recipe here.
- 1 Packet BrewMax DME - Pale
- 1 Packet BrewMax LME - Smooth
- 1 Packet Safale S-04 Dry Ale Yeast
- 1 Packet Chocolate Malt (4 oz.)
- 1 Packet Black Malt (4 oz.)
- 1 Packet Glacier Pellet Hops (1/2 oz.)
- 2 Muslin Hop Sacks
- 1 Packet No-Rinse Cleanser
- OG: 1.041 (approx.) -- FG: 1.010 (approx.)
- Flavor: Malty
- ABV (alc/vol): 4%
- SRM (Color): 29
- IBU (Bitterness): 25
- BJCP Style: 13. Brown British Beer - 13C. English Porter
Total Brewing Time
|3 Weeks||3 Weeks||5-6 Weeks||=||3 Months|
STEP 1: ASSEMBLING THE SPIGOT
- Place silicone washer on the spigot so that it is snug against the plastic flange. Then, insert the spigot assembly into the fermenter. Place the second silicone washer inside the fermenter so that it is snug against the glass wall. Next, screw on the nut inside the fermenter with the wide flat side against the inside silicone washer. Gently hand tighten but be careful to not over-tighten.
- Test the fermenter for leaks by filling it completely with water and letting it sit for 15-30 minutes.
STEP 2: CLEANING
Cleaning is one of the most important steps in brewing. It kills microscopic bacteria, wild yeast and molds that may cause off-flavors in your beer. Make certain to clean all equipment that comes in contact with your beer by following the directions below:
- Fill clean fermenter with warm water to rib line 1, then add ½ pack (about 1 tablespoon) of no-rinse cleanser and stir until dissolved. Once dissolved, the solution is ready to use. Save the remaining ½ of no-rinse cleanser for later because you will need it for bottling.
- Place the gasket ring underneath the lid and screw the lid tightly on to the fermenter. Make sure to tighten the small black cap on the lid as well. Gently swirl the fermenter so that the cleaning solution makes contact with the entire inside of the fermenter, including the underside of the lid. Allow to sit for at least 2 minutes and swirl again.
- To clean the spigot, open it fully and allow liquid to flow for 5 seconds and then close.
- Pour the rest of the solution from the fermenter into a large bowl. Place your spoon/whisk and measuring cup into the bowl to keep them cleaned throughout the brewing process. Leave them immersed for at least 2 minutes in cleaning solution prior to using.
- After all surfaces have been thoroughly cleaned, do not rinse or dry the fermenter or utensils. Proceed immediately to the brewing process.
STEP 3: BREWING
There are four main ingredients needed to produce beer. They are malted barley, hops, water and yeast. Mixing malted barley, hops and water produces what is called wort (pronounced wert). It will take approximately 70 minutes to finish the hop boil, and about 30 to chill the wort and add yeast. This will begin the fermentation process where the yeast breaks down the sugars to produce alcohol. Fermentation will be complete in about 2 weeks. Please follow the detailed instructions below:
- Pour 1 gallon of room-temperature water (preferably filtered or spring water) into a 6-8 qt. pot. Bring the water to 155 F. Add your grains to a muslin sack, tying it off as high as possible. Put the grains in the water, leave them there (still at 155 F) for one hour. This is called mashing the grains. After the hour is up, take the grains out with tongs, allowing the water to drain off into the pot before discarding. While your grains are mashing, submerge the packet of liquid malt extract (LME) in warm water, in order to make it easier to pour out.
- Add the bag of dry malt extract (DME) and the pack of LME to the water. We recommend adding slowly and stirring the water with a whisk as you pour it in. Stir until all the DME is completely dissolved. This mixture of malt extract and water is called wort (pronounced wert).
- Bring wort to a low rolling boil. Do not cover pot during boil. When it foams up, that means it’s almost time to start adding your hops. If it looks like the pot is going to boil over, turn down the heat.
- Once your wort is boiling, it’s time to start adding your hops. Once you add hops, they stay in for the whole boil. The hop schedule for this beer is as follows: -0.25 oz Glacier hops (1/2 of one packet) boiled for 60 minutes.
- Now that your hop boil is done, you’ll want to chill your wort. The easiest way to do this is to put your pot in an empty sink and fill the sink with ice. Stopping the sink and filling it with cold water after putting in the pot and ice will speed the process a bit. You’ll want to chill your wort until it’s around 70 F. While it chills, you can remove your hop sacks with sanitized tongs. If you were to leave the hops in, and even put them in the fermenter during fermentation, it may make your beer hazier but in our experience doesn’t have much effect on flavor or aroma.
- Once chilled, pour your wort into the sanitized fermenter. Top off with cold water until full to rib line 2.
- Sprinkle the yeast into the fermenter, add the lid and replace the cap with the airlock.
- Ferment for 10-14 days at the correct temperature range of 59°-71.6° F. Should taste like flat beer, without being too sweet or cidery. If necessary, allow to ferment an additional 3-4 days. No longer than 21 days total.
STEP 4: BOTTLING & CARBONATING
After 3 weeks, once you are satisfied with the taste, it is time to bottle and carbonate.
Bottles: Your kit does not include bottles and caps, but you have options. You will need enough bottles to hold a total volume of 128 oz. See the options from Mr. Beer here.We recommend using Mr. Beer 25 oz. (740ml) bottles because of the ability to use screw-on caps. You will need 5-6 bottles (sold in quantities of 12). These bottles are great because they are large enough to reduce bottling time and small enough to equal 2 servings. They are compatible with Mr. Beer carbonation drops (sold separately). You can also use glass bottles with the additional purchase of caps, cappers and capper. Another option is to use swing-top bottles.
Carbonation: Adding priming sugar to the bottles of beer allows the remaining yeast to metabolize it into carbon dioxide (CO2).
Follow the directions for bottling and carbonating with our 25 oz. bottles:
- Fill a 1-gallon container with warm water, add the remaining ½ pack of no-rinse cleanser and stir until dissolved. Use this to clean the bottles.
- Distribute the cleaning solution equally among the bottles. Screw on caps and shake bottles vigorously. Allow to sit 2 minutes, then shake the bottles again. Remove caps and empty all cleaning solution into a large bowl. Use this solution to clean any other equipment you may be using for bottling. Do not rinse.
- Add 2 carbonation drops to each 25 oz. bottle. You can also use table sugar. See priming sugar chart here.
- To reduce foam, fill each bottle at an angle from the spigot. Fill each bottle to about 1 inch from the top. You may need to tilt the fermenter for the last 1-2 bottles.
STEP 5: CARBONATING & CONDITIONING
Store the bottles upright in a cool, dark place at a consistent temperature between 68-76°F for at least 3 weeks.
Make sure to keep out of direct sunlight. If the bottles are exposed to colder temperatures (below 68°F) they will take much longer to carbonate. If they are exposed to warmer temperatures (over 76°F) off-flavors may be produced. The ideal carbonation time is 3 weeks total. The beer is now ready and should be refrigerated for 24 hours before drinking to stabilize the carbonation.
Some beers, such as porters and stouts, may benefit from further conditioning. Conditioning involves aging the beer between 68-76°F to further enhance the flavor and mouthfeel.
STEP 6: CLEANING AGAIN
To ensure your next batch of beer is as good as the first, you need to clean your equipment immediately after use. While rinsing is good, only soap and water will result in clean equipment for your next brew. The best cleaner to use is Oxygen Brewery Wash which is available here. It effectively breaks down residue without leaving any flavor or foam-damaging particles after rinsing. You can also use liquid soap as long as it is unscented and is thoroughly rinsed off with warm water at 105-115°F. Scented soap or improper rinsing can leave a film on your equipment that will lead to off-flavors in your next beer.
- Immediately after use, remove and disassemble the spigot assembly from the fermenter, then thoroughly wash all parts in warm water using a clean, soft cloth and Oxygen Brewery Wash or clear unscented liquid soap. Then thoroughly rinse with water.
- Do not use scouring pads, wire brushes, sponges or abrasives during cleaning because they can create small scratches that harbor bacteria. Bacteria is bad and will infect your beer.
- Always clean and rinse all equipment, including bottles, immediately after use.