Extract Brewing Process

To make sure that I don’t miss anything important for my first extract batch and end up running around like a chicken with it’s head chopped off, I have written up my process in advance. This process is my version of the extract brewing process based on best practices that I gathered from various sources and tailored to suit the ingredients and equipment that I have available.

21 Feb – UPDATE: After brewing a batch with this process and getting some feedback on the forums, I’ve now refined and simplified the process – see updated extract brewing process

Day prior to brew day

  1. Clean and sanitise:
    • fermentor
    • fermentor lid
    • tap
    • tap washer
    • sediment reducer
    • airlock
    • airlock grommet
  2. Boil 15L water and place in sanitised fermentor and place in fridge to cool
  3. Prepare plenty of ice
  4. Print out recipe and double check all ingredients

Brew Day

  1. Clean and sanitise:
    • jar (w. lid) for yeast
    • pyrex measuring jug
    • spoon
    • scissors
    • yeast sachet
    • thermometer (if available)
    • small plastic container with lid (for dry hops)
    • strainer
  2. Gather all ingredients – LME, steeping grain, yeast, hops. Measure hops out in separate quantities for each hops addition. Place dry hops quantity in plastic container and store in fridge until needed.
  3. Bring 1L water to below a boil (70-75C) for steeping grains in steeping pot and turn off heat. Measure out and add grain to muslin bag. Add grain bag and set timer for 30 mins. Dunk up and down a few times during this time.
  4. Boil 6L water in brew pot.
  5. After the grain has been steeping for 30 mins, lift out the grain bag and tip the liquid into the brew pot. Drop grain bag back into pot and rinse with another litre of hot water. Add the rinse water to the brewpot and bring it up to a boil.
  6. Remove brew pot from heat and add 1 can of LME. Rinse can with boiling water and bring total volume up to 10L. Stir well to make sure LME is dissolved.
  7. Return to heat and bring up to a boil, stirring regularly. Watch for hot break, then set timer at 60 mins and add first hops addition.
  8. During next 60 mins, add the additional hops additions at the appropriate times.
  9. About half way through the boil, rehydrate yeast: Measure 115ml of boiled water into a jar. Cover and let it cool down to just warm (27C +/- 3C). Then sprinkle in the yeast. Leave for 20-30 mins (should be creamy). Stir gently on and off over next 30 mins.
  10. In last 5 minutes of boil, add the remaining LME
  11. Put water and ice in sink and place brew pot to cool. Occasionally lift out the pot and mix the ice water around in the sink and add more ice as needed.
  12. Clean and sanitise stirring spoon.
  13. Take fermentor with 15L water out of fridge and shake vigorously to aerate.
  14. Wort should be cooled enough after 30 mins. Check that outside of pot is just warm to touch. Place strainer over top of fermentor and pour in the wort. Stir well with sanitised spoon and check that temperature is down to around 20C or at least no more than 24C. If not, place fermenter in fridge and wait until it is.
  15. Take a sample for measuring OG with clean sanitised jug.
  16. When wort is at pitching temperature, stir again vigorously to aerate and pour in the yeast. Tighten lid on fermentor, put some sanitising solution in airlock and insert airlock.
  17. Place in turned off fridge to ferment.


Target 20C +/- 2C. Monitor temperature. If temperature reaches 22C, turn on fridge for awhile to bring back to 20C or slightly below but not under 18C.

Dry hopping – after 1 week open lid and toss in dry hops.

Ferment in primary for 2 weeks and bottle. Check SG on day 12, 13 and 14 to confirm fermentation is complete.

1 comment

    • Andy on 12 January 2011 at 3:52 am
    • Reply

    A list of instructions is a good idea, I may have to do likewise. I’m often thinking “what have I missed out?” when making up a batch, and usually forget to sanitize something and have to get the sanitizer our again.

    I sampled my second batch of Cooper’s Lager today and even though I followed exactly the same steps as my first batch it tastes a lot different. None of the fruitiness is evident, and it is more like the Munich Lager (although a lot lighter in colour). It’s actually really good.

    I’m wondering what made the two so noticeably different though. I kept my fermenting temperatures consistently at around 22 degrees for both batches, but I’ve read that high temperatures can cause a fruity flavour.

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