Just started Batch No. 3 and 4 of beer and have the cost down enough to make a quick tutorial. Basic equipment needed:IMG_2224

  • 5 gallon carboy – where the brewing occurs
  • 3-4 gallon pot (enamel or stainless) where cooking the wort occurs
  • Hydrometer – where finding specific gravity occurs
  • Funnel – where funneling occurs
  • 3/8″ OD plastic hose – where funneling occurs unless you have a funnel
  • 5 gallon food grade plastic pail with lid – optional, but with a spicket, makes the bottling process much easier
  • fermentation lock – to let gas out, but nothing into carboy whilst brewing
  • rubber stopper with hole to fit fermentation lock
  • thermometer
  • 50 beer caps
  • 50 beer bottles
  • Sanitizing material – I use Star San, this bottle will last many gallons of beer.
    The New Complete Joy of Home Brewing by Charlie Papazian found here

If in Durham area, give your patronage to this store, they are really great guys and have all the knowledge, material you could want.

This is my first beer recipe; worked out quite well for me:

5 gal total


  • 3 lb Briess Sparkling Amber Extract
  • 3 lb Briess Golden Light Extract
  • 2 oz Folconer’s Flight 7 c’s Hops
  • 11.5g Safale US-05 Dry Ale Yeast

*Water filtered tap and distilled from grocery
*Saved 1.25Cup Sparkling Amber Extract for bottling


  • Bring 1.5 gal to boil.
  • Add Extract
  • return to boil
  • T-60min Add .5oz Hops
  • T-15min Add 1.oz Hops
  • T-05min Add .5oz Hops
  • T-00min Add to 3 gal water in fermenter.
  • 75 F Pitch yeast
  • measure and record specific gravity (my initial specific gravity was 1.048)

Notes: Brought water to boil before adding Extract. Took both pots because it was so much and was boiling over. hops seemed to help with boiling over. Was 90F once poured wort into fermenter. Had to cool down to 75, took about an hour and a half. Contamination?
Next time get a way to measure water more precisely, calculate final temperature using volume.

1.010 Specific Gravity
Alcohol = (SGinitial – SGfinal)x105 = (1.048 – 1.01)x105 = 3.99%


Be sure to save some malt extract for the bottling prime. You can buy more, but I just take 1.25 cups from the brew batch.
When starting the wort to boil ( the malted barley ) it will want to foam over on you. Here is just starting to boil:
I find adding hops right away will help reduce this foaming sooner. If no hops added, will foam up for 5 minutes or so. You can see I’m moving the pots on and off of the burner to keep from foaming over; its a hell of a time cleaning up the sugar.. After foam breaks, will look like this:
IMG_2233. Cook one hour, adding hops as you see fit. Adding hops early will increase bitterness flavor, which balances the sweeteness. Adding in the middle to late boil will add hop flavor itself, and adding right at the end of the boil will add the hop smell. You can see in my recipe when I added and it worked well as a start to tuning flavor.

I cooked 1.5 gallons of wort as I don’t have a 5 gallon steel pot or a quick way to cool that much fluid. I then added this to 2.5 gallons chilled distilled water that was waiting in the SANITIZED carboy, and then added water until 5 gallons was reached. The cooler the better; yeast is usually added around 75F, so imagine water at freezing (2.5gal*32F + boiling water 1.5gal*212F) / 4 total gallons = 100F. It can take a while to cool 4 gallons of 100F water to 75F.

Sanitation is key: anything that goes into carboy (funnel, carboy, water etc should be sanitized by boiling or using sanitizer (above). It is apparently not possible to poison yourself by introducing bacteria to the mix, but invariably this is supposed to make bad flavor, though I either have been lucky enough for this not to happen yet or need to recalibrate my taste buds, so I can’t attest to what bad batch tastes like.

Once reached 75F (or see yeast package you choose for more specific temp), add yeast and wait 10 days. It is quite amazing how much the brew gets rolling once the yeast is active, strong convection currents will appear. Next post: Bottling


    1. Dave, life finds me back in the states as an electrical engineer. Missing the good times with GAS. Are you freelancing? All my love to the family and friends.

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