Making delicious craft beer from “Best Case” recipes is extremely easy. It is also very reward-ing because it gives you more control over the finished product and gives a fresher tasting, more complex beer. We hope you enjoy brewing this exact recipe that won 1st Place at the Garrison Brew-off in 2010.
Your complete Nit-Wit recipe should have:
- a bag of crushed grain mixed with flaked wheat
- disposable cheese cloth bag
- malt extract & glucose
- hop pellets (3 bags + 8g coriander)
- Dried yeast
- small bag of bottling (corn) sugar
You will also need:
- large pot
- standard beer making equipment
(You should read the instructions before you begin because there are “tips” listed throughout that you might want to consider.)
Heat 7 litres of cold water in your brew pot until it is too hot to touch, but not boiling. Re-move the pot from the heat. Pour the crushed grain into the cheese cloth bag and tie the top so the grains are not packed too tightly. Now immerse the cheese cloth bag into the water and steep it for 30 minutes… just like making tea. (The ideal steeping temperature is 155° F but an educated guess will do.) Remove the bag of specialty grains and throw it in your compost. DO NOT BOIL THE GRAINS!
Add all malt extract (and glucose) to the water and stir well to dissolve. Put the pot back on the heat and bring mixture (wort) to a boil. Be careful not to boil over! Add your first addition of hops (Boiling hops) and start your 30 minute boil. Stir occasionally to avoid scorching.
HOP ADDITIONS: This step tells you at what point during the boil to add the various hops in your recipe. Hops added at various times during the boil will have different effects to the finished beer. (Note: Your recipe contains coriander, crack with a rolling pin and add it with FINISH hops. Coriander doesn’t have to be crushed to fine. Cracked will do.)
BOILING HOPS- All recipes have Boiling (bittering) hops to balance the sweetness of the malt. The hops listed in your recipe as boiling hops should be added as soon as the boil begins, and boiled with the wort for a full 30 minutes to extract the bitterness from the hops.
FLAVOUR HOPS– The Flavour hops give the flavour of the hops you are using to the beer you are making. They will not contribute substantially to the bitterness because they are not boiled long enough. Add these hops during the last 10 minutes of your boil.
FINISH HOPS & CORIANDER– Add the Finish hops and crushed coriander during the last (1) minute of the boil. This addition should give you a subtle aroma of citrus.
Important: All equipment you are using from here on, should be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. It is not necessary to sanitize equipment you use before or during the boil because the temperature of the boil is too hot for bacteria to survive. The pink chlorinated detergent (or similar) is recommended. (use 1 teaspoon per litre of water.) Triple rinse everything. Good sanitizing practices pay off in consistently good beer. Note: Sodium Metabisulphite is not an acceptable sanitizer for beer as it is not strong enough.
When the boil is finished, pour 5 litres of very cold water into your sterilized plastic primary fermenter and then pour the hot wort in on top. It is not necessary to strain the hops as they will settle out later. Top up the fermenter to the 23 litre mark with more very cold water. As soon as you can get the temperature down below 28 degrees C (the sooner the better) it is time to add your yeast.
TIP: placing the hot pot in a sink full of cold water and stirring for a few minutes can be an effective way of getting the temperature down before pouring it into the primary fermenter.
Pitching Dried Yeast– Before you add the yeast make sure you have stirred the beer well. Now sprinkle the yeast on top. Place the lid on top of the fermenter. (Don’t snap it down unless your lid has an airlock). Keep it in an area where you can maintain a constant temperature of 18-22ᵒC. (Hotter is definitely not better.)
In approximately 12-24 hours you should see evidence of yeast activity in the form of a layer of foam (called kraeusen) covering the surface of the beer. In about 2-3 days, you will notice that the foam will begin to change in appearance, developing holes, and starting to collapse. It is now time to transfer (rack) the beer into the secondary fermenter.
Note: Neglecting to rack at this time can be hazardous to your beer and you should never let the beer sit in the pail for more than 5 days.
Gently siphon the beer into the secondary fermenter being careful not to disturb the sediment. Avoid splashing the beer at this stage by placing the end of the siphon hose at the bottom of the receiving vessel. Add some water to your airlock and attach it to the secondary fermenter. Maintain the same temperature and provide a dark environment for this stage of the process. Do not remove the airlock again until bottling day or spoiled beer could result.
In about 7 to 10 days you will notice that the release of carbon dioxide through the airlock has slowed considerably or stopped completely. The beer is now ready to bottle, but can sit for a few more days if you’re not in a hurry. On bottling day, check the specific gravity with a hydrometer. Make sure that Your final reading is below 1.020 and that there is very little activity in the airlock.
(Remember, different beer styles have different finishing gravities.) Note: Don’t worry if the beer is not clear at this stage. Most “naturally conditioned” beer will not clear completely until after it is bottled.
Bulk Priming- Boil your bottling sugar (small bag of white powder) in 1 cup of water on the stove. Pour this mixture into your sterilized, plastic, empty fermenting pail. Now gently rack (syphon) the beer into the plastic bucket. Gently stir the beer to dissolve the sugar mixture into the beer. Syphon the beer into bottles to within 1½ inches from the top. (A ‘bottle filling attachment’ for your syphon hose works best. Ask for details)
STEP 10Keep the beer at room temperature for 7 to 10 days. Next, move the beer to a cooler location and Start to enjoy. Remember, most beer will continue to improve for the next month or so. Cheers!!!
Fermenting tip: If fruit flies get into your beer, they can spoil it. If you are having trouble with them,consider drilling a hole and adding an air-lock to your primary fermenter lid and snapping it down OR wrapping a garbage bag or blanket over the fermenter so they can’t get in.
Colour tip: During the boiling stage, holding half of the malt extract back until the end of the boil can give you a lighter coloured beer. This method is useful when making light lagers and lighter coloured wheat beers and ales.
Cheers & Happy Brewing!