There is a craft home brewing store in Chilliwack called True North Brewing Supply that i picked my recipe from. The name and the beer type spoke to me – May the 4th be with you – C3-PA. I went down a few weeks ago and picked up all the ingredients for our brew and headed into North Vancouver last weekend to begin my first brew. There are a number of steps involved in brewing and I have summarized them below as well as added a video at the end to provide a visual summary of the process. This specific recipe calls for a dry hop and secondary fermentation process after 7 days. This is not included yet as it has not happened. I will generate a complete video that will include this as well as the bottling process later.

1. Water Boil – Water needs be boiled and Gypsum is added to adjust the pH of your water. The amount of Gypsum will vary depending on your initial water quality. The temperature of water will vary slightly depending on the recipe. Our recipe called for a temperature of 161.1 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Mash In – This step involves adding your grains to your boiled water. This process releases the sugars from the grains in order to provide food to your yeast later on. The mash in step takes 60 mins.

3. Sparge – This step involves adding a higher heat to your mash in order to expel all the sugars from your mash. There are two techniques commonly used (Fly sparging and Batch sparging). We used the fly sparging technique. Once you have drained off your final volume needed into the boil pot you are ready for the next step. You have now collected what is referred to as wort.

4. Boil – This step consists of heating your wort to the boil break (proteins will denature and your wort begins to boil) then timing your boil for 60mins. At specific time points you add your hops to the boil. Our recipe called for 4 different hops to be added at various times. The hops add various elements to your finished beer (first hops are bittering, second are for flavour, and third are your aroma hops) You also add Irish Moss at a specific time (our recipe called for it at 10min left in the boil process) in order to settle out suspended particles at the end of the brew process.

5. Wort Cooling – This process needs to happen as quickly as possible. Some brewers use an ice bath, but for efficiency there are copper coil wort coolers and this is the way we cooled our beer. Once the wort is down to 20 degrees celsius we can then transfer.

6. Carboy Transfer – the carboy is the final point for the wort and the vessel used for the fermentation process.

7. Specific Gravity – Before yeast is added, specific gravity of the wort needs to be established. Once the fermentation process is complete specific gravity is again taken. The difference in the two are put into an equation in order to determine the alcohol content of your beer.

8. Yeast – This process is simply adding your specific yeast you are using to your carboy containing wort. All yeasts will have different properties so each recipe will call for a different type of yeast to be used.

9. Seal – You now seal your carboy and add an airlock in order to allow for release of gasses without contamination of your wort. Our recipe calls for a 2 stage fermentation process where we add dry hops to the mixture at the 7 day mark. A subsequent post will include this process as well as bottling and a complete video of the entire process.