No-boil beer kits are an easy-to-make beer. They are great for homebrewers that want their first brewing session to be simple so they can build their confidence before attempting more complicated brewing methods. They are also great for those that want a simple approach that allows them to make their beers fast and easily without any fuss.
No-boil kits come in many styles, from light American to Irish stouts. Most no-boil kits require additional malt in order to make the batch of beer, but some such as the Muntons Highland Heavy Ale kits have all the malt that you need. The product details will let you know if additional malt is required. Yeast is included in with the no-boil kits.
To brew a no-boil kit, you will need a pot that can hold 3 gallons of water. Follow the basic steps below to make a great tasting beer! Click here to view a visual guide to brewing your first no-boil kit.
Sanitize your fermenting bucket, lid & airlock.
2. Heat 2-3 gallons of water to a boil and turn off the heat.
3. Stir in the malt from the no-boil kit and the additional malt if required. Stir till the malt has dissolved and let sit for 15 minutes to ensure that all unwanted micro-organisms are killed.
4. Cool the wort (wort is what we call unfermented beer) as quickly as possible. Placing the brewpot is a sink full of ice water is very effective. Once the wort is cooled to at least 80° (70° is better) pour it into the sanitized fermenting bucket. Add cold water to bring to the desired volume. Most no-boil kits make 6 gallons of beer (58-60 12oz bottles). Be sure to let the wort splash as you pour to help oxygenate the wort.
5. Open the yeast and sprinkle on the top of the wort. There is no need to rehydrate the yeast or to stir. The yeast will rehydrate as it sinks into wort.
6. Place the lid on the fermenting bucket and fill the airlock halfway with water and insert it into the grommet on the lid. You should start seeing activity in you airlock with 12 to 48 hours. This lets you know that your beer has started fermenting. Be sure to ferment at room temperature, between 65° and 72°.As the beer continues to ferment, the airlock will start showing less and less activity, indicating that the yeast is nearing completion of the fermentation process. The beer is usually finished fermenting in about a week.
Once the airlock show no activity for a few days, you are ready to bottle. You will need to sanitize your bottling bucket, racking tube, tubing. bottle filler and bottles. The bottles are easiest to sanitize in the dishwasher using the heated dry cycle. If you do not want to use the dishwasher, a bottle tree
is recommended to allow the bottle to drain and dry.
8. At bottling time, a small amount of corn sugar (also called bottling or priming sugar) is added to the beer in order to give the yeast enough food to carbonate your beer in the bottle. For a 6 gallon batch you will need to dissolve 1 cup of corn sugar in about a cup of water on the stove. Let it boil for a few minutes to kill any bacteria that may be present. Cool 5 minutes and pour the corn sugar into the bottling bucket.
9. Using the racking cane and tubing, transfer the beer from the fermenting bucket to the bottling bucket. The bottling sugar will mix with the beer as it is transferred. (To start a siphon, the fermenting bucket must be elevated above the bottling bucket. Fill the racking cane and tubing with water placing your thumb on the end of the tubing. Insert the racking cane into the fermenting bucket, being careful not to disturb the sediment at the bottom of the bucket. Place the other end of the tubing into the bottling bucket and remove your thumb from the tubing. The gravity will start the siphon and will start the transfer of your beer.)
10. Remove the tubing from the racking cane and place it on the spigot that is on the bottling bucket. Attach the bottle filler to the other end of the tubing. The bottle filler has a valve that allows you to fill your bottles without having to stop the flow of beer from bottle to bottle. Open the spigot and place the bottle filler in the beer bottle. Press the filler on the bottom of the bottle to start the flow of beer. Fill the bottles till the beer is about to overflow. When you remove the filler, the amount of volume that is displaced is the proper amount that you need to ensure your beer will carbonate properly.
Cap the beer with bottle caps that have been boiled for a few minutes on the stove.
That's all there is to it! Keep your beer stored in a dark space at room temperature for 2 weeks. Before placing all of them in the fridge, cool one down and make sure that the carbonation is satisfactory. If it is, start drinking! If not, let sit another week or so and test again.
Beer will continue to improve for several weeks so if you can muster the willpower, wait a month or two and you will be rewarded.