This type of brewing is the next step after making beer from kits.
This type of brewing gives you the freedom to make any beer you wish by changing the ingredients of the brew.
Some extract beers are made by using a base kit and adding ingredients to change or enhance the taste of the base kit. Some extract brews use dry or liquid malt extract, some specialty grains and hops. Even with extract brewing there is a number of different methods used to make beer. The easiest method is to use a brewpot on your cooker ring. If you wish to go a little further you could use an electric brewpot or large pot and gas burner, which would enable a full boil of the wort. There are many recipes available for extract brews and you can make whatever beer you fancy drinking. There will be many recipes available on this site so keep an eye open for them. If you have an extract brew recipe you use and enjoy by all means post it in the forum so we can all try it.
The step from kit brewing to extract brewing is quite easy in the respect of equipment needed. In addition to the basic equipment that you use for kit brewing you will also need a brew pot, strainer, grain bag. This is for a stove top set up with a smaller pot, which is a natural step up from stove top kit brewing.
The strainer is used when the boil has been completed and the cooled wort is added to the fermenter. The strainer will remove particles such as hops from the brew.
There are many recipes for this type of brewing so the method should be followed that each recipe requires. In general terms the firststep is to boil some water to around 160°f (71°c) and then add the grain bag with the specialty grains into the pot. The temperature should be no higher than this as higher temperatures will release tannins from the grain husks.The grain is then steeped for 30 mins.
The brew is then brought to a rolling boil and the hops, malt extract and other additives added at the required times. It should be noted that when adding malt extract the pot should be removed from the heat to prevent it burning on the bottom of the pot. The pot can be returned to the boil once the malt extract is well mixed in. The boil usually lasts for 60 mins. The wort is then rapidly cooled. I usually put the pot in an ice bath in my sink. The wort is then strained into the fermenter and water added to the correct amount and temperature. The yeast is then pitched in the usual way and the beer left to ferment.