Everybody ready to tackle step 2? You’ll know that your beer is ready for this step when the airlock bubbler is bubbling only about once a minute. Remember that thing on the lid of the bucket? For the first few days after you brew, it should be bubbling pretty frequently. It will eventually slow down (7-10 days later) and you’ll be ready for this step.
We’re going to “rack” our beer. Why it’s called this, I don’t know. I do know that the beer needs to be racked to separate it from the yeast that has settled on the bottom of the bucket for the rest of the fermentation. And for this beer, we’ll also be dry hopping. I’ll explain in a minute.
First, here’s the equipment that you need: a large glass carboy (or plastic), a couple of carboy-cleaning brushes, a bottle/carboy cleaner (it’s the small gold-colored thing), the same brewing equipment sanitizer that we used before, and an auto-siphon (the tall plastic thing). You’ll also need a pice of plastic tubing about 4-5 feet long (not pictured because I forgot… make sure it fits on your auto-siphon). All of these items are readily available at that home brew supply store we talked about it the Step One post. And the guy will let you know if you’ve forgotten something.
Before you open your bucket of beer, sanitize all your tools and carboy in the sanitizing solution.
Let’s talk dry-hopping. These are hops. They’ve been dried and come packaged. These are Cascade Hops, and we used them to dry-hop this beer. All that means is that we put these whole, dried hops into the beer at this point in the process. So, these go into the carboy before anything else.
Now, we siphon!
It’s really important at this phase to be sure not to let the beer splash around in the bottom of the carboy. There shouldn’t be any air incorporated into the beer while you rack it. After most of the beer has been siphoned into the carboy, tilt the bucket to get all that you can. Make sure not to dig the bottom of the siphon into the yeasty business at the bottom. But, if it happens it’s not that big of a deal because there is a filter at the bottom of most auto-siphons.
After all the beer is in the carboy, put a stopper in the top and put the airlock bubbler in the top of the stopper (half full of water). The stopper will probably come with the carboy. This step is done! Gently place the carboy in a cool, dark place and wait somewhere between 1-3 weeks. Stay tuned for Step 3!