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Basic 5-Gallon Ale Recipe


  • One 3 3/10 pound can hopped extract
  • One 3 3/10 pound unhopped extract
  • Two packages Nottingham yeast
  • 3/4 Cup corn sugar


  • One large stainless steel stock pot (3 gallons or larger)
  • One plastic Primary Fermenting bucket with lid and air lock
  • One plastic Bottling Bucket with Bottling Spigot
  • Hydrometer
  • Bottles & Caps
  • Capper


Creating the Wort

  1. Sterilize all equipment associated with the primary fermenting bucket.
  2. Remove labels from the cans of extract.  Fill the sink with enough hot water to cover the two cans as they lay on their sides.  Soak the unopened cans in the hot water for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Bring one gallon of water to boil in the stock pot.  Empty both cans of extract into boiling water.  Use a spatula to get out as much extract from the can as possible.  Return to a slow boil.  Be careful, the wort may boil over if the heat is too high. Continue to boil for one hour, stirring almost constantly.  
  4. Remove from heat and pour the wort into the sterilized primary fermenting bucket.  Add enough clean, cold tap water to bring the level up to five gallons.  
  5. Cover, apply air lock and fill with water or vodka.  Let the wort cool until it is at room temperature (4 - 12 hours).  
  6. Measure and record the specific gravity of the wort.  Evenly distribute yeast by sprinkling the two packages of yeast on top of the wort.  DO NOT STIR IN.  Cover and replace the air lock.  
  7. Make sure the air lock has a sufficient amount of water or vodka.  Check the air lock daily to ensure a proper level of water or vodka.  Within 24 - 48 hours you should see activity (bubbles escaping through the air lock).
  8. After seven days, the beer is ready to bottle. 

 Priming and Bottling

  1. After 7 days, measure and record specific gravity to determine alcohol level.
  2. Sterilize the bottles and bottling bucket and related items. 
  3. Boil caps in water for five minutes.  Do not boil caps longer or else the lining will become deformed and the caps will not seal. 
  4. Mix the corn sugar with one cup of water in a small sauce pan.  Boil until the liquid is clear, about five minutes.  Pour the liquid into the bottling bucket.  The sugar water will prime your beer for natural carbonation. 
  5. Siphon the beer into bottling bucket.  Raise the bottling bucket to counter-top level. 
  6. Attach siphon hose to the bottling bucket spigot.  Attach the spring-loaded bottle filler to the other end of the hose. 
  7. Open the spigot.  You are now ready to begin bottling by inserting the bottle filler tube into a bottle and pressing down slightly to enable the beer to start flowing.  Fill the bottle completely to the top as the level will decrease after removing the filler tube. 
  8. After all bottles are filled, cap the bottles. 
  9. Allow the bottles to stay at room temperature for one to two weeks.  During this period, your beer is naturally carbonating.

After the one- to two-week period, you beer is ready for consumption.  Chill and enjoy!