In our last post, we discussed a very important topic.
How to Start Brewing Beer at Home – A Beginner’s Guide
If you love beer and drink it regularly then you might be aware of how expensive your love is. You probably spend hundreds of dollars a month in order to keep the stock of your favorite brand.
As a cherry on top if you only drink high end beer brands that cost you a fortune, then you need to start brewing beer at home.
Brewing refers to the process of making beer usually from malt by boiling, soaking and fermentation. This process can easily be done at home and it involves using some basic utensils.
Given below is a complete guide to start brewing in your kitchen.
Things you’ll need
- Malt or Extract – one of the basic ingredients
- Hops – a flavoring agent
- Yeast – for fermentation
- Water – for boiling
- Priming Sugar or dextrose – for carbonating the beer
- Measuring Cups – for proper measurement of the ingredients used
- Basic kitchen utensils like spoon, kettle, pot, strainer, can opener, bottles etc.
- Fermenter – for the process of fermentation
- Thermometer – for keeping the temperature under control
- Box for storage
Step # 1 – Proper Sanitization of the Equipment
It is important to have properly cleaned and sanitized utensils as any dirt on the equipment will react with the ingredients and will result in a bad flavored beer, which you obviously don’t want.
So start off by properly sterilizing all the things that you think you might need in the process. Use any scentless cleaning product as you don’t want your beer to taste like soap or a disinfectant.
Step # 2 – Boiling
Now you formally start with the process by boiling a gallon of water in a clean pot. Then you need to add malt extract to the boiling water. It is advisable that you take the water off the stove and keep stirring the mixture continuously.
After giving the mixture a good stir and making sure that the malt has completely dissolved in the water, let it boil. As its boiling and near to the boiling point, add flavor to it that is add the hops.
Once this mixture is completely done that usually takes around 30 minutes, then begins the fermentation process. This mixture that you have created is known as wort – the liquid that will convert into beer after fermentation.
Step # 3 – Fermentation
Let the wort cool down for 5 mins. Take a fermenter, make sure it is clean and fill it half way with cold water. Add the warm wort to the water. Add more water to it.
This process will help in cooling down the wort. Once this is done add yeast to the fermenter and cover the fermenter. You can use an alcohol filled airlock for this purpose. You can also substitute alcohol for any other sanitizer.
Shake, shake and shake! You need to keep shaking the fermenter for about a minute or two. Try to be careful that you don’t spill any beer out.
Place the fermenter in an isolated area where the process of fermentation can occur without disruption for around 1 to 2 weeks. This means that you have to check the temperature of the area and check if it is according to what’s written on the yeast packaging.
Also you don’t want the liquid inside the fermenter to splash or get disturbed in any way. So ensure that the fermenter does not move. Additionally, keep it away from sun as this might raise the temperature to unwanted levels.
You can check if the fermentation is happening properly by looking at the bubbles in the air lock or by checking if there is kraeusen which is thick foam that forms above the wort during the process of fermentation. There are also other more accurate ways of finding if fermentation is complete.
Step # 4 – Carbonating beer with Priming Sugar
Once fermentation is done, you have un-carbonated beer. In order to carbonate beer with priming sugar you need to add priming sugar to water and let it boil.
Let the mixture boil for 10 minutes and then add it to a separate bucket. Again ensure that it is clean and free from any dirt. This bucket will be filled with beer and it needs to be one of those bottling buckets with an opening for filling bottles.
Now you need to add the beer to this sugar solution. For the transfer you require an auto-siphon or any other tube. You don’t want the residual or trub left at the fermenter to pass on to the sugar solution.
Step # 5 – Start Bottling and Enjoy
You can now fill clean bottles with beer. Using this process you can get homogeneous and consistent beer. After adding the beer, secure the bottles with a cap.
You can store the bottles in a box or any other container. In order to let the carbonation occur you need to leave the bottles at room temperature. Let this process ensue for about 2 to 3 weeks.
Chill the bottles in the refrigerator and enjoy them with your friends and family members. There are many benefits of home brewing beer.
It is healthy as compared to the ones manufactured as you know what you ingredients have gone into its making and that you have used all sanitized equipment in the process.
The process is quite easy and simple and anyone can perform it. You have the liberty to choose any amount of beer you wish to make; it might be less or more depending upon your need. You also get to play around with a variety of techniques and ingredients.
Plus the hangover that occurs after home brewed beer is much less in intensity than that of commercial beer. It is also found to be less in price.
We hope that our guide was useful and informative. If, as a beer lover, you wish to save some money yet enjoy tasty beer each day, then the above guide is what you need to follow!