So, you have just started thinking about making your own beer at home. We welcome you to the club! More and more people prefer making their own beer at home, because this way they manage to save money and also obtain a type of beer that is more to their taste than the commercial products sold on the market. We want to help you by introducing you to the wonderful world of beer making. It is simple, it costs very little and it is fun! Now let’s see what things you should know should you start making your own beer at home.
The basic stuff
No beer could be made at home without the basic equipment, so we are going to introduce you to it. So, this is what you will need:
- One large pot – you do not have to get one specifically for this purpose, any large pot in your kitchen will do
- Kitchen thermometer
- Rolling pin
- Bottled water
- Polyvinyl tubing
Besides equipment, you will also need the right ingredients. Beer is a very simple beverage, so your list of ingredients should be pretty straightforward, as follows:
- 3 pounds dried malt extract
- 8 ounces crystal malt (crushed)
- 1 ounce pellet hops
- 1 package brewer yeast
- Half a cup of sugar
The above ingredients are for obtaining 2.5 gallons of beer. So, if you are planning to share your beer with your friends, this is the kind of quantity you can make to serve everyone with a fresh pint of homemade beer.
Making beer at home is pretty simple, so you do not have to be a rocket scientist to nail it right from the get go. We want to make things even simpler, by breaking them down into a few essential steps.
- The boiling
Crush the crystal malt in a bag with the rolling pin. Pour 2 ½ gallons of water into the large pot along with the grains. Go for medium high heat to bring the contents to temperature, then turn off the heater, cover and let it steep for half an hour. Use the strainer to remove the grains, then boil, without boiling over. Add 2/3 of the hop pellets and boil for one hour. At the end, add the rest of the pellets and turn off the heat. Cover again and let it steep for 10 minutes.
- Dealing with the wort
The above step was used for obtaining what is called the wort, or unfermented beer. This needs to be cooled before proceeding further. Immersing your pot in a bath of cold water is one quick method; the colder the water, the faster you will be able to cool down the wort. Make sure everything that goes in contact with your wort now is properly sanitized, or, otherwise, you will contaminate the beer. After cooling, pour the contents of the pot in the fermenting container and add from the remaining water if too much was lost during the boiling process.
- The fermentation
Now you add the yeast and seal the container. The fermentation process needs 7-10 days to work its magic. To finish the process, you also need to prime the beer. Remember about the sugar? Boil it with a cup of water for a few minutes, let it cool and pour it in another container where you are going to transfer your beer. This way, your beer will not have a flat taste, but quite flavorful and delicious!
When you’re done with the priming, too, pour your beer in bottles and put caps on all of them. Serve beer cold and enjoy all the praising from your friends. You are totally worthy of every word!