Preparing your own type of beer at home might sound challenging at first, but once you know how to do it, you’ll be able to experiment with different ingredients and flavors. You don’t have to be a master to try it out, as we’re here to provide you with the essential steps you should make to begin the brew.
Step 1. The right ingredientsTo be able to experiment, later on, with the taste and flavor of your beer, you will have to be knowledgeable about the basic ingredients that are found in beer. There are only four of them, that are required to make the simplest form of beer: hops, water, yeast, and barley. While the ingredients can be changed in time, when mastery over the art is developed, it’s best to start simple.
- Hops – An important brewing ingredient which can reach up to 18 feet in height, it provides the bitterness to the beer. It will also add flavor, provide aroma as well as help preserve the beer better.
- Water – It makes up to 90% of beer, so you’ll want it to be fresh, clean, and tasteless. While for many the tap water works just fine, make sure it is drinkable and clear.
- Yeast – The catalyst for brewing, it will transform the sugars into CO2 and alcohol. Depending on what type of yeast you’re planning to use, it can provide different types of flavors to the beer. Moreover, you can choose between lager yeast and ale yeast, according to what temperature your brewing process takes place in.
- Barley – It provides the sugars and sweetness the beer needs. However, pay attention to what type of barley you use, as the malted one is better suited for brewing. Additionally, it is recommended to grind it before using it, as it will help it ferment faster.
Step 2. PreparationMake sure you have all the necessary ingredients and items prepared, so you won’t have to search for them right in the middle of the process. Regardless of what type of recipe you plan on using, the items you’ll need might include:
Step 3. The brewing processThere are plenty of ways in which you can set up the brewing process, but the easiest one is the ‘beer-in-a bag’ method. This will provide you with a 1-gallon, small-batch brewing, allowing you to get started.
- Soak the malted barley into hot water to transform it into sugars.
- Remove the grains and boil the remaining liquid. Add the hops and boil the mix for 1 hour. If you plan on making your beer bitter, add more hops, and if you plan on giving it a specific flavor, add flavored hops. The result is known as ‘wort’
- Before the yeast is added, you’ll have to cool down the wort, and you’ll have to do it fast, in around 30 minutes if you want to avoid contamination. To cool it down fast, the best method is to use ice.
- Add yeast and let the mix ferment. Make sure to store it in a dry, dark and cool room.
- When 2 weeks have passed transfer the beer into another recipient, add a bit of sugar and put the mix into bottles. Then, wait at least 2 more weeks for the process to continue, for bubbles to appear and the beer to carbonate.
- Make sure to pick a large brewing kettle. While you might not plan on making lots of beer, it’s better to use a large kettle to prevent overflowing. If you’re not sure which kettles fit your needs best, you should consider taking a look at the best rated kettles for brewing at home. You’ll be able to make an informed decision, and you won’t waste money on items that are not compatible with your style.
- The space where you store your product is very important. Thus, it will have to be large enough to store your kettles, as well as dark, dry and cool to prevent the beer from being contaminated. So, before you decide to start home-brewing, make sure the storage room is prepared.
- Once you’ve gained enough confidence in your brewing skills, it’s time to start experimenting. Don’t be afraid and don’t get discouraged if the first experiments won’t rise to your expectations. Learn from mistakes and try out different flavors and ideas! You never know when you’ll discover a new aroma.