Many people enjoy brewing their own homemade beer, the process allows them to amend the flavors to suit their own taste while also saving quite a lot of money.
When making beer or homemade wine, you have the option of buying a home brewing kit complete with pre-packaged ingredients online or from a specialty store (which makes a nice gift on its own), or you can make your own beer from scratch.
Most people agree that while the kit beer is quicker – the beer brewed from scratch tastes better. When it comes to varieties of homemade beer, it’s possible to make a brew using very simple recipes or you have the option of creating some fine boutique ales using more advanced recipes.
Homemade Beer Kits
So, this is the easiest way to make beer at home! Whether you are a newbie or an expert brewer, the hardest part is choosing the homemade beers that you want from the wide selection available.
Sometimes these beginners kits are referred to as microbrewery kits and you won’t believe how little it costs to have your own micro brewery!
All that is needed to make home brew beer is to follow the basic instructions on the homemade beer kit. Most of the time this involves simply adding the ingredients of the beer kit into the fermenter, with the specified quantity of water, sugar and yeast, then you just keep it at room temperature to complete the fermentation process.
Normally the beer made from kits is ready for drinking in 21 days from starting the brew, but quality considerably improves if allowed to mature for a couple more weeks. You can find quality beer kits on Amazon cheap enough to get you started without breaking the bank 😉
Brewing Beer From Scratch
For the beginning home brewer, it’s probably best to get your hands on a quality beer brewing book, How to Brew: Everything You Need To Know To Brew Beer Right The First Time is a very good example, it has all the information you will ever need at an affordable price from Amazon. The Complete Beer Course, a boot camp for Beer Geeks is another great resource.
Then begin with a simple extract brew and then expand your repertoire as your expertise and experience with home brewing grows.
Let’s make homemade beer!
Beer Making Equipment:
Before you begin to make your own beer, you’ll need to have some basic equipment in place. It’s also vitally important to sanitize all your equipment thoroughly so you won’t be breeding bacteria in your brew.
- 10 gallon food-grade fermenting container – generally a plastic bucket or you can purchase specific beer brewing fermentation containers from specialty stores.
- Fermenting container lid that has a hold in it to place stopper and airlock
- Stopper – this is usually a rubber bung that is placed into the fermenting container lid to hold the airlock.
- Brew Pot – you will need a large stainless steel pot for boiling your initial ingredients
- Sterilization or Sanitization – Keeping all your equipment properly sanitized before you begin the brewing process is vitally important
- Muslin bags to contain any hops or malt you will be adding to your brew.
- Sealable Bottles
- Mineral Water or bottled water
- 1 can Malt extract – purchase a can of any flavor you prefer
- 1 teaspoon of brewer’s yeast
- 6 cups of white sugar
How To Make Beer from Scratch
Clean all your equipment thoroughly with soapy water. Rinse everything to remove soap residue completely. You can sanitize your equipment using a diluted bleach solution or you can use a sanitization solution specifically designed for home brewing kits that won’t leave an aftertaste.
After you have properly sanitized your equipment, fill your stainless steel pot to with approximately 7 liters of water. Although tap water is okay for this process, bottled water or mineral water will give you a cleaner tasting beer. Bring your water to the boil.
Add your can of malt extract and stir through until it’s all mixed through. Bring the mixture back to the boil and leave to cook for 20 minutes. Don’t put a lid on while you’re boiling.
Add the sugar to your mix and stir until it’s all dissolved. Remove mixture from the heat.
Pour 10 liters of cold water into your fermentation container and then pour the boiled extract mixture into the container as well. If possible, try to pour the contents fairly quickly as this helps to aerate the mixture.
Add more bottled water until the temperature is neutral. Use your thermometer to keep checking the temperature. Your fermentation container or bucket should be a little more than half-full.
Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of brewer’s yeast over the mixture and stir through until it’s blended. Then immediately cover your container with a loosely fitted lid. It’s important NOT to make your container airtight at this point, as you want the carbon dioxide being produced during fermentation to escape. If you trap the carbon dioxide inside the container then it could expand far enough to explode.
After 8 to 10 days, test your beer with a hydrometer. Different types of beer will give different readings, so check what reading your own particular beer should be before bottling.
After sanitizing your bottles, place 2 teaspoons of sugar into each bottle and siphon your beer slowly out of the fermentation container through a length of clean hose down into each bottle. Try to hold the siphon tube close to the bottom of the bottle to help stop your beer frothing.
Don’t fill your bottles completely to the top as beer needs a little air space. Seal your bottles tightly and tip them upside down gently to help mix in the sugar in the bottom of the bottle.
Leave your bottles in a cool dark area for 4 or 5 days and then open one bottle to test your brew. Always keep in mind that your beer will improve with age, but if your sample bottle tastes fine then go ahead and enjoy your homemade beer!