Just like at-home mixology, where you can create your own cocktails using ingredients in your own kitchen, home-brewing beer is also a growing craft.
Many have tried creating their own beers at home and customizing them to fit their preferences. However, when taking note of how beer is made, home brewing does take a lot more time and effort compared to fashioning cocktails.
Do you think you’re up for the challenge? Here’s how you can make your own brew from the comfort of your home.
Things to consider
Before embarking on your home brewing journey, there are a few things you should consider.
It’s common to brew beer in large batches, so make sure you have the right equipment for this. Many opt to use large kettles that can contain gallons of liquid.
When using this kind of equipment, make sure your home can handle the electricity used. Others may prefer to use more conventional brewing methods. In this case, you will need three separate vessels.
If you’re unsure where to even start, there are plenty of home brewing kits available online which provide you with all the equipment you need:
- Brewing kettle
- Stir spoon
- Auto siphon
- Fermenter and air lock
What are the primary ingredients used to make beer?
The main ingredients of any beer are basically water, malt, yeast, and hops. Depending on the kind of beer you’re aiming to make, you may wish to include additional materials such as spices.
These four basic ingredients can be used in two different ways. If you opt for traditional brewing, you’ll carry out the entire process starting from crushing the grains and malting them.
To save time, there is the option of extract brewing, which uses malt extract.
For extract brewing you will need:
- 6 oz dry malt extract
- 1 pack instant starter wort
- 2 quarts of water
Since we’re aware some of these ingredients may not be accessible everywhere, here’s the simplest way you can make beer at home.
It’s brewing time
You’ll need to sanitize everything that will be touching your beer, from containers, spoons, to bottles.
This is not only for hygienic purposes. Sanitation also helps create a clean beer flavor. Without it, your wort may pick up unwanted flavors from bacteria along the way.
After sanitation, it’s time to make your starter wort. In your pot, bring water to a boil and then add your malt extract. Stir the mixture up and cook for 10-20 minutes. Then, add sugar and keep stirring to dissolve it.
Move the contents of your pot into a separate container. Pouring the liquid quickly will create air, which can help yeast to activate faster. You can also stir the mix around in the new container.
To bring the temperature down, add water until the mix is around room temperature. Then, add in your yeast and stir.
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Cover up the container loosely and let sit for 6-10 days in room temperature, around 20-24 degrees Celcius.
Important note: don’t use an airtight container! You can cover it up with aluminum foil to let the wort breathe, or set the lid of the container loosely. This avoids buildup of carbon dioxide gas while the beer ferments.
4. Testing for readiness
After around 10 days, your beer should be ready to bottle and consume. However, to be sure that it’s truly safe to drink, you can use a hydrometer. This tool measures the density of liquid.
Submerge the hydrometer in your beer. If it’s ready for bottling, it should present a reading between 1.008 to 1.015.
If you don’t have a hydrometer on hand, you can also take a sip to taste. The beer should not contain bubbling, and it shouldn’t taste sweet.
Once you’re sure that the beer is ready, it’s time to bottle.
Use a funnel to transfer the beer into bottles. Tilt your container slowly and make sure you avoid pouring out any sediments into the bottle.
One way to ensure a clean transfer is to use a siphon and siphon hose. Just make sure that the tube stays near the bottom of your container, so that you don’t get any frothing.
Don’t fill the bottles all the way up! Leave some room at the neck and screw on the cap tightly. Shake the bottle to further dissolve the sugars, and you’re set!
The bottled beer is best consumed after a few days. The bottles should be stored in room temperature after bottling. In a few days, you can move it to a cool, dark spot. Within a week, your beer should be ready for consumption!
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