Home Brewing: A List of Things You Need to Know to Master the Art

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Differend kinds of homemade beer

When it comes to beer, most people don’t think of the brewing process. Beer is just beer—it’s what you drink after a long day or during a ballgame. For those who love beer (and we’re talking about people who truly love beer), the difference between a good and bad brew is paramount. While it’s tempting to rely on your favourite brand of beer at all times, a great alternative is to make your own. While this may seem like a daunting task, with the right equipment and knowledge, you can master the art of home brewing.

Whether you’re new to home brewing or have been doing it for years, you need the right supplies. Before you begin, be sure that you have everything you require. It’s important to note that while some supplies can be improvised, certain tools are necessary for success.

Lager Beer Brewing Kit

Box of beer brewing kit with beer making bottle, yeast and hops beside it
Source: brouwland.com

You can start your own home brewery with a lager beer brewing kit. This beer brewing kit includes everything you need to brew lager beer at home. The ingredients in this kit are the same as those that are used in a brewhouse to make award-winning lager beer. All you require is a large pot and some bottles, and you can get started making great tasting beer today.

Benefits of Home Brewing

Glass of beer with hops and yeast beside it
Source: learn.kegerator.com

Making your own beer does not have to be a complicated process. There are many easy-to-follow recipes out there for beginners, and with a little practice, you can soon be making your own tasty creations. Many people get started by purchasing one of our starter kits. These come with everything you will need to make your first 5 gallons (about 48 twelve oz bottles). We suggest reading through the instructions before starting so that you have an idea of what to expect at each stage of the process.

Another benefit of homebrewing is that you don’t need much space or equipment to get started. Brewing beer is pretty simple and doesn’t need many supplies. The following items will get you going: fermenter (a carboy or plastic bucket), airlock, hydrometer, brewing spoon and a racking cane/bottling wand.

Fermenter

Fermenter with hops inside
Source: nytimes.com

This is where your beer will do the bulk of its fermentation. The most popular options are carboys and plastic buckets. Carboys are glass or plastic vessels with a wide opening at the top and a small opening on one side for an airlock. Buckets are open vessels with an airtight lid that seals with an airlock. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, but either will get the job done.

Air Lock

Air lock on homemade beer bottle
Source: kissmybrew.com

The airlock allows carbon dioxide to escape while preventing oxygen from getting inside, which would spoil the beer. There are different kinds of airlocks available, but any of them will do the job.

How to Make Wort: The First Step in Making Your Own Beer
The first step in making your own beer is to make wort; wort is essentially unfermented beer. To make wort, add two pounds of malt extract to two gallons of water and bring them to a boil in a kettle. Once boiling begins, add bittering hops and boil for another hour before adding finishing hops. Be sure to sanitise all equipment beforehand! After adding finishing hops, turn off the heat and let the wort cool for 20 minutes.

Move the kettle of wort into a sink filled with cold water and ice, being careful not to splash; this will help bring down the temperature more quickly. This quick-cooling process is called an “ice bath” or “cold break” and prevents bacteria from forming during fermentation.

Once cool, move the wort into a fermenter (food grade plastic bucket or glass carboy) and add yeast when the wort is at just above room temperature (80 degrees Fahrenheit). Stir well with a sanitised spoon to aerate and give the yeast plenty of oxygen.

Now that you have your wort, it’s time to let your yeast get to work doing what it does best: fermenting sugars into alcohol. You’ll need to keep a close eye on your beer for the next week or two. Here’s what you need to do:

Cover your fermenter with a lid, but don’t seal it closed because you need some way for carbon dioxide to escape the fermentation process. Instead, attach an airlock (a small plastic device) to the top so that CO2 bubbles can escape while keeping outside air from getting in. Fill the airlock halfway with water and place it in its hole on the lid. If you’re still concerned about infection, place a small amount of sanitiser solution in the airlock as well.

Store your beer in a dark place between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit and leave it alone for one to three weeks while fermentation takes place. The exact length of time depends on how strong you want your beer to be. The lower the temperature, the slower the fermentation will proceed, so this is a good way to control how much alcohol is produced. Keep it cool for longer for a lower-alcohol beer, or let it get warmer if you prefer something a little stronger. You’ll know fermentation is complete when bubbles stop forming in the airlock.