How to Make Home Brewed Beer
We congratulate you for deciding to brew your own beer at home! This activity is going to prove itself to be very fun and rewarding, plus you’ll be taking part in an age old tradition that goes back several millennia. Though mankind has now developed a lot of new technology, the basic principles of the process remain the same. Through this guide, we are going to tell about all the equipment you need to get started, and we will also be guiding you through the entire process step by step. After you’re done reading this article, you’re definitely going to consider taking this up as a new hobby and become a regular home brewer. Let’s dive in!
- Why Make Your Own Homebrew?
- The Equipment Needed to Brew.
- The Ingredients.
- Malt Extracts.
- The Beer Making Process.
- Step 1: Sanitize.
- Step 2: Brew.
- Step 3: Bottle.
- Step 4: Drink & Enjoy!.
Before we begin, we must first ask this question. Is beer brewing at home worth it? Absolutely! Here are a couple of reasons why:
- It’s going to save you money. Since you’re reading this article, we are of course assuming that you don’t consume cheap macro beer that’s available at every other store, for example bud light. If you are a beer enthusiast, chances are you spend quite a lot on beer regularly. What if we told you that you that starting off isn’t as expensive as you think? You can buy your own beer making kit in a little over $50 here. Add the ingredients to the mix and you can make yourself a 5 gallon batch in under $100. Amazing, isn’t it?
- You’ll be taking part in an age old tradition. Brewing beer at home goes way back. In fact, commercial brewing is a relatively recent phenomenon. If you take a closer look at human history, you can find out that homebrewing has been a significant part of daily sustenance for about 9000 years. Would you really miss your chance of taking part in history?
- Makes for quite an impressive gift. Take our word for it. Homemade beer makes for an impressive gift. It doesn’t matter what the occasion is. People are going to be thoroughly impressed by it. Just imagine giving someone a special batch for their wedding or their birthday. We’re sure that sounds very cool.
- Literally anyone can make good beer at home. Brewing beer at home is not rocket science. It can be really simple if you want it to be. Just follow the practices we have mentioned in the next section and we assure you your beer is going to turn out just fine.
- Health benefits and experimentation. Though it is common knowledge that drinking a lot of beer isn’t healthy or wise, the health benefits of drinking it in moderation are proven and well known. Beer usually contains fiber, protein, antioxidants and vitamin B. Back in the day, ancient brewers used to add herbs and other healthy ingredients (such as raw honey) in their homebrew to make it more of a health tonic. You can experiment with many herbs and plants too! Some of them have proven health benefits like Nettles, Yarrow, Sage, Dandelion, Heather, Chomomile and many more.
- Replicating an ancient process is really empowering. Just imagine pulling the door of your fridge after coming home from a long day at work and taking out a bottle of your own homebrew. The satisfaction you would feel will be unparalleled!
We are now going to teach you how to brew your own beer from scratch. The whole process is going to be split into 3 sections.
The brewing process can be as simple or complex as you want it to be. You can start by buying our simple beer making kit, and then keep on adding more fancy brewing gadgets after you’ve brewed for some time and have decided that it’s something you love and something you consider worth investing in (which we are sure it will be). This is what a basic kit consists of:
All the equipment you’d find in Baggins Brew’s home brewing kits is reusable. To make your next batch, all you need is some ingredients and a packet of No-Rinse Sanitizer.
Now that we have gone over the equipment needed to get started, let’s take a look at the ingredients and brewing supplies needed to start brewing beer from scratch. There are 5 basic ingredients and we are going to tell you about all of them in sufficient detail.
Hops are cone-like flowers of plants that are used in brewing. They contain alpha acids that give beer its trademark bitterness. The higher the percentage of alpha acid in a hop, the more bitterness it will contribute to your boil. You can find two of these in our basic beer making kit.
You will add hops to your boil twice in the whole beer making process. The first time they are added, the purpose is to add bitterness to your finished beer; the second time that they are added, it’s to give your beer its own fragrance. This second step is just as important as the first because our perception of taste is connected to our sense of smell. Don’t forget to add aromatic hops at the end of the process.
One of the most convenient ways of making your own beer is using malt extracts. It can make the process fun for new brewers especially. Malt extracts come in two types: liquid and dry form. However, keep it in mind that the amount of malt extract you’ll be needing to brew your batch depends upon what kind of malt extract you’re using. Be wary of which form you’re using for it affects how much you’d require for a given recipe.
You’d be needing around seven cups of regular sugar or nine cups of corn sugar (which is highly recommended)
In fact, if you’re a real beer connoisseur and the taste is your main concern, you should try using nearly 2 cans of malt extract. This would enrich the taste of your beer and yield much better results.
The role of yeast in the whole beer making process is undeniably important. Yeast is basically responsible for the whole fermentation process as it is a single-celled fungus that breaks down the malt sugars and creates alcohol.
Keep this in mind that yeast, just like malt extracts, comes in both liquid and dry form. Dry yeast is usually not recommended because it affects the quality of your homebrew. Sometimes a little packet of yeast comes along with a can of malt extract.
While brewing, the quality of water plays an important part in determining the end product. The water that you need for brewing has to be clean and free of any impurities and odors. A few other important factors to consider are its pH value and its hardness. If the water you’re using has low to moderate alkalinity and is a little bit hard, it’ll give you a good brew.
Good sanitizing is good brewing. Make sure you wash all the equipment with slightly soapy water, and then rinse thoroughly to remove any soap residue. Then sanitize using our No-Rinse Sanitizer which can be found in our basic beer brewing kit. It’s also necessary that you sanitize the thermometer because it will be used in the process.
- Make sure you remove the smell of plastic from the pail that you’re using before you pour water into it.
- Boil around 2.5 gallons of water in your largest pot. Heat it up to 150°F to 160°F.
- Add one can of malt extract to the boiling water. Stir the mixture for 20 minutes.
- Add sugar and keep stirring till it dissolves. We now have what we call a “wort” or unfermented beer. Once you’ve achieved the boil, remove the pot from the heat source.
- Add aromatic hops to your wort. Since they are being added close to the end of the process, they won’t make it bitter, but will only provide it with some fresh aroma and fragrance.
- Cool down your wort until the temperature is 100°F.
- Transfer your wort to the glass fermentation jug.
- Now add yeast to the mix and let it consume the malt sugars and produce alcohol. At this stage your wort should be at around 78°F.
- Seal the fermentation jug with an airlock and fill the airlock with water.
- Put the fermenter somewhere the temperature is stable. The time it usually takes for beer to ferment is anywhere between 1 to 2 weeks. Make sure nothing disturbs the process.
Learning how to properly bottle homebrewed beer is very important. Once the process is complete, you should put the fermentation jug on a sturdy table. We recommend you use two-liter bottles and pour two leveled teaspoons of sugar into them.
You’re now going to syphon the beer into the bottles. You can slightly tip the jug as you near the bottom.
It is VERY IMPORTANT not to splash the beer around while bottling as any amount of oxygen introduced to the beer can lead to a bad taste.
Make sure you keep the siphon tube near the bottom of the bottle. This will avoid frothing from occurring. Do not fill the bottles completely. Leave a little space for air. You can consume the beer within a couple of days of bottling, but ageing it will improve the taste.
There’s only one thing left to do now, give your own homebrew a try. If you are happy with the results, then call over some friends, put on some good music or a game of football and enjoy your new batch of beer. Do bear in mind that you’re going to get progressively better at the process with every single batch, and sometimes batches are going to vary in terms of quality, so don’t lose heart. The key is to keep trying.
We hope that you now have a better idea of how to brew your own beer. Like we’ve already mentioned, the process is fun and very rewarding. It’s time you find that out for yourself. Enjoy!