If you want to brew your own beer yourself, it should be both a part of the science and an art. The process requires a precise and calculated aspect, but at the same time the rules and possible boundaries can be blurred. This can be reasons for personal interpretation and the creation of a truly unique beer. However, that might sound like the art of brewing could be difficult, right? Well, it is not. Brewing beer is a simple process that dates back 12,000 years. Essentially, all you need to do is heat the water and barley, boil the mixture with hops and cool, and then let it ferment and carbonate with yeast. If this seems easy enough for you, we’ll go into a little bit more detail on each step in this post.
How can you brew beer yourself??
So you’ve decided to make your own beer drink at home. You are now about to take on a wondrous and rewarding task that is almost as old as humanity itself. However, there is no reason to be intimidated by this. Although people have brewed beer themselves for thousands of years, the basic process has remained largely the same over the centuries. So in this article, we’re going to try and explain what equipment you need for the brew to get started. We’ll also walk you through the basic steps for brewing a pilsner as well. First of all, we can divide homebrewing into two types: brewing barley or brewing extract from malt. The beer is made from the sugar of malted, partially sprouted grains. During the entire brewing process, the master brewer extracts this sugar himself from ground grains in a series of steps.
If you want to use extracts in the brew, these can be pre-made malt extracts. However, you can also skip the process of sugar extraction entirely. Brewing the extract is a good starting point for most new home brewers as the process requires minimal beer equipment and procedures while still making quality beer. However, it’s the type of brewing we’ll be focusing on here. Perhaps you know someone who turned their entire basement or garage into a professional brewery. This can be full of shiny tanks and kegs, welded pipes, washing stations and fridges with taps and always provide nice frothy beer. But rest assured that you don’t have to invest a fortune if you want to brew your own beer. The easiest way is to buy a simple set. You can always add fancier brewing equipment after you’ve brewed for a while and decided it was worth it.
Ingredients and equipment for beer production
Now that you’ve taken care of the equipment, let’s go over the main ingredients of the beer. There are only four: hops, barley (and / or malt extract), yeast, and water. First you put together your brewing system. You need a brew kettle, fermentation vat + air lock, funnel (optional), disinfectant, suction tube, spoon for stirring or a “brew your own beer set”. Once you have all the equipment you need, the first step will be cleaning and sanitizing.
First of all, you need to bring all devices into the appropriate state. This step is critical. Absolutely everything that comes into contact with your beer during the brewing process should be properly cleaned with a cleaning agent and then disinfected with a solution approved for hygiene. We recommend varieties without rinsing as these simplify the process while remaining effective. Once you’ve properly cleaned and sanitized your equipment, it’s time to start brewing.
Brew your own beer – recipe
So you’ve checked out the equipment and main ingredients you need to brew your home. Now you can discover a classic recipe for a bock beer below. You are also probably wondering what type of beer it is. We have chosen an alternative variant that is a hybrid variety. You can choose the barley or the extract as well as the hops yourself as you wish.
If you use a kit to brew your own beer, it should at least contain liquid malt, grains in a grain sack and hops. With 5.5% alcohol by volume, the alcohol content does not overwhelm the malty taste, while the aroma of the hops comes into its own. This particular recipe is perfect for beginners and hobby brewers, but is also suitable for experienced brewers due to its balance.
Brew your own beer – instructions
- Always read all of the instructions before you start brewing so you can be sure that you have everything on hand (equipment, ingredients) as well as fully understanding the process.
- Start by heating 600 ml of water in your brew kettle.
- Then put the crushed special grains in the grain bag.
- Tie a knot at one end of the grain sack, leaving room for the grains to loosen in the sack.
- Put the grain sack in the water.
- Then slowly increase the temperature to 60 ° C to 80 ° C.
- Let the grains steep at this temperature for 20 minutes.
- Take the sack of grain out of the pot.
- Do not squeeze the bag. Just let the liquid drain from the bag into the pot.
- You now officially have the flavor for an unfermented beer. However, there are a few other steps to fully prepare your wort for fermentation.
- First bring the wort to a boil and make sure that it does not boil over. As soon as the liquid boils, remove the saucepan from the heat source.
- Stir the wort until the malt extract has completely dissolved. Any undissolved extract that remains on the bottom of the pot can burn.
- For this reason, be sure to stir thoroughly before bringing the wort back to the boil.
- Let your wort boil for 55 minutes and then add the aromatic hops. Since you only cook this for five minutes, hops do not add a bitter taste, but add to the aroma and smell of the finished beer.
- Cool the wort. After boiling for almost 60 minutes, you need to bring the wort to below 37 ° C as quickly as possible. There are many ways to do this, and one of them is with the ice bath. To do this, fill your sink halfway with cold tap water and then with ice and place the pot in it.
- If you haven’t already, now is a good time to disinfect the airlock, hose, and hydrometer. Your wort is susceptible to microbes at this point. Everything that can come into contact with it should be sanitized.
- This is followed by siphoning the cooled wort into your primary vessel for fermentation.
- Then fill it up with enough cold water so that you have about 1.4 liters. You should also aerate the wort either by using a diffusion stone or by simply rocking the fermentation tub back and forth once the lid is on.
- Now you can use your hydrometer to measure the wort’s original gravity, which essentially indicates a range of fermentable sugars that are present. You should write down the number as you will later use this along with your final gravity measurement to calculate the volume alcohol of your beer.
- It’s time to put your yeast in the wort. During fermentation, the yeast consumes the malt sugar and produces alcohol with CO2. The temperature of the wort should be around 30 ° C before the yeast is whipped. However, it is best to follow the instructions on the package.
- After you have whipped up the yeast, close the fermentation vat tightly, fasten the refurbished air lock and fill it up with water.
- First place the fermentation tub in a remote, temperature-stable location. You should see activity within 24-48 hours when CO2 begins to escape from the airlock. It takes one to two weeks for fermentation to complete. During this time, you should not do anything that could interfere with the process.
- Some brewers do a secondary step of fermentation after about a week. The beer is sucked into a secondary fermentation vat like a glass balloon and conditioned for a further week or two. This step is optional. However, some of the benefits include that the beer will become clearer, which will result in less sediment once you have bottled the beer.
Determine the alcohol content and fill the beer
Use your hydrometer to read the final gravity of the beer. You can calculate the approximate alcohol content of the beer using the following formula: Alcohol Content = (OG-FG) × 131.25 So if you use your goals for this bock beer, you get: (1.057-1.014) x 131.25 = 5.64 % Alcohol content. Note, however, that this calculation is only an approximation, but is the simplest method and is generally good enough if you brew your own beer.
Now scoop the finished beer into the filling bucket. If the recipe calls for filling additives, such as basic sugar, to be added to the filling pail, add them now. So these are the basic steps you can follow to make your own beer. After you’ve conditioned the whole thing, it’s time to share it with friends and family and brag about the fact that you made it yourself.
Now you know the basic process for brewing your own beer at home. As you gain experience and confidence, you can work with multiple types of beer to improve your brewing skills. You can even add Irish moss to your drink to improve the clarity of the beer. However, homebrewing has many other aspects that you can master over time.