A Simple Method for Brewing Your Own Beer At Home
For those who love beer but hate paying the high prices in the markets, there’s a great solution which is brewing your own beer at home. While it does require some effort and a little bit of time, home beer brewing is basically an easy process and the massive savings make the work worth the effort. Furthermore, many will argue that a home-made beer tastes far superior to a beer from a supermarket shelf. Here is a simple method to make beer yourself, at home, and to keep things simple, rather than use dozens and dozens of small glass bottles that need to be capped, we will use 2-litre plastic pop bottles with reusable plastic lids.
All of the supplies can be purchased from www.homebrewing.org
First of all, you’ll need these items to brew your own beer.
1 38-litre food-grade pail with a plastic lid
1 siphon hose measuring about two meters long with an 8 mm diameter made of food-grade vinyl tubing
1 hose clamp for the siphon hose
12 2-liter plastic pop bottles with lids
1 large pot or a turkey roaster
Once these items have been acquired, the next step is to get the ingredients.
1 40oz or 1.2 liter can of malt extract in any flavour you prefer (light beer, dark beer, stout)
1 teaspoon or 5 ml of brewer’s yeast
1.5 -1.75 liters of white sugar or 2 liters of corn sugar, depending on the richness of flavour desired.
This recipe will yield about 23 liters of beer.
We highly recommend www.homebrewing.org for all of your supplies.
The Brewing Process
There are two main steps in the brewing process: that of sanitation and that of actual brewing.
Wash all equipment in warm, slightly soapy water and do not use any scouring-type cleaning instruments which can cause bacteria-friendly grooves in the plastic. After rinsing, use a no-rinse acid sanitizer which will kill bacteria without leaving any funny aftertaste.
Pour ten liters of fresh cold water into the big plastic pail.
Boil seven liters of water in the largest pot you have in your home.
Add the malt extract to the boiling water. Stir and let simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.
Add the sugar and stir until the sugar granules have dissolved.
Pour the malt, sugar and water mix into the pail with the cold water as soon as the sugar has dissolved. Pour quickly and in a splashy fashion to add as much oxygen as possible to the mix; this will ensure optimal yeast growth.
Top up with room-temperature tap water that has been boiled to kill off any bacteria or top up with bottled drinking water until the entire mixture cools down to a neutral temperature. The pail will be a bit more than half full at this point. To ensure that the proper temperature has been reached for optimal yeast growth (about 30 C), use a sanitized thermometer.
Sprinkle the yeast into the liquid. Stir everything well, and then loosely cover the pail with the lid. Do not seal the lid; if the pail is capped too tightly, it may explode from the carbon dioxide that is produced during the fermentation and brewing process.
Keep the beer covered, and avoid opening the pail unnecessarily as this can introduce air and can affect the taste of the beer negatively. The beer will need to sit for 6-10 days at room temperature, which should ideally be between 16-20 C, but a higher temperature up to a maximum of 24 degrees will also work. The higher the room temperature, the less time it will take for the beer to be ready.
Test the beer with the hydrometer after the 6-10 day brewing period. Once the hydrometer has been set into the beer, give it a quick spin to release any oxygen bubbles clinging to it which may give a false reading. Once that has been done, the hydrometer is ready to give an accurate measurement. A reading of 1.008 means that the beer will be ready for bottling if it is a dark beer, and a reading of 1.010 to 1.0150 will indicate that light beer is ready to be put into bottles.
Place the pail or “carboy” onto a sturdy table once the brew is ready and put the 2-liter pop bottles on the floor with some rags or newspapers underneath to catch any spills or drips that may occur.
Put two teaspoons or 10 ml of sugar in each pop bottle; use a funnel so that sugar doesn’t drop everywhere.
Siphon the liquid into the bottles, ensuring the sediment at the bottom of the pail isn’t disturbed. Do not agitate the beer or splash anything; any added oxygen will make the beer taste of cardboard box.
Keep the end of the siphon near the bottom of the bottle while siphoning, this will stop the liquid from developing a froth.
Leave an air space in each bottle do NOT fill each bottle to the top.
Screw the caps on tightly, invert each bottle and give each bottle a shake to make the sugar dissolve.
Place the filled bottles in a warm place for 2-4 days, then store in a dark, cool area. The beer will be ready to drink in a few days, but beer that is left to “age” in a cool, dark storage area for a longer time will taste better.
Beer made at home will taste terrific after aging for a few months, so keep in mind that many home beer brewers like to get a second batch of beer on the go as soon as possible so that some beer can be consumed shortly after brewing and some can be left to age.
For people who are making beer for the first time and are nervous about equipment, ingredients and other supplies and wish to have the most professional results possible, it is ideal to get a full beginner’s home beer brewing kit with everything that’s necessary to make a good beer. A Beginning Homebrew Equipment Kit from www.homebrewing.org only costs $69.99 and beer recipe kits are available at $22.99. Instructions are included with the kits and are also available at the homebrew.org website in PDF format.