The world of fancy home brewed beers has never seemed more appealing. If home beer brewing was a tradition pretty much abandoned when the beer industry took over, people are starting to appreciate the unique, individual flavors of home-brewed beers once more. Not just a hipster trend, brewing your beers at home can be not just tastier, but also healthier than buying a pre-fabricated alternative. Unless you drink commercial home brewed beer every time (like the one sold by Belgian monks), which we doubt it, you should definitely consider home beer brewing. It’s easier than you think.
How to Prepare for the Home Brewing Experience
First of all, don’t be scared of the process; people usually don’t even consider home beer brewing because they dismiss it as messy and complicated. With a good guide (as we strive to be), you’ll see that it doesn’t have to be so, and obtaining your own beer can actually be quite simple. In 5 easy steps, the beer will be brewing away in some barrels or bottles (no need for fancy equipment), and you’ll be ready to enjoy it in no time.
So, the first thing you need for home beer brewing is some patience and calm. Then, with minimal equipment and supplies, we’ll show you exactly how it’s done.
What You’ll Need
Since this post is meant for beginners (as we were as well, up to a few months back), we’ll recommend some starter kits first of all. You can go for the basic version or you can go for the fancier super-cool version. You can do without such starter kits, so they’re not absolutely mandatory, but it will be slightly easier to craft beer with them, not to mention that the bottles will look better (and you can re-use them for as long as you’d like, or gift them to your buddies and so on).
Besides the starter kit suggestion, this is what you will need for home beer brewing. This time, we really mean it (you wouldn’t be able to brew any home beer without these):
- Malted barley
- Hops (for seasoning)
- Baker’s yeast or brewer’s yeast (specialists tend to argue on which is better, we obviously recommend the brewer’s yeast)
- A little bit of sugar (or malt syrup, for a stronger flavor)
- Clean water
- Bottles with tight caps (to prevent oxygen from entering and disturbing the fermentation process).
The natural ingredients above can be found in most health food shops and brew shops, but if you buy them online from specialized brewing suppliers it tends to be safer. You can find the products of such suppliers on major shopping hubs like Amazon (see the links above for examples).
How to Do Home Beer Brewing
Now that you’re prepared, you can actually get to brewing. The basic, straight-forward process can be summed up in 5 steps. Here are the fundamental steps to home beer brewing:
- Soak the malted barley in hot water overnight, to release the malt sugars.
- Boil the malted water with added hops for seasoning.
- Cool the solution and add yeast to initiate fermentation.
- Allow the beer to ferment in a tightly closed recipient, releasing carbon dioxide and breaking down the malt sugars. This takes about 2 weeks.
- After the fermentation is complete, store the beer in tightly closed bottles, with a little extra added sugar (for keeping the carbonization strong for when the beer will be enjoyed). It’s ready to be consumed in another 2 weeks.
Once you master basic brews with these 5 steps, you should try to improvise a bit and see how the flavors you obtain evolve. Don’t be afraid to experiment, this is how great beers are born. Also, if you have doubts or would like to study the matter more in-depth, you can always consult and trustworthy manual on home beer brewing, to look up possible variations, learn about the advantages of using extra pieces of equipment and so on. Have fun and enjoy your brews!