Did you know you can brew your own beer without having to break the bank? Find out about the basics of brewing using easily obtainable ingredients and equipment today.
If you consider brewing your own beer, then it will only take you a few simple pieces of equipment and ingredients. Here’s a full step by step guide on how you can brew your own batch:
Stage 1: Apparatus/Equipment
- Brew pot – The brew pot can be any big pot that can hold several gallons of water. The pot should have an extra room to avoid boiling over.
- Kitchen strainer – the strainer will be used to strain grains & hops before heading for the fermenter.
- Huge funnel
- Kitchen thermometer
- Rolling pin – used for mashing the grain
- Bottled water (3-gallon container) – this will give you the water required for making the beer, and you can still use it as your fermentation bottle.
- Bottle (container) – An empty container of no less than 3 gallons. It could be an empty, clean bottle or a food grade bucket.
- 3 ft. of 3/8″ clear poly-vinyl tube– used as a siphoning and fermentation airlock
- Bottles – here there are several options.
Stage 2: Ingredients
Most recipes meant for brewing at home are recorded to make 5-gallon batches. Here we’ll use the 2.5-gallon batch. You can easily find these items in one of the many shops available online or a local homebrew supply shop.
Simple Ale Ingredients
- 8 oz. mashed crystal malt
- 3 lbs. light extract of dried malt
- 1 pkg of brewing yeast
- Three eighth (3/8) cup sugar for bottling
- 1 oz. pellet hops (Northern Brewer)
Stage 3: Crushing/Mashing the Grain
In a big thick freezer bag, pour approximately 8 ounces of mashed crystal malt. Pour it little by little, then crush the grain using the rolling pin. Just a very coarse texture of broken grains is required here, not flour. Later on, you might want to buy a malt mill that is particularly intended for this function.
Stage 4: Steeping
Steeping is the brewing term for the procedure of obtaining the goo from specialty grains. In this recipe it’s the crystal malt:
- To start, pour the ½ gallon of water from your water bottle. After that place a mark at the 2.5 water level.
- Next, pour a maximum of 2.5 gallons of the residual water into your pot. Leave at least 3” to the top of the pot.
- Add your mashed/crushed grains. Switch on the heat, adjusting the temperature to 150-155 degrees.
- Switch off the heat then cover the pot. This lets the magic occur within for roughly 30 minutes.
- Using the kitchen strainer, remove the highest amount of the spent grain that you can. Don’t worry about the few remaining grains.
Stage 5: Boiling
Now the contents of the brewing pot are to be boiled. After boiling take off the heat and stir in the malt extract. Be very cautious here. There are high risks of overboiling. After controlling the boil add around 2/3 oz. of hops to the boil then keep the boil for one hour. This enables you to get the most out of the bittering potential of your hops. To sanitize your kitchen strainer for later use, dip it in the boil for the last 15 minutes of the process. After one hour switch off the heat then adds the remaining hops. Cover up and let the hops you added later soak for 10 minutes. The hops will give some taste and smell to your finished beer.
Stage 6: Air Locking
Air locking can be done earlier, though you can still do it during the boil. All in all, you’ll need to monitor the boil all the time. And you should still be cautious about boiling over here as well.
You can use a commercial airlock here. They are roughly $1. You should then bare a 3/8-inch hole in the water bottle top, and the airlock will fit easily and tightly in the hole. The point here is letting the carbon dioxide out during fermentation while preventing the air outside from getting in.
Stage 7: Cooling the Wort
At this stage, you now have wort (wert). Wort is unfermented beer and to cool it, you should partially immerse the brewing pot in a cold water bath. You can add ice to the bath to accelerate the cooling procedure. When it comes to cooling, quicker is better. Gradually swirl the pot after you place it in the bath and right after the sides of the pot turn cool to the touch you’re set for the following step.
Pour your cooled wort into the fermentation bottle via your cleaned funnel and strainer. Remember, the total volume is to be 2.5 gallons as you initially marked on the bottle.
Stage 9: Pitching the yeast
This process involves mixing the yeast to the wort before fermentation. You should pitch the yeast when the wort (in the fermenter) is around room temperature. Do in case you feel that the sides of the fermenter are warm to the touch, you should give wort some time to cool off to room temperature before you can add the yeast
Stage 10: Fermentation
In the days that follow, the sugars in the wort will be converted to alcohol and carbon dioxide by the yeast. Ensure that you put the fermenter in a dark place with a cool surrounding. Though complete darkness isn’t necessary, sunlight is not required at all. After 12-24 hours you’ll start seeing foaming and bubbles escaping from the lock. In about 7 or 10 days, all the fermented sugars will have been converted by the yeast.
Stage 11: Priming
Well done, you now have your beer. Though it is not done yet. It is still flat for drinking. Before you bottle, you should add an exact quantity of extra fermentable sugars. Since there is still some live yeast in the beer that will convert the extra sugars to carbon dioxide. This results in carbonated beer since the carbon dioxide has no means of escaping the bottle.
Start boiling for five minutes and after that, add 1/4 cup and 2 sugar tablespoonfuls (table or corn sugar) in one cup of water. Cover it up, give it time to cool then pour it into a clean container. Now carefully siphon your beer into the bottling container. Your beer is primed and ready for bottling.
Stage 12: Bottling
Purchase bottles and caps and be ready for the process bottling your beer.
Stage 13: Aging
Bottle- prepared beers have to age in a bottle for one week minimum. This lets the fermentation occur in the bottle to carbonate the beer.
Stage 14: Drink the Beer
Take your glass and drink some flavorful beer!