Having the ability to do things all by yourself is the mark of a true man. There aren’t many things we like better than beards, but beer comes by with a close second. The ability to brew your own beer at home is easy and highly satisfying.
It’s time you learn how to become the life of the party by becoming your own brewmaster. The ancient rite of mead, drink, and excess is tied to human history and tradition. These basic steps, ingredients and guidelines will give you a baseline of how to create your own beer.
Where to Start?
Beer is the oldest alcoholic beverage made by man. It dates all the way back to the Neolithic era. At times it was created on purpose and other times just affected the barley. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and the earliest of our great civilizations partook in this ancestral party favor. Now it’s time we take the power back from the damn breweries and bring em back to our kitchens.
There are four main ingredients in beer. The first one is malt, which is a grain that has been processed and readied for brewing. Malted barley is the main grain used in beer. Sometimes malted wheat is also used in the brewing process. You’ll find that other things like corn or rice can also replace the malt ingredient.
Malt serves an essential function in beer creation. It gives the sugar that the yeast needs and also determines how strong the beer is going to be. The majority of brewing bros don’t actually malt their own grain. That’s a step too far we don’t need to go. You’ll be able to purchase malt extracts anywhere online or at your local brewing store.
Next up are your hops. This is the spice that’s going to help you balance out the bitterness to sweetness ratio. This is where a lot of your drinks are going to differ by choosing different flavors and aromas. Next is the yeast that takes unfermented beer and continues the brewing process.
Finally like all drinks of the gods, water is an essential ingredient. The majority of beer is actually made up of water. The brewing process calls for a lot of water to get the whole mixing process ready for brewing. One thing to take note of is how your water tastes. If you have tap water that is questionable, it’d be wise to use bottled or filtered water.
The Process of the Brew
The first major step is the malting process that is usually done before the brewer gets all the ingredients. Nevertheless it is an important aspect of the brewing process; Malt extracts are created through malting and then the mashing, which is when grains are doused and soaked with hot water. Brewers can choose to do this themselves or skip it by buying a pre-made extract that usually comes in the form of a syrup or dried powder.
The water, malt sugars and anything else you’re adding to the beer — other spices, is what’s considered the unfermented beer. After this step you go ahead and boil what you’ve got. During the boiling process is when hops are added. Your current batch of beer is then left to cool so that the yeast can come into play.
The first part of the brewing process helps to determine flavor, taste, and strength of the beer. But the fermentation process up next is equally important in determining the rest of the beer. Once the yeast has been added is when fermentation starts.
Brewers looking for an average ale should allow fermentation to last for a few days to a week. Those looking for a strong beer or even lagers can expect to wait up to a few months. Once the process is finished it is time to bottle up or put in the keg for some drinking.
Now that you know the process, it is time to know what major materials a novice brewer will need.
Equipment for Success
A majority of your equipment needs can be met by a homebrew shop online or in your local hip neighborhood. The first is your main cooking cauldron. Usually the brewing kettle is going to be made out of stainless steel and hold up to a minimum of four gallons. Extra points if there is a thermometer inside it.
This is your main area where the magic happens. Brewers also use buckets afterwards to either let their brews ferment or to start bottling them up. While your brew is fermenting make sure to have an airlock that lets carbon dioxide escape and stops oxygen and any other pollutants from entering the container.
You’re going to want to keep the brewing process fun and clean. Try to watch a few videos online and see what they say at the local store. You might have a new hit on your hands with the new brew. Think of some catchy flavors, experiment a little bit along the way. There will be some mishaps and grimaced after-tastes, but it’s a great hobby to take up and you may learn something along the way.