The Art of Brewing Your Own Beer
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. From the first swig to the latest renaissance of the craft beer – the art of brewing your beer has stayed with us. 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 learn the art from the breweries and bring it 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
Buy your home brewing equipment online. The first is your main cooking cauldron – the brewing kettle is made out of stainless steel and holds 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.
As for your overall list of equipment, according to experts, you can’t go wrong with one of the many pre-made kits online for sale. They include nearly everything you’ll need. Here’s a look at some of the individual components that make up a full beer brewing kit.
- 4+ gallon pot
- 6 gallon plastic bucket with an attached spigot for sanitation and bottling
- 6 gallon fermentation bucket with a lid for an airlock
- Airlock & stopper
- A couple of nylon bags for adding hops into the boil.
- Food grade sanitizer – usually iodine
- Hydrometer and hydrometer jar
- Waterproof thermometer
- Bottle caps, capper & bottling wand
An Overview Of Your New Brew
From the beginning to the end, it’s going to take about three weeks for your to brew your first homemade beer pour. Here’s a recap and overview distilled down to a few steps.
- Barley and malt extracts are boiled in the water with the addition of hops for flavor. This soupy mess is called wort.
- The new mixture is chilled down to room temperature before its strained into the fermenting vessel.
- Yeast is added to turn the mix into alcohol and the blend is then stored in a cool and dark place for one week to ten days.
- Before bottling, pump boiled sugar water and pour it into the vessel to create carbonation.
The best advice for a new home brewer is just to get out there and keep brewing. These simple ingredients want to become beer and eventually cascade down that flowing beard! !