How can I make my own beer?
Have you considered brewing your own beer at home? In this article, we’ll explain how to brew your own beer as well as the pros do it. No need for fancy equipment because we're showing you how to make your own beer with just a few items!
What do I need to brew beer?
To make your own beer, you’ll need the following equipment:
- 5 gallon Brewing Kettle
- Fermenter + Air Lock
- Food thermometer
- Stir Spoon
You can also order a beer making kit online if you don’t want to gather all of these items individually. The kit will have all the necessary items included.
What ingredients do I need to make my own beer?
You’ll also need grains to make your own beer. Here is a simple Ale recipe:
- 3 lbs light dried malt extract
- 8 oz crushed crystal malt
- 1 oz Northern Brewer pellet hops
- 1 pkg brewers yeast
- 3/8 cup sugar for bottling
You’ll need to crush the grains before cooking with them. To do this, you can add some of the crystal malt to a heavy duty zip lock bag and begin to pound it with a rolling pin, adding a little bit at a time. Once it’s broken up, remove it from the bag and add more. You don’t want to totally mash it into a powder, a course texture is just fine.
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How to brew your own beer
Before beginning with the beer making process, make sure to sanitize everything you’ll be using. Even the scissors you’ll use to cut open a bag of yeast later on in the process. Proper sanitation is necessary in ensuring your beer comes out tasking great. PBW and Star San are a good choice to use for sanitation.
Step 1: Begin with brewing
1. Add 2.5 gallons of filtered water to your 5 gallon brew kettle and place it on the stove. Begin to heat your water and add your crushed grains for 20 minutes, or until the water temperature reaches 170 degrees. Remove the grains with a strainer. You don’t need to squeeze the liquid out of the grains, as this will extract tannins and may leave your beer with an odd taste
2. Now, turn the flame all the way up and let the liquid boil. Once it’s boiling remove it from the heat and add in the malt extract, stirring to combine it. Now add in 2/3 of the hop pellets and let it boil for 60 minutes. After 60 minutes, turn off the heat and add in the remaining 1/3 of the hops pellets. Cover it and let it cook for 10 minutes more. You now have what is known as ‘wort’ or unfermented beer.
3. Cool your wort by setting the pot in an ice bath in your sink or use a wort chiller.
Step 2: Time to Ferment
Note: Be sure to sanitize all of your items before beginning the fermentation process. Failure to properly sanitize your equipment might mean that you’ll have unwanted flavors in your beer!
1. Using your funnel and strainer, pour your cooled wort into the fermentation bottle. The total volume in the fermenter should reach 2 1/2 gallons. You may add water if it doesn’t reach 2 1/2 gallons.
2. Splash the wort around in the bottle to add some oxygen, which yeast thrives on.
3. Add your yeast. Dry yeast is the easiest to work with and will do just fine.
4. Seal the fermentation bottle by adding an air lock and place it in a cool, dark room for 7-10 days. You’ll begin to see foaming bubbles starting to form after about 12-24 hours. The ideal temperature for an Ale is around 68 degrees.
Step 3: Bottle your brew
Once again, make sure everything is sanitized! Clean your bottle caps, bottles, bottling bucket, and everything that the beer is going to touch.
1. First, you'll need to add in priming sugar, otherwise the beer will be flat, and no one likes flat beer. To do this, boil 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar in 1 cup of water for 5 minutes. Once it’s done, cover it and let it cool. Now add it to your bottling bucket.
2. Siphon the beer from the fermenter and into the bottling bucket. You don’t need to transfer any of the sediment that remains in the fermenter.
3. Now comes the exciting part, bottling your beer! You can buy new beer bottles online, or reuse old beer bottles. Just make sure not to use any with a twist off cap. You can fill the bottles by using a bottle hose, or by using a funnel, it’s up to you. I fusing a bottling hose, attach the bottle filler to the hose and the hose to a bottling spigot.
4. Secure the caps on the bottles with a bottle capper.
5. Allow the beer to age for at least 7 days to allow the fermentation to carbonate the beer. Store them in a dark room once again. Don’t store them in the fridge for at least 7 days, as the yeast won’t be able to do it’s job when it’s too cold.
Congratulations! You’ve learned how to make your own beer at home with your very own home brew system. Now that you know the steps to brew beer, the only question left is, when will you try it?
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