Going out to the bars to taste good beers can get expensive. And what about those nights you’d like to stay in and watch a movie? Have you thought about brewing your own beer at home?
Don’t let brewing beer intimidate you! You can make some amazing stuff and it’s easier than you might think. If you’re looking for a guide on how to become a personal brewmaster, this read is for you!
A Guide to Brewing Beer at Home
There are going to be a few things you’ll need. We’ve got them listed below for you to look over before you start.
If you don’t have all of these things and don’t feel like pillaging your local supermarket for them, you might be interested in picking up a beer brewing kit.
- Air Lock / Fermenter
- Kettle (Bucket)
- Sanitizer (Non-Rinse)
- Stir Spoon
- Auto Siphon
We can not stress sanitization enough. After the boiling process, anything that comes in contact with the beer can alter it! Make sure you’re prepared and ready to go before you start brewing to avoid any contamination.
Part One: The Brewing Process
You most likely have a 5-gallon brew kettle but if you have a 10-gallon kettle double this.
First, fill the kettle with 2.5 gallons of water.
Simple enough, right?
You’re going to steep your grains in the kettle while you heat it to 170 degrees. After heating, take the bag out and let all of the water from within it drip into the kettle.
DO NOT SQUEEZE THE BAG. Let the water drip.
Squeezing the bag can cause tannins which you do not want (bad tastes).
Afterward, bring the kettle to a boil and then turn off the heat.
Here you will add in the malt and hops. Each recipe is a little different, though, so make sure you’re cross-checking with your specific batch as to when you’re supposed to add in the hops.
This is now what brewers call WORT and you’ll want to cool it down fast. There are special kits for cooling wort, but one classic trick is to put the container in an ice-sink-bath.
Part Two: The Fermentation Process
You know what you’re going to do first? If you guess sanitize everything you’re learning fast!
Sanitize. Sanitize. Sanitize.
Then you’re going to pour your wort into the fermentor. There should be an easy valve on most kettles to make this transition simple.
Then you’re going to add water, bringing the fermenter to five gallons.
During this process splash the wort around in the fermenter to help aerate it.
Finally, you’re going to add the yeast.
Now there are different kinds of yeast depending on the beer. For a nice IPA, we recommend kveik for its taste and ability to handle high temperatures.
We recommend sanitizing your scissors before cutting open a yeast packet!
Once opened pour it in and then seal the container with an airtight lock. After this, you’ll want to put the fermenter in a dark, cool area.
The temperature range does vary slightly depending on the type of beer you’re brewing, so make sure you check ahead of time to guarantee the best results.
After around twenty-four hours you should start to see the airlock bubbling away. If you don’t you could have dead yeast, but give it at least 48 hours before giving up all hope on it.
Part Three: Bottling it Up!
The part most of us love (aside from drinking the beer, of course!)
The bottling part is where the process starts to feel surreal, but let’s make sure you do it right.
A kit should have dried malt extract or priming sugar. You’ll want to boil this in the appropriate amount of water the package recommends, then mix this into your brew.
This causes carbonation in your beer so you’re not drinking a something flat.
To mix it right, you’ll keep the cooled sugar water or dried malt extract in the bottling bucket. Using the siphon, carefully syph the beer from the fermenter to this bucket.
Go slow! You don’t want aeration in this process!
Next, get your bottles ready. Make sure they are cleaned and sanitized!
Place your brewing bucket on a counter and the beer can at a lower level, so the filling process is smooth.
PRO-TIP: Make sure your tube goes all the way to the bottom of the glass. Fill the bottle so it overflows a little, then when you remove the tube there will be a small space of air. This space will be enough to seal the beer as if it came from a professional brewery.
Part Four: Let it Age
At this point, you might want to chill and drink right away, but good alcohol takes time.
After sealing your beer, we recommend setting it in a cool place for 1-2 weeks (this will depend on the type of beer you’re brewing.)
The aging process also assists in the carbonation process.
After your wait period, then your ready to put some beers in the fridge and get ready to crack a cold one.
Part Five: Let’s Celebrate
The moment you’ve been waiting for! Crack open a can and enjoy the sound of the popping carbonation.
Take a sip and enjoy!
PRO-TIP: Like any beer, once it’s opened it’s opened. If you brew a growler or a howler, don’t try to reseal the beer’s lid as a way to preserve it. It will become flat over a few hours and all your hard work will go to waste!
We recommend starting with bottles, and when you have a recipe you know is a success, then break out the howlers and growlers.
We hope this guide on how to brew your own beer at home has been easy and helpful! And we hope you create the next great homebrew! For more of our content, check out our blog page.
If you’d like to reach out and say hello (or maybe you have a beer you’d like us to try!) visit our contact page. We’re here to help you enjoy your life to the fullest!