Make your own beer – Ingredients
Beer consists essentially of malt, sugar and water. The sugar ferments into alcohol with the aid of yeast. The simple way to start is to buy a beer kit. The main part of the beer kit is a can of malt. The kit will also contain the yeast you need. You will have to provide the sugar yourself – any supermarket sugar will do.
To make your own beer, a little bit of equipment is required. As you progress in your hobby you can buy more things, but to start with you need a large plastic bucket, and some plastic tubing for siphoning. You will also need bottles, or else a barrel, for the secondary fermentation. The plastic bucket can be obtained from a beer making supplier, and should come with a lid. Normally they hold about 5 gallons.
The most important thing about making beer at home is cleanliness. Do not be tempted to skimp on this otherwise your wonderful brew will quickly turn to vinegar and be undrinkable. So everything has to be well sterilized. The chemicals for this can be got from brewing suppliers but you can also use the same chemicals that are sold for cleaning babies feeding equipment – this may be easier to find.
Make Your Own Beer – Instructions
You now have your ingredients and are ready to do what it takes to make your own beer, so it is important to follow the instructions on the kit – this means boiling up the malt and sugar with water until you have a well-mixed beery “soup”. Pour this into the bucket, and then top up with the right quantity of cold water, according to the instructions. The mixture needs to be neither too hot nor too cold. Then – and not before – sprinkle on the yeast. Put the lid on the barrel and leave in a warm place. If the mixture gets too cold then the fermentation will not get going or will stop. Usually this stage takes about two weeks.
When fermentation has stopped, you need to siphon the mixture into bottles or a barrel, usually adding a little extra sugar. If you use bottles, make sure they are proper beer bottles that can withstand the pressure that will be caused by the continuing fermentation. Plastic bottles and cheap glass bottles are liable to explode! With a barrel, you may want to fit a pressurizing canister of carbon dioxide to keep your beer fizzy as the barrel empties – but this is up to you. The main thing, again, is that be sure that everything is scrupulously clean.
Make your own beer – Conclusion
Within a few more weeks your beer will be ready to enjoy. As you progress with making beer you will want to try different malt mixtures. There are many different types available, each with its distinctive taste. Remember that it is illegal to sell your beer, but there’s nothing to stop you having friends round to sample your great new product. Make your own beer today, and enjoy!