Do you love beer and want to learn more about it?
You’ve been on every brewery tour and listen intently. Unlike other people, you’re not just waiting for the free tasting at the end.
Even if you think you know it all, you can’t be a beer expert until you make it yourself.
Worried that making beer at home is too complicated and expensive? Think again!
This is a hobby that anyone can enjoy. You can find the ingredients online or in specialty stores. Plus, most of the equipment you need is probably already sitting right there in your kitchen.
Brewing your own beer at home has never been easier. Check out this complete guide to brewing beer at home for beginners.
What You’ll Need
Before you get started, gather all the equipment and ingredients you need. You can either get these things individually or make it easier on yourself and get a brewing kit. Click here for a 5 gallon kit that’s perfect for the first time brew master.
Keep in mind, it’s important that you thoroughly clean and sanitize your equipment before using it. You don’t want anyone getting sick from your beer!
- Freezer Bags
- Rolling Pin
- Brew Pot
- 6+ Gallon Fermentation Bottle
- Siphon and Tubing
- Large Bottling Container
These ingredients are all you need to make a standard, no frills ale. Once you get more experienced, you can start trying out different ingredients and recipes.
- 5 Gallons of Water
- 6 Pounds Dried Malt Extract
- 16 Ounces Crushed Crystal Malt
- 2 Ounces of Brewer Pellet Hops
- 1 Packages of Brewers Yeast
- 3/4 Cup Sugar
Beginner’s 5 Gallon Brewing Method
5 gallons is the standard brewing size for most beginner home brewers. However, if you want to start smaller, you can easily make just a 2.5 gallon batch.
Crush the Grain
In this first step, you’ll need your freezer bag, the crystal malt, and the rolling pin. Put the crystal malt inside the freezer bag and seal it tightly. Then, use the rolling pin to crush up the malt.
If there’s not enough room in the freezer bag, add half at a time. Break up the crystal malt until it’s a course texture.
Heat it Up
Now you’ll be steeping the malt like tea. You can use a kitchen strainer or you could use a muslin bag instead.
Pour your 5 gallons of water into your brew pot, and put it over a burner. Using your kitchen thermometer, bring the water to about 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
Either drop in your tied-off muslin bag of crystal malt or dump in the loose malt. Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and set a timer for 30 minutes.
When it’s done, fish out the muslin bag or use the strainer to collect as much of the loose malt as you can.
Add the Malt and Hops
The next step is to bring this water mixture to a boil. When it does, turn off the heat and stir in the dried malt extract. When it’s combined, bring the water back to a boil.
While you’re boiling, watch the pot carefully. The last thing you want is for it to boil over. You’ll have a sticky mess all over your kitchen!
When the boil is low and controlled, add half of the hops. Let it continue to boil for an hour. Then, turn off the heat and add the rest of the hops.
Cover the pot and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
Cool the Wort
During this step, you’ll be cooling down this heated mixture. Beer makers in the know call it “cooling the wort.” The wort is just the name for beer that has yet to be fermented.
The faster you can cool the wort, the better it is for your beer. There are devices that will bring the temperature down quickly, but they’re pricey. You can wait and save up for one and use your sink in the meantime.
Plug up your sink and fill it halfway with cold water and ice. Carefully put the brew pot in the ice bath. Add more ice to the water as it melts.
Don’t touch the wort to see if it’s cold enough. If the brew pot is cool, it’s ready to take out.
It’s time to pour the wort into the fermentation bottle. For this step, you’ll obviously need the bottle, plus your strainer and funnel.
But hold on right there! Before you do another thing, are those three pieces of equipment sanitized? If you’re not sure, do it right now.
This is a crucial step that cannot be skipped!
Once that’s done, put your funnel in the top of the fermentation bottle. Put the strainer over the funnel and pour the wort. You might want a second set of hands to help you so you don’t spill.
Pitch the Yeast
When the wort is room temperature, you can now “pitch” or add the yeast. One package of yeast is enough for a 5 gallon wort. If you’ve made a 2.5 gallon batch, only use half the package.
Now close up the fermentation bottle and store it somewhere cool and dark for 10 days. After about a day or two, you’ll start to see it bubbling and working its magic.
Carbonating and Bottling
Before the beer is ready to drink, you have to “prime” it.
To do this, boil the sugar in 2 cups of water until it’s dissolved. When it’s cooled down, put the sugar in the other container. Using the siphon and tubing, siphon the beer from the fermentation bottle to the container.
From this container, you can transfer the beer into sanitized bottles. After capping off the bottles, let them age for 10 days before opening and enjoying!
Brewing Beer from Home is Easy!
Brewing beer on your own is a fun and easy hobby to start. As you learn more about how to do it, you can experiment with all kinds of flavors. You’ll enjoy doing it and your friends and family will enjoy drinking it.
Taking on a hobby is a great way to increase the happiness and fulfillment in your life. If you want to learn about other ways to get happy, check out this article.