Step by Step Guide to Brew Your Own Beer At Home
If you have ever thought about making your own beer, now is the time to go for it. It is not as difficult as you may think. It will save you a lot of money over time and it tastes just as good as the beer you buy at the store. Not the cheap beer either, but the nice specialty beer.
To start your own beer brewing, you do have to buy some special equipment. As with any hobby the cost of the equipment can vary, but a basic beer making kit and bottles can be purchased for under $200. If you have a few dozen bottles left over from store bought beer, you can reuse these for your own beer to save money. This might seem like a lot, but this is everything you need to get started and you will recover your costs quickly in savings over store bought beer. There are various places from which to get the equipment, mostly online, but we have since found a local place that carries everything you need. Check your phone directory, you might be surprised to find a beer making place near you. We have had good luck online with Monster Brew.
Once you have the basic tools it’s time to get the ingredients. These can be purchased in kits or individually. If you are just starting and don’t know much about the process or the science of brewing beer I would advise getting a kit. The kits will come with all the ingredients needed and instructions to follow.
The first step is the making of the “mort”. This is done by boiling water and adding malt extract, hops and other ingredients. A large pot is helpful for this. The kind of beer you are making will determine the amount of ingredients that need to be used. Once all the ingredients are combined into the mort, the mort is poured into the fermenting bucket and water added. Yeast is added and the top is sealed. There is a 3 piece airlock valve on the top to see whether the mort has begun bubbling. It should bubble throughout the fermenting process.
After about a week (read the instructions on the package) the beer is now ready to be bottled. There are various techniques for this, but it will depend on your equipment. If you buy a starter kit, you will be sure to have everything you need. The mort is siphoned into a bottling bucket. This bucket will have a spicket near the bottom to do this easily. While the mort is being siphoned into the bottling bucket, sugar water is added. This will interact with the mort after bottling to affect the alcohol content as well as make it carbonated. The bottling is easy if you have a good bottle filler and capper, this is definitely worth the investment. Once the beer has been bottled it needs to sit for a week or two (each beer calls for a different amount of time) before it is ready to be consumed.
You will usually get five gallons of beer or around fifty bottles for the price of a case of beer at the store. For us it took just three rounds of beer making to recover our initial investment in the equipment. If you drink a lot of beer and like the expensive specialty kind, then making your own beer is a great way to save money. It might seem intimidating at first, but if you can read a recipe then you can make your own beer. You might even find you enjoy it – I know we do.