According to statistics, the United States ranks 17th in the world for beer consumption. If you’re a beer enthusiast looking to create your very own pale ale or you’re looking for a way to save money during high inflation rates, brewing your own beer might be on your to-do list.
But before you dive right in, you might be wondering whether brewing your own beer is really that hard. Read on to find out…
Luckily for budding beer brewing enthusiasts, getting hold of the right ingredients is simple. Most things you’ll be able to pick up at a local supermarket or online. All you need to get started is:
- Dried hops
- Malt extract
- Ale yeast
Once you’ve been to your local supermarket to get some supplies, you’ll need to get the right equipment for the job at hand. Most things you can find in a home brewing beer kit. If you’re buying everything separately, you’ll need:
- A brewing kettle
- A fermenter and airlock
- A funnel – this is optional, but it’ll help keep your kitchen free of mess
- A sanitizer
- An auto-siphon
- A stir spoon
- A trusty beer recipe
You’ll also need a thermocouple so you can measure the temperature of your beer during the fermentation process.
- The process
Once you’ve got all the gear, it’s time to start brewing. Beer-making is a fine art, so it’s okay if you don’t get it right the first time.
There are the five key steps to take if you’re going to brew a pint you’ll be proud of:
- Sanitizing – Arguably the most important aspect of brewing is sanitizing. While it might not be the most thrilling part of brewing, it’s important. If you have a contaminated batch of beer, you’ll need to start from scratch. So, it’s well worth taking the time to sanitize everything properly from the off.
- Mashing – Next up is mashing. This is a fancy name for the process where the enzymes in the grain convert starches into sugars, which can then transform into alcohol. Using a mash tun, the grains are submerged in warm water for an hour. Once the hour is up, the mashed grains are rinsed with warm water to extract the sugar from the grains.
- Wort boiling – As well as sanitizing and concentrating the beer, wort boiling helps control your beer’s flavor. Now’s the time to add hops, too.
- Fermentation – During the fermentation process, the yeast converts the sugar in the wort to alcohol and CO2. To ensure a stellar result, it’s important to control the temperature and fermenting time.
- Bottling and kegging – Now it’s time to bottle and keg your beer! Bottling tends to be the cheaper and easier option for novice beer brewers. Kegging is usually reserved for more experienced brewers.
Now all that’s left to do is grab a bottle opener and invite your friends round for a BBQ – you’ve just brewed your first beer!