Brewing your own beer can be one of the most interesting things one can do at home. However, some people get confused when deciding the kind of beer to brew and what they need to get started. Most of them end up spending a lot of money when getting the equipment they need, not knowing that they need a couple of things to effectively brew their own beers.
Even though the equipment required depends on the type of drink that you want to brew, such as ciders, wines, and beers, the objective in all of them is to ensure that sugar as well as flavour is extracted from their sources and then let yeast do its work. You can choose between commercial brewing equipment and microbrewery equipment to gets started with beer brewing at home, depending on your requirements.
It is also important to note that apart from the brewing equipment and ingredients, you will need an adequate space where you can brew from without any interruptions. Brewing beer might mean that you have to boil large volumes of sticky liquid, meaning that you need to be careful when choosing the brewing space.
Methods of Brewing Beer
There are three different ways you can brew your own beer. These include;
This process involves buying malt extract in the form of powder or syrup. Having the malt extract means that you will not go through the mash process. This simplifies the brewing process, but you will need to take care of hop additions during the boiling process.
All Grain Brewing
All grain brewing involves using malt for brewing, meaning that you will go through the mash, sparge, and boiling processes. The mashing process is where you steep malted grain to get the required brewing sugars. The sparging process involves rinsing the malted grain to get all the sugars out. Even though this process is flexible because you can get the exact volumes you want, it is one of the most difficult.
This is the simplest process of brewing beer on your own, also known as extract brewing. You only need to buy the malt syrup that comes with hop extracts meaning that you do not go through the boiling process. All you have to do is make sure that the syrup is well diluted, then give it time to ferment. You can then bottle your beer after it ferments.
What Do You Need to Get Started?
There are different beer-making kits for homebrewers, but generally, you will need a couple of equipment. These include;
• Fermenting bucket
• Beer kit
• A siphon or tap
• A stirrer (Make sure it is long enough)
• Bottle stick
• A Capper
• Cleaning materials and sanitizers
Getting the equipment mentioned above should not cost a lot of money. In addition, you will only get this equipment when brewing for the first time. You can use the same equipment if you decide to brew again.
Apart from brewing your own beer, you can also get official kits that allow you to make beers from recognized breweries. This works for those that want to recreate an already existing beer. However, there are only a few breweries that allow this.
All you need to do is look for a beer kit from that particular brewer whose beer you want to recreate. The kit will come with the required ingredients – a malt can with yeast sachets and hop oils.
To recreate a beer, you get the right volume and ratios of the ingredients, mix them in cold and hot water, add yeast to the mixture, and then let the beer ferment. Before starting any process, you need to sanitize and make sure that all the equipment you are using is clean.
A fermenting bucket is one of the most important things you need when brewing your own beer. When buying it, make sure that the one you choose has the capacity to hold twenty liters of beer since most ingredients and recipes allow one to brew that capacity.
In addition, you will need a bucket that has a lid since you are not supposed to leave the bucket open when your beer is fermenting. There are fermenting buckets that come with a lid on the side, while others come with an attached lid.
To save money, you can get a fermenting bucket with a fitted airlock on the lid and a tap fitted on the bottom of the bucket. This will all depend on your budget, but if you have enough money, get a fermenting bucket with both the lid and airlock attached, and with a tap on the bottom.
Even though the airlock is not essential, especially for those with limited budgets, it works well when letting Carbon IV Oxide out. If you do not have an airlock, you can leave the lid slightly open.
When getting a stirrer, you need to make sure that you get one that is long enough since you will be stirring boiling and sticky liquid. Remember to sanitize it before stirring your beer. If you are using the kit brew discussed above, the stirrer will be used when mixing hot water with the extracts of malt before fermentation. Also, avoid using wooden stirrers since they may harbor microbes, spoiling the beer before it even ferments.
Fermenting Your Beer
This is the most important process when brewing your own beer. After adding all the ingredients as well as the yeast according to the recipe, you need to let the beer ferment.
Using the fermentation bucket discussed above, you need to cover the bucket with the lid and snuggly fit the airlock. It is important to ensure that the inside of the bucket does not have a direct connection with the outside air. Also, do not overfill the bucket since the beer might be forced out by the escaping gas.
Bottling and Packing Your Beer
Finally, after your beer has fermented, you might need to bottle or pack it. This is another step that depends on your budget.
You can get a beer tap system that allows you to serve the beers using the system, or use bottles instead. You can read more about beer tap systems in this guide by Untappd.
You can get affordable bottles for this process. When bottling the beer, remember to prime it with sugar. Priming is the process of adding some sugar to bottled beer. This gives it enough food and makes it even better.
After priming it, cap the bottles using a bottle capper. Again, remember to clean and sanitize both the bottles and their caps.
Brew Your Own Beer
Are you thinking of brewing your own beer? If you are, then make sure that you get the things discussed in this article. Most homebrew beginners stop brewing especially due to wrong equipment, not following guides, and doing things their own way.
Brewing your own beer is good and can help in many situations. For instance, if you are holding a party for family and friends, you might spend more money buying beer and drinks for them compared to brewing one for them. In addition, you can get the required licenses and monetize your hobby, getting an extra revenue-generating avenue.
At home, you can make experiment with preparing ginger bear, too. Check out how to make ginger beer here.