Saturday, 9 March 2013

Home Brewing Guide

So you are sick of spending so much money on water down beer from the supermarket and you fancy throwing a little party of your own? Well home brewing is a great hobby and it is relatively simple to do. The entire process from start to end will take around 4 weeks till the tasting begins but the work involved is around a few hours.


You will find complex instructions on how to make different types of beer and the taste you wish to produce but it can be broken down into 4 simple steps:

Sanitise your equipment
You have bought your kit and ready to go? Not quite. You need to ensure all the equipment is sterile before you begin, as it will be left fermenting for a couple of weeks it may start to grow mould if you do not properly sanitise the kit. To do this you can buy cleaning products and seperate the kit from metal and plastics. Metal can be boiled to sterilise but obviously plastic will melt so you will have to use a bleech based cleaning product.

Brewing
This is the process of making your raw product, often referred to as the Wort, tasty sounding I know. Crush your grains and put your grains in a net bag (like a big tea bag) and place in your heated water for about 25 minutes. The water should be 2 litres and heated to 65*C. Rinse the grains with a further 4 litres of heated water and then you may discard the grains. Bring this to the boil before adding your salts or hops. This boiling should be left for around an hour, near the end of the process you can add your extract for taste (spices or fruit) and any aromatic hops. Add a further 4 litres of cool water and your yeast, placing it all into your fermenter.

Fermenting
Your fermentor will likely be a big plastic keg. This will have an airlock to stop air getting in and causing mould etc. Place your brew into this fermentor via the airlock and then close it up. Remember to store this in a cool dry place not in direct sunlight. The temperature should be kept constant to ensure best results so do not place next to fire or heating source.

Bottling
After two weeks you will notice some bubbles around the airlock. This is an indication you are ready to bottle it up. Priming sugar is used to add to the mix before bottling. Once you bottle (ensuring they are sterile) you can put on the lids and store for a further 2 weeks. You may notice some sediment is at the bottom of each bottle, this is the yeast which can be very bitter tasting so either ensure well mixed or discard before finishing.

You are now ready to start the process again.

Well done enjoy getting drunk!