There’s no bottle of brew that tastes quite as good as the one you’ve made yourself. It's also a fun hobby. So what are you waiting for? Here’s how to brew your own beer.
There’s some equipment you are going to need. You should be able to pick it all up for under $200, and it’s not hard to find. Any local brewing supply store or online brewing site will have everything you need which includes:
Airlock and stopper
Thermometer – the stick-on type is best
Wooden mixing spoons
The easiest way, especially for beginners, is to pick up a beer kit. It will contain all the needed ingredients, which include yeast and hopped malt concentrate. You also need to buy fermentables, which are what add the different flavors to your brew. Of course you can buy your ingredients separately, but the kit is a foolproof way to get everything you need.
You will need to sanitize all your equipment. In fact, it’s the most important thing you will do. Clean everything with hot soapy water. Then you need to sanitize all your equipment by using either the iodine solution or chlorine solution that came with your brewing equipment.
Now that everything is sterilized, you are ready to start. Put two quarts of water in your brew pot; then heat to around 180F or until it steams; then remove it from the heat. Add your beer kit and fermentables. Follow the instructions provided with your kit.
Stir until everything is dissolved; then put the lid on and leave it sit for 20 minutes on low heat. Add your mix, which is called the wort, to the fermenter which should be filled with four gallons of water. Stir for 4 minutes. This oxygenizes the mixture. When the wort is cool to the touch you can add your yeast.
Now it’s time to let your wort ferment. The process starts right away and continues for 5 days. During this period it’s important to keep the temperature constant, around 65F, and to keep your wort in a dark place. You’ll be able to tell when your wort is fermenting because you will see tiny little air bubbles rising to the top.
When 5 day arrives you need to start checking your beer each day. When there are no more air bubbles your beer is ready to bottle. Don’t be impatient. If you don’t wait for the fermenting to complete you’ll wreck your beer’s taste.
Before you bottle you have to prepare what’s called the primary solution. This is what carbonates the beer. In your saucepan add 2 cups of water and ¾ cup dextrose. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and then let it cool for 30 minutes. Pour it into the bottling bucket.
Attach the hose to the spigot on your fermenter and put the other end of the hose in your bottling bucket. Open the spigot and transfer your beer over to the bottling bucket. When done, detach and clean the hose and toss the fermenter. Fill each bottle leaving 1” of air at the top. Cap securely and make sure there are no leaks.
Wait, it’s not quite time to drink it yet. You need to put your bottled beer in a cool dark place for the second fermentation process. Don’t put it in the fridge as that’s too cold. Basements work great. It now needs to sit for 2 more weeks. And then it will be time to enjoy!