Congratulations on your interest in homemade beer! You have joined the ranks of thousands of men and women across the country that enjoys this American pastime. Below you’ll find a five-step process for making beer at home to get you started.
The five-step process for making beer at home is simple: brewing, fermenting, priming and bottling, aging and enjoying! This step-by-step overview is not meant to be exhaustive but to give you a general overview of what to expect before the brewing begins.
During the brewing process your goal is to get the entire bitter flavoring out of the hops. You’ll begin by boiling water, extracting the wort from malted barley, re-hydrating the dry yeast and cooling the entire mixture. You’ll typically perform all of this on the stove pot over a sturdy metal pot. You don’t want to rush this process!
After the mixture has cooled, you’ll being the process of fermentation. This is an important part for making beer at home and you’ll need to pull out your fermentation bucket to accomplish it. Combining the yeast and the wort (with the hops) into the bucket it’s time to wait. Put the brew into a secure location, place the airlock firmly in place and practice a little patience. You do not want to disturb the mixture for two more weeks so make sure it is tucked away somewhere safe with a stable temperature of around sixty-five to seventy degrees Fahrenheit.
Priming and Bottling
This is the exciting stage as you are about to create nice, fizzy beer for your enjoyment! Keep in mind that a 5 gallon batch of beer can typically produce anywhere from forty to forty-eight bottles of beer. Remember that you can easily recycle old beer bottles, just be sure they are cleaned out. If you want carbonated beer then you’ll need to add what is referred to a priming sugar. When sugar is added back into the beer it will release a natural carbonation as it causes a slight re-fermentation to occur. There are many recipes available for priming sugars so use the one that’s best for you.
After the priming sugar has been added you are ready to fill the bottles, which is the third step in the process of making beer at home. Using your siphon and bottle filling wand, fill each bottle and cap immediately. No matter how careful you are it is likely a small amount of beer will spill so keep a towel handy.
You might be ready to drink your beer now but the bottles need time to carbonate. This should take another two weeks or so before you can consume. Once again you’ll have to practice the most important aspect in the process of making beer at home: patience! They need the same temperature consistency as during the fermenting stage so tuck them away someplace nice and warm.
While some people like lukewarm beer, most feel the beverage is consumed best when ice cold. Once your beer is done aging, stick it in the fridge overnight to enjoy the next day. Then, kick back, relax and reward all of your hard work with an ice cold refreshing beer!