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How to Make Beer at Home

Making beer at home can be a fun, creative activity for beer lovers. You can experiment endlessly with different recipes and you have complete control in the ingredients. Some may be intimidated by the process, and that is why this article is here for. Here is everything you need to know about making beer at home in 10 simple steps.

What You Need:

  • Kettle or brewing pot
  • Fermenter, like a big carboy
    or water bottle with more than 5 gallons of capacity
  • Siphon/Tubing
  • Cleaner and sanitizer
  • Kitchen thermometer
  • Rolling pin
  • Freezer bag
  • Bottling bucket
  • Airlock
  • Bottles and caps
  • Muslin bag/strainer
  • A heat source big enough to boil gallons of water
  • 5 gallons of water
  • 6 lbs dried malt extract
  • 2 oz beer hops of your choice
  • 15 oz malt
  • 1 package yeast
  • Sugar

You can get most or all of these items readily by buying a beer making kit, but keep in mind that they usually cost more than buying the pieces individually, but they make up for it with convenience.

Clean and Sanitize All Your Equipment

1. Clean and Sanitize All Your Equipment

Doesn’t matter if all of your equipment is brand new. Always clean and sanitize your beer making equipment beforehand. By doing this, you ensure that fermentation will take place in a clean environment, thus preventing any unwanted, strange tastes from unknown bacteria during weeks of fermentation.

2. Crush the Grains

Put your malt in a freezer bag and seal it. Then, use your rolling pin to moderately crush the malt. You don’t have to go all out, just be sure that the shells of the grains are cracked.

Add the Malt Extract and Boil the Wort

3. Steep the Grains

Add water to the brewing pot. You can either add the grains to the water in a muslin bag or put the grains to the water directly. Then, heat the water until its temperature goes up to 160-170 degrees. At this temperature, stir and steep the grains for about 30 minutes. If you used a bag, don’t squeeze it after taking it from the water. If you poured the grains directly, use a strainer to strain as much grain as possible.

4. Add the Malt Extract and Boil the Wort

Add the specified amount of malt extract to the mix and heat the water slowly until it boils. Be careful not to boil it too much, otherwise you can lose too much water and end up with a sticky mixture. Your mixture now is called “wort”, which is basically unfermented beer.

Add the Hops

5. Add the Hops

Add the specified amount of malt extract to the mix and heat the water slowly until it boils. Be careful not to boil it too much, otherwise you can lose too much water and end up with a sticky mixture. Your mixture now is called “wort”, which is basically unfermented beer.

Cool the Wort

6. Cool the Wort

Now, you have to cool your wort as fast as possible. You can wait for it to cool down on its own for hours, but this will result in more dimethyl sulfide being produced, causing unwanted taste and smell in your beer. You can cool the wort fast by either putting the pot in a sink filled with ice water or by using a wort chiller. You certainly do not need a wort chiller, especially during your first home brew, since it is more of a luxury.

7. Transfer the Wort to the Fermenter

Use the siphon and tubing to safely extract the wort to the fermentation vessel. Preferably, it should be slightly bigger than our total batch volume, but don’t worry if it isn’t since the airlock will let the carbon dioxide escape while keeping other stuff out, preventing excessive internal pressure. After extracting all of the wort to the fermenter, mount the airlock to the cap of the fermenter, but don’t seal the fermenter yet.

Add the Yeast and Seal It

8. Add the Yeast and Seal It

After you make sure your wort is cooled to around 70 Fahrenheit degrees, add 1 package of yeast to the wort. Seal it off with the cap with airlock on it and let the yeast do its job for 10-14 days in a steady room temperature. During this time, yeast will consume the sugars in the wort and convert it into alcohol, creating beer.

9. Carbonate Your Beer

After 10-14 days, you will have drinkable beer, but it will be flat and uncarbonated. To carbonate your beer, mix 6 tablespoons of sugar with 2 cups of water and boil it for 5 minutes. Clean and sanitize the siphon, tubes and the big brewing pot we used earlier and add the sugary water to the pot. Then, siphon the beer from fermenter to the brewing pot while trying to take as little sediment as possible. Your beer is now ready for bottling.

Bottle and Age Your Beer

10. Bottle and Age Your Beer

First, clean and sanitize the bottles. If you do not have a sanitizer, you can do this by filling them with water diluted bleach and letting it sit for 30 minutes. To fill the bottles, first attach the siphon hose to the faucet of the bucket, and then attach the bottle filler to the hose’s other end. Then insert the bottle filler into a beer bottle and open the spigot. Fill the bottles near to the top and cap them with caps and a capper. Lastly, let the beers age in room temperature for about 7-10 days. Congratulations, your beer is ready!

Try Something New

Check out our beer recipes.

Beer Recipes
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