How To...

How To Brew Your Own Beer

Whipping up home-made beer can be fun and educational. By brewing in your own home on your own terms, you can definitely benefit and avoid the common 6-pack.

How To Brew.

You can brew your own beer two different ways - In the comfort of your home or at a“Beer on Premises” establishment, also known as BOP. These businesses provide all the required brewing equipment, beer ingredients, with important directions and instructions on how to brew your beer. This method is proven to be a bit more costly than home-brewing because BOP establishments are generally renting their space and equipment to beer enthusiasts, as yourself. They are also limited, by law, to the amount of direction and information given by their staff. So, needless to say, home-brewing can save time and money for the novice brewer.

SYRUP Magazine has generated easy step-by-step instructions on how to brew home-made beer.

  1. Buy Home-Brewing Equipment
  2. Select a Recipe and Purchase the Ingredients
  3. Brew Some Beer
  4. Allow the Beer to Ferment
  5. Enjoy Your Home-Brew.

1. Buy Home-Brewing Equipment

You will need the following items before the brewing process begins. You can purchase these items from our online or from your local brewing supply store.

  • Brewpot
  • Primary fermenter
  • Airlock and stopper
  • Plastic hose
  • Bottling bucket
  • Bottles
  • Bottle Brush
  • Bottle Capper (if glass bottles are being used)
  • Stick-On thermometer
  • Household Items

2. Select a Recipe and Purchase the Ingredients

Depending on how experienced you are in the art of brewing, you may want to try a recipe that allows you to deal with loose ingredients. Or you may want to purchase an entire kit that will include everything you need.

Home-Brewers usually purchase beer kits, just to keep the simplicity. Beer kits contain specific recipes for certain type of beers. They also consist of the basic necessary ingredients, hopped malt concentrate and a packet of yeast. You will need to purchase fermentables, the ingredients that make the alcohol in beer. Some fermentables include brewers sugar, dry malt extract, liquid malt extract, rice syrup, and Belgian candy sugar. You will need at least two pounds, but not more than three.

3. Brew Some Beer

Cleanliness is extremely important in brewing the perfect batch of beer. Bacteria and fungi can ruin your beer if it is not completely removed from your brewing equipment. You must clean and sanitize all your equipment.

To make beer from a beer kit:
  • Steam 2 quarts of water to 160-180F, then remove from heat.
  • Add your beer kit ingredients and fermentables according to the directions. Each variety of fermentable will contain a unique flavor.
  • Stir the ingredients together, make sure everything gets dissolved. Put a lid on the pot and let it sit for 10-15 minutes on low heat.
  • Add the contents of your port to 4 gallons of cold water already in your primary fermenter. Mix well, this will add oxygen to your wort before you add the yeast. When the side of the fermenter feels cool, it is a sign to add the yeast. Some kits recommend re-hydrating your yeast in water, but it is not necessary.

4. Allow the beer to ferment

At this stage, wort (ingredients combined, but not quite beer) has been made. It will begin to ferment within the first day and continue to do so for the next 3-5 days. You can tell the wort is fermenting when you see air bubbles rising up through the water. We suggest you check your beer everyday after the initial five days to see if it is still fermenting. If the water in the airlock is still bubbling, the beer needs a little more time. Not allowing so can result in ruining your beer and your bottles may explode. As bubbling stops or slows down, primary fermentation is completed and it is ready for bottling.

More Fermentation

This second stage fermentation takes place in the bottles. That is why it is important for your bottles, as well as all your equipment, to be completely spotless and germ-free.

  • You will need pure dextrose, to make a priming solution. This allows the remaining yeast in your beer to carbonate. Put 3 cups of water into a saucepan and dissolve ¾ cup of dextrose in it. Bring it to boil, then cover it and set it aside and let cool for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • After the solution has cooled, pour it into the bottling bucket. Then use the hose and allow the beer in the primary fermenter to flow freely into the bottling bucket.
  • Hook up the plastic hose to the spigot on the bottling bucket and line up all the bottles on a level surface. You are ready to bottle your beer. Stick the hose in the bottle and fill. Leave about one inch of airspace at the top of the bottle.
  • After all the bottles have been filled, you must cap them as soon as possible. They are vulnerable to dust and bacteria if they are left in the open air. Check all bottles for leakage and re-cap if necessary.
  • Find a cool, dark place to store the bottles while they are in their second fermentation stage. Any location is good as long as it is a steady temperature of 60-70 degrees. Now you should wait for a minimum of two weeks before you can have a drink fest.

5. Enjoy your Home-Brew

After week one of waiting, check the beer to see if the cloudiness caused by the yeast has cleared. Once you can see clarity, put your beer in the refrigerator. It is now ready to be consumed.