How to Start Brewing Beer
You like to drink beer- but buying it all the time can be quite expensive. That is why the experts at Beer Brewing Made Easy encourage you to make your own. After all, it’s much less expensive, and tons of fun! Plus- you’ll most likely end up with a brew that is so much better than anything you can buy. Following are the basic steps to getting started with brewing your own beer!
First of all, you will need to gather your supplies- ingredients and equipment. You can find out more about those at Beer Brewing Made Easy. Then, just take your time going through the following steps:
Any experienced home brewer will tell you- most of your success will come from making sure that everything that comes into contact with your beer is clean and sanitized. The best way to do this is to put everything in your dishwasher and set it on the high heat setting, or use a powdered cleanser such as Powdered Brewery Wash. You never want to use a scrubber because it will scratch the surface of the item you’re scrubbing- which opens it up for bacteria to move in and start growing. Then, it’s nearly impossible to sanitize it.
Make sure that you use distilled water for rinsing- never assume that tap water is sufficient for rinsing equipment used for brewing. If you plan to use bleach to sanitize your equipment, you want to add one ounce bleach to five gallons of water. Then, add one ounce of white vinegar to the bleach/water mixture- never mix bleach and vinegar first. The vinegar helps make the water acidic, which helps with the sanitization process.
However, you must keep in mind that bleach can leave behind undesirable flavors- so it may be best to use a food grade cleanser/sanitizer, which you can learn about at Beer Brewing Made Easy.
When it comes to brewing your own beer- there are not many rules. However, it is critical that you do take the time to sanitize everything.
Before you get started with your brewing, you want to make sure to prepare everything- including taking the time to sanitize as mentioned above. This also means that you need to prepare/measure your ingredients ahead of time too.
When you’re getting started, make sure to grab a notebook and take notes along the way. After all, you don’t want to be successful and then not remember what you did- and you don’t want to repeat the same mistakes next time around.
You should place your grains in a bag and steep them in a stock pot of hot water. Once steeped, throw out the grains. When you remove the grain bag- do not squeeze it, let it drip.
Now, you’re going to add your malt and bring things to a boil. Hops will be added at a variety of intervals to add aroma, bitterness, or flavor- and this will be specified in the instructions that come with your kit/recipe. This becomes what is known as wort.
Generally, if you add the hops early, it will result in bitter beer- which means less flavor/aroma. On the other hand, if you add your hops near the end of the process, it will mean more flavor/aroma and less bitterness.
After you have boiled your wort the specified amount of time, you are going to chill it as quickly as possible, which usually means placing it in an ice bath. You can stir it gently to help speed up the process, but you don’t want to aerate or splash it while it’s hot. Once it’s cooled to around 80 degrees, you can put it in the fermenter.
Now, you will pour the wort into the fermenter- this is the only time splashing is encouraged (after cooling and before the fermentation process begins). The yeast needs the oxygen and splashing will do just that. Once the process of fermentation starts, you’ll want to minimize the exposure to air.
Use a large strainer to scoop out the hops and add enough water to make 5 gallons. Now, it’s time to add the yeast. You may need to “bloom” it first, but you may not- check the label or Beer Brewing Made Easy for more information.
Place the lid on your fermenter and attach the air lock. Then, place it in a dark area that has a fairly consistent temp. in about 24 hours, you’ll see the air lock bubbling. However, if you don’t see any action after 48 hours, you may have dead yeast.