How to Get Started Brewing Beer at Home

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image: Mikhail Olykainen

Beer is prevalent all over the world. From German lagers, hoppy American ales and English porters, there’s a beer for any and all tastes. However, with such oversaturation in the market, why not make a beer that’s extra special—for you and by you. Surprisingly, it’s not that hard to start brewing.

To get started, gather these items:

  • Large pot
  • Plastic siphon hose
  • Fermenter with air lock
  • Bottling bucket with spigot
  • Hydrometer
  • Mixing spoon
  • Sanitizer powder

You may have some of these items at home already, but if not, buying a homebrewing kit may be the easiest choice. You can get one here or here.

image: Briana May

Next, choose a recipe. A standard IPA recipe is a great for novices. Beer is simply a combination of malt, yeast, hops and water, and following a recipe will help you figure out what works best with what. If going to a beer supply store is too overwhelming, there are kits like this one that have everything you’ll need.

Once you have all the equipment and approximately two weeks of time on your hands, the first step is to sanitize all of your items to avoid any weird aftertaste. Then it’s time to prepare the wort, the liquid extract that’ll be fermented into alcohol. Be sure to follow the precise directions in your recipe—you basically heat up a mesh bag of malt with water and let it steep. Keeping with the temperatures and time frame in your recipe, start adding the malt extract, hops and anything else in your recipe that you may need.

image: J Visentin

After the wort has cooled down in an ice batch, transfer it to a fermentor (for you, it might be a fermentation bucket), and top with water. This is when you add the yeast. After sanitizing the area, add the yeast to your fermenter, and shake or swill the bottle vigorously. Leave it to ferment for 10 to 14 days in a dark, cool place.

That’s it! You’ve just brewed your own beer! Now you just have to figure out how to bottle it.

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