Make Your Own Beer
So you want to learn how to make beer without any fuss? It's actually quite simple! With a basic knowledge of the process of fermentation and carbonation, and a little advice from your local brew store, you can make your own beer and have it ready to drink within one month. The key is beer kits. There are a variety of beer kits on the market today, and they come in many flavors and sizes. The easiest kind of beer kit to use is the 3 gallon beer bag variety, which takes little more effort than pouring boiling water into a bag, hanging the bag up on your wall, and then adding yeast once it has cooled down.
With a little more effort, you can have a larger array of ales to choose from to make your own beer. These beer brewing kits are available at your local brew shop or at HomeBrewing.com, and they allow you more freedom to choose the exact kind of beer that you want to drink. These kits require a few more tools, however, such as a 3 gallon brewing kettle, carboys (glass jars used as fermentation vessels), airlocks for the carboys, and bottling supplies.
If you are a beginner, we advise you to go to your local brew store and meet some local home brewers. This will enable you to reap the benefits of the collective knowledge of the employees of the brew store, who are usually very friendly and helpful to those just starting out. If you must get started right away, the beer bag style kits are probably for you – the simple and easy way to make your own beer.
If the idea of beer made in a plastic bag offends you, you may have the makings of an excellent beer brewer! In this case, if you have the cash, just go to your local brew store and ask them what you need to get started. Your initial cost for tools (carboys, airlocks, kettle, etc…) is likely to be around $50. This is money well spent, and if you continue to make your own beer, it is likely to save you more money than you spend within 2 months. You will then be on the path of brewing with malt extract. This is the simplest way to start learning how to brew, as it removes the mashing process from the equation. Once you learn how to make beer with malt extract, you can learn how to use grains to flavor your beer, and once you are familiar with the flavors and body the roasted grains add to your beer, you will be ready to learn all grain brewing.
The easiest beers to make are those that have the least amount of processes involved in making them. A variety of ingredients are easy to manage, you just measure it all out. Lagering, on the other hand, pretty much takes a walk in refrigerator, unless you have a very chill cellar in your house. Belgian ales are difficult to master as well, requiring extreme attention to cleanliness and process. We recommend an amber ale for the beginner, as these ales have few ingredients and the process of making them is quite clear cut. Learning how to make beer with the simple recipe of the amber ale will not have the challenge of these other styles. You will need no flavoring grains, just malt extract, hops, yeast, and water. And a pinch of Irish Moss thrown in at the end of the boil will make your own beer as clear and beautiful as any in any pint glass!
Remember that the process of how to make your own beer need not be complicated. Sometimes the best beers are the simplest to make. It is always better to start out simple and then, with experience, advance to more complicated brews. The quality of the beer you produce has more to do with acknowledging the limits of your craft than the exotic qualities of the recipe. Once you find out how easy it is to make your own beer, you will soon be teaching others how to make beer, expanding the network of home brewers in your town, explaining how to make beer while making new friends and connections at the same time.
Published: May 11, 2009
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