Are you part of the craft beer revolution? Whether you’re a beer enthusiast or a casual drinker, it’s hard to miss the incredible number of independent breweries that have popped up in the last decade.
But have you ever wondered what is involved with craft beer and brewing? For so many, it’s a hobby, and for some, it has turned from a hobby into a business. The great thing is that anyone can brew beer, so read on to find out how!
Before you do anything, you’ll need to ensure you have all the right equipment to start your brewing journey. Here’s a shortlist of what you’ll need:
- fermenter and airlock
- a beer brewing tank
- stirring spoon
- a recipe
Sanitizer is at the top of this list because, while not glamorous, it’s arguably the most important aspect of brewing beer. You want your brew to be as pure as possible, so make sure absolutely everything you use is sanitized!
When it comes to a recipe, you can get recipe kits, or if you’re feeling adventurous, buy your own individual ingredients if you know what you’re doing.
2. Get Brewing
The end goal of the brewing stage is to make something called wort. This is the infusion of the malt or grain that you use to brew. It’s a very sweet mixture—here’s how to get to that point!
Steep Your Grains
The most popular size of brewing kettle for homebrews is 5 gallons. Half fill it with water and steep your grains while heating. Remove the grains when the water reaches 170F and let them drip naturally back into the kettle without squeezing.
Boil the Brewing Tank
Bring the brewing tank to a rolling boil and remove it from the heat. Add the malt extracts and return to a boil once dissolved.
At this point, you’ll add hops at intervals determined by your recipe.
Cool the Wort
You’ll have your sweet mixture, which needs cooling quickly. The easiest way to do this is to put your brewing kettle straight into an ice bath.
3. The Fermenting Stage
Your now-cooled wort goes into the fermenter. Bring the water up to 5 gallons and slosh it around to aerate the wort.
Add the yeast and seal the fermenter. You’ve officially brewed beer, now to play the waiting game!
4. Get Bottling
Once your beer has fermented, it’s time to bottle it.
Clean and sanitize everything again. Boil your priming sugar and put it into a bottling bucket (one with a spigot makes it easy to bottle).
Be sure to fill each bottle from the bottom and fill right to the top. Cap the bottles and store them for up to two weeks to allow time for carbonation.
Craft Beer and Brewing Explained
Now that you know the ins and outs of craft beer and brewing, it’s time to get started!
You’ll have certainly earned a drink of one of your homebrews by the time you’re done.
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