You Can Brew It!

The process of home brewing your own beer is detailed but not difficult. With start-up costs for supplies and equipment ranging between $100-$200, it is also relatively inexpensive. Most of these items can be ordered online and include the following necessities: a brewpot, a fermenter, an airlock and stopper, bottling bucket, bottles, cleaning brushes for the bottles, hoses, a bottle-capper, a thermometer, and a few other incidental items.

The first step for home brewing involves buying the necessary ingredients. Many people opt to go the simple route and purchase an all-inclusive beer kit. These are usually made up of a can of concentrated hops malt and some yeast. The kit may also include some sort of fermentable substance such as brewers sugar or liquid malt extract. There are a variety of recipes for different types of beer. It is recommended that you start with the basic formula until you get the hang of it. Beer kits can be ordered online at websites such as www.monsterbrew.com or www.homebrewers.com.

It is also very important to the home brewing and fermenting process that all equipment be properly cleaned before use. There are many types of fungi and bacterias that can ruin your beer, so properly sanitizing equipment is essential. The fermenter, airlock, stopper, brew spoon, and brewpot should be cleaned in hot water with dish detergent.

The actual home brewing procedure begins with heating 2 quarts of water to pre-boiling temps. Remove from the heat, and pour in the ingredients from the beer kit. Mix until well-dissolved, and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes. Add about 4 gallons of cold water to the fermenter, then pour in the heated ingredients. Mix and add yeast as soon as fermenter feels cool to the touch. This is the beginning of the fermentation process which will continue for about five days. Wait until there is at least a two minute interval between the bubbles rising into the airlock of the fermenter. At this point, the beer is ready. Sanitize all bottling supplies with a water/bleach mixture. Adding a concoction of 3/4 cup of pure dextrose and 3 cups of water to the fermented liquid before bottling will add carbonation. Allow bottled beer to sit in a dark area for about 2 weeks before drinking, then transfer to a refrigerator and enjoy!

Related: Microbrew Beer of the Month

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