Do you just love a glass of something bubbly, carbonated and boozy? Well it's about time to treat yourself a lil' glass of something fizzy and start a fermenting DIY project at home to make ends meet! Learn how to make beer with our easy to follow step-by-step instructions. This project in particularly frothy so get ready. If you're tired of the same ol' beer routine, which includes going to the closest market and picking up just any beer in the fridge, why not try making some for yourself? In the end, it is less expensive and the yield from each batch you make is higher than what you would get in a six pack of beer.
To get a quick idea of what we're getting ourselves into, here is a quick synopsis on the brewing process courtesy of How to Brew:
- Malted barley is soaked in hot water to release the malt sugars.
- The malt sugar solution is boiled with Hops for seasoning.
- The solution is cooled and yeast is added to begin fermentation.
- The yeast ferments the sugars, releasing CO2 and ethyl alcohol.
- When the main fermentation is complete, the beer is bottled with a little bit of added sugar to provide the carbonation.
How to Make Beer | Homebrewing Instructions
These steps don't seem too difficult, right? Great! All it takes is some time and minimal effort so, let's get to work. We've got this tutorial from BeerSmith Home Brewing Blog to make your own beer all you want it to be!
Equipment You Will Need
- A Large Pot – at least 3 gallons in size, though a larger one will generally result in fewer spills
- Tubing & Clamp – to siphon and bottle the beer- A 6 foot section of 3/8″ ID food grade plastic tubing will work. Clamps are available at your brew store
- An Airtight Fermenting Bucket – a 5 gal plastic bucket with lid, or a glass carboy. If you can afford it, purchase a glass carboy as they are easier to keep sanitized and don’t leak. If you get a carboy you may need a large bottle brush to clean it
- An Air Lock and Stopper – sized to fit your fermenter
- A Bottle Filler – available from your homebrew supplier – should be sized to fit on the end of your siphon tubing
- A Thermometer – A floating thermometer with a range of 0-100 C or up from 32-220 F
- Bottles – You need just over 2 cases in 12 oz bottles to bottle 5 gallons of beer. Do not use twist-off bottles – use high quality bottles that require a bottle opener.
- Bottle Brush – While not absolutely required, you usually need a small brush to get your bottles clean
- A Bottle Capper – a hand driven device to cap your bottles also available from your homebrew store
- Bottle Caps – New bottle caps sold at your brewing supplier – you need about 50 caps for a 5 gal batch
- A Sanitizing solution – Beer is prone to infection, so everything must be sanitized before use. Household bleach can be used, but it must be thoroughly rinsed to prevent contamination. Your brew store may have alternatives such as iodophor and starsan.
The list below assumes you want to brew 5 gallons of a simple ale. You can use BeerSmith to formulate your own recipe or download recipes from our recipe page if you are looking for a different style.
- 6 lbs of Unhopped Pale Malt Extract – Usually this comes in cans that are around 3 lbs each. Malt provides the sweet base that the yeast will feed on to make alcohol. Available from various manufacturers. Dry malt extract is an acceptable alternative.
- 1 Package of Wyeast American Ale liquid Yeast (#1056) [ or White Labs California Ale #WLP001 ]. Liquid yeast gives very high quality beer.
- 2/3 cup Priming Sugar – such as corn sugar. Also available from your brew store or grocer.
- 2.25 Oz of East Kent Goldings Hops – Hops add bitterness to your beer. Pellets are most common and easy to store. Keep your unused hops in the freezer in airtight bags.
An Overview of the Brewing Process
Brewing the Beer – Pale malt extract and hops are boiled together with water for about an hour to sterilize the extract and release the bittering qualities of the hops. Frequently grains are steeped in the mixture prior to the boil to add additional color and flavor complexity.
Cooling and Fermenting – The hot mixture (called wort) is cooled to room temperature and siphoned or transferred to a fermenter where it is combined with additional water to achieve the desired 5 gallon batch size. Once the mixture drops to room temperature, yeast is added to start the fermentation process. Cleanliness and sanitation are very important since the wort can be easily infected by bacteria in this state. An airlock is used to keep the fermenter sealed during fermentation. Your beer will ferment for 1-2 weeks.
Priming and Bottling – Once the beer is fully fermented, it is siphoned to another container to prepare for bottling. Here priming sugars such as corn sugar are mixed with the beer. The beer is siphoned into bottles and each bottle is capped with a bottle capping device.
Aging – Once the beer has been bottled it needs to age for 2-6 weeks. During aging the yeast will ferment the remaining sugar you added and create carbon dioxide. This carbon dioxide will naturally carbonate your beer so it is nice and bubbly. In addition, undesirable sediments such as excess yeast and proteins will drop out of the beer during aging and this will enhance the flavor of your beer. In may take several months to reach peak flavor, though homemade beer usually drinkable after a month.
(via The Boulder Stand)
Drinking – When the beer is properly aged place the bottles in the fridge and enjoy! There’s nothing quite like a great beer that you made yourself.
This is the five step process for making your own beer. The brewing portion takes a few hours, and bottling and transferring take another hour+ spread out over a few weeks. Overall, brewing a batch of extract beer involves 3-4 hours of your time and about 4 weeks to ferment and age into a drinkable brew. This makes home brewing an attractive hobby for people who lead a busy lifestyle, but enjoy making things from scratch.
That's our recipe for homemade beer! Thanks for stopping by! Do you have any tips for homemade beer we may have missed? Let us know in the comments section below. Don't forget to sign up to our newsletter to get all the latest updates on craft projects in the making! Like us on Facebook (button below) to get fun craft projects in your feed! Pin your favorite projects to Pinterest to share with friends.