Making your own beer can be a fun hobby. Just imagineÃ¢Â?Â¦ you brew your own batch of beer, invite some friends over for the game or a backyard BBQ and wow them with your beer making skills. Change up your beer brew for the seasons or holidays and you’ll have a reason to throw another get together. Forget the high priced trendy downtown breweries. Start your own. You’ll be the talk of the group, if not the town!
If you have Internet access or a local homebrew supply store, you can get your toes wet rather quickly with your new beer making hobby. If it turns out that you enjoy your first batch of beer and beer making on a regular basis is for you, you may want to invest in proper equipment. But, for now, a few ingredients and some regular kitchen supplies and utensils will serve the purpose. The biggest thing you need in making beer is patience, because part of the process includes a long wait – especially long when all you want is an ice-cold home brewed beer!
Once the ingredients are collected, the first step in making your own beer is crushing the grain. For a 2-Ã?Â½ gallon batch you will need 8 ounces of crystal malt. Pour it in a plastic bag so as not to lose any of the grain. Gently crush the grain with a heavy spoon or rolling pin. Do not turn the grain into a fine sand texture. When you decide to continue making beer, a malt mill will do the same job quicker and with more precision. But, for a beginner, this will do just fine.
The next step involves extracting the goodness from the grain. Bring 2 Ã?Â½ gallons of water and the grains up to roughly 150 degrees on the stovetop. Once the temperature is reached, put a lid on the pot and turn the burner off. Allow the grain to steep for about Ã?Â½ hour. After that, strain the liquid, removing as much of the grain as possible.
Return the liquid to a boil and stir in the malt extract. For a 2 Ã?Â½ gallon recipe, you will need 3 lbs. of light dried malt extract. Return the mixture to a boil being careful not to allow the mixture to boil over. Be sure the pot is big enough to hold the beer ingredients beforehand. Once the beer mixture has returned to a boil, add approximately Ã?Â¾ of the 1 oz. of hops. Allow the mixture to boil for an hour before adding the remainder of the hops. Immediately cover and remove from heat.
To cool the mixture, submerge the pot in an ice bath. Once the pot is cool to touch, you can move on. Pour the liquid through a strainer into a container that can be sealed airtight. (You may need to purchase one or learn how to make one.) Measure your liquid before pouring to be sure you have 2 Ã?Â½ gallons of beer. If not, add tap water. Some evaporated during boiling.
When the beer is room temperature, it is time to add the yeast. Be sure to read the directions on the package and follow them according to your amount of brew. Be sure to seal your container after that and allow the beer to ferment in a cool dry place for at least a week. After that, the beer is finished, but flat. Following directions to add sugar to the beer and transferring containers will complete the process. With the first successful batch complete, it’s time to let the beer age and enjoy!