How to Home Brew in 10 Easy Steps

I always looked in awe at my friends nano-brewery setup with all of the boilers and fermenters in the garage and how he converted his fridge to be his very own 5 tapping system. The blackboard had his latest experiements including the flavour and alcohol content or ABV.

How did he do this? Was this some type of sorcery that a select few knew about? Why does the beer taste better than what I can get at a pub?

We then proceeded to go through the range of his latest concoctions, starting with a dry lager, a crisp pilsner, a fruity saison, a refreshing pale ale and then finishing with a mind blowing coffee imperial stout.

The ideas then started to flow freely, was it the alcohol allowing my thoughts to reach transcending heights or was it the passion someone showed towards this ancient art of brewing? Either way I thank him for planting a seed and fast forward 15 years Small Batch Brew was born.

I’ve gone on a beer journey; I’ve trained my palette, I’ve drunk hundreds of unique beers, I’ve planned holidays around breweries, I’ve visited countless beer festivals, I’m a commercial brewer in training, I want to open a brewery and I’ve brewed beers – lots of them. I will be sharing these beers and experiences with you through my website – Small Batch Brew Co.

Brewing isn’t sorcery or some mystical art. Brewing is a lifestyle, an urban community of like minded individuals that are willing to help and share their brewing experiences and why buy a IIPA for $18 when you can make the same if not better, fresher, no preservatives and hoppier one for a fraction of the cost?

You don’t need a lot of space, money or time – all you need is patience and passion and a belief that you can brew anything that you put your mind to. Experimenting with flavours, ingredients and yeast is the fun part as long as you follow the standard steps.

HERE ARE OUR 10 STEPS TO HOMEBREW:

Step 1 Santise, Sanitise, Santise:

Clean your equipment, fermenters and anything your beer will touch. Unless you want a sour beer this is crucial

Step 2 Mash:

Let your crushed malt and grains soak in hot water for an hour. During the mash (geeky stuff) the beta-amylase breaks down starch and dextrins into glucose (one molecule), maltose (two molecules) and maltotriose (three molecules). After beta-amylase is through working, the starch has been broken down into fermentable sugars. This is what the yeast will eat to make alcohol.

Step 3 Sparge:

Drain the liquid from the mash and rinse the malt with more hot water to extract more of the fermentatble sugars. This liquid is now called wort.

Step 4: Boil:

Boil the wort anywhere between 1 and 2 hours depending on the style of beer and what flavours you want in it

Step 5 Add Hops:

Adding hops during the boil, this brings out the bitterness or aroma of your beer. Add bettering hops between 60 – 45 minutes and aroma hops between 20 – 5 minute marks depeneding on beer style

Step 6 Cool Wort:

Chill the wort at the end of boil as quickly as possible to avoid bacteria. Brewing small means you can do this at a fraction of the time and in your kitchen sink.

Step 7 Transfer Wort:

Once the wort is cooled to 27C or lower, syphon it into your sanitised fermenter

Step 8 Add Yeast:

Sprinkle dry yeast or liquid yeast into the fermenter and shake vigourously to oxygenate the yeast and activate it.

Step 9 Ferment:

Add the bung and airlock and store in a cool dark place. Depending on the yeast, store it at a reasonably constant temperature 18 – 24 is suitable. Leave for 2 weeks.

Step 10 Bottle/Keg:

After 2 weeks, sanitise your keg/bottles and syphon the beer into your preferred conditioning vessel. Add some priming sugar to carbonate and leave for another two weeks. Drink and enjoy.

This is a general overview of brewing beer but as you can see it isn’t sorcery.

Our commitment is to help you brew better beer, with only the essential premium equipment you need. Get one of our home brew starter kits and mini keg kits and start your journey with us. Just because you are brewing small doesn’t mean you cant dream big. Tag us @smallbatchbrew so we can tell the world about another up and coming Master Brewer.

Join the Small Batch Home Brew Club on Facebook

This Facebook group was specifically created to help home brewers of any skill levels to brew better craft beer in Small Batches at home.

Anyone who wants to learn to brew beer or refine their craft is welcome to join this group. Our mantra and sole purpose is to share recipes, secrets, experimental ingredients and learn to brew the very best craft beer at home. Share your tips, help other brewers and get your liquid gold out there in lights. Invitation is open to anyone that loves beer and wants to learn the art behind the craft.

The best thing about this group is the willingness and support everyone gives to fellow members. Ask any question and I’m sure there will be an answer to help you out.  Home brew is best shared with friends and family.

That’s all there is to it and remember Dream Big, Brew Small.
Our commitment is to help you brew better beer, with only the essential premium equipment you need. Get one of our home brew starter kits and mini keg kits and start your journey with us. Just because you are brewing small doesn’t mean you cant dream big. Tag us @smallbatchbrew so we can tell the world about another up and coming Master Brewer.

The Best and Worst of Home Brewing

I started to pull together a list of the best and worst things about home brewing. The list might be a little biased towards the positive but I can’t come up with many negatives as to why I wouldn’t brew beer at home.

The #1 and best thing about home brewing is the amazing community of like minded individuals with the same passion.  Everyone is willing to share their experiences, secrets, show off their kegerators and nano-brewery setups, post their recipes and most importantly express their absolute love of the thing we covet – “liquid gold”.

Here are some community groups to get you started in no particular order:

THE BEST OF HOME BREWING

  1. Opening up the first bottle of a new batch, finding out you made Beer, real tasty beer that beats most commercials.
  2. Trying recipes you’ve created and the wait to it to see if it will be amazing.
  3. Enjoying brew day with family and friends.
  4. Drinking the beer & finding you did a pretty darn good job of brewing it.
  5. Designing a new recipe, playing with the variables, seeing how various ingredients affect the beer.
  6. Weighing out the grains and hops the night before a brew day.
  7. Getting my hands into the ingredients, smell the fresh grain and hops, the excitement of getting everything ready.
  8. The smell of the mash and knowing I hit my temperatures perfectly.
  9. Pitching the yeast and anticipating the beer to come.
  10. Having someone try my beer and be sincerely impressed.
  11. Winning medals/prizes/recognition in homebrew competitions.
  12. Sharing knowledge with and learning from other enthusiastic home brewers, particularly when I happen to run into one at a beer festival.
  13. Cracking open a bottle of carbed beer, hearing that “Pssht!”, and knowing it worked.
  14. That first taste of a new batch
  15. Designing recipes, names, labels and of course, drinking beer!
  16. Brewday, I love everything about it. Especially the smell while mashing. I wish I could smell that everyday.

THE WORST OF HOME BREWING

  1. Having to wait at least 4-6 weeks between brewday and first taste…patience is not my forte.
  2. Cleaning
  3. CLEANING. Did I mention how I hate cleaning?
  4. People thinking all I do is drink 24/7
  5. Waiting
  6. Running out of beer
What is your best and worst of home brewing?
What home brew groups are you part of?
We have added the ability for members to share their home brewing photos, videos and comments on the site. Better yet you can even ask the Small Batch Brew Society a question.
Our commitment is to help you brew better beer, with only the essential premium equipment you need. Get one of our home brew starter kits and mini keg kits and start your journey with us. Just because you are brewing small doesn’t mean you cant dream big. Tag us @smallbatchbrew so we can tell the world about another up and coming Master Brewer.

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