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.