Beer brew equipment

Homebrew equipment(102599)

Brewing Beer for the Beginner

Homebrewing is the art of brewing beer in the comfort of your own home.  Homebrewing leads willing participants to a world of endless creativity.  A savory beer is made from four simple ingredients: water, grain, yeast and hops.  Each ingredient offers numerous options that will change the end product.  Beer is about 90% water and the different chemical composition of waters will change the beer whether it is tap water, well water, spring water or distilled water.  Malt extract is a grain that has been slightly germinated and dried then steeped and cooked in temperature specific water for about 2-3 hours.  This process is called mashing which breaks down starches to sugars.  Malt extracts are sold in syrup or powder form.  It is a convenient product for the homebrewer because it reduces the preparation time and equipment needed.  As far as the homebrewer is concerned, there are two main types of yeast; ale yeast and lager yeast.  Both types of yeast have hundreds of strains to select from and each will brew a different tasting beer.  Hops are the flower of a hop vine.
hopsHops, like most flowers, come in many varieties.  Each variety offers a different flavor, bitterness and aroma.  The amount of hops added and the duration hops are boiled will change the characteristics of the final beer.  Ingredients to add to your homebrew are seemingly endless considering additional sugars, grains, herbs, spices, fruits, vegetables, and additives can be utilized.

A quick overview of the homebrewing process is quite simple.  If you can follow a recipe, you can brew a beer. 

Water and malt extract are mixed in a large pot and boiled on a stove top for no less than 45 minutes.  The variety of hops you use and the characteristics you want them to impart on your beer determines when you will add the hops to the boiling mixture.  This mixture is now called the wort.  The wort is transferred to a clean fermenter (glass carboy or plastic bucket fermenter).  The wort is allowed to cool to a specific temperature then the desired yeast is added. 

Different types of yeast require different temperatures for survival and optimal performance.  The fermenter is sealed with a fermentation lock to ensure that only carbon dioxide can escape the fermenter and outside air cannot enter. carboy If the beer is left open to the ambient air, wild yeasts and bacteria will contaminate your beer; leaving you with a disgustingly undrinkable beer. 

Seal the fermenter and enjoy the tumbling and bubbling show that is fermentation. 

Store the beer in a dark spot that is the right temperature for your specific beer.  Wait 5 – 14 days and the first fermentation should be complete.  Now you can transfer the beer to a second carboy to allow sediment to settle out for a clearer beer or bottle your beer. 

In order to carbonate your beer, you must add priming sugar or malt extract.  Priming sugar or malt extract is boiled in a small amount of water than added to a bottling bucket.  The beer is transferred from the fermenter to the bottling bucket.  Transfer the beer from the bottling bucket to individual bottles.  Each bottle should be capped and stored in the same dark spot for about 10 – 14 days.  This allows the beer to become carbonated and sediment to fall out, leaving your beer clear and ready for consumption.  This is a basic overview with a myriad of techniques and methods to be discovered.  Ensure you learn everything required to brew the perfect beer by reading the 3 books every hombrewer needs.