How To Brew Beer 🍺

Beer. The dictionary defines beer as ‘an alcoholic drink made from yeast-fermented malt flavoured with hops.’  A thirst-quencher that most people know and enjoy.

There are those that are vehemently opposed to drinking beer and brewing it will be the last thing on their bucket list. Then there are those that prefer brewing their own beer to buying it from a pub or bottle store. They know that home-made beer is not filtered as often as shop-sold beer and is thus much healthier in moderation.

HOW TO BREW BEER

Beer brewing can be fun, and the more adventurous people experiment with various flavours in beer. Beer making is relatively easy, and there is an assortment of beer-brewing kits available on the market. It is much cheaper to brew beer than to buy the bottled or canned variety. As it only undergoes one process during the fermentation, it is simple to make. Homemade beer can be stored in 2-litre cold-drink bottles, which is a huge cost saver too. Is your interest peaked yet? Are you gearing up to become a beer brewer? Once you master this easy process, you will be hooked.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

The equipment needed for your homemade beer can be bought from a hardware store or from a specialized beermaking supply store.

To begin you will require the below:

One 40-liter plastic pail with cover, a 1.9m vinyl tubing with a width of 5-7cm, a hose clasp, 12 x 2L plastic jugs with covers, and a thermometer or hydrometer (it is an instrument for estimating the thickness of fluids).

Contents for the lager will be 1.2kgs of malt extricate enhancing (heavy, medium or light), 1 teaspoon of brewers' yeast, (check your malt content as some malt has included bundles of yeast inside the can), and 9 cups of corn sugar/7 cups of white sugar if corn sugar is inaccessible, (rather than sugar you can utilize double the malt content, which will give your lager a rich taste).

The above will give you around 24 litres of lager.

METHOD

The most effective method to brew:

Disinfect! It has been said that 75% of fermenting is practising acceptable sanitation. To start with, clean all hardware with warm, gently soaped water. Flush well to evacuate any soapy residues. If required, you can also sterilize your equipment using any household bleach with the ratio of 1 tablespoon to 2 litres of water. A lot of seasoned beer brewers buy a no-flush corrosive sanitizer, for example, StarSan, which is viable and leaves no trailing taste. A bottle of this lasts for a long time and it may be worth your while if you are sure you will brew more than one batches of beer.

To blend: Pour 10 litres of fresh, chilly water into the 40L plastic bucket (If the bucket is new, wash it out first with a blend of water and salt or diluted household bleach to evacuate the plastic smell).

In your biggest pot, heat seven litres of water to the point of boiling.

Add one of the containers of malt extricate, mix well, and cook without a lid for 20 minutes.

Next, add the sugar and mix until the sugar is completely dissolved.

When the sugar is no longer visible, empty the substance into the bucket. You need to pour the substance rapidly as this will add air to the blend. The more air the yeast gets during this process, the better. This permits the process to develop quicker.

Top the mixture up with bottled water or tap water until the temperature is level. (In the case of utilizing tap water, it is prescribed to boil first to eliminate any microscopic organisms especially if you use borehole water.) The bucket will be more than half full at this stage.

Sprinkle in the yeast bit by bit and mix well. Once this is mixed in, cover the bucket with a lid. (Do not place the lid on too tightly. If this is done, the bucket can detonate due to the carbon dioxide gas that is created inside.)

Do not open the bucket while fermentation is in progress. If the room temperature is between 20-24 degrees Celsius your beer should be ready to bottle in about 8 days. A temperature of 16-20 Celsius is certainly better it will take the brew a day or so longer to age.

The mixture is ready to be tested after 8 days and this is done by dipping a hydrometer into the lager. Bubbles will discharge if you turn it once. The ideal thickness ought to be between 1.008 and 1.010-1.015. If you do not have a hydrometer, you can test it by tasting some of the brew. It should not be sweet to the taste, and there should be practically no gurgling activity in the brew.

Bottling

This step needs to be done with care. The bucket with beer should be on an elevated, sturdy surface

and the 12 x 2L bottles, each with two teaspoons of sugar inside, on the floor. Spread newspaper underneath to mop up spillage.

Fill them to about ¾ full and tilt each bottle slowly until the sugar is dissolved once the bottlecaps are screwed on firmly. The filled bottles should now be stored in a cool dark room. The beer will be ready to drink in a few days

Lager Enhancements: when you have mastered the procedure of making your very own lager, it's great fun to explore different avenues about how you can include your very own touch.

Here are a few ideas:

Hops

Put hops into a cheesecloth and add to the cooking malt. A quarter of a cup is enough. This will give your beer an unmistakable hops flavour. 

Molasses

Include a cup or two of molasses to the malt while it is boiling. Use less sugar if this is done. This will bestow a darker, more full-bodied taste to the brew. Blackstrap molasses is darker and refined molasses is lighter.

Liquorice

Toss a couple of sticks of liquorice into the malt while it is cooking. Leave in for 5 – 10 minutes but remove any un-melted pieces before emptying the mix into the bucket.

Herb Teas

Add 3 or 4 teabags of Celestial Seasonings ‘Bengal Spice tea, or ‘Apple Cinnamon Spice’ tea. Add to the cooking malt and remove after 10 minutes. This will add a touch of zest to the flavour of the brew.

Herbs

Some people prefer to add a mix of herbs to adjust the pleasantness of the malt (a step known as 'gruit'). You can use yarrow, juniper, Labrador tea, caraway, or aniseed. These are typically included during cooking or aging.

Finally! It is time for bottling!

Pour your lager cautiously to abstain from upsetting the dregs. 3/4 full containers will hold their ‘bubble’ for as long as fourteen days. After fourteen days, leftover containers ought to be thrown out.

You may find that clusters of custom-made lager can fluctuate in quality. Darker brews will work best with this formula for the most predictable outcomes. If your lager is somewhat short on ‘bubble’ or falls shy of your desires, take a stab at blending it 50/50 with commercial brews.

Rinse the empty bottles immediately. This makes washing them later a breeze. Essentially wash with warm, lightly foamed water, and then rinse well.

DIFFERENT VARIETIES

There are other different varieties of homemade beer. Pineapple beer is a firm favourite of South Africans as it is affordable and delicious. This fruit also has many health benefits as they contain various vitamins. An enzyme in pineapples helps with the breaking down of proteins and builds stronger bones.

Ingredients: 3 large pineapples, 1 kg of sugar and water.

Slice the pineapples into cubes, complete with the peal, or mince in a food processor or liquidizer. If you prefer, peel first, then dice the pineapple and the peals separately. Place the diced pineapple mix into a 10L bucket, add the sugar to the pulp, and fill the bucket to the brim with boiled, cooled water. Cover the top with a cotton or muslin cloth, NOT with a lid.

After about 2 days a froth will appear on the surface. If you prefer a stronger beer, let it stand for another 2 days. If not, strain the beer through a cloth and bottle the liquid. If you leave the beer out of the fridge it will become more potent. It will last up to a month when refrigerated.

Beer has health benefits if taken in moderation.  Moderate beer drinkers have a lower risk of developing diabetes, stokes, cancer, and heart diseases. These people also have healthier brains, and kidneys. Beer is rich in fibre and besides acting as a multivitamin, it boosts hair growth and clears skin. 

The list of benefits of brewing your own beer is vast. For one, your beer will not contain obscure ingredients or be filtered. The filtering removes most of the vitamin B found in yeast, and the nutritional benefits of homebrewed beer is significantly higher than store bought beer.  Your beer will also be preservative and chemical free.

Cheers!

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