From buying the right equipment, to developing recipes to actually brewing the beer, our team takes you though the entire process of homebrewing
This is part 2 of an ongoing series on homebrewing. For part one on equipment & pre-brewing prep, please go here.
Now that you have the right equipment, you need some ingredients for your first batch. If you are reading this article, you most likely know the four main ingredients in beer: Grains, Hops, Water, & Yeast. Quite simple, but within each of these categories there are a lot of options. While you might be intimidated by all of the selections, your first batch should be a simple one. I know you are probably excited to make the most amazing vanilla caramel mocha latte milk stout, complete with all sorts of fancy spices and ingredients, but that is not the way to start. You can’t be a five star chef without learning the ropes along the way, and the same can be said about being a brewer.
Knowledge is power and becoming a powerful brewer takes lots of knowledge. In this week’s homebrewing post, Building Your Library, I’m going to break down three books that I own and recommend that other homebrewers read and reference.
According to Punxsutawney Phil, spring is right around the corner. As the days start to grow longer and the temperatures rise, I have started to search for a beer that will inspire hope for warmer temperatures. Saison has filled the void that a winter warmer or a stout was unable to fill. Inspired by finally finishing a book, Farmhouse Ales book by Phil Markowski, I decided that I would take a stab at brewing one myself.
I just finished up a big plate of spaghetti, so let me start out by making a few simple comparisons with homebrewing to set the stage.
Stouffer’s frozen spaghetti = Mr. Beer Kit
Boxed spaghetti noodles and canned pasta sauce = Extract brewing
Homemade noodles and meat sauce from scratch = Full-grain brewing
Most people know how to cook. In fact a lot of people excel at this skill, but if asked if they could make a drink from scratch using raw ingredients, most would pass. Well never fear fellow beer lovers, beer is no harder to make at home than Ramen. With some basic equipment, patience, and curiosity, you can make some amazing beers at home. First up in the series: Equipment & Sanitation
In order to make beer, there are some items that are must haves, and quite a few items that are optional but will make life easier if you have them, most of which come in handy during fermentation and bottling. Once you have the basics down, you can then explore into some equipment for more advanced brewing, but we will cover those when we reach that part of the series.
From the first extract beer kit that I ever brewed (a Ferocious IPA kit, that turned out very well), I was hooked. With time my recipes got more and more complex and my kitchen stove and 3.5 gallon pot turned into a 20 gallon all-grain, three-tiered brewhemoth that takes up half of my garage. As I have developed as a brewer, my approach and outlook towards brewing beer has changed. Here are three major ways that I have developed and practices that I employ in every batch of homebrew.
The brilliant thing about homebrewing is that as long as you have excellent sanitation practices, there’s no reason you can’t tweak a recipe once you’ve already brewed it and begun fermentation. With the exception of beer flaws, lots of changes can take place in beers post fermentation. One perfect example is dry-hopping beers. When our Gingerbread stout wasn’t quite up to snuff, we upped the ante.