Home Brewed Beer Made Simple
Did you know that beer is the most widely drunk beverage in the world? Furthermore, it is probably the oldest alcoholic drink as well. Some historians believe that beer dates back to 9500 BC. There is no doubt, then, why it remains so popular today. And so, beer lovers have become more and more interested in making their own home brewed beer. So let us grab some barley and hops and find out how you can make your own brew.
Firstly, it is helpful to know what the ingredients in beer are. Basically, the ingredients are water, yeast, barley (or other starch that can be fermented, ) and hops. Hops is a word that is tossed around in advertisements; its sole purpose in commercial brewing is to add taste. It comes from the hop vine and its flowers are used during brewing.
What we are mostly interested in though is how we take these ingredients and transform them into a drink that will impress a brewmeister, if not your next door neighbor. Your first step is to purchase a brewing kit, unless of course you have the financial wherewithal or investors to establish your own commercial brewery. Let’s go on the assumption that the brewing kit is the way to go.
As you might guess, a kit is not going to cost an arm and a leg. Pretty much any kit will supply you with all you need in terms of ingredients and hardware. They can be found in specialty stores or ordered online. Prices range from thirty dollars to over a thousand dollars. It is wise to be careful with choosing which to invest in, as you may later decide that home brewing is not for you.
Your kit should contain everything you need to get the finished product. This is to say that all bottles, ingredients and equipment are included. When you begin you will usually need a hydrometer, fermenting bucket, bottles, yeast and wort. Wort is the liquid which is extracted from the barley. Also helpful is an instructional manual or DVD.
The process of brewing is not very difficult. Actually, people who brew their own beer at home will usually tell you that they find it to be more of a fun hobby. Most people are surprised to learn that it does not take very long to be drinking your first brew. From the time you first check out your equipment to the time you are taking your first sip is typically about 14 days. Put another way, you will have jealous friends drinking your creation in about 2 weeks.
One note on kegs: if you consider using them as a means for storage or additional aging, be careful. If not attended correctly, they can become dangerous. Pressure may be left contained in a keg. If not properly ventilated, the valve could burst and turn into a flying projectile which could hit someone and cause serious injury.
Home brewing is more than just an alternative to store bought beer. It is also a fun way to keep you busy and provide you with refreshments in the process.