Home brew

Beer Beer Beer

Home Beer Real Beer made from scratch. Ok, everyone knows by now I have a real passion for home brewing and hedgerow wines. When it comes to wines, ciders, and flavoured spirits I like to think of myself as quite the experienced brewer. Beers and real ales, I have never really dabbled with, I’m not sure why maybe because it just came in a can. Open the lid, pour into a hot pan, boil it and pop a few bags of sugar into the mix.

 

Which Way

So today I decided to give beer brewing a go. I have always tried to avoid these as I have already mentioned but maybe I should use one as a beginner in beer making.

Beer

No. I couldn’t bring myself to use a can, surely after years of brewing ciders and wines, I can make a beer? After all, I already have most of the items I need. I was fortunate enough to have acquired some items over the years but if you plan on experimenting with a homebrew, here are a few things you will need.

Brewing bucket

Steriliser

Airlocks

Brewing spoon

Beer yeast

Hydrometer

Syphon

That will give you what could be termed as a startup set. From this you could if wanted brew from can or shop kit like this.  These kits are, in fairness a very simple and rewarding way of brewing a tasty drink at home. A great way in fact to enter the world of brewing your own tipple.

 

Start From Scratch

Now I’m not saying you need this sort of thing

brewery

but to make a brew from the base will require a few extras but believe me, the experience alone makes it all worthwhile. I will list the items needed as I go through the process. At the end I will pop the recipe up, then if you like you can try it too.

 

Clean Clean Clean

Every single item you use, every single vessel you will use will need to be sterilized. The vwp steriliser is a very cheap but practical way of cleaning and sterilising everything. I cannot stress enough how important it is to keep everything clean.

steriliser

First off you will need to purchase some pale malt. You can buy in bulk, however, storing it could be an issue. For this recipe though you will need two packs. Crystal malt is another ingredient needed, this is what gives the brew its colour primarily.

malt

Weigh out these two ingredients and put them in a mash tun. That for all intense and purposes is a cool box with a tap and strainer net.

mash tun

It’s a clever thing really because when you combine the two grains they need to steep, this is called the mash. Boil up 9 litres of water and pour it over the malts, pop the lid on and leave the mash to steep for an hour.

mash

 

Boil Away

Once the mash has been steeping for an hour you need to drain and squeeze out the mash. The liquid that is left is the malt extract, That’s the stuff we want. The extract is super sweet as it is the natural sugars present in the malt. Get out the tea urn and add 18 litres of water, now dd the malt extract and bring to the boil. The liquid is now going to be known as the wort.

Burco   mash boil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hop To It

hops

Once the wort is boiling its time to add the first batch of hops. Depending on what you brew you will use different varieties of hops, each with their own distinctive flavours. I added 25 grams of challenger hops at the beginning of the boil then added 10 grams of fuggles hops and a protofloc tablet 15 minutes from the end of the boil. Protofloc is merely a finings agent which is best put in the brew during the boil period. The total time for the boil is 1 hour 10 minutes.

 

Chill Out

After boiling we now need to get the wort down to a temperature where we can add the yeast without the heat killing it off. This is where the wort chiller comes into play. You can rapidly cool the wort without running the risk of bacteria forming whilst waiting hours on end for it to cool naturally. Mine is homemade but does the same thing, connect one end to the hosepipe and the other into the rain or water butt and in under 5 minutes, the wort will be down to 22 degrees.

wort chiller  wort chilling

 

 

 

 

When the wort is down to 22 degrees its time to open the tap, drain and sieve the wort into the brewing bucket. Next, you need to mix up a pint of blood temperature water with 4 tablespoons of demerara sugar and add the packet of yeast. Once it has started to froth it needs to be added to the wort.

brew

clip the lid back on the bucket, fit the airlock and let it bubble away. A warning to all though, the fermentation temperature needs to be above 14 degrees ideally 18 degrees is the magic number. This time of year the nights are cooler so I use a heat table, this keeps the temperature the same night and day.  4 weeks later you need to siphon the now beer back into another barrel or bucket. Wash and sterilise the original brew bucket then siphon the beer back into it. You now ideally want the beer to be at a temperature of 12 degrees, this will condition the beer. During the next 3 weeks the beer will clear and become much more drinkable, it will smell like beer now.

 

Barrel/Bottle

Whichever you decide the process isn’t that different, if using bottles then add 1/2 a teaspoon of white sugar per bottle prior to filling, this will carbonate the beer after 2 weeks. If like me you have one of these then you can either add 200 grams of sugar or just carbonate with a co2 capsule on the day.

keg  bttles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe

4kg Pale malt

 400 grams Crystal malt

25 grams Challenger hops

10 grams Fuggle hops

Protofloc 1 tab

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post, maybe it has inspired you to try for yourself the magic of home brewing? If you decide to try it please use the links provided on the page, this gives me a small commission to help towards the continued running of the site.

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