The Beginner’s Guide To Brewing Beer With A Beer Kit
Brewing your own beer really is very easy. This article aims to show you just how easy. You can make 40 pints of excellent quality beer in just 3 weeks with very little effort. You are about to learn how to brew beer.
Most starter kits contain easy to follow instructions. Just follow them carefully and remember to keep equipment clean and you will soon be able to share your home made beer with your friends and family.
There is some equipment you will need to get you started. This can be purchased as a complete beginner’s kit or you can buy the items individually. Once you have made that initial outlay, your beer will cost you as little as 50p per pint. And it is as good as any pub beer, or in my opinion, better.
Well, I would recommend going for a complete starter kit. This will give you everything you need and it will all come in the box shown on the right.
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This includes: –
- 25 Litre brewing bin
- Woodfordes Wherry beer kit (includes yeast sachet)
- 40 pint barrel
I strongly recommend this kit to start out with. Woodfordes Wherry, shown left, is a great beer to begin with. Not only is it a true real ale but it’s easy and reliable to make and has won numerous awards. It’s also a most popular beer and always gets top reviews.
For the purposes of this article, it is the beer I will be using,
You should find that the fermenting bin has a hole punched near the base on one side, and that there is a tap included in the kit. The first thing is to fit the tap. Forgetting this makes a real mess! It just screws into place with a rubber washer outside and the nut on the inside of the bin.
Make sure this is secure. There is no sadder sight than spilt beer! You may want to test it with water first.
Once this is done, you are almost ready to start brewing. The first, and one of the most important steps, is to sterilise all of the equipment you will be using. The instructions are on the tub in which the sterilising powder comes. 3-4 teaspoons of powder are added to the fermenting bin onto which you pour about 10 litres of warm water. Add into this any other equipment you are using such as the stirring paddle, hydrometers and thermometers. Leave to stand for about 10 minutes but swish the solution over the inner sides of the bin a few times during this time.
While you are waiting, stand the 2 unopened tins of Woodfordes Wherry malt extract in a sink or bowl of hot water for 5 – 10 minutes to soften the contents. This will soften the malt extract and should enable most of the contents to be easily poured.
Once most of the malt extract has been poured, use a little boiling water to rinse the rest from the tin. Be careful, the tins will be hot and you will need a tea towel or oven glove.
Next add 3.5 litres (6 pints) of boiling water to the extract and mix thoroughly with the paddle to ensure that all of the contents are fully dissolved. Then top up with cold water to a total of 23 litres (40 pints) and thoroughly mix again.
That’s it for now. Easy isn’t it! Cover with the lid provided and leave to stand for 4 – 6 days in a warm place (between 18-20 degrees C / 66 – 70 degrees F). In colder months, if you can’t keep your beer in a fairly warm place, you may want to consider buying a brewbelt. These easy to use and economical heaters simply fix round the fermenting bin as shown and keep your brew at a constant temperature until you are ready to start bottling, usually about 5 days.
After 24 – 36 hours you should see a thick crust forming on the top of the liquid as the yeast starts to eat the sugar. This means fermentation has begun. This process is complete when bubbles cease to rise through the liquid, usually between 4 – 6 days.
You can now transfer your brew to the barrel or bottles if you prefer. This is possibly the trickiest process but easy once you know how. You will need to syphon the beer from the fermenting bin to avoid disturbing the sediment. Using the syphon provided, place the tube so that it is fixed to the inside of the fermenter but not quite reaching the sediment. Now suck the tube to start the syphon process. Fitting a tap or a little bottler if using bottles makes this process so much easier and avoids messy floors and work tops. Add a little sugar to help condition the beer. About half to one teaspoon per pint depending on how carbonated you like your beer. This sugar will use up the remaining yeast in the mix and provide some carbonation to result in a nice lively beer.
Now stand your bottles or barrel in a warm place for 2 days and then transfer to a cool place for at least 14 days or until it has cleared. Don’t worry if you see a little sediment. This may look like a thin whitish layer on the bottom of the bottles. This can be avoided with careful pouring when drinking.
So that’s it. Easy eh? Now drink your beer and, if you haven’t already, start the next batch ready for when it runs out. And don’t forget that the second batch is so much cheaper without the starter equipment costs.
So now you know how to brew beer. It really is easy. What are you waiting for? Buy your starter beer kit today