While a good pint was once something reserved for the pub, today brewing has become more fashionable and all over the country local taste-makers have been coming up with their own special blends of ale and cider to enjoy.
If you’re something of a craft beer aficionado yourself, why not get involved and try making your own beer at home? Brewing your own beer is a fun and inexpensive hobby, and is a great way to share your passion with family and friends as well as add your own mark to your next event or special occasion.
The basics of home brewing
To brew your own beer at home the first thing you’ll need is a kit that comes with the right mix of ingredients like hops, malt extract and priming sugar – you can purchase these online from retailers like Lakeland and Love Brewing, or if you prefer, look for a local brewer or winemaker who sells similar kits and can offer their advice.
• A 40 pint (23 litres) pressure barrel
• Fermenting bucket,
• Siphon tube,
• Plastic spoon
• Cleaner and steriliser
Once you have the right equipment and ingredients you’re ready to get started. The brewing process happens in 5 stages. Mixing the ingredients and making the beer itself should take between 3 and 4 hours, so it’s an easy activity to do in an afternoon or on the weekend with family and friends.
You can find a detailed guide to help you along the way on websites like How to Brew, as well as the Home Brewing Blog on dedicated sites like Beersmith. The five steps are:
Boil together your pale malt extract and hops with water for about an hour. This will sterilise the extract and release the bittering qualities in the hops. You can also steep the grain in the mixture prior to the boil to create a more complex flavour and colour.
Leave your hot mixture, or wort, to cool to room temperature and then siphon and transfer to a fermenter where you’ll combine with more water to create your batch size. After the mix reaches room temperature, add yeast to begin the fermentation process at this stage the wort can be easily infected so take care to ensure cleanliness and sanitation. Keep the fermented mixture sealed using an airlock and leave for 1 – 2 weeks.
3. Prime & Bottle
Once the beer is fully fermented, siphon the mixture into another container to get it ready for bottling. Mix in the priming sugars and then siphon into bottles and secure them using a bottle capping device.
4. Let it age
Leave your bottled beer to age for 2-6 weeks. During this stage the yeast will ferment with the remaining sugar to create carbon dioxide – this is what will make your beer bubbly. Sediments like excess yeast and proteins will also drop out of the beer during the ageing process to help enhance the flavour.
5. Let it age
Leave your bottled beer to age for 2-6 weeks. During this stage the yeast will ferment with the remaining sugar to create carbon
dioxide – this is what will make your beer bubbly. Sediments like excess yeast and proteins will also drop out of the beer during the ageing process to help enhance the flavour.
Celebrities who home brew
Home brewing sometimes is perceived as a dark art by popular culture. People in their basement with flasks and open vessels reminds you more of a scene from Breaking Bad than actual home brewing, all in good fun of course. One Superbowl commercial I remember is when a “home-brewer” is serving his beer made with sausage to his guests (a joke of course), but did you know there are plenty of celebrities who home brew? Here is a group of them as well as some other interesting appearances made by home brewing in the lime-light.
Kathy Ireland, Supermodel
Back in the late 1980’s, Kathy (a model for several Sports Illustrated issues), was also featured on the cover of Zymurgy magazine. She wasn’t just on the cover for another paycheck however, it turns out she’s an avid home brewer! According to the article in Zymurgy, she told her mother after completing her first batch that she was going to open a brewery. Now doesn’t that sound like a familiar phrase in the home brewing world?
Wil Wheaton, Actor
He’s well known for Star Trek: The Next Generation, and more recently The Big Bang Theory (plays as himself). In addition to
acting in front of a camera for money, Wil also likes to spend some of his free time over a boil kettle. He even tweets and blogs about his brew days. In addition to that, he’s also dipped his toe in the commercial scene. Wil partnered with stone a couple times to create W00t Stout and W00t Stout 2.0. I guess being famous does have its perks.
Barack Obama, Ex US President
Fun fact: you never actually lose the title “President”, even after your term is up. So you would say President Bush if you saw him in the street today. Anyway, I’ve gotten off track. Yes, the President brews his own beer. Whether or not he has the time to actually brew much between meetings is up for debate, but they are extract based, so just maybe he does since extract does take less time than all grain. He served the beer during a Superbowl party as an option if the guests didn’t want beer representing one of the two teams. The President’s beer was gone by the end of the night.
(Article source: Various)