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home brewing guide, how to do homebrew

Homebrewing is a fun hobby, and you can save a lot of money on trips to the pub. The thing is, most people don’t know where to start. Here at KegThat, we’re a seasoned team of brewing enthusiasts, so we’ve put together this helpful beginner’s guide to homebrewing.

The Basics

If you want to make your own alcohol at home, you can choose between brewing beer, cider or wine all in the comfort of your own four walls. People always ask us how difficult homebrewing is, and we reply that it’s not complicated as long as you follow the correct procedures.

There are basic steps to creating the perfect homebrew, and once you master them, you can enjoy drinks with your friends and family for a fraction of the price.

Step 1: Preparation

The first step of homebrewing is to get the right equipment to make the brew. If you don’t use the correct equipment, you won’t be able to create a great tasting beverage. Yes, buying the items you need is an initial investment, but it will save you a lot more money in the long-term.

You’ll need:

  • The ingredients, you can try out one of our all-grain recipe kits to make this nice and simple
  • Brewing Kettle
  • Mash Tun
  • Sanitiser
  • Fermenter
  • Stirring and Siphoning Tools

 

Some people prefer to buy a beer making starter kit before investing in professional equipment. There are some great options around, including this one. (link to starter kit category).

 

Before you even think about beginning the brewing process, you must sanitise your equipment. Failure to do this will introduce bacteria and infect your beer effectively ruining all your hard work

 

Step 2: The Brewing Process

Now it’s time for the fun part, and it’s important to note that most people go wrong here. We’ve split the brewing process up into manageable steps as follows:

 

The Mash

Fill your kettle up to the mash volume indicated on the recipe and heat this to the strike temperature of around 80°.

 

Add this water to the mash tun and add the grains as indicated on the recipe and attempt to reach the target mash temperature. Mix them in using a mash paddle. It is important to be as close to this as possible, if too high consider using a wort chiller. Alternatively, cold water can be added. If too cold, add more hot water until target temperature is reached. Close the lid and leave for the indicated mashing time.

 

Sparging

When the mashing time is nearly complete, heat some water with the kettle and keep it between 70° and 80°. Slowly start to empty the contents of the mash tun into a bucket, at the same rate leaving the mash tun, slowly start to sprinkle the water in the kettle on to the top of the grains – ensuring no holes are made. Continue until you reach the target final volume + around 2-3 litres which will be lost in the boil.

Boil the Wort

Transfer the contents of the bucket into the boiler and bring to the boil. Add your hops at the appropriate timings. Take a gravity reading to ensure the original gravity reading is met. Add more water to get this to the correct reading.

Cool the Wort

Once this process finishes, you’ve created your wort. It’s essential you cool this liquid quickly as this can help with clarity and reduce the chance of infection. Some people place their brew in an ice bath, but most use a wort chiller.

Step 3: Ferment Your Brew

Once your wort is cool, it’s time to begin the fermentation process, simply sprinkle the yeast over the wort and you’re good to go! Use your air-lock to seal the fermenter and store the brew in a cool place. Remember it’s essential your liquid doesn’t exceed 20℃.

 

Some recipes may require dry hopping, place your hops and muslin cloth in the freezer before adding as this will kill bacteria.

 

Step 4: Bottle Your Brew

 

You should leave your brew to ferment for two weeks before attempting to bottle it. Any quicker and you’ll compromise the taste.

Clean Your Bottles

 

Bottles, caps, glasses, containers, whatever you’re using should be cleansed before you pour your beer into it.

Get Your Priming Sugar Ready

 

Priming sugar is the second stage of fermentation, and it helps to carbonate your beer and neutralises the flavour. Boil your sugar, let it cool then place it in your bottling container.

Add Your Beer

 

When you begin adding your beer to the container, remember to syphon it. Your main goal is to remove as much of the liquid as possible but leave the sediment behind.

Finish Bottling

 

Use your hose to add the liquid to your bottles and make sure you fill each bottle to the top. Cap your beer and leave it to settle for at least two weeks. Please don’t drink it before that because the beer needs time to carbonate.

 

Enjoy

We know, four weeks is a long time to wait, but if you follow all the steps, then it’s worth it! So that’s it for our beginners guide to homebrewing. There’s so much more to learn, but this gives you a brief insight into the basic steps involved.

 

homebrewing guide for beginners, the basic steps in the wirral UK

We know, four weeks is a long time to wait, but if you follow all the steps, then it’s worth it! So that’s it for our beginners guide to homebrewing. There’s so much more to learn, but this gives you a brief insight into the basic steps involved.