Home Brewing Makes for the Best Tasting Beer
Beer is one of the greatest beverages available anywhere and at any time for any occasion, period. True die-hard beer enthusiasts (and even some moderate beer drinkers) will readily admit that there is nothing better than cracking open a fresh bottle and savoring the taste of your favorite hoppy IPA or fruity Hefeweizen. With beer, one is relaxing while two is a party! The only thing better than buying a 6-pack at your local store is the joy of learning to brew your own beer. The home brew option is great not only for for control freaks and hobbyists with some extra time and space in the house, but for anyone delighted to learn that they can determine everything from the temperature of the beer to the flavor and more! The one common denominator in all home-brewing attempts is that you must have patience. Here is some key advice for storing and brewing beer in your very own home. Read on, and have a pint on us!
The one common denominator in all home-brewing attempts, though, is that you must have patience. Here is some key advice for storing and brewing beer in your very own home. Read on, and have a pint on us!
Supplies You’ll Need to Brew Your Own Beer
Brewing beer only requires a small amount of equipment. You can find a beginner’s kit at any homebrew supply shop or online for around $60-80. You’ll need, for starters:
- boiling pot (that can hold a minimum of 3 gallons)
- at least 50 re-capable bottles
- bottle capper
- bottle brush
- fermenter (6 gallon plastic pail recommended)
- measuring cup
- racking cane
- bottle filler
The Mechanics of (Home) Brewing
When it’s all said and done, it takes about 3 hours to brew your first batch of beer. Essentially, you’ll have to brew the starter wort first, then add the yeast, which will start the fermentation process. Make the malt, add the grain for the mash, strain and sparge the whole thing, and then capture the first runnings. This is only the beginning, but you’re already well on your way to making your first home brew!
Where to Store Your Beer Once It’s Been Brewed
There are a few things to keep in mind when determining where to store the beer you make in your home.
First, always keep the brew away from sunlight. Beer that is hit by direct sunlight often turns “skunky” and can end up tasting rather unpleasant. Ensure that your beer will be delicious and refreshing on the palate by keeping it near the middle of your home, in a dark, cool area. Bathrooms, the corner of the guest bedroom, or a corner of the kitchen work, but if you have a dark basement then you are golden.
Keep the brew at room temperature, and remember, the yeast you use to brew the beer probably enjoys temperatures ranging between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. As long as you are comfortable, your beer will probably be happy, too. Don’t store it in a drafty attic in the winter or in a shed in the summer.
If temperatures rise or drop dramatically, there are a few precautions you can take to ensure that your beer remains safe and tasty. If the yeast temperature falls below 65 degrees, it will become sluggish and perhaps hibernate, whereas if the temperature rises to 75 degrees or above, it will eat up the sugars more quickly – and affect the taste of your beer in the process. Fruitier flavors such as bananas, cloves, and apple may pop up unexpectedly. If the temperature rises above 85 degrees, your beer will become stressed and may harbor other flavors such as grain alcohol. Try to avoid this, as it will be difficult for your beer to settle down to a normal range if it encounters temperatures above 85 degrees. If you live in a house and are determined to keep home brewing, you can always purchase an extra refrigerator to ensure that the temperature you want is exactly what you get.
Advice for Brewing Beer at Home
There are a few tips and tricks you can employ when starting to brew your own beer. One of the best ways to avoid having your beer contaminated by dramatic temperature fluctuations is to choose the best brew day– pay attention to the weather channel and avoid beginning to brew right before or after a cold snap or a heat wave.
If the spot you’ve chosen for your brew-fest becomes suddenly colder or warmer, you will have to take some action so that your precious bottles of beer are safe! Gently transport your beer to another location if the spot you’ve chosen becomes too cold or too hot. Be careful when you do so – you don’t want to stir up the sediment too much. If your beer becomes too hot, you can cool it down by wrapping cold wet towels around the bottles, with an ice pack or two slipped in between the layers. If your beer becomes too cold, you can heat it up by purchasing a heating pad or wrap (found at most homebrew stores) and utilizing them according to the instructions on the package.
Home brewing is a tricky and intricate process, but it can reap great rewards and create the ideal glass of cold, frosty goodness. Good luck to you!
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