Beer Alchemy DIY Beer Brewing Mastery @ Home By
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WHAT’S IN THIS BOOK The “Hows” and “Whys” of It All Home Brewing in the United States: The Legal Matters
Beer Brewing History in the United States Basic overview of brewing your own beer The Bare (Beer) Necessities Basic Ingredients of Making Your Own Beer Hops Grains or Malt Extract Yeast Water Making Your Own Beer: A Beginnerâ€™s Test Setting up your home brewing projects How to build your own stir plate How to keg your own homemade beer How to make your own yeast starters How to plant your own hops How to make your own crystal malt Performing yearly maintenance on your home brewing equipment Setting up your home brewing projects outdoors 10 Best homemade beer recipes 1. Robust Porter 2. Belgian Tripel 3. Hoppy Red Ale 4. Dry Irish Stout 5. Belgian Dubbel 6. Berliner Weisse 7. Russian Imperial Stout 8. Dunkelweizen 9. Altbier 10. McSpoon's Scotch Ale Final Tips, Tricks, and Glass Types for Your Beer Your boil-off rate Adjusting beer gravity and beer bitterness The perfect beer glassware Pint Glasses / Shaker Pints Beer Mugs Beer Steins Chalices and Goblets Pilsner Glasses Weizen Glasses
Snifter Glasses Tulip and Thistle Glasses Stange Glasses Beer Tasting Glasses and Sampler Glasses Final Words of Wisdom
THE “HOWS” AND “WHYS” OF IT ALL I know what you’re thinking: how can a busy guy like me—with a steady job, a loving wife, and two kids—possibly have the time and resources to start my own home brewery? How could I possibly keep this passion up, much less build it well enough to sustain it through and through? And, finally, is it all really worth it? I can tell you right now that yes, starting your own home brewing project is easy, breezy, and totally worth it—and you don’t even have to take my word for it. For years, I’ve always been fascinated by the subtle art of brewing your own beer at home, and what started out as a hobby eventually became a fervent passion—an obsession, even—until I poured my heart and soul into it to the delight of my friends. I mean, honestly—what’s better than having a couple of your best buds over and serving your own homemade beer, right? Not to mention that the wifey absolutely adores the fact that we don’t even need to run down to the store to buy those six-packs whenever we have some friends over, whether for a small dinner party or a big get-together with the whole shebang. So yes, I got into the beer brewing business, and needless to say, I was pretty popular among my friends, and word soon spread around the whole neighborhood. How can it not? A microbrewery is excellent, and thanks to my good fortune, some corporate people eventually saw the potential and offered to buy the business from me. But that is a different story for another day. In my business most of my success came from brewing the authentic brown Ale, but I know now everyone likes that taste. So, in this book, I don’t want to share my success story but instead I want to show you how easy it is to get started on brewing your own beer. Once you master your tricks then you can think about
finding that one unique flavor that is created by you and you only. Something unique that has your signature on it. I’m here to help you create one of your own—a success story that’s built on your passion for homemade, all natural, good ole fashioned beer. It’s not even as complicated as you might think, so bottoms up and let’s get started!
(Courtesy of the Brewers Association)
HOME BREWING IN THE UNITED STATES: THE LEGAL MATTERS Before you go ahead and think that what we’re doing is illegal and we’ll all get locked up for good all because we love a drink or two at home, think again. Home brewing is actually legal in all 50 states, so fret not! You can brew to your heart’s content without worrying about the cops bursting through your front door at any minute. According to the American Homebrewers Association (AHA), brewing your own beer at home was federally legalized in 1978. It used to be prohibited back in 1919, but eventually, the states formed their own individual laws on home brewing until, in 2013, Mississippi and Alabama finally passed legislation to allow brewing your own beer at home. Gary Glass, the director of the American Homebrewers Association, says, “Homebrewers are deeply dedicated to their craft, and the AHA is thrilled that homebrewers in all 50 states can now legally take part in that passion. Sharing and community interaction are key ingredient of home brewing. We will continue to work to protect and advance the rights of homebrewers to share their unique creations.” And there you have it! The home brewing business has been growing exponentially in the United States, most especially in recent years. The AHA even has an approximation that estimates that more than a million Americans brew their own beer, at the very least for once every year. Wouldn’t you love to be part of that number?
BEER BREWING HISTORY IN THE UNITED STATES Yep, here comes the boring part, you might think. But knowing all about the fascinating history of home brewing will help you appreciate the value of brewing your own beer at home all the more. Don’t worry—I won’t bore you with the gory details of every nitty gritty, but here’s a brief overview of how home brewing came to be. The early days of home brewing in America saw its first home brewing communities when the English and the Dutch settlers established them around 1650. Settlers found that the climate and terrain were suited to beer brewing well, due to the conduciveness to growing malt and hops, which are two of the most important and main ingredients of brewing your own beer. However, during the time of the Civil War, bottling became quite expensive and so wooden kegs were used to store and serve beer. Even George Washington and Thomas Jefferson brewed their own beer—would you believe that?
(Courtesy of www.blacksheepbrewery.com)
By 1810, a hundred and forty of Americaâ€™s commercial breweries produced over 180,000 barrels of beer. In the decades that followed after the Civil War, beer eventually became a mass produced, and mass consumed commodity.
The increasing globalization and unrestricted immigration had foreign countries like Ireland and Britain influencing beer drinking in the United States, as well as the fact that the industrialized and urbanized areas started giving higher wages to workers who could then afford beer even more. Eventually, technological and scientific advancements developed different styles of brewing beer and fostered enhanced beer production. Methods like artificial refrigeration and pasteurization developed better transportation and improved shelf lives. Americans learned to brew lager beer, the British-style ale thatâ€™s brewed with top fermenting yeasts and was joined by German-style lager beers. Lagers have longer maturation periods, are much more sensitive to temperature, and use a bottom fermenting yeast. Over 66 million barrels were produced in 1914. However, the years between 1920 to 1933 were considered the Dark Years. After 1920, most breweries had to grapple with the difficult decision of what to do with their brewing equipment and expensive plants. Some bore substantial losses during the Prohibition, while others opted to expand into further related products and modifications. What resulted was a concoction that was almost like beer but not quiteâ€”a malt beverage that had below one-half of one percent alcohol. Thus, the infamous Budweiser was born. Other breweries had the opportunity to be granted special licenses to brew alcohol greater than one-half of one percent, all for medicinal purposes. Some even went so far as to produce malt syrup that was supposed to be used for baking cookies and pastries, and because the federal government
left them alone, the breweries could use the malt syrup for homemade beer. Industry Production and per Capita Consumption, 1865-1915 Year
National Production (millions of barrels) 3.7 6.6 9.5 13.3 19.2 27.6 33.6 39.5 49.5 59.6 59.8
1865 1870 1875 1880 1885 1890 1895 1900 1905 1910 1915
Per Capita Consumption (gallons) 3.4 5.3 6.6 8.2 10.5 13.6 15.0 16.0 18.3 20.0 18.7
Source: United States Brewers Association, 1979 Brewers Almanac, Washington, DC: 12-13. Industry Production, the Number of Breweries, and Average Brewery Size Year
1865 1870 1875 1880 1885
National Production (millions of barrels) 3.7 6.6 9.5 13.3 19.2
Per Capita Consumption (gallons) 3.4 5.3 6.6 8.2 10.5
1890 1895 1900 1905 1910 1915
27.6 33.6 39.5 49.5 59.6 59.8
13.6 15.0 16.0 18.3 20.0 18.7
Source: United States Brewers Association, 1979 Brewers Almanac, Washington DC: 12-13. Eventually, in April 1933, Congress finally amended the Volstead Act, and everyone was now allowed to brew 3.2 percent beer. U.S. Brewing Industry Data, 1910-1940 Year Number Number of of Barrels Breweries Produced (millions)
Average Barrelage per Brewery
1910 1915 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940
37,946 44,461 49,867 59,008 70,095 77,851 80,429 80,059 80,263
1,568 1,345 756 766 739 754 700 672 684
59.5 59.8 37.7 45.2 51.8 58.7 56.3 53.8 54.9
Largest Firm Production (millions of barrels) 1.5 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.3 1.8 2.1 2.3 2.5
Per Capita Consumption (gallons)
20.1 18.7 7.9 10.3 11.8 13.3 12.9 12.3 12.5
Source: Cochran, 1948; Krebs and Orthwein, 1953; and United States Brewers Almanac, 1956. Percentage Change in Output among Shipping Breweries, 1877-1940 Period
1877-1895 1895-1914 1934-1940
Busch 1,106% 58% 173%
685% -23% 87%
248% 78% 26%
Source: Cochran, 1948; Krebs and Orthwein, 1953; and Brewers Almanac, 1956. Leading Brewery Output Levels, 1938-1940 Brewery
Plant Location Anheuser- St. Louis, Busch MO Pabst Milwaukee, Brewing WI Peoria Heights, IL Jos. Milwaukee, Schlitz WI F & M Brooklyn, Schafer NY P. Newark, NJ Ballantine Jacob New York, Ruppert NY Falstaff St. Louis, Brewing MO New Orleans, LA Omaha, NE Duquesne Pittsburgh, Brewing PA
1938 (bls) 2,087,000
1939 (bls) 2,306,000
1940 (bls) 2,468,000
1,640,000 1,650,000 1,730,000
1,620,000 1,651,083 1,570,000 1,025,000 1,305,000 1,390,200 1,120,000 1,289,425 1,322,346 1,417,000 1,325,350 1,228,400 622,000
Carnegie, PA McKees Rock, PA St. Paul, MN
Theo. Hamm Brewing Liebman Brooklyn, Breweries NY
(Source: Fein, 1942, 35) Oddly enough, while World War One became a direct threat to the brewing industry because war time emergencies called for grain rationing and thus lowered beerâ€™s alcohol level to 2.75 percent, World War Two increased beer production greatly rather than decreasing output from 1941 to 1945. Production and per Capita Consumption, 1945-1980 Year Number Number of of barrels Breweries withdrawn (millions) 1945 468 86.6 1950 407 88.8 1955 292 89.8 1960 229 94.5 1965 197 108.0 1970 154 134.7 1975 117 157.9 1980 101 188.4
Per Capita Consumption (gallons) 18.6 17.2 15.9 15.4 16.0 18.7 21.1 23.1
(Source: 1993 USBA, 7-8)
Whatâ€™s also interesting during this time is that there was a great deal of change when it came to how beer was sold. While most beer was sold ontap in bars before the Prohibition (and a rough estimate of about 10-15 percent of beer was bottled), the American Can Company canned beer for the very first time in 1935. This greatly affected home refrigeration for consumers everywhere, and by the year 2000, beer production reached approximately 200 million barrels. Eventually, new firms that were smaller in size were nicknamed microbreweries, with a share of approximately 5-7 percent of the beer market. As with anything thatâ€™s not widespread and commercially available, the microbreweries made up for their lack of commercial advertising by promoting inherent product characteristics like the freshness of locally produced beer, stronger malt and hop flavors, as well as a variety of other brewing recipes that reintroduced old but classic styles. Production and Per Capita Consumption, 1980-1990 Year
Number of Breweries
Number of barrels withdrawn (millions)
Per Capita Consumption (gallons)
(Source: 1993 USBA, 7-8)
Of course, because of the home grown appeal of microbreweries that promised better quality, higher standards of ingredients, and a personal touch, home brewing became a widely popular hobby—and even a stable source of income—for many Americans all over the country. And now that it’s legal in all 50 states, what’s stopping anyone from brewing their own natural and organic beer? Yes, that’s exactly what we’re here to find out throughout this book, as we’ll go through all the things that are necessary for building your own microbrewery—from ingredients, equipment and tools, proper maintenance, and, of course, the various recipes that will make you the star of your next house party. Shall we begin?
BASIC OVERVIEW OF BREWING YOUR OWN BEER So, you want to brew your own beer, don’t you? You want to feel the satisfaction of a job well done by cracking open a bottle of the freshest and more natural brew there is—one that’s made straight from your kitchen or your backyard. First of all, let me congratulate you for taking that very first step in deciding you want to be your own home brewer, because why not? Second, let me start right off the bat by telling you that brewing your own beer will probably be the most satisfying, most rewarding experience you will ever have—not to mention you will be doing your family, your friends, your neighborhood—heck, maybe your own country—a great and noble service. Because who doesn’t love homemade beer? Now that you’re even more hyped up, sit back, relax, and let me guide you through the whole process!
THE BARE (BEER) NECESSITIES When you’re brewing your own beer, remember that home brewing has two categories: extract, and the all grain variety. Essentially, beer is made when you use sugars from partially germinated or malted grains, and in grain brewing, you can utilize a series of steps to extract the said sugars from your milled grains. With the extract brewing style, you can, instead, use ready-made malt extract so that you can effectively skip the process of extracting sugars. As a beginner in the wonderful world of home brewing, you can use the extract brewing method as a starting point in your journey to brewing your own beer. With this method, you will need minimal beer equipment and fewer procedures, all while producing the best and the highest quality beer ever. Basically, there is no need to invest your whole fortune or turn the entirety of your kitchen or your poor basement into a local professional brewery. You might think you’d need all kinds of top-notch kegs, washing stations, tap handles, and shiny tanks to create the magnificent foamy beer of your dreams, but in reality, purchasing a home brewing kit will do—you don’t even need to break the bank (or break all of your and your family’s piggy banks) just to do it. Save those fancier gadgets for later, but for now, start small. After all, simple is always best, isn’t it?
(A typical Brewing Kit) Basic home brewing kit includes: 6.5-gallon primary fermenter with lid 6.5-gallon bottling bucket with spigot Easy no-rinse cleanser Airlock Siphon and Bottling Hydrometer Twin lever bottle capper Liquid crystal thermometer Cooking thermometer 3-5 gallon stock pot
(Home brewing fermenter with lid)
(Bucket with Spigot)
You can check out this site that I first bought from, but do your own search to find out who offers the best price. (http://www.homebrewing.org/)
BASIC INGREDIENTS OF MAKING YOUR OWN BEER Got your basic equipment down pat? Good. Now it’s time for the good stuff. Get to know your basic ingredients before you do anything else —you wouldn’t want to mix these up and end up with stale beer.
HOPS What are hops? These are actually cones or flowers of the
female plant Humuluslupulus, which contains alpha acids that you need to determine the bitterness of your hops. To rate the hopâ€™s bitterness, you need to go for the higher alpha acid percentage. When you are boiling your hops, a typical boiling time will last for about 60 minutes or an hour or more. This is because the alpha resins of the hops are not that readily soluble in water, and if you want them to fully release their bitterness, they have to be boiled properly for about an hour or more.
Itâ€™s also important to note that the acid percentage of varying hops also vary on different years and on different regions, so it is a good practice to jot down notes and record all your successful brews and the particulars of the ingredients you used so that you can replicate successful brewing recipes whenever you want to. Take note of the packaging of your bittering or boiling hops so that you can get the
exact alpha acid percentage. After boiling to release bitterness, you can also use your aromatic or finishing hops to give off that particular fragrance and aroma toward the end of your brewing process. This is incredibly important—I can’t stress the crucial element of aroma enough. Most of what we taste from our food actually comes from our sense of smell, so when you’re brewing that perfect batch of homemade beer, it has to smell absolutely delightful! GRAINS OR MALT EXTRACT I know we’re talking about the malt extract method here, but even if you are not doing the grains method, you still need those specialty grains so that you can give your beer the aroma, color, flavor, and body that it deserves. Make sure that the grains that you buy are from reputable stores that sell fresh grains that have been properly stored. Then, you need to mill or crush the grains using a grain mill, or you can even ask someone else to do it for you at a homebrew shop. Uncrushed grains can be stored for up to around 4 months or so; however, as soon as you get those grains good and crushed, you need to use them as soon as possible.
Now, malt extracts, on the other hand, can help you enjoy your home brewing process a little bit more. Available in a liquid (LME) or dry (DME) form, malt extracts are used depending on how much of it is needed in a recipe. Hereâ€™s a good formula for calculating the right amount that you need without overdoing anything: 1 lb. LME = 1.044 original gravity if dissolved in 1 gallon of water 1 lb. DME = 1.037 original gravity if dissolved in 1 gallon of Water.
This simple calculation will help you determine the original gravity or the measure of fermentable sugars needed in your wort (fermented beer). YEAST This single-celled fungus may not look or sound too appealing, but yeast plays a crucial role in fermentation. It consumes the malt sugars during the whole process, and in turn, produces CO2 and alcohol. Much like malt extract, the brewerâ€™s yeast may come in the dry form or in liquid form.
Of course, using a particular kind has its own advantages and disadvantages. Dry yeast—which used to be looked down upon in beer production in the early days—has a longer shelf life than liquid yeast. Dry yeast also requires minimal preparation when you’re using it, making it pretty efficient. Liquid yeast, on the other hand, has a ton of varieties which gives you plenty of options compared to the dry yeast. However, liquid yeast has a shorter shelf life and can be more fragile. Liquid yeast requires a more precise and careful handling compared to dry yeast. So before you prep your beer brewing home facility, make sure you know what you want to achieve with your home brewed beer. WATER Of course, when we talk about water, you should always
consider the quality of it because, like any other drink, beer is mostly composed of more than 90 percent water. The kind of water that you use for brewing your beer needs to be free of weird smells and odors and has to be completely clean. Be wary of odors such as the ones you can smell from chlorine! When it comes to water pH levels and minerality or hardness, you should aim to achieve certain levels for home brewing your beer. A good balance would be to have moderately hard water, as well as low to moderate alkalinity. Make sure that you can adjust your water chemistry as needed.
MAKING YOUR OWN BEER: A BEGINNER’S TEST Before we go ahead and dive into the wonderful world of home brewing, why don’t you give your knowledge a go? You can apply what you’ve learned so far and try it out with this basic beer recipe that’s simple and a classic—the American Amber Bock. Statistics: (http://www.homebrewing.org/) Yield: 5 gallons Original gravity: 1.057 Final gravity: 1.014 Color/SRM: Amber Alcohol content: 5.55% IBU: 31 What’s great about this recipe is that because the alcohol content is 5.5%, it does not overpower the taste of the malts, nor does it mask the amazing aroma of the hops. It’s perfect for beginners, so let’s get started. Making sure that you have everything you need on hand, start by cleaning and sanitizing all of your brewing equipment thoroughly—you wouldn’t want your first batch to get contaminated with bacteria right off the bat. Then, steep your grains. Heat around 2 and a half gallons of water inside your brew pot. Then, add your specialty grains—making sure that they’re crushed—to the grain bag. Here’s a recommendation: 0.5 lbs. Crystal (120 °L+) 0.5 lbs. Dark Munich 0.25 lbs. Victory After putting in all of your contents, tie a knot and seal your grain bag on
one end, making sure that you leave enough room inside the bag so that the grains can move around loosely. Now, place the grain bag inside the water. Set your temperature and heat it to approximately150°F to 160°F, and steep your grains for about 20 minutes or so. After which, remove the grain bag, careful not to squeeze the bag. Simply let the water drain from the grain bag straight into the pot. Congratulations! By now, you already have what’s called wort or unfermented beer, and it only gets more exciting from here on out. Bring your wort to a good boil, then remove the brew pot from your heat. Add around 7 lbs. Pale LME and an estimate of 1 oz. Saaz hops. Keep stirring the wort until you see that your malt extract has dissolved completely. A word of caution: if you leave any undissolved extract sitting on the bottom of your pot, it will burn up! Ensure that you stir everything as thoroughly as you can when you’re boiling to keep anything from burning. Leave your wort boiling for about a little less than an hour, then add in your aromatic or finishing hops. Boil them for 5 minutes so that they won’t add any bitter taste to your mixture but instead will enhance the aroma and fragrance of your completed beer. Then, cool down your wort to below 100°F. Keep in mind that your wort is especially tempting to microbes right now, so make sure that you sanitize your equipment properly to keep those unwanted bacteria at bay. Next up, you will need to siphon the wort (already cool) into your fermentation vessel. Add in some cold water to reach 5 gallons, then aerate the wort with a diffusion stone or by rocking the fermenter with the lid on. Pitch or add your yeast into your wort. Remember that here’s where the magic of fermentation happens, when the
yeast consumes the malt sugars and produces alcohol and CO2. Cool down your wort to around 78°F before pitching the yeast, then seal your fermenter as tight as you can. Use a sanitized airlock and stopper, then fill up your airlock with water. Place your fermenter in a location that has a stable temperature and won’t be in the way when you’re going through your everyday activities. As the CO2 escapes the airlock throughout the 24-48 hour period, you will find that things start to happen, until it takes about a week or two for the complete fermentation. Some home brewers want to add in a secondary fermentation after one week, which means siphoning the beer into a glass carboy as a secondary fermenter. This optional step clears the beer more and reduces sediments when you keg or bottle your beer. Just leave your work of art be—the temptation to meddle is strong, but you have to resist it! Speaking of kegging, it’s time to siphon your beer into a bottling bucket. Allow the beer to condition (along with any additives that the recipe might call for), and share it with your family and friends! Don’t forget to make full use of your bragging rights—you’ve definitely earned them!
SETTING UP YOUR HOME BREWING PROJECTS
HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN STIR PLATE One of the biggest and more important elements in brewing your own beer is having some strong fermentation with good, healthy yeast. You can purchase yourself some healthy yeast that’s ready to pitch, but for a starting gravity that’s higher than 1.028, you’re going to need lots and lot of yeast just so your packets will be sufficient enough to brew 5 gallons of beer in a batch. That’s really not the most cost-effective way to go, but if you use a starter, you can effectively expand those yeast cells to an exponential amount. To do this, you need a good starter, which means you need a good stir plate so that you can constantly keep off the carbon dioxide and keep stirring in the oxygen.
A stir plate is also crucial for when you want to keep your yeast active especially when it’s time for them to get mixed in with the wort. This kind
of active yeast makes fermentation faster and healthier, and can, in turn, improve the overall quality of your beer, making it cleaner. The first thing you need to do is to mix in 100 grams of light dried malt extract or DME and about 1/8 teaspoon of yeast nutrient into a quart or a liter of water. Let this mixture boil for about 5 minutes, making sure that you cover the pot during the final minute in order to sterilize the lid. Then, chill the mixture to the proper pitching temperature of your beer. Pour everything into a sterilized flask or jar, then cover it loosely with some aluminum foil. Always make sure that everything is sterilized—from your stir bar down to your aluminum foil. Now, put in on your stir plate, and let the low-gravity starter give your yeast the nutrients they need to get them good and revved up without the stressful high-alcohol environment. You can buy a stir plate from any homebrew supply store or a lab supply store, but where’s the fun in that? You’re already brewing your own beer at home, so you might as well go all the way and build everything from scratch, right? After all, building your own stir plate is simple, cheap, and fun. Materials: (www.seriouseats.com): Dead external hard drive, preferably with a 12V power supply 12 VDC computer cooling fan 1-inch plastic pipe Potentiometer (2,000 ohms) with knob Voltage regulator (LM317) Resistor (330 ohms) Capacitor (0.1 mfd) Circuit board
Drill Soldering iron and solder Magnetic stir bar Procedure: Itâ€™s time to play operation! Open up the hard drive case and go to town, taking everything apart. From the reader arms, grab the magnets and set aside the female plug (this is for the power supply and the power supply cord). Then, stick the pipe to the fan, gluing those magnets to the pipe. Make sure that the fan is balanced properly so that when you mount it into the hard drive case, later on, those magnets will stay as close to the top of the surface as possible. Next up, you will need to unleash the tinkerer in you, as you will piece together the tiny electronic components that you find on the circuit board. Just be careful about crossing the wiring on top of each other to prevent any small fires! Now, itâ€™s time to mount the potentiometer, fan, and circuit board into the hard drive case. To make the potentiometer arm fit through the case, carefully drill a hole and attach the knob. Make sure that the circuit board is aligned so that you can plug your power supply cord right in. Connect the power supply to the wall, and test out your spanking brand new stir plate! Now, wasnâ€™t that simply satisfying?
HOW TO KEG YOUR OWN HOMEMADE BEER (http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2011/10/homebrewing-introduction-tokegging-how-to-keg-your-beer.html) Now that you’ve got your hands dirty, it’s time to tell you all about kegging your own beer. Before we even begin, you should know that not every home brewer wants to keg their own beer, as the materials and equipment alone will probably cost you around $80, give or take. The basic setup includes a carbon dioxide tank, some hoses, a regulator, and, of course, your keg, which also means you need a temp-controlled fridge that has enough space to kit your CO2 tank and your keg. If you’re not into that kind of commitment (both with regard to space and time), then kegging is probably not for you. But if you want to know if it’s all worth it at the end of the day, then my answer is a resounding YES. Just think—you will never have to wash those homebrew bottles ever again in your entire life, and—let’s face it— there’s nothing more satisfying than pouring yourself a nice cold pint straight from your own homebrew tap. Besides, if you’re having family and friends over, you won’t need to waste a full glass for those who only want samples and those who just want to take a sip; plus, you will no longer need to worry about those pesky sediments that settle at the bottom of your bottle. Convinced? Good. Here’s how you should set it up.
First off, it helps if you know about how kegs work in general. Typically, there are two kinds of 5-gallon soda kegs depending on how the hoses are connected. The ball lock variety is more popular than the pin lock variety, but the choice ultimately depends on you. Just make sure that once you pick one, you have to stick to it to keep from the hassle of switching between different connection types. There are two ports on a keg as well, with in and out labels (be careful not to mix these two up!), and an oval lid where you can transfer your beer. The “in” port is where you need to let your CO2 come in. How it works is that the pressure from the carbon dioxide on top will force the beer to travel down the bottom of the keg through the tube, leading the beer out of the dispenser. Now, on your regulator, you’ll notice that the two dials tell you how much
pressure is being directed to the keg and how much gas there is that’s left inside your CO2 tank. Remember: you should NEVER open the CO2 tank’s main valve unless you’re sure that the regulator is connected nice and tight! The high pressure here can be pretty dangerous, so be conscious of those levels. The gas indicator will usually be somewhere between 600 to 900 psi. If your CO2 goes below 600 psi, you need to head on over to your local welding supply shop to fill up your tank by exchanging your old tank for a full one.
Before you begin, make sure that your keg is thoroughly cleansed and sanitized (you can opt for OxiClean Free, Star San, or Idophor). Never use bleach to get the job done as bleach can corrode stainless steel. It can even eat its way through your keg if left there for a long time. When you’re sure about the cleanliness of your keg, transfer the fermented beer into it using a sanitized auto-siphon racking cane, minimizing the splashing to prevent premature oxidizing. When you’ve fully transferred your beer, take about 20 seconds with your regulator up to 10 psi, then release the valve. Repeat this procedure twice or thrice, just to make sure that the residual oxygen from the very top of the keg is purged thoroughly. Put your keg in the fridge (make sure your clear out your refrigerator before starting your kegging project) with a temperature of about 40°F and the regulator at 11psi. Wait for two weeks (patience is a virtue!) before your beer is ready to drink. You can now sit back, relax, and enjoy your carbonated drink in the comfort of your trusty ole couch. The key to good kegging, however, lies in the proper maintenance of your equipment. You need to check your whole setup regularly for any carbon dioxide leaks because if you’re not careful, even just a tiny leak can drain your tank in no time. So, to check for leaks, turn up the regulator to 20 psi with all the hoses connected. Because the lid will be tightly sealed due to the high pressure, you should be able to determine if there are any significant leaks in your keg. Listen and check to see if there is any hissing sound.
If your keg is leaking, release the pressure by turning the regulator down and lifting the lid ring. Open the lid, rotate it, and close it once again to reposition it, once again checking for hissing sounds when everything is sealed back. Check for leaks every month to make sure you’re not wasting your carbon dioxide. You can also set your regulator to 10 psi, and create a bubble mixture to help you detect any leak. Mix in some liquid dish soap and water and place it in a spray bottle. Use this mixture to spray onto the joints and connections and along the keg lid. If there is indeed a leak in there somewhere, the leak will blow some bubbles through because of the soap solution. And there you have it—your very own home-based kegging system! Still, if all of this is too overwhelming for you, you can always go for the old fashioned bottle washing technique. It can be quite a daunting task, but you can clean your bottles with a simple dishwasher if you don’t want to break the bank. Make sure that your dishwasher has a heated drying cycle as the steam while drying will help sanitize the bottles. Keep in mind that you should never use detergent here if you don’t want to damage the bottles. You can also use typical dry heat in an oven. This method definitely takes a longer time, but if you’re patient enough and keep your temperature at 338°F for an hour (or approximately 320°F for 2 hours), you will eventually make it through too!
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN YEAST STARTERS We’ve been talking about yeasts all this time, but how much do you really know about its importance in home brewing your own beer? Before we get into the nitty gritty of making your own yeast starters, let’s talk about the beer yeast life cycle and behavior first. So, what exactly does yeast do during beer fermentation? We know that it consumes wort sugars, but how do you use your yeast to maximize the correct flavor compounds in your beer? Fermentation Timeline Lag phase
3-15 hours after pitching yeast
Exponential growth phase
Stationary phase of yeast growth-
Source: http://www.brewgeeks.com/the-life-cycle-of-yeast.html Once the yeast is pitched, it starts to acclimate itself to its environment in a phase called the “lag phase.” It up takes amino acids and minerals from wort, using the amino acids to build proteins. Using all-malt wort can help provide a good source of minerals, nitrogen, and various vitamins that the yeast needs—these vitamins include biotin, riboflavin, and inositol. Minerals include copper, zinc, iron, sulfur, phosphorous, sodium, and potassium. The yeast also absorbs oxygen rapidly during this lag phase so that it can grow properly. As a homebrewer, you can facilitate and enhance the level of oxygen that the yeast absorbs by simply shaking the fermenter. True to the name of the phase, there’s not really much activity going on during the lag phase.
But even though unseen by the naked eye, this phase is crucial to the healthy growth and development of the yeast to complete the fermentation.
The exponential growth phase is where the yeast consumes sugars and
where carbon dioxide is produced. The yeast’s cell count will increase rapidly, and this is where flavor compounds and ethanol is produced. The olive aroma will come out, and the head of foam begins to turn brown from yellow due to precipitated hop and malt components. Then, in the stationary phase of yeast growth, beer is matured. In this conditioning phase, some professional breweries might cool down the fermenter contents slowly to about 35-40 F, but for home brewers, they need to wait for the fermenter to clear. With this overview, you can identify any problem areas in the different stages so that you can tackle them preemptively before anything else. Now, for mid- to high-alcohol beers, it is highly recommended that you use a yeast starter, especially for liquid yeast. What is a starter, anyway? Basically, a starter is simply a small batch of beer, and you can have a few stashes in handy to serve as your starters for your future batch of beer. Simply brew a little extra—perhaps 6 gallons instead of 5 gallons—and pour the extra beer into freezer bags that are sanitized and store them up in your freezer. The best ones to use would be pale, low hopped wort (make sure that the original gravity is somewhere between 1.030 and 1.050). You can also make your own set of canned starters by mixing 100 grams of dry extract to around one liter of water. Can the mixture and place them into a pressure cooker with a 15psi pressure for15 minutes minimum. Do not go below 15 minutes as you run the risk of lingering infections and bacteria that can make you and your family ill. Stash these cans in the freezer, so that these canned worts can last for around 6 months or more. If you’re ready to use your starters, make sure to use a sanitized spoon to swirl it and dissolve some oxygen into it. Just remember that if it already has a weird and undesirable smell, do not
risk itâ€”just throw it away and start over. Thereâ€™s no point saving your starters at the cost of your own health!
HOW TO PLANT YOUR OWN HOPS Just like making your own yeast starters, planting your own hops can be quite satisfying especially if youâ€™re making everything from scratch. Getting hands-on with your hops means that you can either grow them up on a string for easier harvesting or have them look like beautiful and aromatic vines by using a lattice. To add hops to your backyard or garden, dig a four-inch deep hole and plant a rhizome root horizontally (you can buy rhizomes from most local home brew shops or online shops). Make sure that the buds on the root as pointed upward. Then, cover the thing with some light packed high nitrogen mulch. Remember to place each rhizome at about two feet apart to give them ample room to grow. Once they grow to about 6 to 12 inches, use your string or your lattice and train them around it. After around two months of these growing, keep in mind that you should trim the bottom part of about 4 feet of leaves so that you can keep harmful fungus and disease away. During the fall season, your hop cones will actually begin to feel all papery and dry. This will be the best time to harvest your crops for your home brewing project, as you should pick them up before they start to turn a shade of brown. Dry them properly on a flat surface and let a fan blow across the hops to get rid of all the moisture. Of course, you wonâ€™t be able to use up all those harvested hops in one home brewing session, so be wary when storing them properly. Place them
in airtight bags or food sealers, keeping the air out as much as you can. Store up those sealed bags in the freezer until the time you need them!
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN CRYSTAL MALT Are you ready for another DIY ingredient? A staple in most beer recipes, crystal malt, is used depending on the beer type (light crystal malt for pale ales, while darker C-120 for stouts). The sugars that the grain carbohydrates are converted into all stay inside the beer and are not consumed by yeast that easily, which is why after fermentation, the sugars enhance the flavor, sweetness, and overall mouthfeel of the drink. If you’re after this kind of flexibility in your flavors, be prepared to take about a whole day in creating your own crystal malt.
First off, soak your grains and saturate them with water so that you can speed up the conversion process. Use about 1 or 2 pounds of pale malt in a large bowl and soak the grains in water for about 3 to 12 hours. Second, preheat your oven to 170°F or 180°F, then arrange your grains in a baking
pan and make sure they are about 2 inches deep. Keep this up for about an hour or two. Then, dry the malt. Heat your oven to 250°F, and spread the malt around the baking pan. Stir around from time to time to keep anything from getting scorched or burned through. Do this for two hours more, and when the grains are finally dry, turn up the heat to 350°F for ten minutes so that the sugar in the grain can get nice and caramelized. This will be good for use as a substitute for C-10 or C-20, while 30 minutes can be a replacement for C60. A whole hour can be used as C-100.
When you’re done roasting the malt, remove it from the heat and let everything cool down. Store the malt in a cool and dry place for half a month to about 6 weeks, and you’re done!
PERFORMING YEARLY MAINTENANCE ON YOUR HOME BREWING EQUIPMENT While creating your own ingredients and building your own tools and equipment from scratch is absolutely awesome, you have to make sure that you keep everything in check with regard to the wear and tear of your machinery. You are your own brewer, and nobody will perform maintenance checkups on your gear but yourself. Always make sure that everything is working properly and squeaky clean, so set aside a particular schedule every year to do an annual deep cleaning to make sure youâ€™re not harboring any naughty bacteria or brewing your own personal beer infections from your equipment. You can use some dye-free and fragrance-free Oxyclean to painstakingly scrub out your stainless steel tools and kettles. In the clear tubing for your racking cane, bottling wand, spigots (which is quite often where various debris can build up over the weeks and months), it can be quite a challenge to clean these hoses thoroughly. They can be pretty cheap when you purchase them from Home Depot though so that you can be sure the new ones wonâ€™t have any bacteria hiding inside. For your fermentation vessels, always make sure that you check them for scrapes or scratches. Check your glass carboys and inspect them for damage, as any kind of defect will attract bacteria and stray yeast. This also includes your spoons, racking canes, and funnels. Do not forget to
check the calibration of thermometers and hydrometers constantly. This crucial step will keep your brewing efficiency at an optimum level and will make sure that your calculations on your alcohol content are correct. Now that everything is spotless, youâ€™re all set and ready to go for your next home brewing project!
SETTING UP YOUR HOME BREWING PROJECTS OUTDOORS Now that you have all the proper knowledge needed to set up your home brewing projects inside your house, perhaps it’s time to consider creating your own outdoor home brewing set up. This is a good option for those who have enough time, space, and money to spare, and when you’re done starting on a small scale and ready to expand outdoors. As a first-timer, you will likely make your first home brewing set up inside the kitchen, but once you get the urge to move out onto the porch or the backyard, you’re probably ready for the great outdoors. The very first thing you need to consider is your source of heat outside (and no, I’m not talking about the sun). Most starting home brewers use a propane camp burner because it is inexpensive and does the job well, but if you’re more of a tech-loving enthusiast, you can go for home-built electric burners or even a custom natural gas range. This will probably be the most important cost you need to factor in when you want to set up an outdoor home brewery. A simple propane burner will usually range from $55 to $100, with the price variation due to the BTU rating and frame quality. If you are a home brewer who is aiming to make 5-gallon batches, you should always go for any burner that is rated over 35,000 BTUs. Just remember that the higher the rating, the better, so if you want to up your beer brewing game to 10-gallon batches, remember not to go less than 60,000 BTUs.
Now, for the quality of the frame, cheap frames can bend over prolonged usage, especially since home brewers tend to boil 5 gallons or so for an hour. Do not scrimp on that. You can usually go for a standard 20-pound propane tank, which will last you around 3 to 5 all-grain batches. Of course, every new endeavor has its own pros and cons. If you do decide to brew outdoors, you will be able to save so much time compared to when you brew on your kitchen stovetop. Propane burners definitely heat larger amounts of water and do so at a much faster rate than a stove top. Still, when you’re heating at this kind of rate, you also run a bigger risk of burning off your grains. Also, when you’re brewing outdoors, the smell that lingers after your home brewing project will not haunt your house throughout the whole day. If you are quite sensitive to these kinds of smells (or if you happen to have family and friends over), it’s not very ideal to have lingering smells in every corner of your home. You’ll also save up so much time and effort when you brew outdoors because you won’t have to clean up vigorously after yourself as compared to when you’re making a mess inside your kitchen. And because brewing your own beer at home takes a lot of tools and equipment, the people living in your house with you might not take too kindly on you hogging the kitchen so that you can brew your perfect batch of ale. In this case, moving your whole operation outside might be the perfect solution for you and your whole family. Probably the most important thing you need to consider and be extra careful of is your sanitation. Brewing outdoors also means that you expose your whole process to a variety of factors in the environment, and that
includes bad weather, natural elements, and dust and insects. There is a higher chance of infection outdoors rather than indoors, so always keep track of your sanitation when youâ€™re brewing outside. Other than that, why donâ€™t you give the great outdoors a try?
10 BEST HOMEMADE BEER RECIPES So, you think you can brew your own beer now? Do you think you have what it takes? If you ask me, I absolutely believe that you do—one hundred and ten percent. After all, you’ve made it this far, haven’t you? So let’s get brewing! Here is link to a slideshow you can view and visualize this process http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2013/02/best-homebrewing-recipes-how-to-brewyour-own-beer-slideshow.html
1. ROBUST PORTER For the enthusiastic beginner, the robust porter is perfectly designed to get you started in this fabulous new endeavor of home brewing. For this recipe, make sure that you have a large mesh steeping bag—not the smaller hog bags— as you’ll be steeping over two pounds of grain here. The very first step, of course, is to sanitize your equipment as thoroughly as you can. In your sanitizing bucket, mix about 3 gallons of your chosen sanitizing solution to clean up every single utensil and tool that will come in contact with your wort. Make sure that you pour your sanitizer and swirl it around inside your vessel before you transfer the wort. Preparation: 4 hours Total duration: 4 to 5 weeks Ingredients: 6 and a half pounds liquid light malt extract 1 pound liquid Munich malt extract 1 pound crushed Crystal 40L malt 3/4 pound crushed Chocolate malt Half a pound of crushed Black patent malt 1 ounce Cascade hops 1 ounce Cascade hops 6 gallons tap water 1 Liter starter of liquid American Ale yeast Directions: If you have enough space inside your refrigerator, put your 3 gallons of water in the fridge and allow it to cool inside a properly sanitized container. Inside a
mesh bag (make sure that it is large enough), tie your Crystal 40L malt, Chocolate malt, and Black Patent malt. Place this mesh bag into the 3 gallons of water (note that the pot should be good for 5 gallons) and immerse the grains well. Before you start the heating process, make sure that your mesh bag is not sitting directly on the pot’s bottom. Then, when the heat reaches approximately 170°, remove the grain bag. Next, boil the wort, then add the liquid malt extracts slowly as the water is heating. Don’t forget to keep stirring from time to time until the extracts are dissolved completely. Add an ounce of the Cascade hops in a mesh bag as soon as the boil starts. After about 45 minutes of boiling, add an ounce of Cascade in a mesh bag. Keep at it for an hour before you remove from the heat. After a total of 60 minutes of boiling, remove from the heat. Be absolutely certain to keep exposure to the open air to a bare minimum. It’s now time to cool your wort. Place the pot in an ice bath and aim for a temperature of about below 85°F. Then, transfer it to a sanitized fermenter. You can either use a carboy or a fermentation bucket here. Top off your water to 5 gallons with some refrigerated water. Using a sanitized auto-siphon racking cane, you can now remove your wort so that you can accurately take a gravity reading using your hydrometer to calculate the actual alcohol content later on. Finally, pour yeast into your cooled wort carefully, making sure that the temperature should be below 70°F. Agitate it, then cover the fermenter with a stopper and an airlock (remember to keep everything sanitized!). With a consistent ambient temperature (65 to 68°F or so), ferment your creation in a dark place. You can successfully bottle it after 3 to 4 weeks. And you’re done! Before you go and celebrate your success, let’s take a moment to run through how you can properly bottle and carbonate your drinks—you’ll need this information for every good home brew afterward!
Occurring naturally in beer, carbonation happens when yeast produces CO2 along with alcohol during sugar consumption. This defining texture can be achieved via the following sugar computations: Dry stout, English ale
0.5 ounces per gallon for low carbonation
American ales, porter
0.9 ounces per gallon for medium carbonation
German weissbier, Belgian blond
1.5 ounces per gallon for high carbonation
Keep in mind that fermentation needs to be complete (approximately after 2 weeks for most beer under 6% ABV) before you start bottling, because if you donâ€™t complete the fermentation first, you might end up getting too much carbonation in the bottles. Even worse is when the pressure becomes too much for the bottle, causing a not-so-festive explosion all over your precious kitchen floor. So, to make sure that fermentation is indeed completed, check the final gravity (FG) of your beer before you even consider bottling it. You can do this by using your auto-siphon racking cane to remove enough beer, filling your hydrometer jar up to about 80%. Get the measurement of your FG by placing the hydrometer in the jar and identifying the level at which it is floating. Once the FG measurement becomes consistent for two consecutive days, the fermentation is complete. You are now ready to bottle your beer. Here are some of the things youâ€™ll be needing: a bottling bucket with a spigot, bottles to fill 5 gallons, some bottle caps, a bottle capper, your auto-siphon racking cane, a bottling wand and hose, a helping hand, and about 2 hours of spare time, especially if this is your first time
to bottle your beer. Sanitize everything. Rinse your beer bottles properly, then soak your bottle caps in half a cup of cheap vodka so that they wonâ€™t rust. With your auto-siphon racking cane, transfer the beer from the fermentation container to your bottling bucket. Connect your bottling wand to the bottling bucket, then insert the wand to the bottleâ€™s bottom and press it down to fill up a bottle to the top. Place your cappers on each one, then let the bottles stay at room temperature for about 2 to 3 weeks. This allows the yeast to consume the sugar and produce the appropriate carbon dioxide that will carbonate your drinks.
2. BELGIAN TRIPEL Ready for that distinct sweet Belgian finish? This easy recipe is popular among beginner home brewers, and you can even use the flavors of the Westmalle yeast (Wyeast 3787 or Whitelabs WLP530). Just make sure to prepare a two-liter starter 24-48 hours in advance (no dry yeast substitutes, please, for your Belgian beer styles). Note that you will also be needing an additional 5-gallon glass carboy so that you can transfer the beer after completing your primary fermentation. This crucial step allows the complex flavors of your Belgian yeast to enhance the taste of your home brew, so the additional couple weeks in the brewing process is definitely worth it. Preparation: 4 hours Total duration: 6 to 8 weeks Ingredients: 9 pounds Pilsner malt extract 1 pound light Belgian candy sugar 1 pound crushed Carapils malt 2 ounces Hallertau hops 6 gallons of tap water, split 2 Liter starter of liquid Belgian Ale yeast (Whitelabs WLP500 or Wyeast 1214)
Source: http://rileycrawford.com/beerinfographic.html Directions: If you have enough space inside your refrigerator, put your 3 gallons of water in the fridge and allow it to cool inside a properly sanitized container. Inside a mesh bag, tie your Carapils malt and place this mesh bag into the 3 gallons of water (note that the pot should be good for 5 gallons) and immerse the grains well. Before you start the heating process, make sure that your mesh bag is not sitting directly on the potâ€™s bottom. Then, when the heat reaches approximately 170Â°, remove the grain bag. Next, boil the wort, then add the 2 pounds of Pilsner liquid malt extract slowly as the water is heating. Donâ€™t forget to keep stirring from time to time until the extracts are dissolved completely. Add 2 ounces Hallertau hops in a mesh bag as soon as the boil starts. Wait for the boiling until about 45 minutes has passed. This will be the perfect time to add your remaining 7 pounds of Pilsner liquid malt extract, plus the
pound of Belgian candy sugar. Stir well until totally dissolved. After a total of about an hour of boiling, remove from the heat. Be absolutely certain to keep exposure to the open air to a bare minimum. It’s now time to cool your wort. Place the pot in an ice bath and aim for a temperature of about below 85°F. Then, transfer it to a sanitized fermenter. You can either use a carboy or a fermentation bucket here. Top off your water to 5 gallons with some refrigerated water. Using a sanitized auto-siphon racking cane, you can now remove your wort so that you can accurately take a gravity reading using your hydrometer to calculate the actual alcohol content later on. Normally, the reading should reach an estimated value of 1.075. Finally, pour yeast into your cooled wort carefully, making sure that the temperature should be below 70°F. Agitate it, then cover the fermenter with a stopper and an airlock (remember to keep everything sanitized!). With a consistent ambient temperature (68 to 70°F or so), ferment your creation in a dark place. Remember that your gravity readings should be consistent for at least two weeks before you transfer to a secondary carboy. Store it as cool as possible; then you can successfully bottle it after about 4 to 6 weeks. Congratulations!
3. HOPPY RED ALE Sweet malt? Check. Scintillating citrus aroma? Check. A Crisp finish? Check. The hoppy red ale gets its intense orange-citrus aroma due to the dry hop with 1 ounce of Amarillo hops. This adds to the brightness of the beer and will surely make it a family favorite inside the house. Preparation: 4 hours Total duration: 5 to 6 weeks Ingredients: 6 gallons of tap water, split 6 pounds Light liquid malt extract 1 pound crushed CaraRed malt Half a pound crushed Crystal 60L malt 2 ounces crushed Black Roasted Barley malt 1 ounce Centennial Hops 1 ounce Centennial Hops 1 ounce Amarillo Hops 1 Liter starter of American Ale yeast (White Labs WLP001 or Wyeast 1056) 1 ounce Amarillo Hops Directions: If you have enough space inside your refrigerator, put your 3 gallons of water in the fridge and allow it to cool inside a properly sanitized container. Inside a mesh bag (make sure that it is large enough), tie your CaraRed, Crystal 60L and Black Roasted Barley.
Place this mesh bag into the 3 gallons of water (note that the pot should be good for 5 gallons) and immerse the grains well. Before you start the heating process, make sure that your mesh bag is not sitting directly on the pot’s bottom. Then, when the heat reaches approximately 170°, remove the grain bag. Next, boil the wort, then add the 6 pounds of light liquid malt extract slowly as the water is heating. Don’t forget to keep stirring from time to time until the extracts are dissolved completely. Add an ounce Centennial hops in a mesh bag as soon as the boil starts. After about 45 minutes of boiling, add an ounce of Centennial hops in a mesh bag. Keep at it for about 55 minutes, then add an ounce Amarillo hops in a mesh bag. After a total of 60 minutes of boiling, remove from the heat. Be absolutely certain to keep exposure to the open air to a bare minimum. It’s now time to cool your wort. Place the pot in an ice bath and aim for a temperature of about below 85°F. Then, transfer it to a sanitized fermenter. You can either use a carboy or a fermentation bucket here. Top off your water to 5 gallons with some refrigerated water. Using a sanitized auto-siphon racking cane, you can now remove your wort so that you can accurately take a gravity reading using your hydrometer to calculate the actual alcohol content later on. Normally, the reading should be an estimate of 1.050. Finally, pour yeast into your cooled wort carefully, making sure that the temperature should be below 70°F. Agitate it, then cover the fermenter with a stopper and an airlock (remember to keep everything sanitized!). With a consistent ambient temperature (65 to 68°F or so), ferment your creation in a dark place. You can successfully bottle it after 2 to 3 weeks—always keep in mind that you should only bottle your beer when primary fermentation is completed, with two consistent gravity readings.
Then, transfer to a secondary carboy for conditioning. At this point, you can add an ounce of Amarillo hops for dry hopping. Afterward, store it as cool as you possibly can, and then bottle it after about a week or two. Remember to use some priming sugar for carbonation, and thatâ€™s it!
4. DRY IRISH STOUT Have you practiced your skills well enough by now? The dry stout recipe is for intermediate home brewers, and if youâ€™ve reached this point in the tutorial, you probably already have a pretty good idea as to the whole system of your home brewing adventures. The Dry Irish Stout has a low final gravity that lends to a light finish for the tongue; plus, the roasted coffee flavors go perfectly well with charcoal grilled food. What is the key ingredient for this alcoholic goodness? Roasted, unmalted barley (Roasted Barley or Black Barley for commercial availability). This type of heavily roasted grain can give you a wealth of coffee flavors and a touch of astringency with a dry finish. You can even add flaked barley to enhance the intense head retention for a creamier and smoother body. As for your yeast, you can go for Irish yeast strains such as White Labs WLP004 or Wyeast 1084. For this recipe, make sure that you have a 7.5-gallon kettle and a huge mesh grain bag. You will also be needing another stock pot that is large enough to heat around 3 gallons of water. You need an accurate brewing thermometer especially for all-grain recipes as well. Preparation: 5 to 7 hours Total duration: 3 to 4 weeks Ingredients: 5.25 pounds crushed Maris Otter Pale Malt 1.5 pounds crushed Flaked Barley 0.9 pounds crushed Black Roasted Barley (500L) 1.25 ounces Kent Goldings hops 1 package Dry English Ale yeast (White Labs WLP007 or WLP1098)
Directions: Prepare your 7.5-gallon kettle and line it with the mesh bag, filling it with 2.5 gallons of tap water. Bring the water to about 161°F, then remove from the heat. Next, add the 7.65 pounds of grain slowly into the water. For about 2 minutes, stir well to keep the balls of the grain from clumping together. Make sure to create a consistent mash, and remember to keep the temperature equalized at an estimate of 150°F. Cover up the mash, but remember to uncover it from time to time every 20 minutes or so to stir it briefly. Heat another 3 gallons of water to approximately 185°F. After about an hour, pour in the 185°F water into the mash, then stir properly until the temperature is equalized to around 170°F. Next up, you should let the wort drain from the grain by raising the bag out of the water slowly. Keep holding the bag for 5 to 10 minutes above the kettle, then top off the wort to 6 gallons of water. Boil the wort, and once the boil starts, mix in 1.25 ounce Kent Goldings hops in a mesh bag. Wait for about an hour or so, then remove it from the heat. Make sure that you keep the exposure to open air as limited as you possibly can. It’s now time to cool your wort. Place the pot in an ice bath with a wort chiller and aim for a temperature of about below 70°F. Then, transfer it to a sanitized fermenter. You can either use a carboy or a fermentation bucket here. Using a sanitized auto-siphon racking cane, you can now remove your wort so that you can accurately take a gravity reading using your hydrometer to calculate the actual alcohol content later on. Normally, the reading should be an estimate of 1.040. Finally, pour yeast into your cooled wort carefully, making sure that the temperature should be below 70°F. Agitate it, then cover the fermenter with a stopper and an airlock (remember to keep everything sanitized!).
With a consistent ambient temperature (65 to 68Â°F or so), ferment your creation in a dark place. You can successfully bottle it after 2 to 3 weeksâ€”always keep in mind that you should only bottle your beer when primary fermentation is completed, with two consistent gravity readings. Remember to use some priming sugar for carbonation. Whew! You are now an intermediate home brewer!
5. BELGIAN DUBBEL Who would have thought that a rich malt with a combination of yeast’s fruit and spice can originate from a monastery in the Middle Ages? In a Belgian Dubbel, a rich variety of flavors depends on specialty malts rather than the sugars. With some aromatic malt, you can enhance the beer’s aroma and maintain complexity, as well as produce plum aromas and spice from good yeasts such as the Westmalle strain (Wyeast 3787 or White Labs 530). Keep in mind that when you ferment this beer, you should stabilize your temperature at around 64°F to 66°F if you don’t want to end up with a hot mess. Statistics: Original Gravity: 1.071 Final Gravity: 1.013 ABV: 7.6% Bitterness: 25 IBUs Color: 21 SRM (ruby brown) Preparation: 5 hours Total duration: 2 to 3 months Ingredients: 7 pounds Belgian Pilsner malt 3 pounds light Munich malt 8 ounces pale wheat malt 8 ounces Caramunich 8 ounces aromatic malt 4 ounces special B malt
4 ounces chocolate malt Half an ounce Magnum hops, 15% AA (first wort hop) 1 pound Dark Candi Inc. D Belgian candy syrup 1 tablet Whirlfloc Half a teaspoon Wyeast yeast nutrient blend Wyeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity yeast Directions: Gather about 15 quarts of tap water and heat it up to 160°F. Add to the mash tun, then mash in while adding the grains. Keep stirring to make sure that the grains don’t clump together in a ball of mess. Then, equalize the temperature to around 149°F. Now, heat up 9 3/4 quarts tap water to 202°F in a separate container. Add this to the mash tun, and stir from time to time, letting it rest for about an hour. Once the temperature equalizes to an estimate of 168°F, leave it at mash out temperature for around 15 minutes. In another separate container, heat up two and a half gallons of tap water to 172°F. Drain off the wort slowly and add back to the mash tun. While doing this, you should keep recirculating until you’re sure that the wort is clear of grain particles. After draining the mash tun, add your hops and sugars. Bring your wort to a boil for about an hour, then add the Whirlfloc and yeast nutrients. Now at this point, if you haven’t reached a pretty vigorous boil by now, you should consider extending the boil to approximately 75 or 90 minutes. You can add your hops at the 60-minute mark. Chill the wort afterward, and transfer to a sanitized carboy. If you are using a bucket, make sure that you have an airlock. You can then aerate by shaking, or oxygenate with an oxygenation stone. Pitch your yeast, allowing it to ferment at 64°F to 66°F for about two or three days.
You can then bottle or keg your beer at 2.5 to 3 volumes. Now thereâ€™s nothing left to do but drink up and enjoy!
6. BERLINER WEISSE Whatâ€™s light, cloudy, and tart, but packs a punch bursting with flavors as a light ale? The Berliner Weisse uses the souring bacteria Lactobacillus in fermentation, along with a regular ale yeast. This helps produce a sharp and sour flavor that boasts of a stimulating lemony tartness and a low alcohol content. Popular in Germany in the 1800s, the Berliner Weisse has a simple malt bill. Pilsner malt is half of the grain, while the wheat malt is the other half. Be wary when making this recipe though, as you run the risk of having some unwanted bacteria infect your brew. This is because most of the recipes for the Berliner Weisse requires that you do not boil your wort, and this no-boil process makes it an intermediate recipe. I recommend that you should have brewed your own home brews for about 5 or 6 times before you try out this recipe. Experience is the best teacher, after all.
You will will need a clean-fermenting ale yeast hereâ€”perhaps American ale yeasts such as the Safale US-05. You will also need a great deal of Lactobacillus, which you can buy in stores. Note that your initial fermentation should be fast. You might feel like the activity stops within a day, but even after fermentation has been completed, you should keep waiting for about two weeks or so to let the Lactobacillus do its job. Preparation: 3 hours Total duration: 2 to 6 months
Ingredients: 3.25 pounds German Pilsner Malt 3.25 pounds German wheat malt 0.5 pounds rice hulls 0.75 ounces Hallertauer hops 1 package Safale US-05 2 packages Lactobacillus (Wyeast 5535 or White Labs WLP677) Directions: Prepare your 7.5-gallon kettle and line it with the mesh bag, filling it with 2.1 gallons of tap water. Bring the water to about 159°F, then remove from the heat. Next, add the Pilsner and wheat malt into the bag. For about 2 minutes, stir well to keep the balls of the grain from clumping together. Make sure to create a consistent mash, and remember to keep the temperature equalized at an estimate of 149°F. Next, you should remove about 3 quarts of your mash, making sure to include a mix of grain and liquid for the decoction. In a separate pot, add your Hallertauer hops to the mixture and boil for 15 minutes. As the foam rises to the top, skim and discard, and keep stirring frequently. Afterward, you can add the whole decoction back into the mash. Heat another 3.7 gallons of water to approximately 185°F. After about an hour, pour in the 185°F water into the mash, then stir properly until the temperature is equalized to around 170°F. Next up, you should let the wort drain from the grain by raising the bag out of the water slowly. Keep holding the bag for 5 to 10 minutes above the kettle. Remember that you SHOULD NOT BOIL it. It’s now time to cool your wort to a temperature of about below 80°F. Then,
transfer it to a sanitized fermenter. Using a sanitized auto-siphon racking cane, you can now remove your wort so that you can accurately take a gravity reading using your hydrometer to calculate the actual alcohol content later on. Normally, the reading should be an estimate of 1.035. Cover the fermenter with a stopper and an airlock (remember to keep everything sanitized!). Now, mix in one package of Safale US-05 and around two packages of Lactobacillus. Ferment this for 3 to 5 days at 75Â°F. Let the beer rest for about a month (be patient!), and the only bottle it when you are sure that you have reached your desired level of flavor and sourness. And finally, celebrate!
7. RUSSIAN IMPERIAL STOUT You’ve come this far, so it’s about time I introduce you to an advanced beer recipe. I know you can do it! On chilly winter nights, there is nothing better than cozying up in front of the fireplace, settling in on your favorite couch, and indulging in a perfect bottle of home-brewed Russian Imperial Stout. The rich chocolate and the roasted coffee flavors complement this heavy and dark beer style perfectly, but because of the high ABV and the huge amount of specialty dark grains, this recipe can be quite a challenge to brew at home. Crafted by English brewers around the 1700s, the Russian Imperial Stout was made so that a porter-like beer could be safely shipped to the Imperial courts of Russia from England without spoiling throughout the duration of the whole trip. Because the hop additions act as natural preservatives, the solution was to increase both these and the alcohol content to keep from spoiling the beer en route. The core flavors of this beer are the chocolate malt and roasted barley—each one makes up 5% to 8% of the total grain bill. You can also include some adjunct malts to enhance the body and mouth feel, and as for the hops, you should use a high alpha acid hop that does not have a distinctive flavor. Now, when it comes to fermentation, this recipe usually gets pretty challenging for home brewers. The tricky part is that you need a healthy two or three-liter starter, as well as the fact that you are required to oxygenate your wort before fermentation. Note that your mash tun should be large enough to hold 21 pounds of grain, and you should set aside about 3 weeks (at a minimum) for secondary fermentation before you bottle or keg your beer. This will allow the flavors to properly meld and let the harsh alcohol flavors
subside a little bit. You should aim for about a month and a half of aging if you can afford it. Preparation: 5 to 7 hours Total duration: 6 to 9 weeks Ingredients: 17 pounds 2-row pale malt 1 pound chocolate malt 1 pound roasted barley 1 pound flaked oats 0.5 pounds black patent malt 0.5 pounds Crystal 120 malt 2 ounces Galena hops 1 ounce Northern Brewer Hops 1 ounce Northern Brewer Hops 2 to 3 Liter starter Dry English Ale yeast (White Labs WLP007 or Wyeast 1098) Directions: Using 5.75 gallons of water at approximately 167°F, mash in your 21 pounds of grain to 154°F. Stir your mixture for around 2 minutes or so, just so you can keep those balls of grain from clumping together. Make sure that you create a consistent mash, then cover it. From time to time, uncover the mash briefly to stir every 20 minutes. Then, heat 4.25 gallons of sparge water to a temperature of about 185°F. After about an hour of mashing, you should now have about 7 to 7.5 gallons in the kettle. At this point, you need to add 2 ounces of Magnum hops, then bring it to a boil. After another hour of boiling, add an ounce of Northern Brewer hops. Add an ounce of Northern Brewer hops after a total of 80 minutes.
Remove the heat after about an hour and a half, then chill your wort to 60°F. Afterward, you can now transfer to a carboy so that you can take a proper gravity reading. Ferment at 60° to 65°F. Do this for 3 weeks, then transfer to a secondary carboy. You can wait for another 3 to 6 weeks as you age in a cool, dark place.
8. DUNKELWEIZEN If the name of this delicious alcoholic drink alone doesn’t draw you in, I don’t know what will. Easy enough to brew and yet different at the same time, a Dunkelweizen bravely combines the Munich Dunkel’s rich malty character with the fruitiness of traditional Hefeweizens. To make this Dunkelweizen recipe a sweet success, you can add a small amount of de-bittered black malt (or maybe even German Carafa) to get that perfect light amber or mahogany color. If you are brewing will an all-grain recipe, use a decoction mash with 50–60% wheat combined with Munich and/or Vienna malts. As for the hops, you can keep the beer from being too sweet by using just enough noble bittering hops. Remember that the aroma and the distinct flavor of the beer should all come from the yeast and the malt. For the yeast, you can produce the banana and clove-like esters that you want by using some quality German Hefeweizen ale yeast. Just remember to watch your fermentation temperature—the lesser esters you want, the cooler the fermentation temperature should be and vice versa. It’s all basically up to your personal taste! Ingredients: (https://byo.com/malt/item/1459-the-10-easiest-beer-styles? viewDesktop=true) 6 lbs. (2.7 kg) wheat liquid malt extract 8 oz. (56 g) German Munich malt 8 oz. (56 g) German Vienna malt 8 oz. (56 g) German dark crystal malt (65 °L) 1–2 oz. (28–56 g) Weyermann Carafa II Malt 3.5 HBU Hallertau Hersbrücker hops
(1 oz./28 g of 3.5% AA) (bittering) 3/4 corn sugar or 1 1/4 cup dry malt extract (priming) White Labs WLP300 (Hefeweizen Ale) yeast or Wyeast 3068(Weihenstephan) yeast Directions: In 155 ºF (68 ºC) water, steep your grains for about half an hour. Then, using 165 ºF (74 ºC) water, remove and rinse your grains thoroughly. When you’re good and satisfied, add your wheat malt extract and stir them in. Bring this mixture to a boil, and then add in your preferred hops. Keep boiling this for about an hour. When you’re done, chill it to approximately 70–75 ºF (~23 ºC). You can spend a good 7–10 days for the whole fermentation process, making sure that you wait until all fermentation is done and complete. It’s just that simple!
9. ALTBIER It’s actually not that easy to look for this particular type of beer when you’re outside of Northern Germany. But you don’t have to worry too much though, as making your own genuine type of Altbier is usually easier and much, much cheaper than booking a hotel and some pretty hefty airfare to fly yourself to Germany. As sort of the opposite of steam beer (which is lager fermented at ale temperature), the Altbier is fermented at lower temperatures. Afterward, it is cold conditioned, much like a lager. Ingredients: (https://byo.com/malt/item/1459-the-10-easiest-beer-styles? viewDesktop=true) 12 oz. (336 grams) Caramunich malt 4 oz. (112 grams) chocolate malt 4 oz. (112 grams) black patent malt 4 lbs. (1.8 kg) Munich liquid malt extract 2 lbs. (0.9 kg) pale liquid malt extract 1 lb. (0.45 kg) wheat liquid malt extract 1 oz. (28 grams) Perle hops 1 oz. (28 grams) Spalt hops Wyeast 1007 (German Ale), White Labs WLP029 (German Ale/Kölsch) or White Labs WLP036 (Düsseldorf Alt) depending on your personal preference. Directions: Inside a grain bag of good quality, place your grains and steep for about 15
minutes at around 155 ºF (68 ºC). Once you remove the grain bag, let it drain for a bit and discard your grains afterward. You can now bring your water to a boil, and once it’s done, turn off the heat. Stir in all of your extracts. Make sure that you keep stirring until your extracts are good and dissolved. Next, bring it to a boil once more. Add in about 1 oz. (28 grams) of your Perle bittering hops, then wait for approximately 45 minutes before you pour in your 1/2 oz. (14 grams) Spalt hops. Wait for a little less than an hour (about 55 minutes to be exact), then finally, add your 1/2 oz. (14 grams) Spalt hops for some distinct aroma. Keep in mind that at temperatures as low as 55 ºF (13 ºC), your Wyeast 1007 (German Ale) yeast will ferment. White Labs WLP029 (German Ale/Kölsch) ferments at 62 ºF (17 ºC), while WLP036 (Düsseldorf Alt) produces a sweeter finish. Choose your yeast accordingly, and once you complete the whole fermentation process, you can then lower your temperature down to 32–40 ºF (0–4 ºC). This will take about 2 weeks up to a month and a half for cold conditioning.
10. MCSPOON'S SCOTCH ALE Finally, how about some good old fashioned Scotch Ale? This recipe can yield a 5-gallon batch size, with an original gravity of 1.120, the final gravity of 1.030, the bitterness of 32 IBU, and alcohol by volume of 9.5 percent. Letâ€™s get it on! Ingredients: (http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/how-to/g920/10-awardwinning-home-brew-recipes/) 15 pounds light dry malt extract 16 ounces 55-degree Lovibond crystal malt 4 ounces chocolate malt 4 ounces peat-smoked malt 2.25 ounces black malt 1 ounce Northern Brewer hops (10 percent AA) Directions: In a gallon of 150-degree F water, steep your grains for about half an hour. Then, sparge with a gallon of 150 F water, adding another gallon of water and bringing it to a good boil. Afterward, remove from the heat, then add in your dry malt extract. Bring this mixture to a boil once more, keeping in mind to stir constantly. Add an ounce of your Northern Brewer hop pellets. Keep boiling the concoction for about an hour, stirring still. Then, cool it down and remove from the heat, then add to your fermenting bucket or your carboy. You can top this off to 5 gallons with some cold water. When youâ€™re just about ready to start your fermentation, aerate properly. Pitch two activator packs of Wyeast 1728 Scottish ale yeast, then continue with your aerating for another 12 hours. You should keep at it at 60 F for approximately half a month, and then another month.
You can even prime it with half a cup of honey thatâ€™s dissolved in a cup of water!
FINAL TIPS, TRICKS, AND GLASS TYPES FOR YOUR BEER Now that youâ€™ve gone through a variety of recipes that will make you the immediate talk of the town, here are just a few more finishing touches that you should keep in mind as you go through your home brewing adventures.
YOUR BOIL-OFF RATE In order for you to learn and master your boil-off rate, you should regularly boil a fixed amount of water so that you can test and see for yourself how much water evaporates in your system every time you boil. Because this rate can vary depending on the brewer, itâ€™s extremely important to determine the boil-off rate depending on your burner output and kettle size. Once you figure out your constant boil-off rate, you can then determine how much wort is needed for you to reach your targeted batch size. Are you boiling away a gallon, or a half gallon, for every thirty minutes? How about for an hour? An hour and a half? Knowing your boil-off rate ensures that you are operating your beer brewing system at its most efficient capacity and not wasting any precious resources.
ADJUSTING BEER GRAVITY AND BEER BITTERNESS Are your beer gravity readings always off from your specified targets? Try adding some dry malt extract so that you can effectively raise your beer gravity. You can add some water to lower the gravity, on the other hand, if you need to. As for the bitterness of the beer, hopsâ€™ alpha acids or percentage AA can differ from crop to crop, but fret notâ€”you can adjust these quickly so that you can keep the bitterness of your beer at a good constant level. You can download yourself a free online tool like Beer Calculus so that you can accurately determine the amount of hops you should add to a beer in order to perfect your preferred bitterness level in a particular recipe.
THE PERFECT BEER GLASSWARE
Source: http://www.marinamarket.com/beverages/beer-wine/glassware.html If you’re a beer enthusiast (and you probably are, since you’ve read all the way up to this point so far), you probably have a big collection of beer glasses lined up on your shelves and proudly on display at home or at
the office. There are plenty of types of beer glasses (and a particular glassware for every drink), and their unique characteristics make for wonderful conversation pieces and perfect drinking companions for the home brewed beer you’ve worked so hard on. So, without further ado, here are the different glasses for your different beer types. PINT GLASSES / SHAKER PINTS Common in the United States, the American pint glass is what’s usually served at restaurants and bars. It is also sometimes called a shaker glass, and the skinny cylindrical shape is simple but elegant as it widens up at the top. Easy to clean, easy to stock, and fairly cheap to manufacture, the common pint glass normally holds about 16 oz. of beverage, and it can be used for ales, lagers, stouts, IPAs, and porters. The English pint glass or the Imperial or Nonic glass), on the other hand, differs near the top in that it has a slight lip. It holds about 20 oz. of drink and can be used for lagers and English ales. BEER MUGS Who doesn’t love the typical beer mug? This classic design is often the personal favorite of many beer drinkers, as the robust and easy to handle glass is most common in England, Germany, and America.
It has a handle on the side and has a wide cylindrical shape, with thick walls that are perfect for insulating beers to keep your beverage nice and cool. The handle, of course, keeps the personâ€™s hands from warming up the beer (and makes for a great grip too). In some occasions, the beer mug will have a few dimples here and there so that the beer aficionado can appreciate the clarity and color of their beer even more. Up for a hearty drink, anyone? BEER STEINS The beer stein is almost always confused with the beer mug, simply because these two beer glasses are very similar to each other. They have the same shape, yes, but the beer stein has a hinged lid; plus, you can use your thumb to open the lid with a built-in lever. The beer stein can also be made from stoneware, silver, porcelain, pewter, and even wood. An abbreviation of Steinzeugkrug, the stein means tankard or stoneware jug in German. Back then in the early 16th century, the lid made people believe that the stein was more sanitary than the normal glass. Today, however, the beer stein is mostly used as a decorative glass rather than a functional one, and can also be commemorative in nature because pint glasses are just much more convenient to use. CHALICES AND GOBLETS The beer goblet can come in a huge variety of sizes and can be quite extravagant. The long, thick stem at the bottom and the bowl that sits on
top makes the goblet fancier than most glasses, while chalices usually possess thicker glass walls. They can also be heavier than the goblet sometimes, and some of them may have silver or gold rims for decorative purposes and added elegance. These classy glasses can be used for malty beers that are heavier in nature, like the German Bocks and the Belgian ales. The wide opening at the top helps the beer drinker take in the aroma of the beverageâ€”along with the overall profileâ€”more enjoyably. PILSNER GLASSES Are you a fan of lighter beers? This tall, skinny glass with almost no curvatures may be the perfect glassware for you. Pilsner glasses, more often than not, hold lighter beers and have a smaller liquid capacity than pint glasses. However, its slender design is made to help drinkers appreciate the carbonation bubbles and the colors of their beer. At the same time, the foam head of the beer is retained due to the slightly wider top, bringing out the beverageâ€™s aromas and true flavors properly. WEIZEN GLASSES Just like the beer stein and the beer mug, the Weizen glass is often confused with the pilsner glass as they are very similar in size and shape. At the top portion of the glass, however, the Weizen glass has more curvature as compared to the pilsner glass.
It has a strong and narrow base and can hold up to half a liter of beer, giving it a much bigger capacity than the pilsner glass. It is often used for wheat beers (Weizenbier). SNIFTER GLASSES Ever tried to go to a cognac and brandy tasting? The snifter glass is commonly used for that exact purpose and is a tad rare to find in public. It can be amazingly great at helping enrich the aroma of beer, as it lets you swirl the beer around due to its unique glass shape. This helps stir up the volatiles and enhance the full aroma of your drink. The snifter glass has a thin stem and footer, and it’s designed for you not to fill the large bowl on top up to the very brim as this may stunt the full experience of the strong aromas and flavors. You can use the snifter glass for stronger beers like the Double or Imperial IPAs and Belgian IPAs. TULIP AND THISTLE GLASSES Made to enhance the aroma and the particular flavor of the more hoppy and malty beers, the tulip glass can trap and maintain the foam head of your favorite brew. It is fairly popular, along with the thistle glass, and it is designed with a small step and footer like the snifter glass and the goblet. There is a tulip-like bowl on top with a rim that curves outward—this kind of “lip” is responsible for trapping the foam head.
The tulip glass is best used for Double IPAs, Belgian ales, barleywines, and other stronger brews. On the other hand, the thistle glass is a kind of stretched out variant of the tulip glass, with its similar bulb bowl. However, it’s taller and features less curvature on the lip, and is best used for Scottish Ales (because yes, you guessed it right—the thistle is the official flower of Scotland). STANGE GLASSES Also known as the stangen glass, the stick glass, the rod glass, and the pole glass, the stange glass is tall and slender and resembles a rod (because “stange” is German for “rod”). It can have varying sizes, but generally, the stange glass can hold approximately 6.5 ounces of your favorite drink. Delicate beers like the German Kölsch can have intensified aromas and flavors when used with the stange glass, mainly because of the firmer concentration of the volatiles inside the beer. BEER TASTING GLASSES AND SAMPLER GLASSES Found in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, the beer tasting glass or the sampler glass is commonly found in most pubs and brewery tours. These glasses normally have particular marks for special collections and can be made especially for enthusiastic beer aficionados who like to collect things. While the beer tasting glass typically does not hold a lot of liquid
(because they are usually not meant for a whole night of drinking with your best buds anyway), it can still carry about 2.5 to 6 ounces of beer. Of course, you really shouldnâ€™t expect the sampler glasses to hold a lot of liquorâ€”they are specifically designed so that you can fully appreciate the taste, flavor, and aroma of a beer without getting intoxicated on it. These beer tasting glasses can also be used for sampling some draft beers you are curious about at your local pub if you are not yet ready to commit to a full pint.
FINAL WORDS OF WISDOM So, what is your favorite beer glass, and how do you usually use it? Do you prefer using a particular type of mug to fully enjoy your favorite brew, or is your beer glassware just good for displaying proudly as a special collection? More importantly, now that you’ve reached the end of this book, what are YOUR favorite beer brews, and which part of the home brewing process is the most enjoyable for you? Which part is the most challenging? Don’t be afraid to get down and dirty once you finally find your zone, because after all, anything worth your while has a learning curve that you have to get over initially. And then, when you have finally mastered the subtle art of brewing your own beer at home, why not go for bigger and better things? Expand your hobby into a business, perhaps? Sky’s the limit, so bottoms up and cheers!