How to Make Beer At Home
While running to the store for a six pack on Saturday night, so that you can sit around the card table with the boys or watch movies with friends is extremely popular, it seems that making your own beer, also known of as homebrewing, has done more than gain just a little popularity in the last few years.
As a matter of fact, some of the best beers today are coming out of homebrewer’s kitchens so to speak. However, if you’re thinking of making your own beer, whether as a hobby or to hopefully make something more of it one day, you need to do some extensive research beforehand and ensure you’re not getting in over your head. Brewing beer at home can be fun, and much less cheaper in the long run than buying a 12-pack at the store day after day, but it’s not that cheap to get started, though we will give you a rundown of about what things we cost you.
It takes a little bit of research so that you don’t make some rookie mistakes that could be avoided. That’s why in this blog, we’re going to talk about what it takes to make your own beer, what you need, give you some tips to get you started, and much more.
Ready to dive headlong into our blog on how to make your own beer? Then grab your frosted mug, take a seat at the bar, and let’s get started, shall we?
Equipment Needed and an Estimated Cost Rundown
The total cost of making your own beer, according to how many gallons you intend to make, is estimated to be around $200. Below, we’ll do a little bit of a breakdown of what you need.
- A big stockpot, one to two gallons is perfect for making a gallon or two of beer. Cost: Between $40 and $75
- You need a long-handled spoon that allows you to reach all the way to the bottom of the pot for stirring. Cost: Around $5
- A 10-inch mesh strainer or a 5-quart colander will do if you already have one. This is to help you sift grains from the sugary liquid you are creating. Cost: Between $15 to $30
- An electric kitchen scale for precision weighing, this is critical in the brewing process. Cost: Around $15
- An instant-read thermometer is essential for obvious reasons. Cost: Around $15
- A digital timer for timing your brewing. Cost: Around $10
Equipment You’ll need for the Fermenting Process and Cost Rundown
- A 2-gallon plastic bucket that has a lid with a hole. Cost: Around $10
- An airlock. Cost: $2
- 1-gallon jug with a stopper that has a hole. Cost: Around $6
- 13-inch auto siphon, Cost: Around $10
- 3-Feet of plastic tubing and a clamp, Cost: Around $5
- A Hydrometer, Cost: Around $10
- StarSan Sanitizer, Cost: Around $10
Equipment Needed for Bottling Your Own Beer and a Cost Rundown
- Bottle filler, Cost: Around $3
- Butterfly bottle capper, Cost: $15
- Bottle caps, Cost: $5
- Bottles to put beer in, Cost: $12 for 24 bottles
This is the main equipment you will need to start making your own beer, along with a simple cost rundown. These are estimates that are apt to change or be different in your area, so make sure you do your research on prices before you begin.
Tips for Making Your Own Beer
Now that you have all the equipment you need; you want to jump in with your buddies and have the time of your life making beer. Don’t do that. Instead, keep reading for a few tips to get you started on the right path to some great tasting beer that you can proudly tell people you made yourself, with some help from your friends, of course.
Get a Huge Kettle
When most people start homebrewing they tend to think small and buy a small kettle to brew their beer in. This is a mistake because if you love the process of making beer and enjoy the beer you make, you’re going to quickly outgrow that small kettle and need a larger one. Why not just drop the cash on the larger kettle, to begin with? It will save you money in the long run. After all, it’s beer so go big or go home, right?
Never, Ever Skip the Sanitization Step
The one thing we can’t stress enough is not skipping the sanitization step of the brewing process. Remember, clean homebrewing is the key to success. Skipping the sanitization step can lead to bacteria growth, which not only jeopardizes your beer but puts your health and life at risk as well. Just don’t skip it and you’ll be fine.
Always Make Your Own Starter
The better your starter is, the better your final product will be. So, when it comes to a yeast starter, don’t run out and buy one from the local grocery, instead make your very own. You’ll be glad that you did.
Always Use High-Quality Fresh Ingredients
No matter what ingredients you decide to use for your homebrewing needs, make sure that the ingredients are fresh and of the highest quality. For example, if you’re using dry yeast, switch it to liquid yeast, as it is fresher and of a higher quality. The quality of the ingredients you use can be tasted in the beer you produce, so only top quality and the fresher the better will do.
Always Make Long-Term Purchases
If you have any indication that you’re going to want to keep making your own beer past the first batch, then you’re going to want to make long-term high-quality purchases for everything from the equipment you need to the ingredients you use and even the bottles you put the beer in when it’s done.
Do Your Homework/Research
The last thing you want to do is jump into making your own beer without doing a little research first. You want to know what everything is going to cost you, what you need to purchase in the way of ingredients, and as many detailed articles as possible on the process itself. If at all possible, make an appointment with some of the top beer crafting professionals in your area and pick their brains if they will let you. There are also tons of beer making books available to purchase before you start as well.
Always Try Brewing Dark Beers First
Brewing dark beers when you first start the brewing process will allow you to cover up any mistakes you might make and then you can move onto light beers after you’re a little more experienced. Trust us on this, you want to start with dark beers first.
- Boil your wort for at least one hour
- Cool your wort quickly afterward
- Work with only a glass fermenter
- Regulate your temperature during the formation process
- Always keep good brewing records for later reference
These are just a few of the top tips out there to help you get started in the hobby of homebrewing so you can make your own beer.
Many people wonder though, why should they make their own beer when it’s easier to go to the local convenience store and pick up a six-pack of their favorite brand? In the next section of our blog, we’ll delve into the reasons that many people are embracing homebrewing and enjoying making their own beer instead of just buying it and drinking it. Interested in finding out why? Then, keep on reading below.
Reasons to Make Your Own Beer
There are a dozen different reasons that many beer drinkers have started making their own beer. Let’s push on together to find out what those reasons are.
It Exercises Your Creativity
Beer making has often been described as an art form, meaning that it takes a person with a lot of creativity, not to mention patience, to get the recipes right, come up with some of their own, and make a good quality beer that everyone will love. Do you have the creative mind it takes to be a homebrewer?
It Let’s You Have Fun with Your Friends
Beer making has been described as a very social hobby as well. You’re already getting together on the weekends to have a few cold ones with your best friends, so why not take it a step further and make that beer together instead.
You Get to Let Out Your Science Nerd
Beer making isn’t just an art, it’s a science as well, as it takes huge parts of both to make the beer taste amazing. So, not only do you get to use your creative mind, you get to let out your science nerd in a cool way at the same time and bring your friends along for the ride.
To Learn Something New or Challenge Yourself
Have you ever wanted to learn something new or felt like you needed something to challenge yourself? Well, deciding to make your own beer can accomplish both for you. While the process itself doesn’t have to be difficult, it can be challenging coming up with new ideas, new recipes, and getting to experiment with all the fun, new equipment you get to buy.
To Drink Beers that You Created and Can’t be Found Anywhere Else in the World
It is super amazing to know that you created something that if described other people would be craving but not able to get. But they can just get the homebrewing equipment and make their own. How cool is that?
You Get to Enjoy a Hands-on Hobby
Yes, there are plenty of hobbies out there that you could get involved in, but none of them are as hands-on as brewing your own beer. Many brewers even say the process is relaxing and helps them to relieve the stresses of a busy day.
Because You Can
One of the main reasons to start making your own beer is simply because you can. On top of that, how neat is it going to be to tell people, “Hey, I make my own beer!” Now, that is something to be proud of, don’t you think?
To Give Gifts to Friends and Family
Do you have beer drinkers in your family or friends that you never know what to get as a gift? Well, now you do. Beer makes an awesome gift, and it means something personal because it’s something you made with your own two hands and creative mind. How’s that for having an awesome hobby.
To Prepare for the End of Days
Okay, we all know it’s coming. You see it on the news and the signs are there every time you walk out your front door. You have often thought, well what is the world going to be like without beer. Well, now you don’t have to find out, because you’ll know how to make your own, and have the equipment to do it already when the world goes dark. It may take a little adjusting on your methods but you’ll know how to make alcohol, your services will be in high demand with everyone you mean and that is totally awesome, no matter how you slice it!
The fact is that making your own beer can be cool for about a million different reasons. What are your reasons? Do you make your own beer? Let us know what your reasons are below.
This concludes our blog on how to make your own beer. Until next time, happy drinking and do it safely, everyone! No drinking and driving, even if you just made it, the cops won’t be impressed, trust us on that!
- Kitchn: The Equipment You Need to Brew Beer (And Where to Get It)
- Back Country Brewery: Tips for Brewing Your Own Beer at Home
- Eckraus: The Top 10 Real Reasons Why You Should Brew Your Own Beer