HOW TO MAKE BEER

Maxim - - BE YOUR OWN BOOTLEGGER -

KEEP IT SIM­PLE

“Un­til you mas­ter brew­ing, leave the recipe for­mu­la­tion to other peo­ple,” says Zainasheff, who started with a Mr. Beer kit he re­ceived one Christ­mas. Select a bat­tle-tested recipe—stouts and IPAS are most for­giv­ing—or a kit. Be­fore you be­gin, clean and san­i­tize your equip­ment and kitchen.

MASH IT

Heat wa­ter to the ap­pro­pri­ate tem­per­a­ture (usu­ally about 160 de­grees); add grains. This is called a mash. By steep­ing the oat­meal-like mix­ture for about an hour, you’re creat­ing sugar-rich wort, a.k.a. yeast fuel.

LET IT DRAIN

Strain ex­cess liq­uid from the wort into an­other pot, then rinse grain with hot wa­ter to ex­tract re­main­ing sug­ars, a process called sparg­ing. (If you’re us­ing an ex­tract, add it to the wort now.) Boil the wort, adding hops in stages to im­part bit­ter­ness, fla­vor, and aroma. (Fun fact: Hops are cousins to cannabis. And no, smok­ing them won’t get you stoned.)

CHILL, MAN

Cool the wort in an ice bath to the proper fer­men­ta­tion tem­per­a­ture ( 45 to 60 de­grees for lagers, 65 to 72 de­grees for ales). Trans­fer it to the fer­men­ta­tion ves­sel. Add the yeast, seal the con­tainer, and shake. Re­lo­cate the ves­sel to your fa­vorite cool spot—a base­ment or a closet.

WAIT OF THE WORLD

As your beer fer­ments over the next few weeks, drink plenty of brews. Clean and san­i­tize the bot­tles. Trans­fer your beer and a lit­tle sug­ar­wa­ter mix­ture to your bot­tling bucket. (The yeast will refer­ment in the bot­tle, creat­ing nat­u­ral car­bon­a­tion.) Siphon beer into the bot­tle and cap it. Wait a few weeks for car­bon­a­tion to build, then in­vite friends over. Ig­nore what they say. “They’ll tell you that the beer tastes great or that it tastes ter­ri­ble,” Zainasheff says. And there’s not much help in that.

JAMIL ZAINASHEFF, COAU­THOR OF BREW­ING CLAS­SIC STYLES AND FOUNDER OF CAL­I­FOR­NIA’S HERETIC BREW­ING COM­PANY

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