Get started with our quick-fire guide to the ba­sics of mak­ing beer at home

T3 - - How To Make Beer -

Suc­cess­ful home­brew­ing be­gins with sani­tised gear (Star San, £18, beer­hawk. and, for new­com­ers, a beer-mak­ing kit. The ma­jor­ity of these come with a full recipe and in­gre­di­ents, in­clud­ing malt ex­tract. Start by boil­ing this in wa­ter to cre­ate ‘wort’ (ba­si­cally, un­fer­mented beer), then add hops. These add flavour­ing and can be thrown in at var­i­ous points in the boil. Hops used at the start add bit­ter­ness, while hops added later en­hance aroma.

The end of the boil is also a good time to add Ir­ish Moss (£1.95, brew­b­, a ‘fin­ing’ used to help pro­teins and tan­nins co­ag­u­late into small lumps for siev­ing out, re­sult­ing in clearer beer.

After boil­ing the wort, cool it quickly by sit­ting the pot in ice wa­ter. Once it has cooled to around 27°C, trans­fer it to a fer­ment­ing ves­sel (Fer­menter with Air­lock, from £5.95, love­brew­ Use a sieve to re­move the hops, then add cool wa­ter ac­cord­ing to the recipe.

Mix in the yeast, then place the lid on the fer­menter. Let it all fer­ment for the time stated in your recipe. After 24 hours or so the air­lock on your fer­menter should bub­ble, which means fer­men­ta­tion is tak­ing place.

Know when to bot­tle it

Use a hy­drom­e­ter (Beer Wort Re­frac­tor, £15.99, ama­ to en­sure sugar is be­ing con­verted into al­co­hol, and to mea­sure the ‘grav­ity’ of your beer. This will give you a guide to the beer’s ABV (al­co­hol by vol­ume).

When the bub­bling stops, fer­men­ta­tion is over. Add prim­ing sugar (in­cluded in most kits) to your mix to en­sure car­bon­a­tion takes place once the beer is si­phoned into bot­tles. Cap them (use a Twin Lever Bot­tle Cap­per, £10,, then store your bot­tled beer at room tem­per­a­ture for two weeks.

After that time has passed, move the bot­tles to a colder room to boost the clear­ing process, which should take one to five weeks depend­ing on the spe­cific beer you’re mak­ing. After that, it’s beer o’clock!

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