An Overview Of Home Brewed Beer

Online culinary arts program students may find home brewing to be of particular interest as it is a good way to become familiar with popular beer styles.

Starting out
To start brewing you will need one large stainless steel brew kettle. This should be a large pot with a capacity of at least four gallons – the bigger the better. You will also need two large plastic buckets for the fermentation process. One of these buckets should have a hole in the lid to which an airlock is secured. A racking cane with 6 ft of vinyl hose will be used for transferring the liquid between the buckets.

After all the materials have been assembled, you will need your ingredients. Brewing beer requires four main elements: Water, hops, yeast and barley malt. Variations on these exist but for those just starting out it may be best to stick with the original. Hops can be bought as pellets or leaves, but make sure they are as green as possible. Dry or liquid yeast cultures work equally well. Barley malt can be substituted for dry or liquid malt extract.

Brewing the beer
Now that you have your materials and ingredients, you can begin brewing. It is important to make sure all of your vessels are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized to prevented the growth of unwanted microorganisms. Start by boiling the malt and hops in water to make the wort. This wort will then be transferred to one of your sanitized plastic buckets for fermentation. Add cold water to the bucket first, then the wort, and then more cold water. Once the wort has cooled a bit, add the yeast. The yeast will break down sugars in the wort to alcohol and carbon dioxide. If the wort is too hot when you add the yeast, they will die. Make sure your fermentation vessel is properly sealed with an airlock in the lid and then shake the entire bucket.

Let it sit
Now that the beer has been brewed, it is time to start the fermentation process. Keep the fermenting wort in a warm place out of the sunlight where it won’t be disturbed for 3 to 4 weeks. After that time, you will be ready to carbonate your beer. To do this, dissolve some sugar in water and add it to your second sanitized bucket. Use your racking cane to transfer the fermented wort from one bucket to the other, being careful not to pick up any of the particulate matter at the bottom of the bucket. At this point you are ready to fill and cap your bottles. In 2 to 3 weeks your beer will be ready to drink.

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