So you are interested in learning how to make a home brew beer are you my friend? Then I can tell that you are in for one heck of an excellent adventure.
In my books there is not much better in life than making your own beer and sharing it with friends and family. It is one heck of a fun hobby so welcome to the club.
This site is loaded with information on how to make beer. I cover pretty much every topic and question you could ever have. And at any time if you have any questions than by all means reach out to me and I will be sure to do my best to help you out.
What you will find as you embark on this home brewing journey is that there is a huge community of like minded people around the world who not only enjoy brewing up their own beer but a large portion of them enjoy helping others get started.
So on that note be sure to check out my Facebook page; there should be a link to it on the side of this blog. There are a bunch of great people on that page who will also be more than happy to help you out and answer any questions you may have about getting started.
Table of Contents
Let’s Get You Started
I completely understand that when you are first looking at getting started in this hobby that it can appear to be confusing and somewhat complicated. I can remember feeling that exact same way.
But let me assure you that making beer is not hard, you can do it and not only can you do it but you can make very good tasting beer in no time. It will actually surprise you how fast you will get good at it.
My goal with this site Make Beer Easy is to make the process simple for you… so let’s get you rolling.
The first thing to understand is that there are different ways you can get started making homebrew.
Different degrees or levels of difficulty so to speak.
I like to group these levels as:
- Beginner Level
- Intermediate Level
- Advanced Level
Now none of these levels are rocket science, but as you progress through them there are additional steps you need to learn as well as additional pieces of equipment you will require.
Also, just because you are new to brewing does NOT mean you have to start at the beginner level and work your way up to advanced.
Although that is exactly what I did and I do think it is a good way to go about learning; I know many people who started at the intermediate level and I also know other people who jumped right in at the advanced level and guess what? In both cases they made out just fine and their home brew tasted great.
Another thing to understand about these levels is if you start at the first level and work your way up, they kind of work in tandem with each other.
When you start at the beginner level, what you learn is going to be the basics of what you need to know at each of the other levels.
Then when you move to the intermediate level you are going to learn stuff about brewing that you will need to know for the advanced level… so starting at the beginning and working your way up is somewhat like having “on job experience”… you learn as you go.
This is why I think it is advantageous for someone to start at the beginner level.
Learn the basics, make some beer, enjoy the beer, brew a few batches… than decide if you want to move to the next level… if you do great… and the opposite is also great meaning if you are happy with the beer you have made and don’t want to advance to intermediate than don’t.
This is YOUR hobby and the choice is yours!
The other advantage of starting at the beginner level is it keeps costs down… Each level you go up requires more equipment and with more equipment comes more cost.
What is cool is that the equipment you purchase at the beginner level you will also use at the advanced level. So instead of jumping in at the advanced level and having to buy ALL of the equipment in one shot you can buy it as you advance. (if you choose to)
OK let’s take a look at each of the levels so you can decide where you want to start.
Beginner Home Brewing
Alright so at this level you are using what is referred to as Malt Extract Beer Kits.
These kits are manufactured by companies who basically have done most of the advanced level brewing for you.
They have brewed up until the point where you would put the contents of their kit into the fermenter and let it ferment into beer.
So they take the liquid they have brewed which is actually called “wort” (it’s called wort until it is fermented and than it becomes beer); they take this liquid wort and send it through an evaporation process where they remove about 80% of the water content of the wort, leaving behind a syrupy mixture.
They than package up this syrupy mixture, typically in a can. I lovingly refer to this can as a can of “goo”. And they sell it to you as a beer kit.
At the beginner level this can of goo also is pre-hopped; meaning they have added all of the required hops to the can also.
So basically you are purchasing a ready to brew, just add water and yeast and let it ferment product.
It may sound extremely basic, but there are a few steps involved and what you learn at this stage is very important when it comes to you becoming a good home brewer.
The following are just some of the things you are going to learn:
- You can going to learn about sanitization which is an extremely important part of making beer.
- You are going to learn how to ferment your homebrew.
- You are going to learn about clarifying your beer.
- You are going to learn about conditioning your beer
- and you are going to learn about bottling or kegging your beer.
Now not too many years ago the beer that these kits produced was not that great. However nowadays the companies that make these kits have really stepped up their game and the beer is quite nice. It is as good or better in most cases than the beer you would buy in the store from the big commercial breweries.
There are two companies I recommend you get your equipment and ingredients from if at this level.
They are Mr. Beer and Coopers HomeBrewing. They both make great kits and have great equipment to get started with.
OK if you want to learn the exact steps to brew beer at this level the following are some posts on this site where I go over everything you need to do and everything you need to get started:
If you are ready to get right to brewing and want to order a kit, you can also do that Right Here: (LINKS)
Intermediate Home Brewing
Alright so this is a fun level to be at when you are learning how to make a home brew beer.
This level basically combines the beginner level with the advanced level. It’s a nice transition between the two.
As you will see the advanced level is where you use only grains, hops and yeast to make your beer.
With this intermediate level you are still going to use malt extract, but instead of it being the pre-hopped can of goo like in the beginner level, it is just going to be straight malt extract with no hops added.
This is because at this level you are going to add the hops during the brewing process yourself. Very cool.
And on top of adding the hops you will also start to add some grains to the process. These are called specialty grains and are what give the beer its color, look, smell, mouth feel, body, head retention, etc.
This is a fun level to be at and the beer you make here is definitely a step up from the beginner level and is more in line with what you would consider to be a craft beer.
You can also start to customize your recipes at this level. If you like your beer hoppier you just add more hops when you are brewing. If you want more head retention in your beer than you add more specialty grains that will do that for you.
And what is cool is that going from the beginner level to this level is really going to only require that you get yourself a larger kettle/pot for your kitchen stove, and you probably already have one at home already. A large stew pot will probably work just fine. It should be able to hold about 5 gallons of liquid.
Outside of a big pot the extra equipment you will need is just standard stuff you would already have in your kitchen.
If this sounds like the level you want to get started at than definitely check out this post:
Advanced Home Brewing
OK here is where the big boys play… and what I mean by that is if you are brewing a home brew at this level you are doing the exact same thing your favorite Craft Brewery is doing except on a smaller scale.
I have always hesitated in calling this level advanced out of fear it would scare people off. So have no fear, even though there is more involved at this level it is NOT hard and once you understand the steps involved you will see that is actually a very straight forward process.
At this level you are making your beer from scratch. From raw ingredients.
You are taking grains and through a process called mashing you are removing the sugars and starches from these grains. These sugars and starches are what the yeast consume and produce alcohol with.
There are many different methods and set-ups you can use to brew beer at this level, too many in fact for me to put in this post.
However, I have covered all of them in other posts on this blog.
So if you want to get started making all grain beer than I am going to recommend that you start by reading the following post, it will give you a great overview of how to make all grain beer and you will be able to decide in which manner you want to get started.
Time to Brew
Alright my friend there you have it, you now know exactly what you need to do to get brewing.
I trust you found this post on How to Make a Home Brew Beer helpful. If you have any questions or if I can help you get started feel free to drop a comment in the comment section below and I will do what I can to help you out.
Good luck and happy homebrewing.
Big Robb he gone!