These days you can use an Instant Pot to make just about anything your heart desires, including beer; and how to make beer in an instant pot just happens to be exactly what we are going to discuss today in this post.
Since an instant pot is similar to a pressure cooker, it uses less energy and needs less time to heat than other traditional cooking vessels like a stove making it an interesting option for homebrewing small batches of brew.
You may already use beer for flavoring in some Instant Pot recipes for beef or chicken, but with the right equipment and a little bit of patience, you’ll be able to actually make beer itself in your cooker.
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Benefits of Beer
If you’re a beer lover, then you know there’s nothing better than a cold beer on a warm day. Believe it or not, there are also plenty of health benefits to enjoying a beer — in moderation, of course. It can boost your brain health, it can lower your risk of cancer, it can lower your risk of heart disease, and it can promote healthy kidneys.
Now imagine if that cold beer was from your own private stock of a homebrew you made yourself in an Instant Pot. By making homebrew, you can further your enjoyment of beer, keep yourself healthy, and take pride in something you made yourself.
Benefits Of Homebrewing
By making beer in an Instant Pot, you’re essentially homebrewing and there are many benefits to that. For starters, you’ll save money in the long run. There is some upfront cost attached, but you’ll save money and ultimately end up with a beer that you’ll enjoy.
Believe it or not, but with time and the right materials, you can actually make very good beer. Beer making may seem like a complicated process, but as long as you can read directions, and are fine with going through some trial and error, you’ll be just fine.
You can make your beers as simple or as complicated as you choose, and by keeping your work area clean and being exact with your measurements, you can make great beer that you’ll take pride in because you took the time to make it yourself.
Trying your hand at making beer by using an instant pot instead of purchasing expensive equipment upfront is a great way to see if this is a hobby that you will want to get serious with.
Whether you’re a homebrewing expert or you’re a total novice, before you start on your path to brewing, you’re going to need the right tools for the job.
The materials you’ll need you can easily locate in any store that specializes in homebrewing. A homebrewing store will be able to offer not only equipment, but also different kinds of hops and other ingredients you can add to your brew. You can also check out this page for the list of online vendors we recommend.
Regardless of what you’re type of beer you are aiming to brew, you’re going to need a few basic ingredients — namely water, grains, yeast, hops, as well as a container to ferment your wort in after it comes out of the pot, and measuring cups so you can measure ingredients.
Not matter what kind of beer you’ll make, you’re going to need to sanitize the equipment you’ll be using. All it takes is a few seconds of sterilization and some air drying and you’re good to go. This helps ward off unwanted bacteria and germs before you get started brewing. You can learn about how to properly sanitize your equipment here.
What’s The Right Way?
So how exactly do you make beer at home in your Instant Pot?
So far, there doesn’t seem to be an exact science to doing it or just one way to pull it off.
I would suggest that this method is very similar to Brew in a Bag Brewing, you do all of your mashing and boiling in the same vessel, i.e. the instant pot.
The basics of brewing will still be the same as any other method:
1st – you will create your wort — that is the unfermented mix of malt, water, and hops (this is done by mashing and boiling).
2nd – you will chil your hot wort after boiling.
3rd – you will pour your chilled wort into a glass jar (fermenter)
4th – you will add the yeast to the fermenter and seal it with an airlock in place to let the CO2 gas escape.
5th – after the beer has fermented you will bottle it, let it condition for 2 weeks and then drink it up.
One of the neat things about attempting to brew beer in this manner is the multi-functionality of the Instant Pot.
For example: the keep warm setting allows the perfect temperature range for mashing. Using a spoon it can also be used for whirlpooling. The pot’s yogurt function can keep your wort mixture warm for a prolonged period of time, especially if you’re trying to make a sour beer.
Regardless of the size of your Instant Pot, you’re not going to be making huge batches of beer in it. But with the right mix, you’ll be able to make small batches of delicious beer.
Since there will be some trial and error involved, it’s probably a good thing that you’ll only be making small batches. If you have a particular batch you’re not too fond of, you won’t have a heaping collection of full bottles you’ll feel like you have to drink.
Time To Make Beer
So how do you make beer in an Instant Pot from start to finish? Here’s a handy guide to pulling it off:
You’ll start by pouring water into the pot. If you’ve got an eight-quart pot, you’ll use five quarts of water. Once the water is in, you can bring it up to temperature using the pot’s sauté function.
You’ll make your wort by mashing your grain in the water. You could use a grain bag drapped over the piot itself or you could simply pour the grains into the pot and strain them out after the mash is over (be careful not to scourch them on the bottom of the pot).
Depending on how big your pot is, you may have to add more water to the mix and then you bring it to a boil, adding the hops at the appropriate times as per the recipe you use.
As for the amount of grain and water to use that will of course depend on the size of your instant pot. I would recommend taking a 5 gallon recipe and do some simple math to down size the recipe to the size of your pot.
Keep An Eye On Your Time
If you’re making something like an IPA that’s got extra hops, you’ll want to boil your mixture for about an hour. The Instant Pot will stop after 30 minutes on the sauté function, so you’ll have to reset it.
At around the half-hour mark, you’ll want to add sugar, if you’re making a sweeter beer, and then more hops when the 60 minutes is up (if your recipe calls for it).
Once you’ve done that, the next step in your instant pot brewing adventure is to chill and collect your wort.
Adding In Yeast
Once your wort — again that’s the unfermented mixture you just made in your pot — is collected into your fermenter, you can add yeast to it. Yeast can be a tricky thing and it may take at least a few days for your wort to fully ferment.
If you notice it’s taking a while to get going, you can either wait a couple more days or add more yeast (repitch it).
It’s always recommended to rehydrate the yeast by adding it to a bowl of luke warm water prior to adding it to the wort. This will activitate it or bring it to life.
Don’t Be Afraid To Fail
A search of homebrewing websites, forums and videos reveals that there’s no one perfect way to homebrew beer in an Instant Pot.
So what does that mean for you, the homebrewer? It means in your quest to make beer this way, you might go through a little or a lot of trial and error until you finally get good at it. It might mean adding a little more hops and a little less water, or a little more sugar and a little less fermenting time.
Only through trial and error are you going to get better. If your first few batches don’t end up quite the way you’re hoping, don’t get discouraged. Take every batch as a learning experience and by tinkering and tweaking, you’ll get it down to a science in no time at all.
One of the best things you can do for yourself while figuring out how to brew beer in an instant pot is to research and see what other homebrewers have done. One of the most glorious things about the Internet is that when you’ve got a question about something, there’s usually at least one person who’s run into the same situation
There are many online homebrewing communities that can offer all the tips and tricks you could ever want for brewing beer. No question is a bad question and it’s likely that if you ask a question in a forum, you’re going to get at least a dozen good answers.
Ultimately, you have to find a mixture that works for you because you’re going to be the one drinking the final product. The homebrewing process doesn’t vary much when using an Instant Pot, it is really just a downsized version of Brew in a Bag as we said earlier. Focus on getting the mixtures right with your ingredients and making sure the temperatures are set for the various stages and you will be just fine.
Good luck and happy brewing
(This article was contributed by one of our readers, if you would like to contribute an original article to this blog send Big Robb a message and we can talk).
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