When it comes to learning how to make your own beer kit, it is not as simple as mixing up some grains, hops, and yeast with water and hoping for the best. To make good beer there are important things you need to know, understand and apply. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of making your own beer kit and brewing your own beer. We’ll go over the different components of a kit, as well as some tips for putting it all together including your equipment needed and the best places to find easy-to-follow recipes.
The Benefits of Making Your Own Beer Kit
Benefit #1: Save Money
If you are someone who enjoys drinking beer on a regular basis, making your own beer can save you a lot of money in the long run. A high-quality beer kit will cost you around $100. However, if you were to buy beers from the store every week, you would probably spend close to $200 over the course of a month (if not more). In other words, by making your own beer, you can save a significant amount of money monthly.
Benefit #2: Know What Goes into Your Beer
When you buy beer from the store, you have no way of knowing what ingredients were used to make it. However, when you make your own beer, you have complete control over what goes into it. This means that you can avoid using any additives or preservatives that might be harmful to your health. Furthermore, if you are someone with dietary restrictions, making your own beer allows you to tailor it so that it meets your needs. For example, if you are gluten-free, there are now many kits available that allow you to brew gluten-free beers, as well as enzymes you can purchase to add to recipes that will make gluten-reduced beer.
Benefit #3: Make a Unique Beer
With so many different types of beer kits available on the market, the possibilities are endless when it comes to the kinds of beers that you can make. Whether you like ales or lagers, light beers or dark beers, there is without a doubt a kit out there that will allow you to make the perfect batch of beer suited to your preferences. And if you want to get really creative, some kits even come with additional ingredients that allow you to add your own personal touch to your brew. For example, adding fruits or spices can help create a unique flavor that is all your own.
The first step in making your own beer kit is to decide what type of beer you’d like to make. Ales, lagers, and stouts are all popular choices, but there are dozens of styles available. Once you’ve decided on a style, it’s time to gather the necessary supplies…
What You’ll Need to Make Your Own Beer Kit
Making your own beer kit requires a few basic materials. You will need:
1) Malted Barley – This is the primary ingredient for making beer and gives the beer its color and flavor and is what the yeast converts into alcohol.
2) Hops – These are added to the wort (wort is the unfermented beer) to give the beer its bitterness, flavor, and aroma.
3) Yeast – This is what ferments the sugars in the wort and produces alcohol and CO2. There are different types of yeast, when making a beer kit you will want brewers yeast.
4) Bottles, Cans, or Kegs – These are used for storing the finished beer.
5) Sanitizer – Used to clean and sanitize all brewing equipment. Keeping brewing equipment clean and sanitized is essential for producing high-quality beer that won’t spoil or develop off-putting flavors.
6) A Fermenter – This is a sealed vessel used to contain the wort during fermentation.
7) Miscellaneous Equipment – Such as thermometers, funnels, strainers, siphoning tubes, etc.
8) A Cleaning Solution – Used to clean your equipment after each use. This will ensure that the flavor of each batch is consistent and free from bacteria or other contaminants.
9) Finings – These are added at the end of fermentation to help clarify the beer, or make it look clearer. Gelatin fining is a popular option.
10) Flavoring Agents – These are used to add additional flavors such as fruit, spices, hops, etc., depending on what type of beer you’re trying to make.
11) Priming Sugar – Used to carbonate the beer, priming sugar is added at the bottling stage to add that fizziness that we all love in our beer. If you are kegging instead you will need a CO2 tank instead of priming sugar.
12) Beer Labels – If you want to give your beers a professional look, custom beer labels are available to help boost the presentation.
13) A Hydrometer – This device is used to measure the alcohol content in the beer and will let you know when fermentation has completed.
14) An Airlock– An airlock allows gas to escape from the fermenter while keeping oxygen out, ensuring your beer doesn’t become contaminated.
15) A Refractometer – This instrument is used to measure the gravity of the wort and can be used to calculate the amount of alcohol in the finished product. (not necessary if you use a hydrometer.)
16) Bottle Capper – If you’re using glass bottles then you will need a bottle capper to make sure your bottles are securely sealed for freshness and taste. Plastic bottles have screw-on caps.
How to Make Your Own Beer Kit
1. Gather together the necessary ingredients as listed above.
2. Sanitize your equipment: Before starting any brewing process it is essential that you sanitize all of your equipment in order to ensure that there is no bacteria present which could ruin your beer. This can be done by boiling or soaking everything that will come in contact with your beer in a solution of water and bleach.
3. Boil the wort: The next step is to boil the wort, which is made from the malt extract, hops, and water. This needs to be done for around an hour in order to extract the flavor and aroma of the hops, as well as killing off any bacteria.
4. Cool the wort: Once the boiling is complete, you need to cool down the wort quickly in order to prevent bacterial growth. This can be done by filling a sink or bathtub with cold water and submerging your fermenter. Or using a wort chiller.
5. Fermenter: Transfer the now cool wort to your fermenter.
6. Add the yeast: Once cooled you can add your yeast, which will begin to convert the sugars present in the wort into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The type of yeast you use will depend on what type of beer you are making; there are many different strains available from homebrew suppliers.
7. Ferment the wort: Let your fermenter sit in a room temperature location for several weeks. During this time, the yeast will continue to work and create alcohol and carbon dioxide.
8. After fermentation is complete, you’ll need to carbonate your beer. This can be done by adding priming sugar before bottling, by force carbonating with CO2, or by letting your beer naturally carbonate over time.
9. Next, you can bottle your beer using caps or corks. You can also use a keg system if you prefer.
10. Enjoy: When your beer is fully carbonated it is ready to drink! Enjoy responsibly!
How to Store Your Home-brewed Beer
The first step is to make sure your beer is properly sealed. If you’re using bottles, check the seams to make sure they’re tight. For kegs, make sure the O-rings are intact and have a good seal. Once your beer is sealed, it’s important to keep it in a cool, dark place. Extreme changes in temperature can cause your beer to go bad, so try to find a spot that’s out of direct sunlight and away from any heat sources. A basement or closet is usually a good bet.
It’s also important that you store your beer upright. This will help reduce the amount of oxygen exposure, which can lead to oxidation and off-flavors. If you’re using bottles, you can buy a storage rack or build one yourself. For kegs, you’ll need a kegerator or another type of fridge that can hold a full-size keg.
Serving Your Beer
Once your beer is properly stored, you’re ready to serve it! The first step is to clean all of your serving equipment—taps, lines, glasses, etc.—with hot water and soap. You don’t want any soap residue to get into your beer, so make sure everything is rinsed thoroughly before moving on.
When pouring your beer, start with an angled pour so that the foam (or head) doesn’t end up in the beer pint. Then straighten out the flow so that the liquid hits the center of the glass. Stop pouring when the foam reaches about an inch from the top of the glass. Let the foam settle for a minute or two before drinking.
Where to Find Beer Recipes
Now that you know how to make your own beer kit, the next step is to find a recipe to follow.
There are actually lots of places you can go to to find a good beer recipe.
The internet is a good place to start. Simply do a google search for a recipe for your favorite beer style.
There are also some really good books on brewing beer that come with some good recipes. A favorite of most homebrewers is Greg Hughes’s book “Home Brew Beer”. It is full of excellent recipes.
Another way to get some really great recipes is to pick up an all-grain beer kit! Some homebrew supply shops have prepackaged all-grain beer kits. Meaning all of the ingredients and the recipes are packaged up in a nice little box for you. This means if you like the beer you can always resume the recipe over again.
We also have a collection of recipes on this site that you can use. Here is our recipe list and in the PS bar section below we give away our top 5.
Although this post is about how to make your own beer kit; the best advice we can give you is that you actually consider getting started by buying an all-grain beer kit instead. It comes with all of the equipment, ingredients, instructions, and recipes to get you started. After your first batch, you only need to find a new recipe, order its ingredients and you can brew whatever style of beer you like.
P.S. Be sure to pick up your gift of Big Robb’s top 5 favorite beer recipes from his brewpub. Details are on the side of the blog or at the bottom if you are on your smartphone. Cheers!