Seldom is there such a hobby with a better end product than brewing beer and like everything else, the more you brew, the better you become. If you love the taste of some of the latest micro-brewed beer, why not take up the hobby and create tasty beers that you and your friends can enjoy? While we all know how tasty good beer can be, when coupled with the fact that you brewed it yourself, that seems to make the beer taste even better.
Here is our guide to home brewing, which we hope will be useful in your quest for the perfect pale ale.
To brew beer, you need the following ingredients:
- Water – It might surprise you to learn that your favourite beer is about 90% water, the general rule is if the water is drinkable, it’s brewable. Of course, you can experiment with mineral and spring water, which does alter the taste.
- Barley – This is the grain used to make beer, which provides the sugar for fermentation and you should use barley that has been specifically processed for brewing.
- Hops – This ingredient adds flavour and a certain bitterness, which balances with the barley to give a rich, crispy taste. Hops also inhibits spoilage, which is an added bonus.
- Yeasts – This essential ingredient turns the sugar into alcohol and CO2 and to be frank, beer is not beer without hops. Yeasts are actually micro-organisms that live on sugar and there are two main types of yeast; namely, ale and lager. The lager yeast ferments at a cold temperature, whereas the ale version does its thing at room temperature.
The Brewing Process
The key to a successful batch is getting the processes just right and let’s start with the goal of brewing one gallon of beer. First thing to do is ‘mash’ the barley by soaking it in a tub of hot water to remove the sugars from the grains; you can ‘sparge’ (rinse) the mash to extract more sugar but save that for when you have a bit more experience. While you’re waiting, check out the best brewery in Sydney where you can order fine lagers and exceptional pale ales, all at affordable prices. It will take you a long time to brew premium beer, but, hey, the journey is memorable! Everything needs to be super-clean when brewing beer and read up on the little tricks of the trade; tips that can improve the outcome.
Once the grains are removed from the liquid, it must be boiled and while simmering, put the hops into the mix, then boil for one hour. Then turn off the heat and you are left with ‘wort’, then comes the critical stage; cooling the solution to ‘pitching temperature’, which is 20C and it should take about 30 minutes, after that you add the yeast and allow the liquid to ferment. If you aren’t feeling so confident, check out the many ‘how to brew beer’ videos on YouTube, which shows you the process step by step.
Transferring the Wort to a Vessel
After the fermentation stage, the wort should be transferred into a vessel, such as a one-gallon carboy and then it can be stored. Seal the carboy with an air lock and store in a cool, dry and dark place and let nature do its thing. During the waiting stage, you can search online for a leading Sydney brewer and order a selection of premium beers to compare with your batch and if you’re wondering what 2021 has in store for us, click here.
The Bottling Stage
After allowing the mix to sit for two weeks, you can bottle the brew and at this stage, you should add a little sugar to the mix and stir it in, as this ensures a little more fermentation, which adds to the flavour and gives the beer its bubbles. Of course, the bottle tops must be sealed and after 30 days, your very first batch of home-made beer is ready for consumption. Don’t be too disappointed if it is a flop, as most people have to start again at least once before producing a beer that tastes OK, but if the batch tastes fine, perhaps you have found your hidden talent.
If you are prepared to persevere and are open to experimentation, your efforts will be rewarded by some remarkable batches of beer and as you get more competent, you can add certain twangs to the taste and reach a level of beer perfection that will surprise your friends.
Some brewers take it to the next level and get together with a few like-minded folk and set up a microbrewery (there are a few great examples in Sydney). To get a taste of premium craft beers, a Google search will take you a platform where you can buy a wide range of craft beers that will be delivered to your door.