Brewing your own pub style beer at home is surprisingly easy, requires no experience and is very enjoyable.
This guide explains in 7 easy steps the basics of brewing your own great tasting beer.
Most people new to home brewing start by using a Beer Kit – this is by far the easiest way and produces a great pint. A Beer Kit contains all the ingredients to brew the beer but it is important to realise that you still need some equipment to start brewing – the Beer Kit is basically a pack containing the ingredients.
Beer can be brewed with nothing more than a Fermenting Vessel (bucket), a Syphon Tube and some bottles to put the beer into. For the best results however we would recommend a complete starter kit such as our popular Home Brew Online Starter Kit (barrel option) or the Home Brew Online Starter kit (bottles option). In the kit you not only get the Fermenting Vessel but also various pieces of equipment designed to make the whole process even easier and to enable you to keep the beer at the correct temperature and check the alcohol content (ABV). You also get a pressure barrel to transfer the beer into when the first stage of brewing has finished.
This guide is based on using the Home Brew Online Starter Kit with your choice of beer. Your Beer Kit will also contain instructions to achieve the best results for that beer style, this guide describes the general process.
Step 1 – Prepare your equipment
You’ve got your Beer Kit and Home Brew Equipment ready, your next step is to clean your equipment with steriliser. It is important to use the steriliser and follow the instructions on the pack as any bacteria can spoil your brew. It is also important to rinse the cleaned items with lots of water to remove any steriliser as this could give the beer an unpleasant taste.
Step 2 – Mix the ingredients
Empty your ingredients into the Fermenting Vessel and fill with water. Follow the instructions on the Beer Kit for exact instructions as they do vary slightly. As a general rule, if you are buying a 3kg Beer Kit (around £20) nothing extra will need adding, if you have a 1.7kg Beer Kit (around £10) you will need to add 1kg of sugar. You get what you pay for with Beer Kits, the price gives an indication of the quality of the malt – rest assured, all the beer kits stocked here at Home Brew Online are high quality and will produce great beer!
Step 3 – Primary Fermentation
Leave your Fermenting Vessel, now full of water and ingredients, for 4-6 days at room temperature. This is the most active stage of brewing where the yeast reacts with the malt sugars, turning them into alcohol, generating a frothy crust on top of the mixture.
Step 4 – First stage finished
After 4-6 days the brewing will have settled down and your brew should be ready to transfer into the Pressure Barrel. Check that the fermenting process has finished by using your Hydrometer. Instructions are included and you are looking to check the ‘specific gravity’. The Hydrometer will float in the liquid and depending on the height it sits at will determine the alcohol content.
Step 5 – Transfer to barrel
Using the included syphon tube, transfer the beer into your pressure barrel. This is a very easy process and takes only a few minutes, having the Fermenting Vessel higher than the Barrel will make the transferring of the beer quicker.
Step 6 – Conditioning
Place your barrel in a cool place for the beer to condition such as a shed or garage (don’t worry about it being too cold) this final stage takes 2-3 weeks, your Beer Kit will give specific details for the beer that you are brewing.
Step 7 – Drink!
Your beer will now be perfected and ready to drink.
Pour yourself a well earned pint. Enjoy!
There is a really good video on YouTube, as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VsBsW9ZOm0
Click below for specific instructions for each beer brand: