In this section you will find basic brewing techniques and information to help you get started with making your own great tasting beer, cider or wine.
The reason i started brewing was simply an austerity measure,you can make really great beer and wine for a fraction of the normal price. It has now become a very rewarding hobby and one i still enjoy doing, particularly the tasting!
If you can boil water you can make beer.
Beer is made up of four basic ingredients, water, malted barley, yeast and hops.
There are several methods of brewing beer, which fall under two main headings. The first is extract brewing and the second is all grain brewing.
All grain brewing is a bit more technical and you require more equipment, but can have fantastic results. As the name suggests it uses the actual grain to make the brew. Extract brewing uses a kit which is a tin of sugary syrup like substance, which is concentrated malt extract. The kit will also contain a small packet of yeast.
These pages deal with extract kit brewing (sometimes called kit and kilo) which is a good place to start if you are a beginner.
This method involves adding water and sugar to a concentrated kit to make a great home brewed beer.
Some beers can be made for as little as 40 pence a pint, and some wines for as little as a pound a bottle.
There are of course set up costs in buying the required equipment, but not as much as you might think.
There are several steps in the process of brewing.
The first step is to buy your equipment. An obvious first step as you need equipment to brew.Check our equipment page.
The next step is to buy the beer or wine kit you wish to make and drink. In this site there are review pages (top right) which can help you choose which kit to start with.
This then brings us to the actual”brew day”.
The first step on the brew day is to sterilise all the equipment you are going to use to make the beer,including surfaces, details are on our sterilise page
Once the can is warmed through it can be opened with a sterile can opener and poured into the fermenting bucket. Then fill the empty can with boiling water from the kettle. This will dissolve any left overs in the can. It is important to get all of the extract into the fermenter. Once this is added to the fermenter you can now add some more boiling water to the fermenter, just enough so the ingredients can be dissolved, again the kit instructions will tell you the amount to add. Then the rest of the fermentables can be stirred in gradually with a sterilised spoon. The fermenter is then topped up with cold water to the required level and temperature. This sweet sugary liquid of unfermented beer is called the WORT.
The yeast is then added at the correct temperature and the lid placed onto the fermenter with the airlock . The fermenter should then be placed in an area of your house which has the required constant temperature and left to let the yeast ferment the beer. Check out our fermentation page.
Once the fermentation process has finished the beer is now ready to be bottled or kegged. The beer should be added to the bottle or keg with the right amount of sugar. The beer at this point is flat. The extra added sugar will start a secondary fermentation process which will carbonate the beer making it fizzy. This is called priming the bottle.
The beer should be left to age for a few weeks, (this is the hardest part of brewing).
The last step is to drink the beer, which i am sure does not need any instruction.