Make Your Own Beer for Friends and Family

Pouring beer in a glass

If you love beer and love the idea of making your own — you should consider home brewing. Crafting your own brews and experimenting with different hops until you get it right can grip you to the point of obsession.

If you have the patience, the drive, and determination, this is what you need to do to get started in your brewing journey.

Stock Up

Get your equipment and buy hops by the pound. Buy different types of hops because you’ll be mixing and matching a lot of them to get your perfect brew. Get a few old school notebooks for personal notes and recipes.

You can purchase a brewery kit in stores or online, but you’ll need a few more items to start brewing. You’ll need a digital kitchen scale and an instant-read thermometer for precise measurements as well as a digital timer, preferably one with loud beeps.

You’ll need a 2- or 3-gallon stockpot, preferably stainless steel. You’ll need something to stir with, preferably a wooden spoon that can reach the bottom of your pot and a fine mesh strainer that you can comfortably hold over it.

Sanitize Everything

One thing that ruins whole batches of beer is contamination. You’ll need to make everything pristine using acid-based cleaning solutions.

Acid-based sanitizers include hydrogen peroxide, peroxyacetic acid, anionic acids, and iodophors. These acid-based cleaning solutions don’t leave residues and won’t otherwise affect your brewing process.

Start Brewing

Take your processed barley, or whatever grain you chose, and put them in hot water — not boiling — for about an hour. Grains release sugar in this heat and once the water is strained, you’re left with a clear sweet liquid called wort. You can now boil the wort for an hour, adding hops from time-to-time.

Bittering hops at the beginning and flavoring hops near the end. You then cool the wort, strain it, put it in a fermenting vessel and add yeast. That’s it. Wait a couple of weeks and you have beer. Now you just need to add a little carbonation, but most brewing supplies have tablets that do the trick.

Starting your own home brewery takes a little bit of work and a lot of dedication. Read up on brewing techniques, but nothing will teach you better than experience. Choose your hops, get your gear, start making your own beer, and experiment with your friends.