How to… Brew your own beer at home
#1. Brewing – Start by mixing 2.7 kilograms (six pounds) of unhopped malt extract with 64 grams (2.25 ounces) of hops and then add them both to a large pan (the bigger the better) of boiling water. This will sterilise the extract and help release the hops’ flavourings.
#2. Fermenting – Once the mixture (which is known as wort) is hot and thoroughly combined, it can be removed from the heat, cooled and siphoned into a fermenter. Once in the fermenter, extra water should be added – until the total mix reaches roughly 19 litres (five gallons). A single packet of liquid yeast is also added now.
#3. Prime time – The fermenter can then be topped with an airlock. The airlock prevents the wort, which is easily contaminated at this stage, from being infected with bacteria. Once the airlock is in position, the wort can be left to ferment for a couple of weeks in a cool, dark place.
#4. Bottling it – Once the beer is fermented, the mixture can be removed from the fermenter and siphoned into a sterile container for bottling. In this container two or three cups of priming sugar – eg corn sugar – should be added. The mixture can then be bottled and capped.
#5. Time to mature – The beer should now be left for three more weeks. This last fermenting period will involve the remaining yeast breaking down the priming sugars and creating carbon dioxide, which adds fizz to the beer. After this period has elapsed, the bottled beer can be chilled and drunk – responsibly, of course!
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