How to get Started in Home Brewing Beer
Beer brewing is really easy & what's more, you will discover that the beer you make is very good quality. Here is some information about what you need to make beer & also a description of the process which shows you how very easy it is.
What do I need?
By far the easiest & most inexpensive way to start your brewing hobby is to buy an AHB Starter Kit which includes all the essentials you need to make your first batch of beer and bottle it. There are several good ones that you can choose from and they include many of the components listed below.
In addition, some of the kits contain extra equipment that make your brewing hobby incredibly easy.
The fermenter is the 30lt container in which the brew ferments. The airlock acts as a one-way valve allowing gas out of the fermenter & stop air getting in.
To attach to the tap and to assist in a gentle mess free bottling.
to remove residues from all your brewing containers & tools. Brewclean is detergent & solvent free and is incredibly effective on all surfaces & leaves absolutely no residue.
to prevent contamination. "No-rinse" sterilizers provided like "Brew Sanitize" and "No-Rinse Sanitize" are far superior to the old fashioned chemicals.
for mixing your brewing ingredients in your fermenter.
We include one of our best-selling beer recipe kits with every AHB Starter Brewery, "Aussie Pub Draught". All our recipe kits include high quality Brewing Malts and extra ingredients including fresh hops and premium brewing yeast plus easy to follow instructions. Makes 21lt
for testing your beer to see if fermentation is finished & for measuring alcohol. Hydrometers are designed to measure the specific gravity which is essentially the sugar levels of the brew. Once bubbling stops in the airlock and the hydrometer reading remains stable, then your brew is ready for bottling.
a great help for cleaning beer bottles.
very helpful product to ensure your beer reaches the ideal carbonation levels. Add one drop to a 330 - 375ml bottle and 2 drops to a 650 - 750ml bottle before capping. This measure of sugar will create a secondary fermentation in the bottle. As it is in a closed environment bottles are naturally carbonated.
To Cap your beer bottles. For best results we recommend that you always use heavy-duty robust glass bottles either 750ml long necks or 330ml stubbies with traditional pry-off lips. Do not use weak thin walled screw top bottles. Always test each batch with the Hydrometer to ensure fermentation is complete prior to capping.
These are the essentials that you will need to get going. You're on your way to making your first batch
Click on the link for details of our complete Starter Brewery Kits
How to make beer from a beer kit
Once you have your Home Brewery, you are ready to make your first batch. Instructions on many kits will vary. Below is a good guide and basic method to follow that will be relevant for all malt extract recipes.
You will make great beers using this method as long as you take care of the basics. Always use great quality ingredients including a premium brewing yeast that is specific to the beer style, i.e. Lager, Pale Ale, Wheat Beer, Dark Ale etc. Brew within the recommend temperature range for the specific yeast. Finally, always take care when cleaning and sanitising with all aspects of brewing and bottling.
Step by Step Beer Making Instructions
Stage 1- PREPARATION
|1.||Clean & sterilise your equipment.|
|2.||Put the yeast aside for the fermentation stage.|
|3.||Heat the beer kit can in hot water for 10 minutes prior to opening, this will make it easy to pour out once opened. Once warmed up open and empty the beer kit into the fermenter. Stir to dissolve the contents of the beer kit can and any malt extract or malt blends in 2 to 4 litres of hot water. Use a little less hot water in hot weather & more in cold weather.|
|4.||Top up your fermenter with cool tap water to the recommend volume of your recipe. For most standard brews this will be around 21Lt final volume.|
Hops - Many recipes will include finishing hops and instructions will be provided that is specific to the recipe. There are two main hop addition techniques, Boiling and Dry-Hopping. When boiling the hops, the common technique is to bring a litre of water to the boil and then add the hops. Boil for 1 to 2 minutes then turn off the heat allowing the water to cool for 15 minutes. Then strain the liquid through a sterilised strainer into your brew together with the malt contents.
When Dry hopping most recipes will suggest adding hops on day 4 by simply sprinkling the hops on top of your brew and then allowing fermentation to continue. No boiling is required. The hops will eventually settle at the bottom of your fermenter forming part of the sediment
Stage 2- FERMENTATION
|1.||Sprinkle the yeast onto the surface.|
|2.||Seal the fermenter, fit the airlock and half fill it with cool boiled water.|
|3.||Allow the brew to ferment. Try to keep the temperature in the fermenter reasonably constant. For ales this will generally be in the range of 18 - 22 degrees. When using a lager yeast the temperature often need to be cooler in the range of 10 to 15 degrees. For best results always check the temperature recommendations on the recipe instructions or the yeast pack. Typically, this takes about a week to 10 days.|
|4.||Fermentation is finished when the airlock stops bubbling and the brew itself begins to clear. Always use a hydrometer to test when the SG level remains constant indicating no more fermentation will take place. Allow a further 48 hours for the brew to clear thoroughly before bottling. If the fermenter is sealed and sanitised, extra time in the fermenter will not be a problem.|
Stage 3 - BOTTLING
|1.||Sterilise the bottles as per the instructions on the steriliser.|
|2.||Place carbonation drop(s) in each bottle. You need 1 drop for 330ml - 375ml bottles & 2 drops for 650-750ml bottles.|
|3.||Fill each bottle to within 50mm of the top. This is easy to do when using a bottling valve. Fill to the top and then remove the bottle from the valve. This should leave about 50mm of space at the top of the bottle.|
|4.||Close each bottle with a crown cap and seal it firmly with a capping tool.|
|5.||Shake the bottles several times during the first few hours to make sure the carbonation drops are completely dissolved. Stand the bottles at room temperature (say around 18 to 22ºC.) for about a 10 days then store in a place where the temperature is stable & not hot for at least another 2 weeks before sampling.|
Stage 4 - MATURATION
Homebrew improves greatly with bottle ageing and will not go off in the bottle at all. A six-month-old beer will be very much better than a one month old beer. So, try to age your beers, you will enjoy them much more. In fact, you will be amazed at how much your aged beers have improved.
The best place to mature your beer is a place where the temperature does not fluctuate and is reasonable cool. Bottles should be upright while maturing.
Don't forget to label and date each batch. Keep samples to try at 3, 6 and 12 months old. Take notes about how they taste then you will see for yourself how this amazing improvement works.
Brew a few batches in a row to ensure you always have enough supply to cellar your beer and always drink matured beer that is at least 3 months old. This will significantly enhance your drinking experience. We have also produced a guide on beer serving temperature. Combine this with well-aged beer and this will enhance your drinking experience.