Home brewing beer is one of those hobbies that has recently undergone a bit of a revival. Although it’s viewed once again as a ‘trendy’ pastime, beer has actually been brewed at home throughout its 7000-year history!
There are a variety of reasons why people choose to brew their own beers. For a start, it allows you the freedom to adjust recipes according to your own preference, but it also allows you to create beers that may not be available commercially. From a health point of view, it means that you can create low-alcohol beers with fewer calories.
Getting started is simple and only involves a small outlay.
For a start you need to look at the space that you have available. You’ll need two areas: one for fermenting the beer and one for storing and serving it. A standard barrel or bucket will only take up a space of around 300mm x 300mm, so the amount of space is required will be fine for most homes.
For fermenting purposes, you need source somewhere in your home where there is a temperature of between 20°-27°C (70-82°F). For the best results it’s actually better to have a lower temperature that’s constant, rather than a higher temperature which tends to fluctuate. Don’t even THINK about using your airing cupboard or hot press – that’s a bit of an ‘urban myth’! If you can’t find somewhere in your home that has the necessary temperature, then there’s a wide range of heating equipment easily available for this purpose, and you can choose from a thermostatically controlled immersion heater, a brew bell (which wraps around the container) or a heat tray.
When it comes to your actual beer brewing equipment, your best option is to purchase a beer brewing kit, which will come with everything you need. Kits start at around the 50 euro mark and most come with the standard items: a brew pot, stirring spoon, two seven-gallon food-grade plastic containers with sealable lids, a rubber stopper and airlock, a thermometer, a strainer, bottles, caps and capper.
Kits will also provide you with a bottle washer. Next to finding the correct temperature for brewing, sterilisation and cleanliness are the next most important keys to successful brewing.
And that’s it! All you need for successful home beer brewing. There’s a wide range of kits available online, so you’ll have no problems getting started. Then, if you want to indulge your interest by trying out more complicated beer recipes, you can add to your collection by purchasing other items such as measuring equipment, but a small outlay should see you through the initial stages of home beer brewing.
Our friends at Ghergich have put together a guide to match your beers with the right foods. Take a look: