There are two ways to homebrew beer: all-grain and extract. All grain is my preferred method. It involves considerably more work and equipment, but it is cheaper and I find it more rewarding. In extract brewing, all the work of extracting sugar from grain has already been done by a manufacturer. Both methods make great beer!
Key foreign words you didn’t know:
Hydrometer: Looks like a thermometer, floats like a bobber, breaks like glass, and tells you how much sugar is dissolved in your liquid of choice.
Krausen: The frothy, crazy foam that beer produces while fermenting.
Mash/Mashing: The process of converting starchy grain to sweet wort.
Pitching: The act of adding yeast to wort.
Wort: (pronounced “wert”) Protobeer is called wort from mashing until the yeast starts fermenting.
The 10-step homebrewing process:
1. Secure a recipe. Brewing is not a baroque performance.
2. Secure some finished product. You need motivation and inspiration, after all!
3. Start up the BBQ. BBQ and beer go together like your favorite two things that go together well.
4. Start heating water. All-grain brewers will use the water to mash their grain; extract brewers get to take advantage of someone else’s hard work and proceed to step 5.
5. Following the recipe, add hops, spices, dog hair, baby spit, chickens, etc (what can I say… I’ve seen some crazy recipes).
6. Once the boil is complete, cool the wort down to 70 degrees or so
7. Shake (aerate) the wort well and pitch yeast.
8. Finish up the beer you were drinking and have some BBQ. Forget about your homebrew for a week or so.
9. Bottle beer. Forget about it for 3 weeks or so.
10. Enjoy your homebrew while brewing and BBQing for your next batch.