www.brewersyard.co.uk
BREW YOUR OWN BOOZE
A NUTS AND BOLTS GUIDE
 

 

 

HOME GETTING STARTED BEER WINE CIDER PERRY MEAD SPIRITS


 

Brewing Beer is similar to brewing the Sugar Wine described on the Getting Started page, only in place of sugar you use cereal grain. However, the grain first has to be prepared so that it can be fermented by the yeast in to alcohol.

 Soak about 2 lbs of grain in cold water and then spread it out on a tray, keeping it damp and warm until germination starts. Next, dry the grain to terminate the growth process. Finally, give the grain a lengthy boil in water, and then allow it to cool. The grain is now ready for use.

Hop cones are a popular flavouring additive. Pour the grain mash with more cold water and some hop cones and a teaspoon or two of baker's yeast or brewer's yeast in to a clean fermentation vessel and bulk it up to a gallon with yet more cold water. Then seal the vessel with a bung fitted with a water-filled air lock. The yeast will then ferment the prepared cereal grain in to alcohol. At the same time, carbon dioxide gas will be produced, and that will be safely vented via the air lock. Bubbles passing through the air lock indicate that fermentation is occurring. When fermentation is complete the bubbling will stop. The brew should then be strained and filtered. The brew may now be cloudy.

To remove the cloudiness you need to add finings, such as isinglass, or a little brewed strong tea, or a little citric acid from oranges, lemons and the like. Such inclusions will cause suspended particles in the brew to precipitate down and form a sediment. When the brew is clear, siphon it off in to another vessel for subsequent bottling, with the siphon tube positioned above the sediment so that the sediment is left behind in the fermentation vessel. If you are a real adventurer you might grow your own cereals for beer brewing or even for home bread making, or for both. Sweet Corn is easy to grow and produces a high grain yield in a small space.

For more information, check out the Wikipedia article about beer at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer

Beer barrels photo credit: Henna / Wikimedia Commons