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Tips for the new homebrewer to get started

25 May 2018
Tags: homebrew, glass bottles, beer

Homebrewing

The art of homebrewing has widespread appeal. It’s not just about being able to circumvent the cost of buying in beer and ale but also having more control over what you drink, in terms of taste and quality. Plus, it’s a skill that, once learned, can be enjoyed by family and friends and one that many people pass on to the next generation. If you’re keen to get started as a homebrewer for the first time then these are our key tips.

Buy your basic kit

Anyone can create great homebrew with some basic pieces of kit, including:

  • A 30 litre bucket with lid
  • Gromet and airlock
  • A mixing spoon
  • A ‘u’ tube with a siphon
  • A steriliser

In addition, you’ll also need the basic beer making kit (which should include three kilos of malt). If you’re starting from scratch then you’ll need a budget of around £50 to put your basic kit together. From this you should be able to make around 40 pints.

Choose your bottles carefully

When you’ve put time and effort into creating the perfect homebrew it’s important to ensure you have the right bottles to store it in. Quality and aesthetics both have a role to play, as well as functionality - bottles with caps or a pressure barrel fitted with a pressure release/injection valve, for example, can keep your brew fresh.

Don’t underestimate the importance of sterilisation

It’s certainly not the most interesting part of the homebrew process but sterilisation is crucial. Miss this step and when you pop the cork on your homebrew bottles your beer will have a vinegary taste. That’s why a steriliser is such an important piece of your kit – the alternative is to use chemicals, which is not really recommended, as this will usually impact on the taste of what you produce.

Identify your homebrew spot

Homebrew doesn’t have to take up much space but there are some conditions that will make one part of your home ideal for it. For example, you will need to ensure that there is enough room for the barrel or bucket you’re making the homebrew in. Temperature is also important - 20-27°C is ideal but you can also buy wraparound devices to help ensure this is consistent if your home doesn’t allow for it.

Familiarise yourself with the process before you start

Step 1: You’ll need to start with your malt and water (the malt tin may need to be covered in hot water first to soften the malt). When you’ve added the malt to the right amount of water then it’s time for the yeast. Stir everything, cover and leave for around a week in temperatures of 21-27°C or longer if the temperature is lower.

Step 2: After the yeast comes the bottling. You can only do this once fermentation is complete – i.e. there are no more bubbles or your hydrometer shows that gravity has reached around 1010. At this point you can add the priming sugar to the bottles, followed by your homebrew. Seal the bottles and leave to sit somewhere warm for up to three days.

Step 3: Move your homebrew to a cooler location in the home and then don’t touch for a month. It will be during this time that the beer clears.

Step 4: Pop your first ever homebrew and enjoy.

We stock a range of glass beer bottles that are ideal for your first homebrew, from beer bottles to cider bottles. Browse our range of glass bottles online today to find the perfect fit for your homebrew.



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