How to home brew

I took some photos as I mixed up my recent batch of Cascade Draught. I hope it helps some people understand the home brewing process.

Step 1 – Purchase

Buy your ingredients. Supermarkets, home brew shops and gifts received from others are all good places to get your stuff. In this case I am making a basic kit and kilo beer, adding some hops (and maybe some honey).

Homebrewing Ingredients

Step 2 – Clean

Clean your equipment. I prefer to use a commercial home brewing sanitizer, but feel free to use household bleach or even simply boiling water. In the photo below is all the equipment needed to brew your beer – fermentor, kettle, mixing spoon, airlock. I also used a boiling pot today, but that is optional.

Homebrewing Equipment

Step 3 – Heat

I warmed up the can of extract in some hot water in the sink. This lowers the viscosity of the extract, making it much more pourable. Also boil 2 litres of water in a kettle.

Beer concentrate can warming in sink

Pour the can of extract into your pot (or fermentor if not boiling it first). Fill up your now empty can with boiling water and allow to sit for a couple of minutes. This gets the remaining extract out of the can so you don’t lose any flavour from your end beer. Then add this water to your pot. Turn the stovetop on to medium-high.

Pour extract into pot

As the mixture heats up, add your kilogram of sugars. I used a brewing sugar mixture, but it is possible to use white sugar (though not recommended). Allow the wort to reach boiling, stirring regularly.

Add hops to boiling wort

Once boiling, add any flavour/aroma hops you have. Stir in, then turn off the heat and put a lid on the pot.

After 5 minutes, place the pot into a sink full of cold water to cool the mixture.

Step 4 – Mix

Add water to the fermentor. I used filtered water to keep impurities away from the mixture and hopefully improve the flavour.

Add water to fermentor

Pour your cooled wort into the fermentor. Stir well. Top up with water to 22 litres.

Add yeast to mixture. I prooved the yeast by rehydrating it in some sugar water to confirm it was alive and promote a quick start to fermentation.

Add yeast to sugar water
Yeast falling through water
The yeast is alive!

Step 5 – Wait

Seal the lid on the fermentor, fill the airlock with water and place in a quiet corner. Bubbling will start within 2 days and fermentation should finish within 10 days.

Fermentor in corner

Step 6 – Bottle

Make sure you have enough bottles – 60 stubbies or 30 longnecks. Add a teaspoon of white sugar per 375mL to each bottle. Affix bottling valve to the tap on the fermentor and fill each bottle. Cap with bench capper and crown seals.

Wait for another 2-4 weeks for secondary fermentation and carbonation.

Step 7 – Enjoy

Pour carefully into a glass, leaving the majority of yeast in the bottle. Drink watching the football or motor sports, with pretzels or peanuts.

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