Do you consider yourself a beer snob? Do you appreciate the frothy, golden combination of beer and the refreshing pleasure it gives at the end of the day? There are few pleasures more satisfying than the first sip of that sparkling goodness, and one of them is making your own beer at home.
While the wait to get the final product may be long, brewing your own beer from scratch is not difficult. You’ll only need a few brewing ingredients and equipment, which may be acquired online or obtained from a local homebrew shop.
Before you begin the brewing process, you must get to know the four basic materials required to make a batch of beer: water, fermentable sugar, hops, and yeast. Each component is essential to the recipe and must be cooked in a certain manner to produce a good batch of brew. Understanding their fundamental properties and how each component is supposed to interact with the others is an essential part of beer making.
During brewing, fermentation is the most crucial step of a beer’s life cycle. This fermentation happens when the yeast consumes the sugars from the mixture producing alcohol, carbonation, and other chemicals that give the beer its distinct flavour. So, choosing a strain of homebrew yeast solely based on its name isn’t a terrible place to start.
After all, the names are there for a reason, and choosing a yeast just by its name is unlikely to take you too far away from your recipe. However, you need to take into account some important indicators to ensure that your beer strain is up to the task.
The degree to which yeast ferments the sugar in wort or must is referred to as attenuation. If you have 50% attenuation, it signifies that yeast has turned 50% of the carbohydrates into alcohol and CO2. If you have 100 per cent attenuation, yeast has digested all of the sugars.
Beer fermented using ordinary brewer’s yeast will never be completely attenuated. This is significant since it can aid in predicting a beer’s ultimate gravity and alcohol level. A low attenuation yeast will leave a beer with more sugar than a high attenuation brewing yeast. This is also useful when choosing a yeast strain for a recipe.
Flocculation is derived from the ancient English word flocc, which means to gather together. So, in other words, flocculation is the yeast’s ability to clump and settle at the end of fermentation, which can greatly influence the beer’s clarity. When it comes to their propensity to bond together, different yeast strains have different abilities. If not managed properly, certain strains can flocculate too quickly, perhaps leaving the finished beer under-attenuated and sugary.
Other strains practically never flocculate, resulting in a yeast haze in the beer, which is usually detrimental to the end product. Many English and American ale strains exhibit flocculation qualities ranging from medium to high. Most lager strains are low to medium flocculators, as are hefeweizen yeast and many Belgian strains.
With premium varieties such as New World Ale, Belgian Abbey Ale, Californian Lager, and Bohemian Lager, these homebrewing yeasts are simply small-batch versions of the same strains used by both craft and commercial breweries worldwide. If you are interested in using some of this homebrew yeast online stores as well as physical shops located in Melbourne can supply you with a range of options.
The amount of alcohol that a yeast strain can withstand before it stops growing is referred to as its tolerance. Brewers have chosen pushed yeast strains to adapt to varied environments throughout the years, and breweries that have preferred high-alcohol beer will often have yeast strains that have responded to the challenge. A cold-fermenting Pilsner strain works well for low-alcohol lagers, while Rogue’s legendary Pacman ale yeast may easily take you into barleywine territory.
Before hops, people used whatever they could find to flavour their beer. They’d toss twigs and berries in it just to liven it up. Today, hop plants act like herbs and spices for your beer. Your beer would be bland and flavourless without hops. Many people associate hops with bitterness in beer, yet hops are used in brewing for a variety of reasons.
They provide your beer with a bitter flavour and they keep the beer’s head and work as a preservative. Pairing hops with beer flavours is intimidating for the novice, and certain beer styles do need particular hop varietals. The level of bitterness and fragrances imparted by hops in beer is determined by a range of factors, including the kind of hops used and their growth circumstances.
Malted barley is a typical component used to meet the sugar requirement in a homebrew recipe. To provide a lighter flavour to the beer, some brewers substitute a proportion of maize, rice, wheat, or other grains.
As a beginner brewer, you should buy a ready-to-use type of malted barley known as malt syrup or malt extract rather than attempting to malt the grain from scratch, as it is a highly intricate and delicate procedure. Using a malt extract ensures that the fermented sugar is prepared correctly and acts as it should throughout the beer brewing process.
Because water comprises about 90% of the brew, having fresh water makes a tremendous impact during the brewing process. If your tap water is of high quality, and you use it for drinking daily, then it is safe to use for beer production. If you don’t like the flavour of tap water, you can substitute it with bottled or distilled. If you use tap water, first boil it to remove chlorine and other pollutants that may interfere with the brewing process. Allow the water to cool before using it.
The most heart-breaking thing during a homebrewing process is to wait weeks for fermentation only to discover that the beer is spoiled. So after you gather all of the ingredients it’s time to clean and sanitize the homebrewing equipment. Then and only then you can begin with the beer brewing!