How to home brew your own beer
It's a life skill that every student would love to have in their armoury, but despite our fervent love for beer, very few of us have ever tried to brew our own.
You might think brewing your own beer sounds more of a middle-aged activity to get involved in (or something Hank from Breaking Bad would do), but it can save you a sizeable fortune – working out at less than 18p a pint.
There is some specialist equipment you'll have to shell out for first, which will set you back around £30, but in the long run we couldn't recommend a sounder investment.
To start you off here's our simple step-by-step guide to making your own 24 pint batch of homemade beer.
- Large pan (for 12 pints)
- Muslin cloth
- Food bucket (for 25 pints)
- Sterilised siphoning tube
- 30-40 glass bottles and caps (with a crown capper)
If you're looking to save even more money on your brewing then you can always reuse old bottles, just make sure to sterilise them first.
Old beer bottles with a new capper work great, or you can even use screw top wine bottles if you use less sugar in the recipe.
- Tap water
- 55g dried hops
- 750g of sugar
- 1kg malt extract (choice of flavour)
- 1 packet of ale yeast
The brewing process
Bear with us here; you will need to be on hand for at least three weeks, but it is totally going to be worth it we promise!
Boil it all up!
First you'll need to fill up a rather a large pan (a bit bigger than the one in the pic above) with 12 pints of water and bring to the boil.
Then add your 55g of dried hops and leave to boil for another 30 minutes.
Once this is done slowly add the kilo of malt extract along with 750g of sugar and boil for another five minutes.
Bucket it all up!
Cover a sterilised food bucket (or very large pan) with a clean muslin cloth then carefully strain the contents of the pan into it.
Then add a further 12 pints of cold water.
Leave your mixture to cool for 30 minutes then add a packet of ale yeast.
Finally fully cover your bucket and leave to stand in a cool, dry place for 10 days.
Bottle it up!
A crusty layer should have formed on the top of the mixture by now – make sure it has started to degrade. Then just pop half a tablespoon of sugar into each bottle.
Siphon the beer (this will get rid of any bits) into separate bottles and cap them off.
Just wait another 14 days before the party can begin!
Once you've got the hang of it, a case of home brewed beer can also make for a really cheap and thoughtful gift for that special someone.
And the sooner you become a pro, the sooner you can start attempting to brew ciders (guide on this coming soon!), mead and other beer types.
If you do decide to take up this noble challenge of beer-brewing, let us know how you get on!