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 at home.
Brewing your own beer might sound like a bit of a midlife crisis-esque activity, but it can save you a sizeable fortune, working out at less than 20p a pint.
You can opt for a homebrewing kit (which we would advise), which will set you back between £35 to £50, but if you're planning on brewing your own beer on the reg, you'll deffo see a return on your investment!
To start you off here's our step-by-step guide to making a 24 pint batch of homemade beer right in your kitchen. Enjoy!
Ingredients for making your own beer
- Tap water
- 55g dried hops (flowers from the hop plant, beer's main component)
- 750g of sugar
- One kilogram of malt extract (choice of flavour)
- One packet of ale yeast
Beer brewing equipment
Now you've got the ingredients, here's a list of household items you'll need to make your own beer. Again, most of these should be included in homebrewing beer kits.
- Large pan (for 12 pints)
- Muslin cloth
- Large bucket (for 25 pints)
- Sterilised syphoning tube
- 30-40 glass bottles and caps (with a crown capper) or a large jug
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 a bit less sugar than is advised in the recipe (the remnants of the wine will make the beer taste sweeter).
The brewing process
Brewing your own beer can be done in three stages. 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 large pan with 12 pints of water and bring it to the boil.
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.
Cover a sterilised food bucket (or very large pan) with a clean muslin cloth then carefully strain the contents of the pan into it.
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.
Siphon your beer
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. The sooner you become a pro, the sooner you can start attempting to brew ciders, mead and other types of beer. Result!
Not up for making your own? Don't worry, there are other ways to save money on a night out!