A small scale setup at home to make beer for personal use is considered home brewing. With more and more people trying out the craft brews at Brew pubs in India today, a lot of folks are interested in brewing their own beer at home. Beer has been brewed at home for thousands of years. Starting from ancient Syria, China, and Egypt. People who brew their own beer chose to do so for various reasons –
they want to experiment with flavours, create their own specific recipes, drink unadulterated beers, and a lot of homebrewers start because they are tired of the high cost of commercially available beer.
There are various methods of home brewing, but for a beginner I would
suggest starting with a Homebrewing kit. These kits contains Liquid Malt Extract that has been pre-hopped by the supplier. All that is needed is to mix water, a specific kind of sugar, add yeast and let it ferment. Once fermentation is done, bottle the beer, and drink in a few weeks! Simple, isn’t it? Kit brewing is an ideal introduction to homebrewing.
I started brewing with Coopers kits from Australia, and to buy a full kit that includes a brewing bucket, thermometer, hydrometer, bottles, etc should set a new brewer back around INR 8000. Get in touch if you have any questions on where to source these from.
The next stage in home brewing is an All Grain brew. This involves buying the grain, hops, yeast, a lot of additional equipment, and following the entire process that any brewery does. The grain needs to be milled, mashed and lautered. The resulting wort needs to be boiled along with the hops and then chilled and added to your fermenter. A much longer process but it gives the brewer full control over what goes into his brew and the taste of the resulting end product.
Whether doing an Extract or All grain brew, after fermentation is complete, the resulting flat beer needs to be bottled or kegged. If bottling, a small amount of sugar needs to be added to ensure carbonation occurs. This happens over a period of a week or two. The longer a beer is kept in the bottle to condition, the better. However, if kegging, then it’s just a matter of getting a CO2 cylinder and force carbonating the brew, which means it is ready to drink immediately.
This is just a gist of the entire process, and I will be posting more detailed information in the coming days for each type of brewing method.