By Evan Davis
Brewing beer is an incredibly rewarding hobby, if you take the time to learn the process. There are many different types of beer out there, but it is always best to start off small, so I’ve decided to make a guide to making IPAs, or India Pale Ales. IPAs are more bitter than most other styles of beer due to their large amount of hops. Hops are a type of wheat that is extensively used in brewing, along with barley, malt, and a wide range of possible ingredients. Now why should you listen to me? I’ve been brewing beer for about 2 years now, so while I’m far from an expert, I have done this quite a few times and I feel confident in sharing my process.
What You Will Need:
9lbs of Light liquid Malt extract (available at brewing stores) $5
0.75lbs of Crystal 20L Malt (available at brewing stores) $20
1oz 60 minute Magnum hops (available at brewing stores) <$10
1oz Simcoe hops (available at brewing stores) $10
1oz Sorachi Ace hops (available in brewing stores) $10
12g Safele US Yeast ( Available at brewing stores, Walmart) $3.99
1lb Priming sugar (available at brewing stores) ~$8
7gal kettle or bigger ( available in Walmart, cooking stores) $30
6gal fermentation bucket (available at brewing stores) $12
3-4 plastic bags (available anywhere) ~$1
1-2 mesh bags (available anywhere) ~$5
Food-Grade Sanatizer (available at cooking stores) $10
Bottles: 30 22oz, or 55 12oz (available at brewing stores, cooking stores) $0*
Heating element (available in your home)
Large container for cooling (and ice)
5gal bucket (available at Home Depot) $3.25
Thermometer (available on Amazon) $7
*I like to save the bottles from regular beer, wash them out, sanitize and reuse them, it saves around $40
After you get all of the required ingredients and supplies, we’ll be ready to begin brewing.
The way brewing works is by basically adding all of the ingredients together, heating them up, transferring them into the 5 gallon bucket, adding the yeast, sealing up the bucket for a week, adding the priming sugar for the sugar to process into CO2.
The Brewing Process
- Put the Crystal Malt into the mesh bag, pour ~3 gallons of water into the pot and submerge the mesh bag into it.
- Turn on the heating element, while making sure the mesh bag is not touching the bottom of the pot, this could burn the malt, making your beer taste like old shoes left outside. Remove the bag after temperature hits 170 degrees F.
- Fill the pot the rest of the way up, slowly adding the light malt extract, constantly stirring until they completely dissolve. Put 1oz of Magnum Hops in mesh bag and put it into the pot once boil is achieved.
- Add 1oz Sorachi Ace and 1oz Simcoe hops into another mesh bag. Stick in pot and boil for 60 minutes.
- Remove opt from heat and cover. At this point in the process, cleanliness is key, make sure you sanitize every item and wear gloves while you add ingredients. Failure to do so may result in bacteria getting into the beer, which would continue to grow as the batch ferments, leading to potential health problems upon drinking.
- Place the pot into the container and fill with ice. Take the pot out once the temperature reaches 70F.
- Pour the mixture into 5 gallon bucket, seal, and place in a cool, dark place. I prefer to use my basement, as the humidity is very low.
- Keep stored for around 2-3 weeks.
- Bottle, use the priming sugar to create carbonation. I use around 1.5oz per gallon, which leads to high carbonation, but if you don’t want to carbonate your beer as much, use anywhere between 0.5- 1oz.
- Try your beer. This is my favorite step for obvious reasons.
- Brewing beer involves a delicate chemical reaction, so in order to maximize your beer’s potential, you want to ensure the cleanliness of your brewing area.
- I know it will be tempting to drink while you brew, but I recommend against it, at least before the batch is sealed away. There are chemicals in commercially-made beer that could lead to the yeast in your batch dying off, rendering your beer alcohol-free.
- Brewing beer smells quite a bit. This might be off-putting for some people, so make sure to be considerate while brewing.
- You will be dealing with high temperatures, so take precautions in order to prevent serious burns