More and more people in the United States are beginning to catch on to the fun and cost effectiveness of brewing their own beers in the comfort and privacy of their own homes. It’s no wonder that this process has become more popular than ever; today it is easy to buy kits that will take you through the entire process of beer brewing and provide you with all of the equipment you need to let you start making your own tall cold ones once you purchase the necessary ingredients. Even if you have never brewed beer before, it is a forgiving and enjoyable hobby that doesn’t take much money to start or maintain; all you need is a few hours and a willingness to experiment, as well as a few good friends to taste test your creations. Once you have your beer brewing kit picked out and brought home, the next step is to obtain the main ingredients you will need to get that kit cranking out your favorite kinds of beers. The basic ingredients you will need for beer when brewing at home include water, malted barley, yeast, and hops. You have likely heard of all of these ingredients before, but you might not exactly know what they are used for in the brewing process. This will be explained in this article.
Let’s start with hops. You use hops so you can make the mixture more bitter and more flavorful. Hops are also responsible for the smell of beer that you have probably come to know and love if you are interested in brewing your own at home. A good rule of thumb is that adding more hops to your mash will result in a beer that has a stronger flavor and smell. Additionally, the more hops you add, the more bitter the final product will taste in your mouth. If you are a fan of less flavored beers, you will want to ease up on the hops when you start out and keep experimenting until you find a balance that works for you and your fellow drinkers.
Another one of the most commonly found ingredients in the home brewing process for beers is malt barley. Malt barley is essentially a seed soaked in water for a period of time until it begins to sprout and germinate. You then get the barley and dry it out in a drying oven so you can use it to make beer. The different qualities of the malt barley used will affect a number of different characteristics of the beer, including how it smells, how it tastes, and the color it takes; most of these differences will arise from how the barley is created when it dries. As a result, you can obtain wildly different kinds of beers simply by experimenting with different kinds of malt barley.
Perhaps the most important ingredient to keep in mind when brewing your own beer is an ingredient so common you drink it every single day without thinking much about it: water. Although most people don’t think of water as an essential component of beer, up to ninety percent of beer by weight is actually nothing but water. The different amounts of minerals immersed in the water will moderate the strength and flavor of the finished product. If you’re looking to brew a stout, for example, you will probably want to use hard water, while if you are interested in brewing a pilsner, you will fare better with water that is very soft. As a brewer, therefore, you will use different filters to affect the quality of the water, which directly affects the characteristics of your eventual beer. The final ingredient you’ll need is yeast. Yeast is nothing more than a fungi, but it’s important in beer making because it affects how the beer ferments. The two types you’ll use are ale yeast and lager yeast. Enjoy!