Brewing beer, at home, is one of the oldest traditions. In fact, archeologists found a stone tablet, dating from 2050 BC, in Sumaria that contains a recipe for beer. In the Middle Ages, people consumed beer, as a matter of necessity. With no centralized water purification, ordinary water could kill a person. Beer contained few impurities, because of its fermentation process. In fact, beer was not mass-produced until the Industrial Revolution. Home-brewed beer was relegated to the level of “hobby”, by the end of the nineteenth century.
Pretty much any fermented beverage containing water, hops, malt, and yeast is beer. With enough perseverance and an exceptionally strong stomach, anyone can make beer at home, using these three, key ingredients. However, the end product will not taste anything like the frosty draft from the corner bar. For a more palatable brew, try adding these handy brewing gadgets to the process.
A stainless steel brewing kettle lasts a lifetime of beer making. Add a kettle screen, to filter out hops and other solids, when transferring beer from the kettle to the fermenter.
An immersion wort chiller quickly lowers the temperature of boiling wort, so that the yeast can be added to start the fermentation process. The faster the wort is cooled, the less likely it will be that bacteria will spoil the taste of the beer, before it is even ready for the bottle.
A turbo-air still is an easy-to-use, space-saving gadget that distills liquids in about two hours. It looks like the average coffee carafe, so make sure that friends and other visitors realize that it contains no caffeine.
An alcoholmeter looks rather like a thermometer from the 1950s. It measures the alcohol content of distilled beverages. Simply float it in a sample of the beverage to obtain an accurate reading.
A glass alcohol test jar is a vital component of any brewery. High-alcohol beverages tend to dissolve plastic jars. Ensure that the test jar is wide-based, or has a stabilizer, so that it does not tip over during testing.
A glass thermometer enables the home-brewer to monitor the temperature of his creation carefully, throughout the brewing process. If one plans to invest the time and energy into brewing his own beer, he needs to be as accurate, as possible, with its temperature. Otherwise, his time and efforts will be wasted.
A glass carboy provides the ideal container for fermenting beer. Choose a size, from three gallons to six and one-half gallons. Add an airlock and a stopper. Then, watch the beer ferment.
Food-grade, plastic carboys range in size, from three gallons to twenty gallons. The lid seals tightly to the bucket. The plastic carboy can be drilled, to accommodate a, or a bottling spigot on the lid.
No brewery would be complete without a fermometer. This handy gadget displays the temperature at which the brew is fermenting.
To brew like a true professional, invest in a quality fermenter. Stainless steel construction ensures durability for countless batches of brew. A pressure-sealed lid keeps the process bubbling along. The handy spigot, at the bottom, allows for period sampling, prior to bottling.
A beer gun bottle filler allows the brewer to fill his bottles quickly and efficiently.
Liven up the newly born beer with custom-designed labels. Label-making software makes it easy to create the exact look, to match the beer’s taste. For the truly courageous and creative, start with a blank sheet of labels and add appropriate graphics. Take a picture of the brewery. Create a suitable logo, or keep it uncluttered with the beer’s name and its date of birth.
Cap the bottles in style with a table-mounted bottle capper.
Impress your audience with an old-fashioned, wall-mounted, bottle opener, to celebrate the occasion of the first taste-test.
Above all, do not forget the tall, frosted glasses that will lovingly hold this one-of-a-kind beverage. Friends and family will appreciate the presentation almost as much as they will appreciate the tasty handcrafted beverage.