A recent article in a reputed newspaper stated the findings of some scientists - the reason for early humans to cultivate cereals was not for food, but for an alcoholic beverage. That was perhaps the most simplest and earliest form of beer. Little has changed centuries later. Beer still remains a craze for men. This fermented beverage was and still is put in a very exalted position. It is belived that Ninkasi, the Sumerian goddess of beer, was given the powers to ‘satiate the desire’ of man and Gambrinus, its patron saint. Now, which other beverage or food can boast of a goddess and a patron saint? Another interesting fact about beer is that it is the third most consumed drink after water and tea. Produced throughout the world, except in some countries, it is very easy and inexpensive to prepare at home as well. A combination of the right amounts of malt, yeast, and temperature and voila, you have a refreshing drink in your hand. What can be beat a glass of chilled beer on a hot summer day? Perhaps two glasses of chilled beer, or more. So, if you would like to try a hand in brewing your own beer, go through the lines that follow. The recipe will surely help you learn all abou how to make beer at home.
Homemade Beer Recipe
- 10-gallon Plastic Pail, with lid
- Siphon Hose
- Hose Clamp, for the siphon
- 12 (two-liter) Plastic Pop Bottles, with lids
- Large Pot
- 1.5 kg can Malt Extract (any flavor of your preference)
- 1 tsp Brewer’s Yeast.
- 6 - 7 cups Sugar
- Thoroughly clean all the equipments in warm soapy water and remove all the soap residue.
- In a gallon of water, mix 1 tablespoon of bleach and then sanitize the equipments.
- In the 10-gallon plastic pail, pour 10 liters of cold water.
- In another pot, boil 7 liters of water.
- To the boiling water, add one can of malt extract and cook for 20 minutes, giving a stir a couple of times.
- Add the sugar and dissolve it by stirring.
- After dissolving the sugar, pour the water into the 10-gallon plastic pail. Take care to splash the contents in the pail, so that air is added to the mixture.
- Now, add water to make the temperature neutral.
- Sprinkle in the yeast and stir it well. Loosely cover the pail with a lid.
- Take care that there is no unnecessary opening.
- The ideal room temperature should be 16 - 20 degrees Celsius, with the maximum room temperature being 20 - 24 degree Celsius.
- Set the hydrometer into the beer. Clear it of bubbles, so that it gives a correct reading.
- For dark beer to be ready, the hydrometer should read 1.008 and for light beer, it should be 1.010 to 1.015.
- You can also taste the readiness of the beer by tasting it.
Enhancements are a good way to add an individual touch to the beer. For starters, it is always better to try things in small amounts. If you like the result, adjust the measurements acoordingly. Some very good enhancements are:
- Molasses: When the malt is cooking, add a cup of molasses. While adding molasses, minimize the amount of sugar.
- Licorice: Add a few sticks of licorice when the malt is cooking. After leaving for 10 minutes, remove the undissolved pieces.
- Hops: You can add dry whole hops or hop flakes by taking them in cheesecloth bag and then putting it in the cooking malt.
- Herb Teas: add 4 teabags of Bengal Spice tea or Apple Cinnamon Spice tea to the cooking malt. Remove after 10 minutes.
Place the pail on a table and also the 12 (two-liter) bottles. Put 2 tsp sugar in each bottle. Now siphon the beer into the bottles, without disturbing the sugar therein. Do not splash or agitate the beer, so as not to add any oxygen. Also, avoid frothing. Do not fill the bottles completely, but leave some airspace. Screw the bottle caps tightly. Now, invert each bottle and shake to dissolve the sugar. Store the bottles in a warm area for a few days and then in a cool dark spot. The beer will be ready in a few days, but it is better to keep it for aging.