How easy is it to make beer at home?

It is really easy and what is more, you will discover that the beer you make is very good quality.
Here is some information about what you need to make beer and also a description of the process which shows you how very easy it is.
It takes one week to three weeks to make a batch and during that time you will spend a couple of hours of your time on the brew.
Once you have your starter kit, you are ready to make your first batch. You will use a canned beer ingredient kit which is easier to use than making a packet cake.
However, do not think the quality of the beer you make will be poor. You will make great beers this way, as long as you remember that it is important to use really good quality ingredients and sterilise everything thoroughly. Also, keep the fermenter temperature below 30 degrees C.

Stage 1 – Preparation
1. Clean and sterilise your equipment VERY well
2. Put the yeast aside for the fermentation stage.
3. Sit your tin/can of beer in a sink of hot water for 15-20 minutes. This helps it pour easily.
4. Put your dextrose/malt/enhancer into the fermenter and dissolve with a couple of litres of hot tap water. Stir until dissolved. DO NOT USE SUGAR.
5. Add about 10 litres of cold water to your fermenter, add the contents of the beer tin and mix thoroughly. Top up with cold water to the 23-litre mark and keep stirring until everything has dissolved.

Stage 2 – Fermentation
1. Sprinkle or stir the yeast on to the surface of the fermenter mixture.
2. Seal the fermenter tightly, fit the airlock and half fill it with water.
3. Allow the brew to ferment. Try to keep the temperature in the fermenter reasonably constant in the low 20s and try to avoid it falling below about 18º C. Beer does not like the heat, so keep it below 30º C. Typically this takes about 7-10 days, but it can be longer in winter.
4. Fermentation is generally (not always) finished when the airlock stops bubbling. A gravity check MUST be done with your hydrometer and it must read the same, about 1005-1010, for two days running before bottling.

Stage 3 – Bottling
1. Sterilise the bottles and rinse well.
2. Use your sugar measurer to add sugar or add carbonation drops into each bottle.
3. Fill each bottle to within 50 mm of the top.
4. Cap the bottle and seal it firmly. Turn upside down once or twice to ensure no beer comes out.
5. Stand the bottles in a warm spot (say about 20º C to 22º C.) for about a week, then store for at least another two weeks before sampling.

Stage 4 – Maturation
Homebrew improves greatly with bottle ageing and will not go off in the bottle at all. A three-month-old beer will be very much better than a one-month-old beer. So, try to age your beers, you will enjoy them much more. In fact, you will be amazed at how much your aged beers have improved.
Do not forget to label and date each batch. Keep samples to try at three months, six months and 12 months old. Take notes about how they taste, then you will see for yourself how this amazing improvement works.

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