HOMEBREWING IS A HOBBY THAT HAS MADE A DRAMATIC COMEBACK IN RECENT YEARS AND HERE WE’VE WRITTEN AN INTRODUCTION INTO THE PLANS FOR OUR OWN HOME BREW.
Homebrewing is as it says in its name, brewing beer in the comforts of your own home. After a long hard day at work, there’s nothing better than an ice cold beer to relax with. While many people choose to run out to the supermarket to get their fix, an increasing number of people are brewing their own at home. The American Homebrewing Association (AHA) estimates that nearly one million Americans brew beer at home at least once a year.
Homebrewing is considered by many to be an ancient pastime-in fact, some experts claim beer has been brewed in people’s homes since the dawn of agriculture several thousand years ago. In colonial times, homebrewing was a common household practice, typically performed by women. The hobby is believed to have started in ancient Mesopotamia, China, and Egypt. These brewers eventually shared their knowledge with individuals living in Greece and Rome. As the Roman and Greek empire grew, the consumption of the alcoholic beverage spread around the world.
Although people have been homebrewing beer for thousands of years, there was a period of time during the prohibition when the law restricted the public from brewing in their homes. Restrictions were finally lifted in the UK in 1963, Australia followed in 1972 and the USA in 1978, although individual states are allowed to pass their own laws limiting the production of homebrewed beer.
Beer is regarded by many to be the most popular of all home-brewed beverages (cider and wine can also be homebrewed). Traditionally, it is made from water, malt, hops, and yeast, though the addition of other specific ingredients can result in a significant change in flavour.
The easiest way to brew your own beer would be to buy a homebrewing kit which can be bought from homebrew stores worldwide and online retailers nowadays. These kits should include milled, malted grain, hops, and yeast. In the process, brewers must mash the malted grain to release the yeast and sugar required to initiate fermentation. In addition, as with the malt extract products, all-grain kits require brewers to complete full boils at a predetermined time to ensure reasonable results.
Overall, it should take about four weeks before you can drink the beer you make, but the actual time from boil to beer depends on the style of beer you’re making. Brewing takes up to 2 hours, fermentation 2 weeks, an hour to bottle your beer and bottle conditioning (allows beer to carbonate) should can take up to two to four weeks. With an increase in interest in home brewing in recent years, the next step for many is to take the plunge and create their own craft beers, or even open their own brewery. With 7.8 million craft beer drinkers in the UK in 2013 and 197 new pubs opening in 2012, CAMRA reported that the number of breweries was at a 70-year high – a clear result of public demand and a gap in the market.