Ah, the pub. How we miss you You really can’t beat a cold at your local. But the doors of the queen’s chiefs are currently closed across the country, who said that you cannot learn to drink beer at home?
While it may sound intimidating and expensive at first sight, nothing can really be further from the truth. Making beer at home is easy and fun. And once you touch the magic hop, a beer brewing kit will actually save you money!
To help you prepare the perfect pint, we have taken the advice of Master Brewers Woodford, who are beating drums for more keg wine lovers to brew their beer at home. Working closely with their long-term partners Muntons, Woodforde has put all of its expertise into the production of Wherry – the beer brewing kit that is taking the UK by storm.
This round is upon us.
Collect your beer brewing equipment
The first step towards your first homemade pint is to make sure that you get all the equipment you need to hand. But before you jump on the internet with your shopping list and credit card, have a look around you – it is very likely that you will have many things lying about the house, including:
- A sealed food grade bucket
- A hydrometer
- A pot
- malt extract
If collecting all the equipment sounds like too much administration, don’t fret – just choose a bestselling beer brewing kit instead!
How to choose the right home brewing kit
For best results, you need to do your research and secure a decent brewing setup. A good kit will include all the tools and materials that you will need to bring in a box.
A great, inexpensive and easy-to-use option – look no further than Woodford’s Very Home Brewing and Starter Kit. Included in the kit, you’ll find all the ingredients and equipment needed to drink beer at home, as well as four bottles of Wherry Amber Ale and a branded pint glass. All you need to do is get the bottles to move yourself to your brew!
As a great alternative to the rustic look Woodford recommends Wilco’s swing top bottles. Or, if you want your beer to look more authentic, you can buy a crown caper as well as bottle and cap separately to secure the cap tightly.
Become a master brewer and improve your craft as you produce up to 40 pints of good stuff with this bestselling beer kit. Expect rich and golden tasting notes, as you serve some jars of Norfolk’s finest amber ale in the comfort of your home!
How to clean your home brew equipment – and why it is important
As you adopt your new brewing career, it is important to understand that cleanliness is important. In fact, unless your equipment is clean at the beginning of the process, you have already put your precious batch at risk!
By hand, Woodford’s Vary Home Brewing and Starter Kit comes with clean equipment with its own sterilizer. But for future use, and when you don’t get your kit’s sterilizer on hand, Woodford’s head brewer Neil Bain recommends not using chlorinated products to sterilize your equipment. Not only will chlorine make your brew taste like a swimming pool, but more importantly, chlorinated cleaning items add chlorophenolic tent (TCP) to your beer.
Instead, opt for washing-liquid for cleaning and bleach and proprietary blends for sanitizing. Be sure to wear gloves when you’re doing anything stronger than dish soap and beware of the splash – safety first, delicious beer second!
How to craft your beer
Once you are clean and tidy, it is time to learn how to drink beer. Most recipes follow a pretty standard procedure, but stick to these steps and you’ll be drowning on a delicious pint in no time.
- Heat your malt and hops
Your beer kit will provide you with some cans of malts and hops mixes. Place the compartment in warm water for 5 minutes, and once finished, pour the contents of the compartment into a sealable food grade bucket.
- Add water and stand up
Depending on how many pins you want to make, pour a mixture of boiling and cold water as directed on the kit, and make sure all the ingredients are completely dissolved.
- Add yeast
Sprinkle yeast over the beer mixture, shake everything together, and cover the fermenter bucket.
Leave the mixture to ferment for 4-6 days in a warm place (about 18–20 ° C). You will find that fermentation has occurred when bubbles in the beer have stopped picking up. If a hydrometer is used, fermentation is successful when the original gravity (OG) reading remains constant – this will typically be below 1014 SG.
- bottle up
Transfer your fermented beer into bottles. Let them stand in a warm place for two days, keep it in a cool place after 14 days, until the beer itself is clear and there is no cloud.
How to test the strength of alcohol
By following the Beer Brewing Kit instructions, the amount of alcohol in your bottled beer should be 4.5% alcohol by volume (ABV).
To test this, you will need to take two hydrometer readings – one to start the process before adding yeast to detect the original gravity reading (OG), and once the beer is ready to be bottled. Second reading. This is known as current gravity (PG).
With the help of some quick math, you can calculate the strength of beer by subtracting PG from OG. To calculate the strength of alcohol, record the number and multiply it by 0.129. For example, 1044 (OG) – 1013 (PG) = 31 x 0.129 = 4.0% ABV.
Expert brewing tips from Woodford Brewery
- Take care of your ingredients
Treat your ingredients with respect, and they will treat you to some delicious beer at the end of the brewing process! Woodford recommends keeping both sealed malt and hops in air-tight containers to avoid stale material that will spoil your brew.
- Do not jerk your yeast
Somewhere here is a joke, but Woodford are deadly when it comes to not subjecting the yeast to extreme temperatures – even if it has dried up. Seal your yeast in a temperature controlled environment and stick to gradual adjustment of conditions as you move from one to the other.
- How to adjust your taste
The higher the temperature during the fermentation process, the better the taste of the final beer. It is advisable to try to control the temperature of Woodford at around 24 ° C, if you do not want a tasting note with lots of fruit.
Do you want to get something more bitter? Don’t be afraid to gently rub your fermentation to get all the fermentation and complete attenuation to consume all the sugar.
- Be patient
All good things come to those who wait. Although it is tempting, do not bottle your beer early. Partially fermented brew can result in extremely vibrant beer in the bottle! you’ve been warned.
Brewers from Woodford also recommend handling your beer carefully as a bubble can only form once. If you keep a heavy hand and make too much froth while bottling, then drinking it will suffer the retention of your head.
Best gift for beer lovers
Whether you are after the Home Beer Brewing Kit, or create a pub in the Home Kit, we are sure to get a gift that will make any beer lover very happy. Explore our full range of beer gifts or sign up to our newsletter for all our top gift buying tips and inspiration!