Home Beer Brewing 101: From Barley to Beer

home beer brewingAre you a beer enthusiast? Whether you like pilsners or ales, there’s nothing quite as refreshing as sipping a cool glass of beer after a long day at work, or as part of a relaxing summertime afternoon.

Did you know that it’s surprisingly easy to make your own beer at home? With the right combination of equipment, ingredients, and expertise, you can brew your own beer that tastes just as good as anything available in stores or at your local bar.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to get started with home beer brewing. From easy-to-user beer brewing kits to picking the right ingredients to add taste and flavor to your beer, read on to discover how easy it is to brew your own tasty beer at home.

Have you never brewed beer before? If you’d like to learn beer brewing from top to bottom, enroll in our course, Brewing Real Beer, to learn the art of brewing perfect beer using everyday kitchen equipment and readily available ingredients.

How difficult is home beer brewing?

Brewing beer at home is surprisingly easy. Beer itself is prepared using a recipe of just four base ingredients: barley, water, hops, and yeast. These four ingredients are the only “essentials” required to make beer; anything else is an optional extra.

You don’t need any special skills to brew your own beer, aside from basic kitchen knowledge – such as the ability to boil water and mix ingredients – or any special equipment. In fact, beer is one of the easiest alcoholic drinks to make at home.

There are a variety of ways to make your own beer. One way is to start from scratch by converting barley into malt through a three step process involving heating grain, cracking it, and mashing it into a liquid called wort.

This wort is then boiled with other ingredients, including hope and the spices you’d like to add to your beer for additional flavor. This is the full beer making process. It generally results in a tastier beer, but it’s by no means essential.

For the easiest possible beer brewing experience, you can purchase malt – the core ingredient used in beer brewing – on its own. This can then be mixed with the other core ingredients to make beer, using a readily available beer making kit.

Would you like to learn more about home beer brewing? Our blog post on the many flavors of beer will help you learn more about the ingredients used in the brewing process, and how they influence the way your beer looks and tastes.

What do you need to brew your own beer?

The recipe for beer is surprisingly simple, with just four ingredients: barley, water, hops, and yeast. Some beers substitute wheat for barley for a different taste, while others use additional spices for a more bitter, darker, or aromatic brew.

In order to brew your own beer at home, you’ll need some basic kitchen equipment for preparing the ingredients. You’ll need some containers to measure ingredients, a large pot for the boiling process, buckets for fermentation, and a thermometer.

Unless you have a very well-stocked kitchen, you’ll probably need to purchase some additional equipment to complete the process of fermenting and bottling your home brewed beer. Most first-time brewers buy their equipment in a beer making kit.

One of the most popular beer making kits is the Mr. Beer kit. From lager to cider, the Mr. Beer company offers simple beer brewing kits that streamline the beer brewing process. In the next section, we’ll look at how to use the Mr. Beer kit to brew beer.

home beer brewingWhat’s the best way to start home brewing?

Although it’s possible to start home brewing using your own ingredients, using one of the beer brewing kits from Mr. Beer makes the process a lot easier for first-time brewers.

Our course, Brew Your Own Beer With the Mr. Beer Kit, teaches you exactly how to brew your first beer. Join beer lover Philip Ebiner as he shows you the simple steps that go into the process of brewing delicious ale and lager at home.

Adding spice, style, and flavor to your beer

If you’re a fan of craft beers, you’ll know that a lot more goes into the typical beer than just barley, water, hops, and yeast. During the boiling process, many brewers add spices and fruits to their beer to change its taste once it’s finished fermenting.

Adding spices to beer is an art form, and while a small hint of a certain ingredient can make a beer stand out from the crowd, overusing spices can make a beer taste unusual and distract from its core ingredients.

While enthusiasts may argue against spicing your beers, some of the world’s most beer loving societies have been adding spices to their beers for centuries. Belgium, one of the world’s beer capitals, is known for its coriander and orange peel beers.

Likewise, in the United States, spices like cinnamon, pumpkin, and peppercorns are frequently added to craft beers. The key to successfully spicing your beer is keeping it subtle – add your spices towards the end of the boil for a light but noticeable taste.

Are you new to the world of craft beer? Enroll in our Beer Making 101 course to join master brewer Jason Kirkman as he shows you how to create your own beer using a basic IPA kit and everyday brewing ingredients.

home beer brewingCaring for your home brewed beer cellar

Brewing your own beer is an exciting process. From boiling the core ingredients to fermenting your recipe and bottling your beers, watching as your homemade beer develops is always satisfying.

Before you crack open a bottle to test your view, it’s important to learn how to care for your beer cellar. Over time, you may want to brew new ales, lagers, and pilsners using different ingredients and fermentation methods.

Our course, Beer and Cellar Management, teaches you how to run a safe and efficient home cellar that helps your beers retain their carbonation and flavor. Learn the keys to successful beer storage and drinking, including how to pull the perfect pint.