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School of hops

how to brew beer at home

Great beer begins at home. And so do great breweries. Few other industries have so many people who started out experimenting, honing and developing their craft at home than ours. Homebrewing is ingrained in our DNA – nearly fifteen years ago, BrewDog sparked into life in martin’s mum’s garage. Homebrewing became our punk rock, and it can be yours too.

GETTING STARTED

Preparation, preparation, preparation. That’s the key to a successful brewday

Check the recipe: If you are following a recipe, read it through several times. Have your yeast at room temperature before you start, make sure your water is ready and waiting at the stated mash temperature, as well. Check the brewsheet and note that you have the correct set of ingredients in the right quantities (and double-check the units, too).

 

Clean everything: In fact, it should all have been cleaned at the conclusion of the previous brew, but clean it again. You can buy sanitiser at any selfrespecting homebrew shop. Bacteria are the enemy,nyou want to keep your gear as clean as possible. Particularly everything used after the boil stage. Your wort boiler/copper will to some extent sterilise itself, but even that shouldn’t be dirty. Vessels for fermentation, conditioning, bottling and all tubes, syphons, jugs and valves should be sterile. Or you run the risk of an entirely wasted day.

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EQUIPMENT CHECK

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO START BREWING AT HOME

Beginner Brewing

1. MASH TUN: Vessel in which wort is produced by combining water and grain, and holding at set temperature(s) for a period of time.

 

2. LAUTER TUN: Vessel used to separate the grain from sweet wort produced during the mash and where the grain can be sparged. Usually the same vessel as the mash tun.

 

3. HEAT SOURCE: Either gas or electric; equipment generally designed for one or the other.

 

4. SANITISER: Because if you aren’t clean, you’re screwed.

 

5. HYDROMETER: So you can pat yourself on the back for hitting OG, or berate yourself for being an idiot when you are 12 points under target.

 

6. SCALES: How else will you be able to accurately weigh out materials? Guesstimates don’t work.

 

7. THERMOMETER: Something more sensitive than your elbow is required for critical temperature checks.

8. BIG SPOON: For all the stirring. Plastic or metal will do.

 

9. MEASURING: JUG Knowing the exact volume of water amongst other things is hugely helpful.

 

10. AIRLOCK OR BLOW OFF: To stop your fermenter going boom whilst not letting in any critters from the outside.

 

11. FERMENTER: A vessel to allow yeast to do its magic and convert that sugar into alcohol.

 

12. BREW KETTLE: Vessel in which sweet wort is boiled with hops.

 

13. HOT LIQUOR TANK: Vessel used to heat water for mashing and sparging.

 

14. WORT CHILLER: Be it a coil of copper pipe, a fancy heat exchanger or a bathtub full of ice, it’s important to get your wort to cool quickly after boiling.

TIME TO BREW

these are the steps to follow for your first brew

Beginner Brewing Beginner Brewing

why brew at home?

is the reward worth the effort

You end up with a fridge full of the good stuff, sure – but the price of a decent kit can cover several online beer orders that would reach the same result. So why take the time and use up our precious weekends? Brewing allows us to get inside the minds of professional brewers, recreate their wares – and even, dare we say – improve on them. It’s for the curious, the daring and the bold. So be prepared, get ready, and get cracking!

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