Here’s a fun hobby: making beer. Homemade beer isn’t exactly much cheaper than your Miller Genuine Draft, which you can grab from just about any convenience store or supermarket. So if you do decide to brew your own porter at home, best to do it for the right reasons.
Reason No. 1: You just want to make a batch share with friends when they come over for a game of poker. Homemade beer actually makes for a good 15-minute topic.
Reason No. 2: You would like to learn a new hobby and since you love beer, making it wins by default. Plus, you just found a company on the Internet that makes great shrink sleeves for bottles and you’d like your own beer with your picture on the bottle.
What it Takes
It takes a few key ingredients and some cheap equipment to make your own beer. Ingredients for your first porter include the following:
Plain amber malt extract – 6 lbs.
Crushed crystal malt – 60 L.
Crushed chocolate malt – 4 oz.
Crushed black patent malt – 4 oz.
Cluster hops – 1 oz.
Williamette hops – ½ oz.
Grain steeping bag
Most beer-making instructions are pretty simple. Heat to 160°F two gallons of water. Put the grains in the steeping bag and drop it in; let it steep for about 20 minutes. Bring it to a low boil. Add malt extract and bittering hops and let it boil for an hour, stirring it regularly. Add the Willamette hops and let it boil for another five minutes before bringing it down to 70°F. Pour the mixture (called wort) into the carboy (a large glass jug). Add about three gallons of filtered water. Add yeast and stir. Place the bubbler on top. Let it ferment for one to two weeks. After that, mix the priming sugar with two cups of boiling water; let it boil a few more minutes. Add the solution to the beer. Now it’s ready for bottling and completed with beer labels, Flexo Impressions explains.
See how easy it is? The fun part is you can actually experiment with your ingredients. The more you learn, the more you’ll enjoy your homebrew.