The tradition of beer in the Slavic lands dates back to long before the establishment of the Polish state and remains in force until today. Nowadays, you can buy beer of various flavours and colours almost everywhere, but to fully appreciate the quality of this beverage, it is worthwhile to have fun brewing beer in your own home.
Home brewing - what is worth knowing about?
It will certainly be a new experience, and the result may surprise us very positively. If we decide on our own beer production, we will need a few things, the right equipment and, most importantly, a lot of patience, because we will have to wait even a few weeks for the final result. But it's really worth it.
When we start our adventure with brewing beer, we must focus not only on quantity, but also on quality. For our product will certainly not resemble in taste the well-known shop beer, it will be more delicate and complex.
The fun begins with completing the necessary accessories. We do:
Large pot with lid, capacity 20-30 litres
- Fermenter (bucket) with faucet and lid
- Fermenter (bucket) without faucet but with lid
- Kitchen thermometer
- Sugar sweeper
- Spoon for mash mixing
The ingredients from which our beer will be made are also essential:
- Malt - preferably crushed, i.e. shot-blasted malt
- Hops - bitter or aromatic (granulated or powdered)
- Brewer's yeast - helps to break down sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide
Malt extract (thick syrup) or glucose
It is essential that at home the ingredients are added in the right order, time and dose (malt, hops, yeast). The most important process, i.e. brewing beer, lasts about half a day and consists mainly in mash cooking, draining the wort, cooling down, fermenting... in short, it is not recommended to people who easily lose patience, with straw-like enthusiasm, and who are able to make the whole day's work go to waste because they have mismeasured the ingredients. After we have successfully completed the brewing process and the resulting beverage reaches the bottles, where it is corked, there is a quagmire called waiting. Fermentation and lagering of beer bottles often takes up to 6 weeks. Remember that not only haste or nerves can destroy our work. Beer brewed in the privacy of home is much more sensitive, and thus exposed to any contamination than during its wholesale production by breweries. Therefore, let's make sure that all our equipment we use, as well as bottles and caps, are sterile.
How to brew homemade beer?
The process of beer production is not complicated. For centuries it has served people, yielding to technological progress, but its very essence has remained the same. Both in the great brewing industry and in home brewing, it starts with barley, which is used to produce malt. Ground malt, i.e. saccharified barley, is then mixed with water, resulting in a mash. Sugar, which is the best in malt, according to the rules of chemistry dissolves in water, the rest falls to the bottom of the tank - these are the so-called beer leftovers, but they should not be thrown away. They are ideal, for example, as feed for farm animals (calmly, they won't get drunk), or they can be used as an ingredient in domestic bread. Then add the hops, heat (no boiling!), cool, add brewer's yeast and leave to ferment.