This is a SUPER BASIC guide to home brewing. It is not meant to be an expert opinion of any sorts. Hopefully, if anyone is thinking of starting a home brewing operation this can help you get a better idea of what is needed. Best of Luck!
Home Brew Supplies:
A home brew kit
Hops (lYay Hops!)
First and Foremost:
The first step is going to be rinsing and sanitizing all of your brewing equipment. This is very important because it eliminates the growth of unwanted things in your beer. The best way to clean everything is to run it through the dishwasher. This will ensure that no groves are cut into your supplies which allow bacteria to grow. To sanitize the equipment I recommend getting a restaurant grade sanitizer. You can get it at any bar or restaurant supply store. This will ensure you will start with a clean slate.
The Brew Part
In this step you are going to want to follow the directions provided with your brew kit as some of the vary. Basically, you are going to want to steep your grains in a large pot with about three gallons of water for about half an hour. After that you are going to add your malt extract to the water and bring everything to a boil. This is the step where you will start adding in the Hops. If you add the hop early it will make a more bitter hoppy beer. Once you have the hops added you not have Wort. You are going to need to cool this off as quickly as possible. This is best achieved by putting the whole pot into a sink filled with ice. Once the wort is cooled you are not ready to pour it into your fermenter. When pouring it in remember that the yeast needs oxygen to ferment so splashing or agitating it a little will help out. Once the fermentation has begun it is time to remove the Hops from the wort. You can use a strainer to do this.
At this point you are going to want to add your yeast and about five gallons of water. Be sure to read the directions on the yeast and how to properly activate it. No you should be all set and in about a day you should notice the air lock bubbling. This is a sign that the yeast is alive and well.
There you go. I would recommend following the instructions with your kit the first time before you start deviating to create your own brews. Also, follow the bottling instructions very closely as it is a delicate process.
The last step is to pour and enjoy in your favorite frosty beer mug!
Mike writes articles about all the joys of beer. He publishes a website at http://www.beermugworld.com The site is more about the Beer Mug state of mind rather than the actual mug itself.