Lockdown was a period of national crisis, in which everyone found themselves stuck at home trying to keep their spirits high while finding something to do. For myself and my friends, we found ourselves finding old hobbies or discovering new ones. Whether it was dusting jigsaws from the back of the cupboard or finally learning the guitar that has been under the bed for a few years now, I think everyone tried to find a positive way to spend their lockdown. If they could!
For myself and my flatmate, we decided to try a completely new hobby. Brewing our own beer! A few of my family friends have been brewing for years with very successful outcomes, how hard could it be?
Set one was finding an appropriate starter kit, after a bit of research and chat with family friends I settled on a 36 Pint (4.5 Gallon) Homebrew Beer Making Starter Kit -that would make a St Peters Golden Ale.
I would recommend this kit which you can get on Amazon as it comes with full instructions and is designed for beginners. This kit also can be used multiple times, unlike other kits that are designed to make one batch.
This kit includes –
- 1 x 25-liter Fermenting Bin
- 1 x Fermenting Bin Lid
- 1 x Syphon with U bend and tap
- 1 x 6 chamber Bubbler Airlock
- 1 x Brewing Spoon
- 1 x Stevenson-Reeves Hydrometer
- 1 x Plastic measuring cylinder
- 1 x 100g VWP Sterilizer
- 1 x St Peters Golden Ale 3Kg beer kit with 2 tons of malt extract
- 1 sachet of brewing yeast and a hop enhancement sachet.
You also need to collect bottles to store the beer in. You can buy these online, but I would recommend asking some friends to collect them for you. It’s also possible to use carbonated drink bottles. You will need to buy a bottle capping device to allow you to recap them.
The first stage of the brewing is sterilizing all the equipment using the sterilizer provided. Then by following the instructions you will add the two tins of malt into the fermenter before adding 30 liters of water, the yeast, and hop enchanter. I needed to stir the liquid for about five minutes to ensure the batch was well mixed and no yeast was resting on the top. Seal the lid using Vaseline and the U bend to ensure no air can enter the barrel.
This barrel needs to be left for 1 week before opening it to the bottle. Place a little bit of sugar in each bottle to aid with carbonation. When you open it you decant the liquid into the bottles before capping them and store them for 2 days in a warm place before moving them to a cooler place for a week.
After one week you can start to drink your beer, but it is best to leave it up to 3 weeks to ensure the second stage fermentation is complete.
I’d recommend chilling the beers before opening them!
As always drink responsibility!