DIY makers and fans usually make circuits, furniture, and many other gadgets and systems. But… can you brew beer at home? Can the recipe for this drink be hacked? Well, we will dedicate this guide to all this, to see what are the best craft beer kit models so you can start preparing it at home and modify the recipes to your liking. We will also make an introduction on the mead and other homemade drinks. In this way you will be the king of the parties, a real brewmaster, sharing your creations with your loved ones...
Table of Contents
- 1 Where to buy craft beer kit
- 2 Where to buy mead kit
- 3 Other articles to prepare homemade drinks that may interest you
- 4 More accessories
- 5 What must a beer have to be considered craft?
- 6 types of beer
- 7 What is mead?
- 8 What are the best craft beer kits?
- 9 Craft beer recipes
- 10 How to make craft beer
- 11 How to make mead step by step
Where to buy craft beer kit
If you want to buy a craft beer kit, you should know that it can be found in some stores dedicated to this type of item, or on the Internet through platforms such as Amazon. here are some recommended products:
For those looking for something more professional to brewing as a business, more than as a hobby, they also have the following items:
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If you already have a kit, they also sell ingredient packs or refills for different types of recipes:
Where to buy mead kit
As for mead kits, we also recommend these others:
If what you want is raw materials or ingredients for mead, then you have these others:
Other articles to prepare homemade drinks that may interest you
To withdraw from your other drinks You also have a series of machines, distillers, stills, etc., with which you can create much more:
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What must a beer have to be considered craft?
There is some fundamental differences between industrial beer and craft beer that you should know:
- Natural Ingredients: craft beer is produced only with natural ingredients such as water, yeast, malt (usually barley, although other cereals such as wheat, etc.) and hops can also be used. On the other hand, the industrial one usually contains other additives, such as preservatives and antioxidants, in addition to being pasteurized.
- Recipe: while the industrial ones are elaborated from a standard recipe looking for it to be viable at an economic level, at the level of industrial production processes and at the level of ingredients, craft beer recipes are made based on the tastes of the brewmaster, although this recipe is more expensive to produce.
- Crafting: craft beers are made manually, or with some machinery that can minimally help the process. In the case of industrial plants, everything is automated and human participation is minimal. In addition, they are subjected to pasteurization, where some nuances can be lost.
- Filtered out: this process is also done manually in the craft. In industry, it is carried out through a chemical filtering process to eliminate residues. The problem is that during this industrial process the yeasts and proteins in the beer are also destroyed. That ends up with a product with less flavor, aroma and properties.
- Variety: in addition to getting more flavor and aroma in the craft, there is also a greater variety. In the industry, there is hardly any innovation in recipes, since they look for successful generic products that appeal to the masses, and not to specific groups.
- Local and proximity product: Many craft beer producers only sell locally, in the neighborhood, town, region, etc., with a lower environmental impact and without harming the quality of the final product. However, the large breweries do so at a national and international level.
Production and sales license
If you want to sell beer, you'll need to get information on the requirements of production and/or sale of this type of alcoholic beverages and a license to do so legally. In addition, you will also need to be registered in the activity to be carried out, and be up to date with the Tax Agency for this activity.
In Spain, some of the necessary requirements to the license are:
- Obtain the license to produce craft beer (open a craft brewery), which is independent of the sale. The types of brewery can be:
- Farm or Craft Brewery: A small-scale industry to produce beer and distribute locally.
- Brewery: beer is produced and bottled, in addition to being able to be consumed in the establishment itself.
- Microservecería: produces beer, but it is not consumed in the local area, but rather is sold and distributed throughout the country or internationally.
- Fill out a form to submit an application for a license to sell beer that is usually claimed at the Town Hall.
- Consign the operating permits related to the establishment where the activity will be carried out.
- IAE (Tax on Economic Activities), in the heading of the compatible activity.
- Payment of the fee for the procedure.
But remember to check with the relevant administrations for more details and consultation the BOE.
types of beer
As for types of beer that can be produced, even if you modify the recipe to your liking to give it a much more genuine and personal touch, are:
- LAGER: is a type of beer fermented using a yeast strain of the Saccharomyces Carlsbergensis species. It is done at colder temperatures, between 7 and 13ºC, making the result a simple aroma. Within this type the following styles can be differentiated:
- pale lager: It has a color between pale yellow and gold, since it uses slightly roasted malts. Its flavor and aroma are very mild.
- Pilsen: They can be included within the pale lagers, but they have some peculiarities. Its origin is in the city of Pilsen in the Czech Republic, and it was manufactured for the first time in the 4th century. It has a perfect balance between sweet malt flavors and bitter hop flavors. As for the amount of alcohol, it can vary between 6-XNUMX% vol.
- amber lager: malts are used with a higher roast than in the previous ones, providing a somewhat sweeter and smokier flavor.
- dark lager: It is originally from Germany. They are made with highly roasted malts that give them a coppery or dark brown color. Its flavor is more powerful, like toasted bread and chocolate.
- Buck: It is also of German origin, with greater body, malt flavor and very light bitterness. As for alcohol, it can reach 14%.
- SALE: It is another style of beer that uses another yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae. It is fermented at room temperature, between 18 and 25ºC. This causes the formation of fruity or spicy aromatic substances such as esters or phenols. Its aroma is more complex.
- Pale Ale or Pale Ale: they are made with pale malts, with a great variety within it, such as Caream Ale, Blonde Ale, American Pale Ale, etc., and can be of French, English, Belgian, American origin, etc.
- IPA (Indian Pale Ale): derived from English Pale Ale. It is believed that they began to be produced in England in the XNUMXth century, using large amounts of hops. This allowed the beer barrels to withstand long boat trips to supply the colonies, since hops have preservative properties. In this case several substyles can be found.
- Amber or Red Ale: They use more roasted malts with sweet flavors reminiscent of caramel or honey. With variants from different countries.
- Brown AleTaste: of English origin, with a reddish brown color, with nuances of flavor due to the use of dark malts. You may notice some nutty, toffee, or chocolate overtones.
- Abbey beers: they follow the brewing tradition of the Belgian abbeys of the Middle Ages. They resurfaced again in the XNUMXth century and are manufactured with three intensities such as Double, Triple and Quadruple (from the lightest to the strongest). They have a lot of body, and dark tones in the case of the Double and Quadruple, being somewhat paler in the Triple, where sweet tints and a slightly drier and bitter finish stand out.
- PorterAle: of English origin, darker and denser than Brown Ale. It has nuances of chocolate, both in flavor and aroma.
- StoutBeer: It is a strong beer, with a color between very dark brown and opaque black. It has a lot of body and is low in carbonation. It is obtained from strong roasted malts, with roasted grain nuances similar to coffee.
- strong aleBeer: They are also full-bodied beers with a high alcohol content. They invite you to drink slowly and savor them as if they were liqueurs. There may be variants with different shades.
- wheat beers: the recipe has more than 50% wheat, providing a slightly acidic and refreshing flavor.
- Sour ales: Yeasts of the Brettanomyces genus and/or Lactobacillus and Pediococcus bacteria such as those found in yogurt or kefir are used together with the base brewer's yeast. Many say that it resembles cider, although with differences.
- LAMBIC: Although some consider it a third group or family, along with the Lager and Ale, others include it in the Ale. They are spontaneous or wild fermentation beers, opening the fermenters and allowing them to be "contaminated" with the bacterial flora and yeasts that are naturally present in the environment.
What is mead?
La mead or mead It is a type of alcoholic beverage that can have a graduation between 4 and 18%. It is obtained from the fermentation of a mixture of water and honey. Saccharomyces yeasts are used for fermentation, like the one used in beer, to speed up the process and have the product in about 2 months. If yeast is not used, the process will take much longer.
Su origin goes back a long time, since it is considered the first alcoholic beverage that was consumed and it is believed that it was a precursor to beer. In Europe it was drunk by Greeks, Romans, Celts, Normans, Saxons and Vikings, and in America the Mayans did it. And it was mentioned for the first time in the Rig Veda verses, from between 1700 BC and 1100 BC
This drink is closely linked to Norse mythology, since mead was the only food of the god Odin. And it was said that after death they would go to Valhalla paradise, where they could drink mead for the rest of eternity.
What are the best craft beer kits?
The purchase criteria to get the best craft beer kit for your case are the following:
- EaseNote: Not all craft beer kits are meant for beginners. Some require somewhat more advanced knowledge to use. Depending on the experience you have, you should buy a kit that ensures you can use it without problems.
- Accessories: some kits are more complete than others, and may have the basics (fermenter, thermometer, etc.) or those that go further using taps, filling tubes, hydrometers, airlocks, test tubes, dispensers, sanitizers, cappers to close the bottles etc
- Ingredients- You only need four ingredients to brew craft beer, as I discussed earlier. Some kits include easy-to-use ingredient packets in syrup form to simply dilute with water. However, others will have them separately or you will have to buy them separately. Among the necessary ingredients are:
- Water: the most abundant ingredient. Depending on the amount of it, the quality can be altered. The more water, the less quality. In addition, its acidity, alkalinity or presence of minerals is also important, since they could alter the result.
- malt or grain: can be barley, wheat, rye, corn, oats, or mixtures. In malting, these grains are soaked and germinated, then dried and roasted in the oven with a greater or lesser degree of roasting.
- Hop: provides oils that give aroma and flavor to beer. The more alpha acids, the greater bitterness. Less alpha acids, more flavor and aroma.
- Yeast: is responsible for, by interaction with the above ingredients, fermenting them to produce alcohol, esters (aroma) and CO2 (bubbles).
- ContainersBrewing requires several days for cooking, brewing, fermentation, and bottling. The kit should have, at least, the container to carry out the process, even if it does not include the bottles. Craft beer kits that include bottles are usually 330ml or 33cl, with some up to 750ml. If drinking among several, a larger may be an option, but for individual consumption, a larger can lose gas when opened if not consumed quickly. More important is that the glasses of the bottles are opaque, for a correct conservation.
- Size: There are essential kits that usually take up little space, suitable for having them in homes. However, some for larger scale production could be somewhat larger, needing to be installed in larger spaces such as garages, etc.
Craft beer recipes
There are many beer recipes that you can prepare with your craft beer kit, and you can even add some extra ingredients or vary the quantities to adapt the recipe to your tastes. In this table you have some examples of the types that you can prepare at home:
|Name||Ale||Warehouse||Wild yeasts||mixed origin|
|Type de fermentation||High fermentation.||Low fermentation.||Spontaneous fermentation.||High fermentation.|
|Temperature||between 15º and 20º||10 º||18 º||Depending on the brewmaster.|
|Color||From very pale to opalescent black.||Clear.
|País de origen||England.||Czech Republic.||Bélgica.||Information not found.|
If you would like to more detailed recipes, You should know that the kits themselves usually already have elaboration indications with times, weights, etc. But there are also some communities on the Internet where tried and tested recipes are shared. There are even some companies that have created their own kits to make their own recipes.
It is important to note that the flavor is not provided by the kit, but rather by you altering the recipe. Of course, a recommendation is ir pointing to all process values of production to improve the recipe. For example, lower or raise acidity, bitterness, etc.
How to make craft beer
Brewing beer at home is not so complicated thanks to these kits and all the information on the net. Before starting the process, let's see what they are the utensils you will need (if they do not already come in the kit):
- Molino: to grind the malt, it should not be special, any can work. Do not use the one you use for baking or coffee, as it can add flavor from other ingredients to the beer.
- Maceration pot: It is used to macerate the ingredients. It should have a top and bottom for filtration.
- maceration bag: where the malt is introduced and the must is made.
- cooling coil: it is a tube in the form of a spring, like the one in stills, through which cold water circulates to help lower the temperature of the must.
- Sterilizers: Sterilizing is very important so that other microorganisms do not ruin the fermentation process.
- Fermentation cubes: They have a lid and airlock hole, to rest the beer until the sugar present is transformed into alcohol by fermentation.
- bottler: It is usually a simple tube or something more complex. It will help you bottle this drink.
- Sterilized opaque bottles: to bottle the beer once it has finished being made.
- Closing: They can be single-use caps, or other closures for bottles. A good seal is important for conservation and that they do not lose gas.
As for the production process, you should stick to the manufacturer's manual or instructions for the kit you purchased, as there may be slight variations. But, on a general level, the steps to make homemade beer are:
- Grinding: you have to grind the malt grains if they are not ground.
- Maceration: the ground malt is mixed with the water and allowed to macerate.
- Boiled: the must is obtained by boiling the previous mixture and adding the hops.
- Fermentación: It is the most critical and important step, where the yeast is added to the must and the bubbles and alcohol begin to be produced.
- Packaging: it is the final process once the beer is obtained, it is bottled and stored.
How to make mead step by step
For the production of mead or mead you will not need too much equipment. The basics to produce your own drink is:
- Fermentation bottle of about 5 liters, better if it is made of PET or glass.
- Airblock for bubbles.
- Thermometer to control the temperature.
All these accessories are usually included in mead kits or kits to produce mead. Some also include honey, and the necessary yeast. On the other hand also it is essential that you have:
- quality honey
- yeast for mead
- quality water
- Fruit (optional, to flavor the recipe)
Now, if you already have everything, to produce your own mead You will only need space at home and perform the following steps (some kits may have particularities, always follow the manufacturer's recommendations):
- Mix the honey with the water in a container, such as the carafe or bucket used.
- Add the yeast and if you want some type of fruit in pieces or flavoring. For example, you can use raisins.
- Place the Airlock to close the container. Thanks to it, gases will be able to escape, but without contaminants entering.
- Let the yeast act by converting the sugar into CO2 and alcohol.
- Once the fermentation is over, the mead passes from the container to another, leaving behind the sediment that has been created.
- Store the result for at least 2 months in a dark place.
- Bottle and label.
Remember, it is very important cleaning and sterilization, or it will be contaminated and the fermentation will be spoiled and it could even be dangerous for your health if the steps have not been respected. And don't forget that, like other alcoholic beverages, mead also improves over time...
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