Imagine having a life’s worth supply of beer. You wouldn’t have to drive all the way to a 7-Eleven in the middle of the night to get a six pack. You could just pop downstairs and grab a few bottles from your basement.
“Is brewing beer that easy?”
Yes! You only need a handful of ingredients to make yourself a cold one! Plus, we are talking about light beer so you know the process is not going to be as complicated as you may have made it out to be in your mind.
To answer your question, “How to brew light beer” ― it’s a 5-step process that starts from converting to boiling, cooling, adding and bottling. The most important step in the process is “adding,” which involves mixing yeast into your batch.
You see, it was in the 16th century when the Beer Purity Law was laid down by the Germans. According to this law, the only 3 ingredients that could be used to make beer were water, barley and hops. Unbeknownst to them, the previous batch sediments they used contained yeast. Moreover, during the cooling process, when they left the beer out in the open, wild yeast would take over and do its job. It was in the 1800s when Louis Pasteur discovered the magic of yeast and fermentation.
Learn How to Brew a Light Beer
Now that you know the secret to brewing light beer, let’s take a look at the process:
*The ingredients mentioned below are for making 1-gallon of beer.
- Barley: 2 lbs.
- Water: 3 to 7 lbs.
- Hops: 1 ounce
- Yeast: 0.015 (in liquid form)
- Stock Pot: 3-gallon kettle
- Nylon Bag or Colander
- Digital Scale
- StarSan Sanitizer
- 1-Gallon Carboy
- Plastic Screwcap
- Blow-Off Tube
- Mini Auto Siphon
- 3ft Siphon Hose
- Bottle Filler
- 12 Pry-Off Bottles (Should Hold 340 ml Liquid)
- Bottle Capper
An 8 Step Brew Day for Light Beers
With the basics out of the way, it’s time to put the equipment to use. Before we dive into the process, let me give you a quick reminder about sanitization. I know, it’s not exactly something you want to read about right now but it’s important. Cleaning every piece of equipment right after use is a must. It’s not that you might end up making a batch of poisonous beer. The only thing you will be putting at risk is your taste buds. They sure will protest the way your beer tastes and let me tell you, it won’t be good.
The reason we recommend StarSan for sanitization is because it’s odorless and colorless. In fact, you don’t need to even wipe it. The foam takes about 2 minutes to sanitize the equipment and even if a little bit gets left behind on the equipment, it won’t ruin your beer’s taste.
With that said, let’s get brewing:
1. The Mash – Preparing Barley for the Soak
Crush the barley thoroughly and add it to a nylon bag. You can also add the barley directly into the water and then use a colander to strain the mixture. Fill your stock pot with water and soak in the barley. Bring the water to a boil and then turn off the heat. At this point, the barley will look like oatmeal. Cover the stock pot and let the barley steep for an hour.
2. Mash the Barley
Turn the heat back on and stir the barley for 10 minutes. The light colored liquid you see in the pot is called “wort”.
3. Strain the Mixture
Use the colander to filter the wort. If you are using a nylon bag then take it out of the pot and let the liquid drip for a few minutes.
4. Add the Hops
Put the wort on the stove and let it boil for 60 to 90 minutes and add in the bittering hops. If you are using bittering hops, you can add them in the start. If you want an aromatic brew, add the floral hops in the end.
5. Cool the Wort
Fill the sink with water and add in ice. Place your stock pot in this ice bath and let the wort cool. Use the thermometer to check the temperature, which should be at 68°F.
6. Transfer the Worth Into the Carboy for Fermentation
Once the wort has cooled, transfer it into the carboy using a strainer. Now add in the yeast and aerate the wort. Seal the carboy with the airlock. Cover it with the cap and gently rock the glass bottle to mix in air. Now, place the carboy in a dark spot and leave it untouched for 14 days.
7. Adding Bubbles
Your beer is just about ready. One element that’s missing is the “bubbles”. This part is pretty easy. Pour the beer into a stockpot and add in the dissolved sugar. This you can make with 17 grams of corn sugar and a little water. Let the water come to a boil and your dissolved sugar is ready.
Prepare your auto-siphon and attach the hose and tube. Give it a few good pumps to make sure that the beer is coming out right. Transfer the beer into another bucket to separate the sediment. Now, gently siphon the beer into the bottles. Make sure to keep the pressure light to avoid adding any bubbles into the bottles. Cap the bottles and then let them sit in a dark corner for 14 to 30 days.
It’s drinking time!
Our Final Thoughts
If you are having trouble finding the equipment mentioned above then you can simply get a brewing kit, which costs between $60 and $200. Scour the kitchen to find out what you have and then buy a basic kit that offers the big items.
And there you have it ― an easy process of how to brew light beer in your kitchen! Your first time will be a hit and miss, most probably because of the yeast. However, you can easily fix that by using different yeast types and adding flavors. Before siphoning your beer into the bottles, have a taste to make sure that it has a light flavor. If not, then you can add in a few glasses of water before carbonating it.