Germany is internationally famous for its high-quality beer. People drink beer all over the world. So why not try to brew you own beer? Did you think it is difficult? It is actually very easy! You can brew your own beer in 5 days and you do not need many ingredients. It is fun and easy to do and is a great activity with friends, family or a great gift!
Brewing beer – a short summary
Before we explain how to brew your own beer, we should clarify the definition of brewing:
“To make (beer, ale, etc.) by steeping, boiling, and fermenting malt and hops.” (dictionary.com)
Basically, a starch source (in our case barley) is steeped in water. This results in a sweet liquid (malted barley). Afterwards, you ferment the malt using brewer’s yeast. Finally, you add hops for the taste. The hop takes the sweetness of the malt.
The yeast metabolizes sugars during fermentation. Alcohol is a byproduct of this process. The amount and quality of the yeast and sugars determines the amount of alcohol in the beer. Interestingly, alcohol is toxic to the yeast above a concentration of 12%, which will stop this process. Next to the production of alcohol, fermentation also produces carbon dioxide (CO2). If you seal the beer, no CO2 escapes during this process, which will result in the natural carbonation of your beer.
A famous regulation about the purity of beer is the “Reinheitsgebot”. This regulation started in 1516 in Germany. The regulation states several things: 1) what you can put in your beer (water, barley and hops) and 2) it gives a price to beer. Many special beers brewed in Belgium and the Netherlands do not follow this Reinheitsgebot. Especially purists from Germany can call this beer “perfumed beer”, because of exotic ingredients. However, we truly love special beers!
Our beer brewing activity
We gave this beer making kit as a present, and were happy to try it out ourselves. We can highly recommend this set, because it includes everything you need for brewing your first beer. We don’t have any cooperation with this company, but loved the activity. This is the reason, why we want to share it with you. In addition, it already contains the right amount of malt extract, hops and dry beer yeast and an easy to follow introduction. This way, nothing can go wrong!
It took us about 10 minutes to prepare the mixture. You follow the steps below:
- 1st step: Add the malt extract to the barrel.
- 2nd step: Add water.
- 3rd step: Shake the barrel for 30 seconds.
- 4th step: Add the yeast and hop.
- 5th step: Close the barrel and wait for 5 days.
- 6th step: Enjoy your homemade beer!
After waiting for 5 days, our self-brewed batch of 5-liter pills was ready to consume! Because we did not filter the beer, our beer was hazy. Beer Connoisseurs state that by filtering the beer, you lose both complexity and aroma in favor of appearance.
The taste of our first self-brewed beer
We really liked the distinct taste of the beer! It even reminded us a bit of one of the “special” beers from the Netherlands or Belgium. Personally, we like this type of beer more than standard pills. By definition, our beer fulfills the standards of the German Reinheitsgebot.
If you want to eat an authentic German meal with your self-brewed beer, check out our recipe of self-made Spätzle with mushroom cream sauce.
Do you want know more about our experiences? Let us know in the comments!