What Is Home Brewing?


Home brewing is the process of brewing your own beer from the comfort of your home. The typical home brewer is one who enjoys his brand of beer, and would like to replicate the exact beer from his home.


Home brewing is an interesting hobby. And a very rewarding one as well. It is a simple process that can be learned in no time. And after a few tries, you’ll get better and closer to replicating your choice of beer.


Beer is brewed from these four main ingredients; malted barley extract, hop extract, brewing yeast and water. The variance in taste of the different types of beers is due to the addition of other minor ingredients. But knowing the ingredients is not enough, you’ll need to know the process how to go about brewing your beer.


There are four stages to the home brewing process :


Basic Equipment Required :

1.      Cleaning agent to sterilize all your equipment.

2.      A food grade plastic or polythene container (23 litres or more) with a loose fitting lid.

3.      Sufficient bottles for 23 liters of beer. You can use PET (plastic) fizzy drink bottles or brown bottles with caps. Alternatively, a pressure barrel or draught dispenser may be used.

4.      A length of plastic tube to siphon the beer into bottles or barrel.


Optional Equipment :

1.      Heater belt or tray (for optimum temperature control)

2.      Hydrometer and trial jar (to check gravity and when fermentation is complete)


The Procedure

Stage 1 : Preparing

Cleaning and sterilizing your containers and equipment is very important as you do not want to have harmful bacteria that may spoil your beer. Yeast is not used at this stage, but is set aside for the fermentation stage.


The contents of both cans are emptied into a fermenting bucket (that is able to hold more than 23 litres). Pour 2.25 litres of boiling water into the bucket and stir until the malt extract has completely dissolved.


Top up with clean cold water up to the 23 litres mark. Stir the mixture thoroughly. The temperature of the mixture should now be about 18oC to 24oC.


Stage 2 : Fermentation

The brewing yeast is added onto the brew and the mixture stirred. Fermentation usually takes about 5 to 8 days. Fermentation is completed when CO2 bubbles stopped rising to the surface and the brew starts to clear. Alternatively, if you have a hydrometer and the reading stabilized for 2 or more consecutive days, then fermentation is completed.


It is important to ensure that fermentation is totally complete before proceeding to the next stage of bottling. Otherwise, you run the danger of bottles bursting.


Stage 3 : Bottling

Put about 5 grams of granulated sugar into each of your 500ml bottle. Siphon the beer from the fermenter into the bottle, leaving a head space of about 5cm from the beer and the bottle rim. Cap the bottles, transfer them to a warm place of room temperature 20oC and let them stand for another 4 days to allow secondary fermentation to take place.


Now transfer the bottles to a cool place to allow the beer to clear and condition. Once the beer is perfectly clear, it is ready to drink.


Stage 4 : Maturing

Although the beer is ready for drinking once it is perfectly clear, its taste will improve if it is left to condition for at least another 2 weeks. Home brewed beer generally conditions well with ageing.



For the beginner, it is advisable that you start off with a brewing kit. A typical brewing kit will allow you to brew up to 23 litres of beer. The clear instructions in the starter kit will ensure that you will be able to brew your very first beer, thereby minimizing your chances of error.


After you have brewed your own beer a few times and are very familiar with the entire brewing process, you can then proceed to brew other brands of beer.