Oktoberfest, which is German for “drink lots of beer” (not really), is coming up and the only way you should be celebrating is with a couple gallons of your own brew, lots of friends, lots of bratwurst and soft pretzels for everyone.
It might seem a little intimidating to make your own beer, but with a good beer kit (I bought this one), it’s fairly easy. The hardest part is having to wait for the brew to happen!
The first step in any brewing situation is sanitizing extremely well. Any little bit of anything left in the keg or on the utensils could disrupt the flavor of your beer. This kit comes with a no-rinse sanitizer. Fill the keg with 4 quarts of warm water, then dissolve half of the sanitizing packet in the keg and swirl it around.
Next add all the utensils you’re using, including the measuring cup and can opener, into the keg of sanitizing solution. Dispense a little bit of the solution onto a plate that you can use to set your utensils on. Open and close the spigot into a sink to empty it, then place all the utensils onto the sanitized plate. Now we can brew.
The kit comes with two cans of hopped malt extracts and yeast, so you can make a couple different beers. Remove the packet of yeast from under the lid of the hopped malt extract you want to use and place the can in a bowl of warm water. This helps warm the hopped malt extract and makes for easier pouring. Meanwhile, bring 4 cups of water to a boil, then remove the pan from the heat, and pour in the can of warmed hopped malt extract. Stir until thoroughly mixed.
Fill your keg with 4 quarts of refrigerated water. This kit has awesome measuring lines on the back of it to help if you don’t have a large measuring cup. Add the hopped malt extract mixture to the keg and top it off with enough refrigerated water to reach the 8.5 quart line. Mix well with a spoon. Now you’ve got what is called the wort.
Sprinkle the yeast into the keg and screw on the lid. Put the keg into an area that stays between 68 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit and where there’s no direct sunlight.
Now we wait.
It’s going to take about 7-14 days. You’re looking for the liquid to be clear, not cloudy, and for there to be a layer of sediment at the bottom. Once you get that, then we’re ready to bottle.
Take the other half of that sanitizing packet and dissolve it in 4 quarts, of lukewarm water. Fill each bottle from the beer kit halfway with the solution then put the cap on and shake like crazy. Empty out the bottles.
To the sanitized bottles add 2 ½ teaspoons of white granulated sugar to the bottom of each bottle. Fill bottles with your beer, leaving about 1 1/2" of space at the top. Hand tighten the caps and leave in the same place you left the keg for another 7 days. This is how the beer gets nice and carbonated. After the 7 days, refrigerate for 2 more days, and then your beer is ready to drink!
So if you’re a beer lover or dream of creating your own craft brews, then pick up one of these easy home kits and get brewin’!