There’s something you need to know: homebrewing beer, though slightly time–consuming, is not that hard. After buying a brewing kit and sterilizing all the equipment, the beer brewing process can be broken down into five basic steps.
First, you have to make the wort, which isn’t a disgusting skin growth, but the sweet, golden liquid that results from boiling down malt syrup. Wort is crucial for beer–making: not only does it provide a lot of the brew’s flavor, but it also creates the perfect environment for yeast to ferment.
Once the wort is ready, bittering hops are added and boiled to counter the sweetness of the malt and add depth and complexity to the flavor profile. The mixture is then placed in an ice–water bath to cool it down to yeast–pitching temperature (65–90 degrees Fahrenheit), at which point rehydrated ale or lager (never bread) yeast is added. By this point, it’s pretty much smooth sailing once you’ve put the fermentation lock on the carboy. It rests for around two weeks (brewers usually recommend a bathtub for this) while the yeast works its carbon dioxide and alcohol–releasing magic.
So a couple of weeks have passed and you’ve been super patient and you can now take a sip of your wonderful homebrewed delicacy, right? WRONG! Though it may look luscious, the beer in your tub is flatter than a keg the morning after a frat party.
To turn your brew into bubbly bottles of delight, a sugary mixture of corn syrup and water has to be added to induce carbonation. Now you’re ready to bottle, cap and rage with your homemade brewski!