Make your own craft beer in 5 simple steps

Due to the craft beer boom in Mar del Plata, more and more people are encouraged to make their own homemade beer.

The craft beer trend in Mar del Plata began a few years ago and never stopped. But apart from the commercial ventures that flourish in the city every day, a current was generated that increasingly adds more followers, it is what in the jargon of the beer environment is known as “Homebrewing”.

This practice is carried out by people who make beer for commercial purposes, which they develop only for the pleasure of making their favorite beverage. When becoming something more and more habitual, different businesses were opened in the city that are dedicated to sell supplies and equipment for the elaboration of craft beer.

One of them is Punto Cerveza, located in Alvarado at 2600, where courses are also taught to learn how to make this millenary drink. The owner of the store, Mariano Balacco, told LA CAPITAL how to make homemade craft beer in 5 simple steps.

Ingredients (to make 15 liters of homemade beer)

  • 30 liters of dechlorinated water
  • 4.5 kilos of barley malt
  • 25 grams of hops
  • An envelope of yeast to make beer (not bakery) and sugar.

Note: Before starting, check the cleanliness of the elements to be used, since the presence of unpleasant bacteria can ruin the taste of homemade beer, to sanitize them the right thing is to do it with alcohol and not with detergent.

The 5 steps to make homemade craft beer:

Maceration

The barley malt is placed for 90 minutes in a pot of hot water, which has a temperature between 67 and 70 degrees, taking into account that for every kilo of malt 3 liters of water should be used. Stir so that unwanted lumps are not generated.

Here the starch is transformed into sugar and the must is obtained, a sweet and dense liquid.

Boil

The must must be boiled for one hour. Meanwhile, it is added, in parts, hops ,  which is what gives bitterness and aromatizes beer. Once the boil is finished, the mixture of must and hops should be stirred so that the residues that were generated in the process fall to the bottom of the pot.

Cooled

Once the must has been boiled, it must be passed to a fermenter, and for this, its temperature must fall as quickly as possible. This can be done in several ways, from the most homemade, which is to place the pot on a bacha with ice, to the serpentine method, which consists of passing the beer through a copper pipe rolled and cooled with ice.

Fermentation

The mixture of must and hops is poured into a fermentation vessel, which can be a water canister or a camping refrigerator. There the yeast is added, which will convert the sugars of the must into alcohol. The container must be trapped so that the air can escape but not enter. A common technique for this step is to use a water can and place a punctured balloon at its end. The fermentation takes approximately 10 days and as a result you get beer without gas. The fermentation vessel should be stored in a dark environment close to 19 degrees.

Maturation and bottling

Once the fermentation is finished, the beer must be transferred to another drum. This is done to discard all the yeast bed that formed in the fermenter and let the must rest before bottling. If this process, which lasts a week, can be performed much better cold, as beer will be clarified better.

Here also the technique of natural carbonation with sugar in bottling should be done. For this, a syrup is created, which is placed in the ripener before bottling. To make the syrup, calculate 7 or 8 grams of sugar per liter. With a minimum amount of water the sugar is heated until it is boiled for a few minutes, then it is added to the must, stirring gently, without the beer making contact with the air to prevent oxidation.

Subsequently, the beer is placed in the bottles, which must be covered and then awaited 10 more days. The way to realize if the beers are ready is to open a bottle and serve it in a glass, if it is observed that it has gas, they are already optimal for consumption, but wait a few more days.

An important fact is that for the carbonation process to be successful the bottles must be stored at room temperature and never in the refrigerator, since the cold would affect the yeasts, so the carbonation would not take place and the beer would be ruined.

Once the process is finished, you can taste and consume the homemade craft beer with family and friends. Health!

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