Make Beer in the Comfort of Your Home

Beer. Drinking it could be your favorite (and most relaxing) time of day. But you know what sucks? Having to sit at the crowded bar to enjoy your brew or even worse, forgetting to stop and pick up a six pack on your way home.

Here's a solution. Make your own with a simple recipe! Sure, the process may seem a little pricey initially, but so what? A. You'll be making your own beer which is totally bad ass B. You'll save money in the long run and C. Making your own beer is totally bad ass (wait, did I already say that?)!

Anyway, here's what you'll need:

-10-gallon "food grade" plastic pail with lid (about $30)
-Siphon hose and shut off clamp (both for about $2.30)
-Hydrometer ($7)
-Large pot or turkey roaster
-12 empty two-liters (with caps)

You can also head to your local hardware store and purchase most of these items.

-1 tablespoon of yeast
-Malt extract: One 40-ounce can of your favorite flavor (light, dark, stout) or you can grab a 1.5 kilogram (it has more malt extract which either makes a larger batch or creates a richer beer). If you're into more "hop flavor" in your beer, pick up the "pre-hopped" extract.
-Sugar: six to seven cups of regular white sugar 
These ingredients will run you, at most, $15. It'll make about 23 liters (or 65-70 bottles) of beer. Hope you've got enough friends to drink it all...

What to do
First, sanitize all of your equipment in warm, lightly soapy water. Remember to rinse everything really well otherwise your beer's going to taste like soap. Yuck. You also might want to invest in a no-rinse acid sanitizer (it has no aftertaste). And if your plastic pail is new, be sure to rinse it with warm water and baking soda to alleviate the plastic taste/smell.

Next, pour 10 liters of fresh (and cold) water into your 10-gallon pail. In the meantime, boil 7 liters of water in your largest pot (turkey roaster), add one can of malt extract, stir and boil (uncovered) for 20 minutes, then add your sugar. When your sugar is fully dissolved, very quickly pour the contents into your pail. Top off with bottled or filtered tap water to neutralize temperature (your pail should be about half-full). Sprinkle in your yeast, stir and lightly place the lid on the pail. Seriously, very lightly, otherwise the carbon dioxide will make it explode all over, making clean up a b****! 

Wait it out
Keep your beer covered for six to ten days. To check if your creation is ready to be bottled, stick your hydrometer in and spin it (just trust us). It should read 1.008 for dark beers and 1.010 to 1.015 for light beers. 

Ready to bottle

Tape a straw to the siphon making the straw about an inch longer than the end of the siphon so that it touches the bottom of the pail. Be careful not to disturb the bottom of the pail too much as not to bottle a ton of sediment. Also be careful not to splash which can lead to a "cardboard" taste. Add two tablespoons of sugar to each bottle of beer through a funnel and secure the cap. Give it a little shake to dissolve any excess sugar. 

Store your beer in a fairly warm spot for the first few days and then a cool dark area from then on. Keep in mind the beer tastes better with age, however, once you open a bottle, you have approximately two weeks to drink it.

So there you have it, a simple and cheap recipe to homemade beer by Invite some friends and enjoy. 

Don't forget to vote in our Golden Local Debate! Which hometown brewery is your favorite, Victory or Philadelphia?


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