Most people pick up homebrewing with the desire to brew better (and cheaper) beers, or as a creative outlet to experiment with beer flavours. Brewing beer is like preparing a good meal, so just imagine you're in your MasterChef kitchen, but instead of cooking, you're brewing beer – one that is exuberant, aromatic and full of flavours. It could be said that homebrewers are 'chefs' of the highest standards. Gordon Ramsay sure can make a mean beef wellington, but what about an IPA? Brewing beer is far from simple, and it requires a certain level of dedication and knowledge to even achieve a decent (not perfect) beer. It can get a tad bit overwhelming, so if you want to skip to the part where you actually start drinking the beer, we recommend just ordering from us, and we'll sort your beers out without you actually having to brew them.
HOMEBREWING IN SINGAPORE IS LEGAL
To be fair, brewing beer in your own house does sound illegal, especially in a country as strict as Singapore, where even chewing gum is an offence. Trust us when we say that it is very legal, and doesn’t even require a licence, as long as it’s less than 30 litres of beer a month.
HOW TO BREW YOUR OWN BEER
STEP 1: PREPARE
1. Gather your brewing equipment.
- Brewing Kettle
- Fermenter + Air Lock
- Funnel (optional)
- Stir Spoon
- Beer Recipe Kit (or individual ingredients)
2. Sanitise, Sanitise, Sanitise.
Your success will rely on how clean your equipment is. Anything that comes in contact with your beer after the boil process should be sanitised. We like cleaning them with a little vodka but if you have tons of hand sanitisers with you, sure, why not?
image credit: Wilko Blog
STEP 2: BREW
- Steep Grains. Fill your brew kettle with 9 litres of water. As you heat your water, steep your grains for 20 minutes, or until your water reaches 76°C. When you remove your grains, let the water drip out of the grain bag and into the kettle. Don't squeeze your grain bag as you don't want to extract tannins (those bitter and astringent compounds), which may give your beer unwanted flavours.
- Bring kettle to a boil - Once your kettle comes to a rolling boil, remove it from heat and add malt extracts. When the extract is dissolved, return to a boil. Hops will now be added at various intervals. (Note: Be careful not to boil over when hops are added.) Refer to your exact recipe as to when you need to add hops to your boil.
- You now have wort - Otherwise known as sugar water. Cool your wort as quickly as possible. This can be done by setting your pot into a sink filled with ice water.
STEP 3: FERMENT
Don't forget to sanitise all your supplies! Then...
- Pour cooled wort into the fermenter. Some brew kettles even have a valve for easy transportation from your kettle to your fermenter.
- Add water to bring the level to 18 litres.
- Aerate wort by splashing it around in its container. Yeast needs oxygen, and splashing your wort will help.
- Add yeast. Dry yeast is the easiest, as you don't have to prepare it beforehand. Sanitise the yeast pack + scissors, cut a corner off your yeast pack, and pour the yeast into the fermenter.
Seal your fermenter by adding a fermentation air lock, and store in a dark cool place. Ales should stay at 20°C to ferment properly.
image credit: @brewcabin
STEP 4: BOILINGAfter fermentation is complete, which typically takes around two weeks, it's time to bottle your beer.
- Cleanse everything: bottles, bottle filler, bottle caps, bottling bucket, and any transfer hoses used. Use a bottle brush on your bottles.
- Boil your priming sugar in 0.45 litres of water. After it cools, add it directly to the bottling bucket.
- Transfer your beer. Siphon the beer out of your fermenter and into your bottling bucket. Leave as much sediment in the fermenter as possible.
Fill the bottles. Attach bottle filler to hose, and hose to bottling bucket spigot. Open the bottling bucket spigot and push the bottle filler to the bottom of the bottle.
NOTE: Fill each bottle right to the top. When you remove the bottle filler, it will leave the perfect amount of space at the top of the bottle.
- Cap the bottles with caps and a bottle capper.
- Store the bottles at room temperature for roughly two weeks to allow the yeast to eat the sugar and create carbon dioxide for carbonation.
You did it! You made beer! All that's left to do is...1. Refrigerate.
You can purchase homebrewing kits at iBrew or HomeBrew, and while you're at it, join the Facebook group Singapore Homebrew Club to chat with fellow homebrewers! Be sure to invite us to try your homebrew craft beer! Peace!
Featured image credit: Decililiter