Making beer has been a practice that goes back further than Columbus “discovering” the Americas – for example, “Chicha”, a form of beer from the Andean mountains or Peru, has been in production since the ancient Olmecs were around, which was far before the time Europeans dominated the Americas. The four main ingedients to make beer is grains such as barley, hops (flowers that balance sweetness and bitterness), yeast for fermentation and water. Water actually makes up 95% of beer’s content, and its mineral content can be adjusted according to the style of beer being brewed.
The four steps for brewing beer include: preparing the ingredients, brewing (cooking), fermenting and then bottling it. Some items you need to brew your own beer include: a kettle, fermenter and air lock, sanitizer, auto-siphon, a spoon to stir and a recipe kit. Additionally, if you do not want to go out and purchase these items yourself you can purchase a beer making kit with all the materials needed.
The first step in brewing beer is to steep the grain of your choice for the appropriate amount of time, and let the water dip out of it rather than squeezing, which can cause unwanted flavors in the beer. Once the water comes to a boil, the recipe for your exact beer should illustrate when to add malt extracts and hops, which turns into something called “wort”, also known as sugar water. With your wort, you want to bring down the temperature rapidly by setting your pot into ice water or by inserting a chiller that cold water runs through. Once this is done, you can transfer the wort into a fermenter, add water and yeast while aerating the brew, and then seal it up to ferment at 68 degrees. Boil the priming sugar in 16 ounces of water and add it to the brew. From there on, meticulous sanitation is key to getting flavorful and clean beer.