Home Brewing: How to Make Homemade Beer

This home brewing guide explains how to make homemade beer, and includes step-by-step instructions, equipment illustrations, beer recipes and a beer ingredient chart.

| January/February 1988

  • 109-74-i4
    Raise your glass to home brewing, a fun, challenging activity that yields delicious results!
    PHOTO: PATRICIA ARIAN
  • 109-74-i6_01
    Primary fermenter and Boiling Kettle
    KAY HOLMES STAFFORD
  • 109-74-i6_03
    clockwise from left: hydrometer, siphon tube, thermometer.
    KAY HOLMES STAFFORD
  • 109-74-i6_04
    Stainless spoon and bottle capper.
    KAY HOLMES STAFFORD
  • 109-74-i6_02
    Secondary fermenter with fermentation lock
    KAY HOLMES STAFFORD
  • 109-74-i6_05
    Fig. 2. Adding malt extract
    KAY HOLMES STAFFORD
  • 109-74-i5_03
    Fig. 6. Transferring to primary fermenter
    KAY HOLMES STAFFORD
  • 109-74-i5_04
    Fig. 7. Sparging the wort.
    KAY HOLMES STAFFORD
  • 109-74-i5_01
    Fig. 4. Adding the hops
    KAY HOLMES STAFFORD
  • 109-74-i6_06
    Fig. 3. Stirring the extract
    KAY HOLMES STAFFORD
  • 109-74-i5_02.jpg
    Fig. 5. Adding malt grain
    ILLUSTRATION: KAY HOLMES STAFFORD
  • 109-74-i4_04
    Fig. 11. Sterilizing the bottles
    KAY HOLMES STAFFORD
  • 109-74-i3_01
    Fig. 12. Siphoning into bottles.
    KAY HOLMES STAFFORD
  • 109-74-i4_03
    Fig. 10. Adding priming sugar
    KAY HOLMES STAFFORD
  • 109-74-i4_01
    Fig. 8. Adding Yeast
    KAY HOLMES STAFFORD
  • 109-74-i4_02
    Fig. 9. Transferring to secondary fermenter
    KAY HOLMES STAFFORD
  • 109-74-i3
    Fig. 14. Enjoying a home brew
    KAY HOLMES STAFFORD
  • 109-74-i3_02
    Fig. 13. Capping the bottles
    KAY HOLMES STAFFORD
  • bottle and stein
    Raise your glass to home brewing, a fun, challenging activity that yields delicious results!
    Photo by Fotolia/Zing

  • 109-74-i4
  • 109-74-i6_01
  • 109-74-i6_03
  • 109-74-i6_04
  • 109-74-i6_02
  • 109-74-i6_05
  • 109-74-i5_03
  • 109-74-i5_04
  • 109-74-i5_01
  • 109-74-i6_06
  • 109-74-i5_02.jpg
  • 109-74-i4_04
  • 109-74-i3_01
  • 109-74-i4_03
  • 109-74-i4_01
  • 109-74-i4_02
  • 109-74-i3
  • 109-74-i3_02
  • bottle and stein

MOTHER's Handbook shares a detailed home brewing article on how to make homemade beer. Includes step-by-step instructions, equipment illustrations, beer recipes and a beer ingredient chart. (See the beer equipment illustrations in the image gallery.)

Home Brewing: How to Make Homemade Beer

There are three likely reasons why you may not have tried making your own beer: 1) you don't like beer, 2) you've read about making beer and decided it was too difficult or time-consuming, or 3) you tried someone else's home-brew and decided you'd never tasted anything quite so awful. We can't help you with reason one. If you don't like the stuff, that's that. But if you've hung back for either or both of the other two reasons, this handbook is for you. (Oh, yes—it's also for those of you who have tried brewing beer and met with unqualified disaster.)

If you can boil water and stir, you can brew beer—and we're talking premium here. Things have come a long way since home brewing beer was legalized in 1979 (a single-person household can make up to 100 gallons a year, a family household 200 gallons). Not only have techniques been refined, but the variety and quality of brewing ingredients and supplies now available virtually assure pleasing results.

True, home brewing in some circles has reached a state of high science. Serious home brewers (sort of a contradiction in terms, actually) dabble in a world of alpha and beta hop resins, custom-made wort chillers and tenth-degree temperature control. Most malt their own barley; some even grow their own brewing hops and grains and cultivate their own preferred strains of yeast. These are the home-brewing possessed, intrepid souls who explore the nether worlds of fermentation. They produce extraordinary beers.



But you don't have to practice high science just to make good—very good—beer. Brewing is an eminently inexact science, forgiving of many mistakes and allowing for much experimentation. Just look at any half-dozen books on the subject. Like as not, each will describe a different procedure for brewing and fermenting, and each will include recipes unlike those in the other books. All will produce perfectly good results.

The only real requirements for becoming a home brewer are a taste for quality, an appreciation for economy and a compelling pride in doing things for yourself. If there also happens to be a certain amount of mad scientist in you, well, so much the better.

janebrendan
8/19/2014 6:46:04 AM

I really enjoy simply reading all of your weblogs. Simply wanted to inform you that you have people like me who appreciate your work. http://www.recoverycircles.org/


AndrewDavid
7/21/2014 4:43:11 PM

I have been a constant visitor to your blogs, sir and let me tell you that your work is very consistent and you always deliver the best. I would like to take a autograph from you sometime. Thanks! API 510


AndrewDavid
7/12/2014 5:30:54 PM

Nice job you've done here, my friend. The article is really bold and gives out quite a lot of useful information to me. I really enjoyed reading this and I would like to know the name of the font you've used here. It really amazed me! Do tell, my friend. Thanks! http://sourcemeasubdivision.com.au/




Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters