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Make your own Beer!      How to Make Beer at Home



Equipment List

  • Large cooking pot, at least 16 quart

  • Big spoon

  • 6-Gallon food-grade plastic bucket w/ lid that has a hole in it

  • Rubber stopper with hole that fits in the bucket lid hole

  • Plastic airlock for rubber stopper hole

  • Bottle cap crimping tool

  • 2 Cases of Bottles & caps

  • Household bleach

Ingredients List

  • 6 pounds of dry malt extract (or two large cans of liquid malt extract)

  • 4 ounces of pellet hops

  • 1 package (or tube) of brewing yeast

  • 6 gallons of water


  1. Chill 2.5 gallons of water in a sealed container.

  2. If the plastic bucket is not brand new, clean it until it looks brand new - use hot water, dishwashing soap, & elbow grease.

  3. Bring the other 3.5 gallons of water to a boil and add malt extract.

  4. When mixture returns to a boil, add 2 ounces of pellet hops, cover half-way.

  5. Put rubber stopper and airlock in the bucket and fill plastic bucket with water and 1 oz. (shotglass) of bleach.

  6. Boil malt and hops mixture for 45 minutes, then add 1 ounce of pellet hops.

  7. Pour bleach solution out of bucket over the bucket lid in the sink, rinse both with hot water until bleach smell is gone, put lid on the bucket with the stopper & airlock in place

  8. Boil for 15 more minutes (after the 2nd hop addition), add last 1 ounce of pellet hops and turn off heat.

  9. Wait 15 minutes then cover pot most of the way, place in sink and run cold water around it.

  10. Put the chilled water into the bucket.

  11. Pour the boiled malt and hop mixture into the cold water in the bucket.

  12. Add the yeast.

  13. Tightly seal the lid on the bucket, the stopper and airlock in the holes, fill the airlock about 3/4 full with water.

  14. Wait two weeks then bottle.

Bottling Day

  1. Run bottles, a clean large measuring cup, and clean big spoon through the dishwasher with no detergent but heated drying on - or soak them all in a mild bleach solution then rinse well with hot water.

  2. Put bottle caps in a sauce pan with some water, bring to a boil and quickly remove.

  3. Boil 3/4 cup of sugar in a saucepan with two cups of water for 5 minutes.

  4. Let sugar solution cool for a few minutes, remove lid from bucket and gently stir in corn sugar solution with sanitized big spoon.

  5. Carefully scoop out the beer with the measuring cup and fill bottles leaving 1" of space in the neck. Crimp caps on within 1/2 hour.

  6. Clean everything and store bottles out of sunlight at room temperature for 2-3 weeks. Then chill them and enjoy.



Making Homemade Beer

Ever wonder how to make beer at home? Let me tell you - this will likely be the most satisfying project you ever embark on! And it's really easy - that is, if you want it to be. Making your own beer can be as simple or as sophisticated as you like. I recommend going the easy route your first time. You can always tinker with advanced procedures on subsequent batches if you feel like it.

Many people will be very happy with the quick and simple beer making method described on this page. That's because the beer is delicious! Certainly better than most of your store-bought brands. Now if you are a real beer aficionado, and are not afraid of becoming a full on (gasp) beer-geek, you can increase the quality of your homemade beer even more by getting into advanced homebrewing methods.

On the left you have a complete set of instructions that will allow you to make your own beer, right in your own kitchen. It is a very basic equipment list, and a simple procedure that almost anyone can follow. You don't need to worry about recipe formulation or which types of malt or hops to purchase as long as you don't mind playing "style roulette." You might even invent a great new beer style! But here are some tips to help you get the most out of your homemade beer.

Brewing Tips

  • If you like light beer styles choose light colored malt, and hops with a low alpha number. If you like more assertive styles, do the opposite.

  • If you choose hops with a high alpha number, use less than 2 ounces at the beginning of the boil or your beer will be too bitter. Maybe 1 to 1.5 ounces.

  • Cleaning and sanitizing are two different things, and they are the most important part of brewing. Things must be cleaned before they can be sanitized. Anything that comes into direct contact with your beer, especially before it is fermented, must be sanitized. Bleach solution is an effective sanitizer but must be rinsed well or your homemade beer will have a faint chlorine odor. Heat is another effective sanitizer, and the heated drying cycle of a dishwasher will sanitize bottles and plastic equipment.

  • If you use tap water, boil the 2.5 gallons of chilled foundation water first and store in a sanitized sealed container. Otherwise the 2.5 gallon store-bought drinking water vessels work just fine.

Advanced Recipe Procedures

The advanced recipes .pdf file on this site is a record from a spreadsheet that I compiled over many years of homebrewing. There are quite a few blue-ribbon winning recipes on it (from homemade beer competitions across the United States). These homebrew recipes call for more sophisticated techniques:

Mini-mashing: A separate bucket or pot is used to soak 6-8 pounds of crushed grains in for an hour. This liquid is then drained and rinsed with hot water into the brewpot; this takes the place of half of the malt extract.

Secondary fermentation. After 1 week the partially fermented beer is siphoned into another bucket or glass carboy. This is known as racking, which improves flavor by getting the beer off the initial sediment quickly.

Brewing to Style: Specialty grains, hops, and yeast strains are chosen for the beer style.






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