The 4 easy steps of making beer

4 easy steps of making home brew beer

The 4 easy steps of making home brew beer

I reckon you might agree with me that making beer is actually pretty easy.

If elephants can figure out to bury watermelons underground so they ferment and then eat them to get drunk on, then humans can figure out how to easily make a genuinely good tasting home brew beer!

Here's how YOU can make home brew beer in 4 steps.

Beer brewing consists of four  simple stages, 5, if you count the drinking of your tasty beverage!

1. Brewing the beer

Quality pale malt extract and hops are boiled together with water for about an hour to sterilize the extract and release the bittering qualities of the added hops.

Often grains are steeped in the mixture prior to the boil to add additional color and flavor to the beer. 

If you're pretty series about making beer, you'll probably follow a recipe which gives you timings on when to add your choices of hops.

You will have of course used sterilized brewing equipment

2. Cooling of the wort and the commencement of  fermentation 

easy steps to brew beerThe wort that you have made is then is cooled to room temperature and siphoned or transferred to a fermenter where it is combined with additional water to achieve the desired batch volume. This is often 23 litres into a 30 litre drum. 

When the wort drops to room temperature, yeast is added to start the fermentation process, that is to say to turn your mixture into beer. 

The drum is sealed airtight and an airlock is used to keep the fermenter sealed and allow for the release of carbon dioxide. Fermentation will take one or two weeks. 

3. Priming your beer with sugar and the bottling of it 

Once your beer has completed fermentation (you can tell by checking for scum residue or by using a hydrometer) it can then be siphoned to another container to prepare for bottling.

This is when the beer is primed with sugar.

Sucrose or corn sugar may be used and the correct measurements are simply mixed with your very flat beer. Once the mixing is complete, the beer is transferred into bottles and each bottle is capped with a bottle capping device.

This is often done by siphoning or holding the clean and sterilized bottle to the tap of the drum. 

4. Time to let the bottled beer sit and age

Now the beer has been bottled, it needs to age so a secondary fermentation may occur. Given there is no way for the carbon dioxide that is produced during this fermentation to be released, the beer is carbonated. 

During this time sediments such as excess yeast and proteins will drop out of the beer and fall to the bottom of the bottle.

It is vital you let this process occur - if you drink your beer to early it's flavour will not have come to the fore and it may smell slightly.

Better to let your beer nature for a minimum of three weeks and even better six.

If you can wait that long, you will be rewarded with a delicious tasting home brew.   

5. Time to open those beers

The final step is of course the drinking. Drink cold, poor the beer carefully to avoid stirring up any of the sediment and have a great drinking experience!

Do I need to use carbonation drops for brewing?

Do I need to use carbonation drops for brewing?

Do I need to use carbonation drops for brewing?

Usually I would try and sell you something when you come to this site but at the end of the day, we are all beer lovers so when some asks if they NEED to use carbonation drops, we're not going to say yes and then try and get you to buy some via this amazingly awesome beer site.


Not this day*.

Today we give nothing but advice!

carbonation sugar dropsDo you need to use carbonation drops when bottling beer? 

The answer is no.

All they are is sugar rolled into a ball. Sweet, tasty sugar balls.

You can use sugar from the kitchen instead. I like to use a funnel and a teaspon and boom, the sugar is in the bottles, ready for beer to be added and capped.

But, you can of course use carbonation drops when bottling your homebrew.

This is for the reason of efficiency and convenience. Droping a carbonation drop into a bottle is a very fast method and can be less messy.

You also know precisely how much sugar you are adding to your beer.

It does however cost a lot to buy carbonation drops. In fact, in NZ a bag of carbonation drops (good for one bottling day) cost more that a 1KG bag of ordinary sugar!

You could try and buy them in bulk to make it more cost effective but I have yet to find any drops sold in bulk lots.

So do the maths and use the sugar and funnel method.

Or you could try another handy method and priming your brew with sugar.

Or you could just use jelly beans...

* We lied, just a lil bit.

How to get a creamy mouth feel in your beer

How to get a creamy mouth feel in your home brew beer

While beer making can be fun and all, the proof is in the drinking. 

Brewers just want their beers to have a good mouth feel and a great taste.

It's the most important part.

At the extreme, a great tasting beer that is flat is not a good experience right?

So a creamy mouthfeel and good taste can make the drinking experience wonderful.

When that perfect ale slips down your throat nicely, the brewer has done a great job. They probably followed our brewing guide or lessons learned! ;)

If you are wondering what we mean by a creamy beer you could think of the physical feel you get when you drink a Kilkenny or a Guinness beer.

Forget what they taste like, they are good examples of a creamy beer.

They do have a clever and interesting trick that helps them be so creamy – they are pumped with both carbon dioxide and nitrogen!

How to get a good mouth feel in  home brew beer

How to get a creamy feel in a beer?

It's easy.

Almost too easy.

Here's how to do it:
  1. Use more ‘unfermentables’ in your beer. In effect, this is malt. The more malt you add, the 'creamier' your beer will be. This is in the sense that your beer will be more viscous, making it feel thicker in your mouth. 
  2. You could try adding sugar lactose. Lactose is not fermentable by yeast, and it will give your beer a milky mouth feel. Lactose is added to Milk Stouts to increase the body of the beer, and give it a creamy mouth feel. Some stout beer enhancers will come with lactose. 
  3. You could try and high alpha hops. Such an approach would of increase the beer’s bitterness, but also increase the level of ‘isohumulones’ that help enhance head retention. A better head can assist with a good creamy mouthful.
  4. Do what the Guinness brewers do and pump the beer with nitrogen and CO2. This would, of course, require some pretty serious investment in some gear!
  5. We certainly do not advocate putting cream in your fermenter! We imagine that would ruin your good work and vastly increase the likelihood of a beer infection occurring.