The Basics of Beer Crafting

Beer crafting is the process of creating your own beer using a kit, or equipment purchased from a homebrew shop. This is a great way to get a taste of different styles without making a large batch, and also a good way to see if you like the hobby before investing in more expensive equipment.

In a world where mass-produced macro beers dominate supermarket shelves and neighborhood bodegas, there is a resurgence of interest in locally brewed craft beer. This is a movement of small breweries that focus on brewing novel beers in a wide variety of strengths, flavors and colors from a diverse selection of ingredients. In addition to bringing new flavor to the beer, local ingredients also support the community’s farmers and reduce carbon emissions from shipping ingredients long distances.

The main ingredients in a beer are malt, hops, and yeast. These are combined with water in a pot called a mash tun, where the malt is crushed and cooked, then cooled, and aerated (mixed with sterile air). The aerated wort is then fed to the yeast, which begins to convert the sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The fermentation process takes place in a vessel ranging from enormous cylindroconical fermenters to open stone vessels and wooden vats.

Before starting the brewing process, it’s important to clean and sanitize all of your equipment. Make sure to use an unscented, no-rinse sanitizer, such as Five Star StarSan or a no-rinse iodine-based sanitizer.