How To Brew Beer For The First Time

The process of brewing beer can be as simple or as complex as one makes it. This article is intended to simplify the process and outline the most basic elements of homebrewing for the first-time brewer. It is recommended that you first purchase an equipment kit from your local supply store or online. These generally cost anywhere from $60-$100 and include everything you need to get started.

Now, let’s prepare our first brewing session. Cleanliness and organization are two key elements. Make sure your brewing area is clean, all of your equipment is sanitized, and your ingredients are organized and readily accessible.

For the sake of simplification, we’ll brew what I like to call an "in-and-out" kit. One of my favorites that falls into this category is EDME’s Red Devil Ale. This particular kit includes a 4 lb. hopped can of malt extract and a pack of dry yeast. The only additional ingredients you will need to purchase are about 2 lbs. of dried malt extract and five ounces of corn sugar or priming sugar. Some would prefer to add hops during the boil, but this is not absolutely necessary because our malt extract is already hopped.

Bring about ½ gallon of water to boil in a stainless boiling pot. Reduce the heat, and add the contents of the can and 2 lbs. of dried malt extract. Stir fully to dissolve. Then bring the mixture back to a boil, and continue to simmer for about five minutes. Also continue stirring to avoid scorching and/or boil-over. After five minutes, turn off the heat.

Pour three gallons of cold water into your fermenting bin. Be sure to pour from a reasonable height so as to add oxygen to the water. Next, add the mixture (wort) from the pot, and top off the fermenting bin with more water until the total volume of the bin is between five and six gallons. Place the lid on top of the fermenting bin to avoid the introduction of contaminants and other airborne particles, and allow the wort to cool down to between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once the wort has cooled, add the yeast and stir with a sanitized stainless spoon. Place the lid and airlock on the fermenting bin, and stand the bin in a warm area (65-75 degrees Fahrenheit). Fermentation will take approximately one week. When fermentation appears to have stopped, you are ready for priming and bottling.

Siphon the beer from the fermenting bin into the bottling bucket making sure not to transfer any of the yeast sediment. Dissolve about five ounces of corn sugar or priming sugar into one cup of boiling water. Add this mixture to the bottling bucket, and stir. Now, siphon the beer from the bottling bucket into individual bottles. Cap each bottle, and store at room temperature for a couple of weeks. You may then transfer the bottles to a cooler place for conditioning if you wish. In all, your beer should be ready for consumption in about four weeks from the original date of brewing.

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About The Author, Dominick Famiano
Dominick is a homebrewer and webmaster of, a social networking community for homebrewing and beer enthusiasts, and, a how-to information directory.