1 GATHER EQUIPMENT. You’ll need sanitizer, malt, hops, yeast, a boil kettle, a fermentation vessel, a siphon, a spoon, a bottle capper, bottle caps and bottles (more on this later). Or you can buy a starter kit.
2 SANITIZE EVERYTHING. Sure, this step might not seem like a lot of fun, but your work here will pay off later in a beer that neither smells nor tastes like it shouldn’t. So, pick your poison – er, sanitizer – and get started.
3 PREPARE THE WORT. This is the base of beer: a mixture of water, malt and hops. Add the malt to boiling water first, and add hops according to something called a hop schedule – usually found within a recipe. After it’s done boiling, cool the wort to a temperature specified by your chosen yeast.
4 ADD YEAST & FERMENT. This is the exciting part, where the wort becomes beer. Add the cooled wort, more water and yeast to a fermentation vessel – a bucket will do – and store it in a cool, dry place for one to two weeks.
5 OBTAIN BOTTLES. Sure, you could buy bottles (24 for $12), but that seems a little silly, doesn’t it? Instead, buy a few 12-packs of your favorite brew, drink and sanitize. Voila! Now you have bottles. (Just make sure they aren’t twist off or you won’t get a cap on them.)
6 BOTTLE THE BEER. Add some sugar to the bottling bucket to kick-start the conditioning process, where the carbonation comes in. Siphon the beer to a bottling vessel, being careful to avoid sediment. Then siphon the beer into the bottles, cap and age.
7 ENJOY. After the appropriate aging time, chill the beer, then open and enjoy.
Need help? Check out these local shops.
3167 S. 92nd St., 414-327-2130,
1306 S. 108th St., West Allis, 414-935-4099,
Brew & Grow
2246 W. Bluemound Rd., Waukesha, 262-717-0666,
Brew City Supplies