Brewing Tips and Tricks from AmericanSpice.com


Homemade Beer

Homemade Beer

Invite your circle over for a few cold ones and watch their eyebrows raise when you tell them you made the beer.  Why not?  The process is lengthy and may require a few attempts, but the final brew, fun, and cheers are worth the effort.  Give yourself a couple weeks (or longer) for the entire process- yes, that’s right, weeks.  With planning, patience, and our tips, your micro brew will be the talk.

Basic Brewing Ingredients

In addition to a sterilized fermentor, you’ll need boiled water and malt extract to make wort.  Dissolve hops, barley, burdock, juniper, heather, marigold, or mug wort in boiling water and later combine with yeast to create the basis of your brew.  Hops may be added one or more times to the brew.  In general, the sooner hops are added during boiling, the drier or more bitter the brew.  You’ll find explicit directions all over the web about How to Brew Beer Cheaply,  New to Beer, or How to Micro Brew Beer.   Create your own signature process.

When to Add the Spices

Experiment with different spices- whole, powdered, and fresh, as each produces a different taste.  Not all spices, like ginger, taste the same dried as they do fresh. Add fresh spices to your brew a little sooner.  Timing is important the strength of taste and aroma.  Some people add spices prior to fermenting and some add them during conditioning or both, Try adding spices 30 seconds to 1 minute before the end of boiling.  If you are using a tougher spice, like a peel, try leaving it in a little longer.

Doug Odell, of the Odell Brewing Company adds,

“If you are using three ounces of finishing hops in a five-gallon batch of ale, that’s enough to give flavor and aroma. So when you add spices, you might want to drop the hops back to one ounce. That way you still get the hop character without overwhelming the spices.”

Spices to Add to Homemade Beer Brews

Try new combinations of brews for the seasons in your life. Start with smaller batches and fewer spices, but have fun experimenting.  Orange peel, lemongrass, dried mixed berries, strawberries, and wolfberries create summer fresh, citrus tastes to sip at the beach or 4th of July BBQ.

As cooler weather and the nip of fall creep in, Grains of Paradise warm up your beer with African pepper.  Coriander, peppercorns and even tamarind add spicy hints to your brew.  They’ll be refreshingly memorable with football and steak.

The holidays are welcoming seasons of warmth.  Bring home special presents for Mom when you mix cloves, allspice, ginger, and nutmeg into her brew.  Add personalized labels.  Your siblings will think you’ve stolen her recipe for apple pie!

The warming thaw of spring paired with smooth vanilla in your homemade, light beer is a special gift to offer the newlyweds in your life.  Win festival prizes for originality with espresso beans, honey, blackberries, or even baker’s chocolate!

There are so many possibilities for your brew.  What are your brewing tips and favorite microbrew spices?


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