Home Beer Ingredients
- A home brew is not only delicious, but also rewarding.beer in a glass image by Jaroslav Machacek from Fotolia.com
With the insurgence of microbreweries, many beer lovers have embraced more flavorful brews as opposed to the less tasty, mass produced lagers. Whether India Pale Ale (IPA), porter, stout, pilsner, bock or others, beer enthusiasts around the world have a peaked interest in the varieties and different flavors of beer. One way to satisfy their craving is through home brewing. With the right equipment, knowhow, and four basic ingredients, home brewing can be fun and rewarding.
- While water is obviously the main component of beer, it is the least significant. Any water fit for drinking is also fit for home brewing. The sufficiently balanced pH and relatively low level of minerals make it perfectly sufficient for home brewing, especially since any impurities will be boiled away. Using distilled water, however, is a no-no, as the lack of minerals will leave your brew tasting flat.
- Malted barley is the most common grain used to brew beer.Grain Pile image by DBarby from Fotolia.com
While breweries start with malted grains such as barley, rice and wheat, using malt extract will make the home brewing process much easier. Malt provides the beer with color, body, and grainy taste. The more you add, the darker the beer. Malt extract comes in both dry and liquid forms, and in many varieties to play around with while home brewing.
- Yeast is a fungus that converts sugars in the malt and hops into alcohol. It comes in both liquid and dry forms. Liquid yeast is of higher quality, however is only available in large quantities. This makes dry yeast more common for home brewing. Dry yeast is active, so pay attention to expiration dates and store in a dry place.
- Hops add bitterness and aroma to beer.Hop image by Mykola Velychko from Fotolia.com
Hops are like the jack-of-all-trades while brewing beer. They preserve, sweeten and add both bitterness and aroma to a brew. There are two types of hops: bittering and aroma. Bittering are added up front and aroma hops are added after the boil. For home brewing, hops can be bought already dried or included in malt extract.
- Spices or fruit can be added into your home brew for additional flavor. Some appropriate spices include clove, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, and orange peel. Try any number of fruits in your brew, however using fruit extract makes the process a bit easier at home.