Archive for the ‘Beer Styles’ Category

How to Homebrew Lager

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

Thinking about brewing your own beer? The american govt. says that you can. In 1979, President Carter signed a law making it legal to brew your own beer for private consumption. It is legal to give your beer to family or friends but you may not sell it.

The beer brewing process is as follows: making wort, fermentation, conditioning, packaging and consumption. The easiest way to brew your own beer is to buy a kit and follow the instructions. These kits contain everything you need to make great beer. You can buy different kits that will allow you to make different kinds of beer, depending if you want a pale ale or a dark beer.

There is a supply list you will need in order to brew your own beer. A fermentor with airlocks or lids. A bottling bucket, a brew pot, a bottle filler attatched to plastic tubing, a capper, hydrometer and jar, siphon tubing, racking cane and an auto-siphon. Some other items you will need or will be helpful are: melt resistant spoon, tongs, funnels, scale, turkey baster, bottles and caps, a wort chiller and a burner, if you do not want to do it on your stovetop. Sterialize all of your equiptment before you use it.

Lager is distinguished from ale by the yeast you use. The yeast used in a lager is fermented at lower temperatures for longer periods of time. Lagers have less fruitiness and spiciness than ales. They are also one of the world’s most alcoholic beers.

The hops you use add flavor to the beer. The main selection of hops used for a lager generally: Hallertau, Tettnanger, lubelski or stripselspalt. The properties of hops change with each growing area and season. Some of the major hop producing areas are: the Pacific Northwest, Germany and England. Always use fresh hops when brewing your beer. They should be green, not brown or yellow. Do not use cheesy smelling hops as this tells you they are past their prime.

The main malts used are: pilsner, vienna or munich with caramel malts added to improve sweetness and head retention.

After the lager is made, you will need to store it in a cool, dry place for at least three weeks before you drink it.

A Definitive List of Beer Styles

Friday, December 19th, 2008

Before you even begin your homebrewing experience there is one important aspect you have to look at: What style of beer do you want to make? There are literally hundreds of different styles out there and all differ in significant ways. These differences include:

  • Taste
  • Color
  • Aroma
  • Strength
  • Texture

For your first homebrewed beer I think that you should look at the styles of beer that you like best. Whether it is a lager, or a stout, this is a good starting point, and you shouldn’t be dissapointed with the end result.

Lots of people have commented that they don’t like their first homebrew beer. On one occasion the person had made a stout. I questioned them on whether they liked Guiness, to which they replied: ‘Not Really.’ If you don’t like a style of beer, then don’t make it.

Here is a definitive list of beer styles. If I have missed any, just comment below.

  • Ale
  • Lager
  • Stout
  • Pilsner
  • Wheat Beer
  • Pale Ale
  • Dark Ale
  • Bitter
  • Cider (Apple Beer)
  • Mead (Honey Beer)
  • Red Ale
  • Blonde
  • German Beers (there are literally hundreds of german varieties to list, and I wouldn’t know where to begin)
  • Porter
  • Barley Wine
  • Draught
  • Steam Beers
  • Smoked Beers

Most countries have their own variations on a standard style which I havn’t listed. For example, an English Ale and an American Ale are still both within the Ale category.