Beer is the UK’s most popular alcoholic drink, with 8.5 billion pints drank in 2019. Whether it’s craft beer or pub lager, few in the UK can deny that a pint is a great thing to enjoy. While beer is well-loved, it’s no secret that the cost of drinking it has been steadily increasing over the years. Taxes and inflation have affected the price, which now averages at £4.07 per pint. Some parts of the country offer much cheaper pints than others, but the fact remains that prices have increased. For some people, home brewing offers a great alternative.

Many people have turned to brewing their own beer in an effort to save money, but asides from saving costs, it’s also a lot of fun. Amid the pandemic, homebrewing surged in popularity, and these days, it’s even easier than you might think. There are loads of great resources online to help you brew the perfect pint, but here are some tips for getting started.

Your Equipment

Any self-respecting brewer needs a few basics to start with. While you can go with low tech solutions and repurposed household items, you’ll want to get some specialised equipment for the best results. It doesn’t need to break the bank, though. Unless you get really serious with it, you only need a few things. If you want to get a little fancier, you can opt for a beer dispenser or similar piece of equipment, which will help you serve your pints properly.

As a beginner, you can buy full kits online, but if you buy things separately, you’ll need the following: A fermenting bucket, 30 litres will do, and it needs to have a lid and airlock. You’ll also need a paddle to stir the mixture and ensure everything dissolves as well as a hydrometer to measure the status of fermentation. Finally, you’ll also need a no-rinse sanitiser to keep everything clean between brews.

Choosing a Flavour

There are hundreds of different types of beer, and you can brew them all even with some standard equipment. However, you’ll have to choose a particular flavour and type first, as you can’t brew them all in one go. You can find ready-made malt extract kits which contain hops and malt together as a syrup, ready for you to ferment. If you want to fully customise your beer, you can also purchase your own hops and malt.

Aside from beer, you could also brew your own cider or hard seltzer. You can find loads of different recipes online for these, and they’re all incredibly straightforward to make. It’s simply a case of choosing the right ingredients and following the brewing instructions. Bear in mind that in order for carbonation to occur, more sugar is needed. As long as you follow the recipe, you should be able to make a great tasting beverage.

Sanitation is Important

When fermenting liquids, you always need to make sure your equipment is fully sanitised. Failing to clean things properly could lead to contamination and a foul-tasting end product. You can find no-rinse sanitiser, which you should use on all of your equipment before starting a brew. This is important to do even if your equipment is brand new, as it can still carry some bacteria.

Fill your fermenting bucket halfway with sanitiser solution (2ml per litre of water) and add your paddle, airlock, and fermenter lid into the solution. Make sure the solution reaches all the way up the walls of the fermenter. You may sanitise rubber gloves in the same liquid as the sanitised equipment, allowing you to handle them without getting them dirty.