Home-made craft beer? It’s time to try Klarstein home brewing kits

Have you ever dreamed of making your beer at home, experimenting with new recipes to find the right balance and flavour? Do you love crafted beers and have you always been curious to know how they can be produced?

In our online shop you can find different home brewing kits to approach the amazing world of home craft beer production: with a small investment, you will be able to take your first steps in the artisanal production of beer, trying many variations and enjoying a beer that authentically reflects your taste. We provide you with complete solutions, including complete kits consisting of mash kettles and spiral coolers and more advanced models equipped withMemoryBrew system allowing you to easily manage the different steps of the fermentation process. With an accurate setting of temperature, cooking time and power, brewing your ales and lagers at home has never been so easy and fun.

Home brewing: a worldwide rising trend

Beer is a very old drink, indeed one of the oldest in the world. It is produced by fermenting the wort made of barley malt and then it is flavoured with hops. It is assumed that the first production of this drink dates back to the seventh millennium BC. Today, beer plays a very important role in the world economy, in consumer life and in the tradition of many countries that are known for its production, such as Germany, for example. It has always been a ritual drink on tables all over the world, and the secrets of its production are handed down from generation to generation.

Generally, beer is produced by large industries located all over the world, which bottle millions of litres every year. In reality, however, companies are not the only producers, as in recent years home brewing kits have spread to allow anyone to make their craft beer, directly in their kitchen or cellar. If, after purchasing a beer dispenser you are ready to make the big leap into craft beer self-production, you should know that choosing the best kit is not easy, as there are many different types, each one offering different features.

Obtain the desired beer with a home brewing kit

Beer’s taste, colour and density vary according to the recipe, and it is advisable to experiment with different ingredients and quantities, as long as everything is methodically recorded for subsequent modifications. In the end, it’s all about the ingredients and the fermentation process, rather than the tools you use. If you find the right procedure, you will finally achieve the right mix and flavour. Remember that you need to be patient because, although it is possible, it will not be fast.

Several recipe books can teach you how to prepare a wide variety of beers of different flavours. Sweet, citrus or bitter, as well as different densities, such as light, dark, porters and stouts. Next, we leave you with a comparative table of fermentations of the most popular types of beer.

Beer type Ale Lager Wild yeasts Mixed origin
Fermentation type High fermentation Low fermentation Spontaneous fermentation High fermentation
Temperature Between 15 and 20ºC 10ºC 18ºC Depending on the brewmaster
Colour From very pale black to opal black Light and dark Light and dark Dark
Country of origin England Czech Republic Belgium various

Which ingredients you need for your home beer brewing kit?

Let's find out what the ingredients of homemade beer are. Beer results from the fermentation - and not distillation - of malted cereals like barley, wheat, rice, oats, rye and spelt. This means that beer can be brewed with any of these, although most beers are brewed with the exclusive use of barley malt. Malt is nothing more than germinated and subsequently dried cereal. Some cereals can also be used in their pure version, i.e. not malted, but a certain amount of malted cereal is still indispensable.

The second ingredient are hops, used to add bitterness and special fragrances ranging from resinous to fruity. Finally, we have the most important ingredient: water. The ground malt is infused into the water at different temperatures. A sugary liquid is then obtained which is filtered, boiled together with the hops and then fermented for a period ranging between 7 and 20 days.

How to make craft beer with a home brewing kit

The question you are probably asking yourself (and that 99% of home brewing newbies ask themselves) is: "can I make homemade craft beer too?” The answer is definitely yes, but you should be aware that there are different methods for making craft beer at home, which we can catalogue for simplicity in three groups:

  • Brewing with malt extract: it is the simplest, cheapest and fastest technique, particularly suitable for those who want to try to make beer for the first time. It is based on the use of a jar of concentrated malt extract. Beer is obtained by diluting the malt extract in water, a syrupy concentrate available commercially in tin cans, which can be purchased online or in one of the many homebrewing, beer shop or farm shops in your area.

  • Extract + grains: it is an intermediate technique between the kit and all-grain, which combines the practicality of the home brewing kit with a certain amount of freedom and creativity in the elaboration of the recipe. In this case, the malt extract is still used to prepare the wort to which, however, special malts are added, i.e. malted cereals with special aromas that contribute in a decisive way to modifying the result of the finished product, for example providing a darker colour, a coffee/chocolate tone or a biscuit flavour. This is a fairly simple technique, and as an additional requirement to the home brewing kit, you only need a mill to grind the special malts and a filter (metal or linen) for the infusion of hops.

  • All-grain: the most advanced and complex technique, used to produce beer without the kit, starting from the primary ingredients of beer, i.e. malt, water and hops. The first step is to grind the malt and cook it in infusion in the water, obtaining a wort that is subsequently filtered and boiled with the hops, cooled and then fermented. The substantial difference, therefore, lies in the process of malt infusion (mashing), which requires a series of additional knowledge and tools, which also involves a considerable investment on equipment.

Now you may be wondering: what is the best technique to start? It goes without saying that, if you have no experience in home brewing, it’s not recommended to start with the all-grain technique. This said, the different production methods also have very different costs, technical skills and space requirements. Much depends on you, your aspirations and your possibilities, in terms of budget, time and space. If you are interested to know more about the potential of using one of our home brewing kits, check Klarstein special guide to brewing beer.

Home brewing FAQs

How much space is needed to brew your own beer?

Making beer with an all-grain method requires a lot of space: a garage, a cellar or a garden, plus a storage room to store your equipment. Using the home brewing kit or following the E+G method is easier, and you won’t need much more space than your kitchen, as the equipment can be easily stored in a cupboard. Also, consider that the beer needs a particular and constant temperature, so make sure that there is a cool place not directly exposed to the sun where to place the fermenting kettle.

What is the ideal temperature for making beer at home?

Beer ferments between 12 and 24 degrees. You must therefore find an area in your home that maintains this temperature stably. It is important that the temperature remains constant and is not subject to changes. If the room is too cold you can help yourself with a thermal blanket, to "heat" the fermenting beer and keep it at the desired temperature.

The right period to brew beer at home

Due to temperature issues, it is advisable to brew beer in the period between September and May, to avoid the particularly hot summer months. This, of course, depends on the climate of your town and the fermentation space you have available.

Is brewing beer at home complicated?

In principle, no. Using a homebrewstarter kit is no rocket science, while the all-grain method, on the other hand, requires in-depth documentation and a minimum of experience. Our advice is to start with the kit method, to avoid disappointment and the risk of being discouraged by the complexity and difficulties that the all-grain has in store. Once you have gained more confidence you can certainly move on to the next step.

Is it possible to personalise a craft beer?

If you start with the idea of having fun and creating your recipe for your craft beer, you are probably interested in this part. Extract beer recipe kits give you zero possibility to "personalise" the recipe. You just have to buy the extract, and that's it. At most, you can add some spices or aroma, but the base of the beer is already established by the producer of the extract. The all-grain technique gives you complete freedom to carve the taste your beer, starting from scratch. This, of course, also leads to greater complexity.

Is home brewing legal in the UK?

No problem! Since 1963 it’s legal to brew any quantity of beer at home, without a licence, as long as it is not sold. So if you're going to sell it, you'd better open a brewer. And a huge new world opens up here...

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