Want to brew beer yourself but you have questions? We have summarised the most important topics concerning the brewing process in our hobby brewer's at-a-glance FAQ.
Welcome to Klarstein's beer world
Finest brewing for the home
Something is brewing: the joys of experimenting, the art of beer brewing and, of course, enjoyment. Homemade beer can be so much better than store-bought brew. With Klarstein, the ancient art of beer brewing by monks and nuns is brought directly to your own home brewery and rediscovered. In our beer world, you will learn everything about brewing, beer types, ingredients and get much more inspiration for the production of your own beer.
The brewing process
Self-brewed is best
Real beer lovers should enjoy home-brewed beer at least once. With the right brewery or mash kettle, beer production is not that difficult. But where do you start, what do you need and what has to be considered? In our brewing guide, we give some first tips for beginners.
More products about beer
Hops spring eternal!
Klarstein's guide to brewing beer
From the first idea to the finished sip of beer, there are a lot of things to keep in mind. But in the end, all that remains is pride and enjoyment, because the best moments are when you get to share your own beer creation with friends. You can then be sure that the effort and the wait have all been worthwhile.
Brewing beer with Klarstein products
The brewing process
Good planning is a prerequisite for a successful brewing process. This includes the decision on recipe and quantity as well as the required ingredients and equipment. The basis for beer production is the recipe. Top beers, including all ales and also for example wheat beers, are fermented with top-fermenting yeasts. Bottom-fermented yeasts are used in the preparation of lager beer, including light beer and pilsner.
The variety of recipes is almost limitless. When you are getting started, it makes sense to buy ready-made mixes with all ingredients. Important to know: you can brew beer only for domestic consumption without notifying the authorities.
The brewing day
In the traditional production of beer, the starch must first be removed from the crushed grains and converted into sugar. This process is called mashing. Here, water and malt come together in the mash kettle and are mixed. Then it goes through the refining process. In this step, the residual sugar still in the malt is washed out and the drained malt, also called brewer’s grain, is separated from the liquid.
The liquid, now called wort, is boiled with hops for about an hour in the next step. Accordingly, this step is called hop cooking. There are several reasons for this step: the hops add flavour as well as bitter and aromatic substances to the malt sugar solution. At the same time, the wort is preserved for a cooking time of approx. 60-90 minutes.
Finally, the wort must be cooled as quickly as possible to pitching temperature, so that the yeast can start its work. But caution is advised: it is particularly important to work extremely cleanly in the cold area, as the cooled wort is highly susceptible to contamination. To prevent undesirable tastes from developing later in the beer, make sure that emerging steam can escape from the cooking vessel.
Now the real fun begins: during the fermentation process, the yeast conjures a cheerfully exhilarating beer from a dull bread soup by converting sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Just like the saying goes: ‘The brewer makes the wort, the yeast the beer’. After about 5-7 days, the main fermentation at about 17 to 21 ° C should be completed.
Bottling and secondary fermentation
Before filling the young beer into bottles or barrels in the final step, remove any remaining lees and yeast particles from the beer. Finally, the beer can be bottled. During the secondary fermentation, the self-brewed beer once again has time to mature and rest in order to bind the resulting carbonic acid to the beer and round off its flavour.
During this final test of your patience, the young beer is stored standing at a temperature of 1 to 2 ° C for several weeks. During this time, the yeast settles and the beer clarifies and stabilises. Then it is done! Congratulations, you have put a lot of passion and patience into the production of your own beer! It’s high time to celebrate with a bottle of cool self-brewed beer and a few friends. Cheers!
Got a taste for it?
On our checklist you will find an overview on how to brew your own beer. Alternatively, the Klarstein mashing kettle provides a great complete package for preparing mash. This way, you can successfully brew your own barley juice in no time at all.
Brew your own beer
Become a master brewer in 6 steps
Fresh beer from your own home brewery? Nothing could be easier. With the Klarstein mash boilers and fermenting systems, making your own brew is a piece of cake.
for approx. 20 L finished beer
- Brewing recipe
- Water, malt, hops, yeast (according to brewing recipe)
- Mash kettle (cooking pot with 25-30 litres capacity) *
- Refining kettle*
- Cooking containers
- Lees filter (coarse dishcloth, linen fabric, fabric baby nappy) *
- Pot (at least 10 litres volume)
- Long-handled wooden spoon
- Measuring cup
*Or the Mundschenk brewing system
Self-brewed is best
Once all of the preparations have been made, the equipment has been procured, and the ingredients have been purchased, nothing stands in the way of a successful brewing process. Time to brew.
Mundschenk mash kettle –
A bespoke system
Whether you are a beginner or experienced hobby brewer: with the Mundschenk mash kettle, Klarstein provides you with a simple complete package for the production of home-brewed beer. Up to 30 litres of invigorating barley juice can be boiled in the large stainless-steel kettle. Whether light or dark, top or bottom-fermented, wheat or pilsner, with the Mundschenk mash kettle every beer lover can find their favourite taste.
Maischfest fermenting kettle –
Nothing but the best of everything
Do you prefer your beer light or dark, your wine dry or sweet? The Maischfest fermenting kettle turns fresh wort into delicious beer and fruit juice into the finest wine. Everyone will get their money’s worth. Up to 25 litres can peacefully ripen in the large stainless-steel boiler.
Guide to home brewing
With the Mundschenk, almost all styles of beer can be brewed. In order for this to work successfully, a correct setup of the system is necessary. It's best to get familiar with the device in advance.
Before the brewing system is used, it should be thoroughly cleaned. Fill the system with approx. 20 L of water and a suitable cleaning agent. You can then circulate the cleaning mixture at about 60 ° Celsius for a good half hour. Next, rinse the device including all connections with water. Now the beer kettle is ready to be used for brewing.
First put the lattice insert into your kettle and fill the device with the required amount of water. Now heat the water to 66-68 ° C. Put the grain in the basket and stir well. Programme the brewing system according to the first step on the display menu, then lean back, relax and watch what happens: as soon as the correct temperature is reached, the circulation pump will start to work and regulate the flow. When the mashing process is completed after about 1.5 hours, your wort will be ready.
The refining works via the drain tap. For this you need one additional big bucket. Place this under the drain tap and let the wort then leisurely filter through to flow into the bucket. This process can take up to 30 minutes.
Now it's time to cook the wort: heat up the appliance and add the right ingredients at the correct time for your chosen recipe. Depending on the recipe, the cooking time will be 60-90 minutes. As hot lees arise during cooking, it is important that the steam that forms can also escape from the kettle. This way you can prevent unpleasant tastes in your beer.
15 minutes before the end of the cooking process, sterilise the cooling coil profoundly. (The hoses and connections for the cooling coil are not in the scope of delivery and must be obtained in advance.) After the time has elapsed, you can cool the wort to 20 ° Celsius with the help of the cooling spiral. You can then fill the liquid into a fermentation vessel using the drain tap on the front of the device. For this, we recommend that you use the Maischfest fermentation kettle.
Now the fun really starts, because the addition of yeast turns a threadbare bread soup into a wonderfully tasty beer. You should definitely stir the broth well after the addition of the yeast or shake it: the yeast needs oxygen to do its job! In order to prevent the development of undesirable by-products during fermentation, this must be carried out in a controlled and temperate environment. In the Maischfest fermentation kettle you can ferment up to 25 L in peace.
Depending on the beer, the occasion and when you want to drink it, you can decide how to carry out the post-fermentation of your young beer as well as its storage. An imperial IPA can handle a few weeks more shelf life than a light pale ale, a stout can wait a long time for tasting, while a pilsner tastes best fresh. The young beer is bottled via a hose or automatic filling tube, which is put on the drain tap of the beer container. Then place the hose or tube in the bottom of the bottle and fill it carefully as much as possible. You did it! Now you can drink a home-made brew. Cheers!
The art of beer
Yeast, hops, malt and water - these are the four central ingredients in beer brewing. Nevertheless, beer is more than just a sum of its parts, and the typical characteristics of each variety are created through the different methods of beer production. A distinction is made between two major subclasses: top-fermented and bottom-fermented beer. But what is the difference?
Different types of beer - it’s all about the yeast!
Top-fermented beer - ferment at room temperature
This distinction in beer production refers to the yeast cultures used in brewing. Top-fermented yeasts work best in warm temperatures of 15-20 ° C and settle on the top of the young beer during fermentation. In terms of taste, these beers are perceived as more aromatic, full-bodied and fruity.
- Most famous representatives: ale, Berliner White beer, Kölsch, wheat beer
- Alcohol content: 3% vol
- Original wort: 7.5 to 32 ° Plato
- Fermented at approx. 18 to 25 ° C
Bottom-fermented beer - keep a cool head
A beer is referred to as bottom-fermented when the yeast settles at the bottom of the fermentation vessel during the brewing process. Until 150 years ago, this production was only possible in winter, because bottom-fermented yeast prefers colder temperatures. With the invention of the chiller in 1876, year-round production of bottom-fermented beers was made possible. As a rule, these are longer lasting, have a higher original wort and alcohol content.
- Most famous representatives: light beer, Märzen, Lager, Pils
- Alcohol content: up from 4,5 % vol
- Original wort: 10 to 12 ° Plato
- Fermented at approx. 4 to 9 ° C
Beer varieties in Germany
These beers are very popular among Germans
This light brew from the British island is a relatively dry, bitter beer with a strong hops flavour and low alcohol content. Not for nothing is it called the ‘British long drink’.
A popular refreshing drink on hot summer days which is often drunk with a dash of woodruff or raspberry syrup and a straw. But it also tastes great on its own!
This strawberry blonde highly-acclaimed specialty is suitable for every occasion. Restrained in taste and modest in alcohol content, it is always light and easy to drink.
This traditional drink, which has developed into a lifestyle beer in recent years, is prized above all for its spicy, full taste. The typical banana aroma results from a by-product of fermentation.
Helles lager (light laer)
This all-rounder among beers tastes good to almost everyone and goes well with almost everything. The light, clear beer with the slightly sweet, malty taste is very refreshing and easy to drink, especially in the heat.
Originally brewed in the last month of the cold season, this beer carries its brewing tradition in its name. With its mild hops and sweet character, March beer has become one of the most beloved beers over the years.
Pilsner beer, or pils for short, is the most popular variety among beer drinkers. This full beer with light golden colour has a hoppy-bitter taste and is much more bitter than other types of beer.
Black beer (dark lager)
Characteristic of this full beer is, as the name suggests, its deep dark colour. Its malty charm with the typical roasted flavour notes is currently enjoying ever greater popularity. It is best enjoyed from the typical black beer cup.
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FAQ for hobby brewers
Frequently asked questions for home brewing
Want to brew beer at home but you have some questions? We have summarised the most important topics concerning the brewing process at a glance.
The assumption is that people have been brewing beer as long as they have been eating grain. Fermented bread dough was probably the source of what we now call beer. However, the high art of brewing, which comes closest to the present process, was further developed in the Middle Ages by monks and nuns who wanted to create a tasty drink as an accompaniment to their meals.
In the United Kingdom, you can brew your own beer without a license to domestic consumption.
To convert a room into your own home brewery, you only need a few tools or the brewing equipment from our shop. In addition, effervescent substances such as hops and yeast are needed. It is best to get the exact information from the recipe. At the end, the beer is bottled so that it can ferment, so have a few empty bottles ready. The most important things you need are time and patience, because good things come to those who wait.
No stress or chaos, beer takes time! With mashing, refining and cooking, the brewing process can already take up to 8 hours. Then the time for fermentation in the bottles needs to be calculated. This can take another 2-3 weeks. For an acceptable result, you can roughly expect four to six weeks.
Hops, yeast and malt are the most important ingredients in beer production. To ensure that your beer tastes great, it is important to choose high-quality ingredients. Therefore, pay attention to selected brewing ingredients. It is best advised to buy from a specialist.
There can be several reasons for this. The most common causes are the wrong recipe or too high a percentage of carbon dioxide. The beer may have been too carbonated, causing it to lose its aroma.
One possible reason for this may be a faulty secondary fermentation process. In this case, it is best to take the bottles out of the refrigerator and let them ferment at room temperature for another seven days.
The most forgiving reason for this would be a poorly rinsed glass which still has a greasy film on it. In general, it is because the beer has too little carbon dioxide.
This problem is likely to be encountered by every hobby brewer in the course of his or her career. Here, unfortunately, no requests or entreaties can help. If the beer is sour, it’s over. In most cases, this may come from contamination due to poor hygiene during brewing.
This depends on various influencing factors and can take different amounts of time. The most important thing here is to give the beer time to ferment. As a rule of thumb, it should be noted that fermentation is completed as soon as the measured value remains constant over three days.
This is absolutely normal, as foam is a by-product of working yeast. And don’t worry, this will almost all disappear by the end of the main fermentation process.
The most likely cause is a low outdoor temperature (< 18- 22 ° C). You can remedy this by turning up the heating or leaving warm air in the room. Another cause may be the insufficient addition of yeast. Here patience is needed, because the fermentation process will then simply take a few days longer.
Just like hops and malt, clean utensils are indispensable in the beer brewing process! To ensure that the beer lasts longer and doesn’t develop any fungus, the accessories must be cleaned with a disinfectant. Allow to soak for up to an hour, rinse thoroughly and then you're ready to go.
After you put your finished beer in the fridge, it can be stored there for up to 12 weeks. However, this requires you to have worked cleanly. Storage at room temperature shortens the shelf life to 8 weeks.