Hello Home Brewers, welcome to Klarstein's Beer Buying Guide!
Enjoy the perfect craft beer
Amazing things are brewing here: With a little curiosity, great tips and Klarstein's array of quality products you will be transformed from an amateur home brewer to an expert in all things that are related to home brew beer. Why stick to commercially available beers? Klarstein's Beer World gives you the tools you need to open your own brewery and brew your own brand, wheather you'reinto craft beer or home draft beer! Discover the art of brewing, following traditional methods to create your masterpiece - or go off the beaten track and discover new creations.
Our Beer World is just as diverse as the array of beers you can create. Home Brewers will find all the information they need related to brewing, ingredients and more. From a well-deservedwellr after work right up to the classic Oktoberfest. Be inspired by diffent beer types and their delicious tastes – and let's toast to that, cheers!
For passionate home brewers: Create your beer with ease
Beer lovers worship this magnificent drink thanks to its freshness, originality and diversity. Great for home brewers: The right brewing kit or a high-quality mash tub will enable anyone to brew their own beer. But how do you start and what do you even need if you want to make your own beer? Our handbook will give you the answers to all these questions.
The thrill of summer nights in the park, barbecuing with friends or enjoying a festival is growing as temperatures begin to rise. What a blessing it is to have those around you who have prepared for the open air season with Klarstein's home beer dispensers and home brew kits - giving them the chance to fulfil their dream of creating home-made beer. Ready, set, cheers!
We will always be there to help. Visit our Beer World and be inspired by golden, amber-coloured and mystical dark beers as well as the perfect foam head for your creations. Don't be too inspired though - remember beer is to be enjoyed in moderation!
Brewing is so much more than just a means to an end. That is why you need to consider quite a few things from start to finish - for example: which ingredients do you need to brew beer and when and where are these relevant when it comes to creating your beer? All this effort does pay off though - just wait until you have the chance to proudly present your very own beer creation to your friends.
What is Craft Beer?
What exactly is craft beer? Which types of beer does it refer to, and is the term more than just a particularly sophisticated sales strategy on the part of beverage producers? In certain contexts, the term can mean skill and proficiency and thus refers to the artful mastery of a particular activity. So, rather than the production of beer by hand, the term craft beer refers to certain types of beer that are artfully produced off the beaten track of industrial mass production. Craft beer brewers associate more with their product than just the pursuit of high sales figures: They are not infrequently individualists, lateral thinkers and border crossers who revive historical beer varieties, reinterpret them. Or even add their own touch by adding unusual ingredients.
The American Brewers Association links the designation to three characteristics: a craft beer brewer is small (he produces less than 3% of the total beer sold annually in the U.S.), independent (less than 25% of the brewery belongs to large corporations) and tradition-oriented (more than half of the beverages he puts into circulation produce their special taste through traditional or particularly innovative brewing ingredients or fermentation methods).
For craft breweries and microbreweries, craft beer means passion, inventiveness and an awareness of the long tradition of brewing. More mentally agile than the heavy battleships of established large breweries, they develop new varieties, refine old recipes and try their hand at unusual ingredients. As beer fans and hop lovers, always on the lookout for new and unusual taste experiences, appreciate this very much here in the UK.
The Craft Beer Movement
The history of craft beer began in the USA in the early 1980s. What were then around 50 breweries have now become more than 3500, and the trend is rising. The market share of craft beer in the USA was around 11% in 2014. This remarkable trend began as a countermovement to the consumption of industrial mass-produced goods and can be compared to efforts such as Slow Food, which emphasises quality, enjoyment, authenticity and a regional connection to the producer. Chemical additives, not taboo in standard beer brewing in the USA, were increasingly dispensed with.
Soon after the first American brewers began using special malt and hop varieties, the first experiments with spices, berries and even coffee followed. In the meantime, the craft movement has become firmly established in the UK, Benelux countries, Italy and Scandinavia. In the USA, it accounted for a fifth of the entire beer market in 2020. And if you take a look at the beer scene in the UK, you will see that the market here is also growing rapidly.
What is the difference between a barber and a bar-beer? Right, so the former cuts hair and the latter is something we want to occasionally replace with a nice home-made variant instead. A bad joke, really, but you get our point. One thing that isn't bad though? Home-brewed beer.
But is there even a decent home brewing set on the market? Indeed, there are Klarstein's mash tubs and fermenting kits, that are enabling you to brew beer effortlessly.
Home brew beer: ingredients and accessories
For around 20 litres of home brew beer:
Water, malt, hops, yeast - quantities according to recipe
Mash tub and lauter tun (25-30 litres)
A collection bucket (at least 10 litres)
Long-handled cooking spoon
The accessories in particular are quite extensive. The good news? Those wanting to effortless brew beer at home can do so thanks to a practical and high-quality solution on offer by Klarstein: The Cupbearer's Brewing Kit. So, at this stage you can already cross four things off your list... or your beer coaster - we don't judge: The mash tub, the lauter tun, trub filter and the thermometer because our kit is already comprised of these elements.
Brewing with Klarstein
The thrill of summer nights in the park, barbecuing with good friends or enjoying a festival is growing as temperatures begin to rise.. What a blessing it is to have those around you who have prepared for the open air season with Klarstein's home brewery kit - giving them the chance to fulfil their dream of creating home-made beer. Ready, set, cheers!
The Cupbearer's Mash Tub - an absolute must for every home brewer
Those wanting to brew beer at home would do well to invest in products such as the Cupbearer's Mash Tub. This comprehensive solution to mashing has a sieving component and grain container, meaning the grain bed is able to be separated from other ingredients needed for wort production. There is also a handy drain cock to enable easy decanting into the fermenting bucket.
Maischfest fermenting tub - for brewing beer at home
Even home brewers are able to create their favourite drink with ease. Do you prefer light or dark beers? Strong in taste or more mild? The Maischfest fermenting tub tranforms all of your wort ingredients into a delicious beer of your choice and grants you access to the world of brewing. Don't mix beer and wine is what they say, but when you fancy a bit of a change and would rather a enjoy a nice glass of red - or white - Klarstein's fermenting tub caters to all needs.
Freshly pulled beer always tastes better than beer from a can or bottle, which is why you just cannot miss out on owning your own Beer Pump so you can wow your friends at parties or when barbecuing. And you know what they say... your drink with your eyes first, which is why the Skal Beer Pump has been created to mimic exactly a traditional bar environment. Are you a passionate home brewer or do you have any questions you need answering on your way to becoming an expert brewer? The most important answers concerning beer production can be found in our FAQs.
A 6-Step guide for the perfect draught beer at home
With the Cupbearer's Mash Tub you can create a beer including craft beers! Bear in mind that you will need to build your kit correctly in order for this to work. So take your time to get to know the kit and remember that you want to enjoy every element of your brewing experience.
The advantage of having a brewing kit? You don't need to buy an extensive brewing set because our perfect draught beer machines and beer kits serve as a comprehensive solution, offering all you need in one product. Make sure you clean everything before you start - to do so, fill the tub with 20 litres of water mixed with a suitable cleaning agent. Allow the mixture to circulate through the entire kit for around 30 minutes at a temperature of 60 °C. Once this time has elapsed make sure to thoroughly rinse with water.
Ready? Great, so let's start by filling up your brewing kettle! The following brewing guide refers to the usage of both the Cupbearer's Mash Tub and the Maischfest Fermenting Tub over 6 steps.
Those wanting to brew at home must first of all lay the sieving component into the brewing kettle and fill it up with an appropriate amount of water. The grain must also be filled into the corresponding container. Heat the water up to 66 to 68 degrees. Use the modern display to programme the brewing kit, then lean back and watch it all unfold. In the meantime we will explain to you what "mash" actually is - namely a mixture of crushed malt and water. As soon as the correct temperature has been reached, the circulating pump will kick in, regulating the flow throughout. In around 1.5 hours the mashing process will be over and you will have created your "wort" - comprised of the liquid elements of malt.
Lautering is a process by which the wort is separated from the grain bed and drained via the drain cock. You'll need a large container, which you will need to put underneath the drain cock to collect the filtered wort. Be patient because the process does take up to 30 minutes and remember that the reward is yet to come: fresh home-brewed beer!
This is where the wort is then boiled. Heat the device to boiling temperature and add the remaining ingredients - you need to ensure you time this right, which is why we recommend you meticulously study the recipe before starting out. As we said before - brewing is an art in and of itself! Boiling the wort can take between 60 and 90 minutes depending on your guide, and because the so-called trub will also begin to manifest here as well, you should always ensure that steam is able to escape from your brewing kettle.
That way you avoid potentially ruining the taste of your home-brewed beer. And that, dear friends, is something nobody wants to have to endure.
When brewing beer time is not money, it is gold - liquid gold. Around 15 minutes before you stop boiling, submerge the cooling coil into the water to sterilise it before use. Note: Make sure you purchase all hoses and connectors separately because these are not included as part of delivery. Once boiled, you can then cool the fluid back down to 20 degrees using the cooling coil. Do you have you desired temperature? Now you can use the drain cock at the front of your brewing kettle to filter the contents into a fermenting bucket. We recommend using the Maischfest fermenting tub for this.
Now for the real fun... By adding yeast to your mixture, it will transform into a delicious beer. YOUR delicious beer! To ensure that you aren't making any last minute mistakes along the way, the Fermenting Tub by Klarstein is the perfect product to ensure you maintain high quality throughout the brewing process. You also need to ensure that you shake or stir your brew very well once the yeast has been added. This is because it will require plentiful oxygen to work its magic. This works best in a temperature controlled environment as this way, no undesirable by-products can occur during fermentation.
No, we don't you filling yourself up with beer, rather, we are referring to the last stage of our journey to the perfect beer. We still want to enjoy the product of our efforts responsibly after all. Depending on the type of beer you are making as well as the occasion it is being prepared for and your own drinking habits, you are the one responsible for deciding how you want to carry out the secondary fermentation process for your newly crafted beer. An Imperial IPA, for example, is able to be stored for a few weeks longer than a simple Pale Ale. A stout is another beer that needs a while before it can be enjoyed, whereas a classic Pils tastes better fresh. The new beer is then decanted via a hose or an automatic decanting pipe that you can attach to the drain cock of your brewing kettle. Feed the hose or the pipe right down into the bottle and slowly fill it. All good? Congratulations and a big cheers to you, your success and your new home-brewed beer! Enjoy!
What types of beer even are there? Is the gold-coloured beer the best beer? Are craft beers only craft beers if they're orange or amber-coloured and is dark beer enjoyed solely by goths or people with a beer belly? Bollocks! "Did you know that beer has existed for thousands of years and was, in fact, consumed from a communal bowl using reed straws? Neither did we! Much to learn, we still have - is what we would imagine Yoda would probably say if he ever had one too many. Okay, jokes aside now for we're about to delve into some real beerology."
The general distinction can be made as follows: There are top-fermented and bottom-fermented beers. These are then broken down into different types as well as several other synonyms. Before we go into more detail about the fermentation process and present to you the typical top-fermented and bottom-fermented beers available in the UK, we would like to show you our top 5 synonyms for beer:
Sauce – on the sauce, as the Brits say
Amber nectar – a common phrase used by the Australians
A barley-broo – a Scottish term for the glorious drink that is beer
A coldie – another Australian classic to describe the sensation of a delicious beer passing your lips
Suds – dating back to the 1500s and originally meaning “soapy water”! We won’t be drinking any of that though
Top-fermented beer - fermentation at room temperature
A deciding factor during beer production are the yeast cultures utilised when brewing. Top-fermented yeasts are happiest in warm temperatures of around 15 to 20 degrees, meaning they rise to the surface, have a look around so to speak, and then settle again during fermentation on top of the new beer. Many find top-fermented beers more aromatic, fuller and fruitier.
The most popular top-fermented beers include:
Alcohol content: from 3 Vol.-% Original wort: 7.5 to 32 degrees plato Fermentation: at 18 to 25 degrees
Bottom-fermented beer - staying cool
Yeast tends to hide itself better in bottom-fermented beers because the brewing process actually takes place at the bottom of the fermentation tub, where the yeast ultimately settles. Up until around 150 years ago, beer production was only possible in winter because the yeast required for bottom-fermented beers prefers colder temperatures. Only when the "refrigerating machine" was invented in 1876 was the production of bottom-fermented beers available all year round. These beers also generally last longer and have a more refined original wort as well as a higher alcohol content.
The most well-known bottom-fermented beer types:
Alcohol content: from 4.5 Vol.-% Original wort: 10 to 12 degrees plato Fermentation: at 4 to 9 degrees
Best beer types in the UK
UK's culinary sector boasts an extremely diverse beer terrain. However, some people prefer the simpler things in life: Just a Lager, and nothing more. Those who are looking to jump outside of the beer box for a second can get to know other delicious beer varieties relatively quickly. Here we have listed the most favoured types of beer in the UK.
Popular top-fermented types of beer
The pale beer from the UK is a dry, bitter beer with a strong hops aroma and low alcohol content. It is also often called "the British long drink".
India Pale Ales (IPAs) get their characteristics from herbal, hops, and fruity flavors.
This is a drink of tradition and has worked its way through the ranks over the years to become a lifestyle beer.
Popular bottom-fermented beers
Lager beer is an all-rounder and really does suit everyone as well as any situation. It is a clear beer with a slightly sweet, malty flavour and is best enjoyed when it is hot, making it a welcomed refreshment.
The Pilsner, or Pils, is the most popular type of beer in Germany - a real clsasic. This strong beer, golden in colour with a dry, hoppy taste to it, is mostly more bitter than other types.
A characteristic of this beer is, as the name already suggests, its dark colour. Upon tasting this type of beer, you will note its malty and roasted aromas, both of which will make you crave the next one, and the next one after that!
Our UK top seller beer machines
The ultimate FAQs for home brewers in the UK
You want to know how to brew beer? We will quench your thirst for knowledge with the most important answers to all your questions.
What do you mean I can't brew beer? That would be our furious reaction to the prospect of only being able to brew in secret rather than in public. As luck would have it, however, anyone in the UK is allowed to brew beer. There are a few things you can't avoid though. There are a few rules that stipulate what you can and can't do. If you produce beer for commercial reasons and its strength exceeds 1.2% ABV, you must pay Beer Duty. To do this you must register as a brewer with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
A microbrewery is an independently owned small brewery. More people are setting up this type of brewery in their home or a small premises, but it’s not something that you can just wake up and start doing. Certain laws must be abided by, for example, if the alcohol you are making is more than 1.2% ABV then you will have to pay tax on it. The good news is that if you produce less than 60,000 hectolitres per year, the rate you pay will be reduced. You might not be sure of how much you will produce annually, but it is important to estimate as the government needs the information before issuing you with your permit. Don’t forget that if you plan to sell the beer for consumption on-site, you’ll also need a license for this.
Many believe that we have been brewing beer since we've been able to eat grains. Yes, the production of the beer does seem to have originated from fermented bread dough. However, the high art of beer brewing - the one, that is to say, that comes closest to the established processes today, can be traced back to the middle ages. Monks and nuns wanted to create a beverage that would perfectly accompany their meals. So we just want to say thank you at this stage to all the monks and nuns!
Water, hops, yeast and malt are the most important components of beer. Those who are feeling particularly creative can, of course, complement the list with other things. If you want your beer to be as inspiring aromatically as your enthusiasm and patience, you definitely need to ensure you're using high quality ingredients. Apart from that we recommend that you consult a professional before purchasing a kit, which you can do from the comfort of your own home online.
To transform your house into your very own brewery, you will need your own equipment. Alternatively, you can purchase one of Klarstein's home brew kits. Ingredients are also of vital importance when it comes to brewing – these are mainly hops, malt, yeast and water. Empty bottles will certainly put a downer on your party, but you can keep them to refill as well as carry out secondary fermentation processes for your home-brewed creation. The most important things you need, though, are time, patience and a lot of passion. Remember, more haste less speed.
Of course, you can! Regardless of your preferences, wheat beers have something for everyone - so strap in and enjoy the ride. The question is how do you brew beer that can be enjoyed both in a summer beer garden as well as on your balcony at home? The most important thing is the recipe because the most significant difference between wheat beer and, for example, Pils is the usage of top-fermented yeast.
Please don't stress. Brewing beer takes time. The mashing, lautering and boiling processes alone can take around 8 hours. Does that sound fair? That's not all, though. Home brewers really do need to be patient because bottle fermentation takes a further two to three weeks on top. No, that wasn't a typo.
A quick note: Who would've thought that beer is actually made of 90% water? For this very reason, the quality of the water you use for your beers is of utmost importance. Some breweries even use their own water wells. The most important thing when it comes to the taste of your beer are the minerals inside it. While pale beers tend to prefer soft water with a lower mineral content, darker beers prefer harder water.
Opinion is deeply divided on this issue. While some believe that there is an aesthetic advantage to be had from copper and feel it best upholds the beer brewing traditions, others seen functional benefits to copper brewing pots. Copper is a very good conductor of heat and has a positive effect on the taste as well as a negative effect (in terms of reduction) on mildew growth and bacteria thanks to the emission of copper ions.
A significant step when brewing beer is to boil the wort to create a mash. Should you spot any white flakes in the wort, don't worry. Calm down and continue to brew your beer. The white flakes are just proteins that are "flocculated" when the wort is boiled - this is known as "flocculation of wort".
Low carbon dioxide levels in beer is not a negative per se, because some people actually enjoy their beer this way. If you want more bubbles in your beer, you need to first pose the question as to how it works. Carbon dioxide is produced during fermentation. Remove your beer from the refrigerator and allow it to ferment for around 7 days.
Beer lovers all appreciate a good head. If your foam doesn't look as good as you'd like it to, it might be due to an unclean glass that is still enveloped by a very thin layer of fat. Missing "head" on a beer does also tend to be due to the lack of carbon dioxide in it.
Many home brewers are faced with this problem when embarking on their beer brewing journeys. Complaining about it isn't going to help though. If your beer is sour, there isn't really much else you can do. In most cases it is due to contamination as a result of a lack of hygiene.
We aren't able to provide a general answer to this one as there are many different factors to be considered. But we do tend to just tell people to give the beer time. A home-brewed beer isn't a 5 second job even if it might seem to be at first. The general rule of thumb is that fermentation is finished as soon as the value measured is consistent over a 3 day period.
Yes, this is normal as foam is a natural by-product of the yeast. It is also completely normal for this foam to disappear again once fermentation has concluded.
The most likely reason is that the external temperature is too low for fermentation to ensue (below 18-22 degrees). Just turn up the heating or allow warm air to enter the room by other means. Is the fermentation process still being a pain? Maybe you didn't use enough yeast? In this case you need to just wait it out because the fermentation process may end up taking a few more days.
As soon as your beer is in the fridge, you can keep it there for up to twelve weeks - providing you worked in pristine conditions. Storing your beer at room temperature will reduce its shelf life to around 8 weeks.
Clean equipment is as indispensable for brewing as malt and hops. Clean all equipment with disinfectant in order to increase the shelf life of your beer and prevent fungus from growing.
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