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How to make beer at home

Ursula Phillips, Cape Town
07th August 2020

 

Homebrewing used to be reserved typically for grizzly craft beer drinkers that setup tanks, vessels and boiling pots all over their yards and posted pictures to social media of their beering finesse. But now with the current alcohol ban in South Africa, pretty much every person older than 18 that enjoys drinking a crispy cold one has now received a certain level of brewing experience under their lockdown belts. We have been watching pineapples flying off the shelves and smelled our neighbours interesting peach blends.

But now there is something much easier, cheaper, professional and tastier – we introduce to you (although the concept isn’t exactly ground-breaking) – The Wort Kit (Brew In A Box). Offering wort brewing kits for South Africa

Dematech Pty Ltd, a South African beverage industry expert (and also our sister company) alongside other innovative breweries have been putting together wort kits available for sale. BevPlus is stocking the DEMA-WORT and let’s just say that since this hit the shelves, the demand has been pretty insane and this is why:

  • You get to drink booze and it’s legal

  • You don’t need to illegally travel with booze & can ferment it in the comfort of your home

  • The concept financially supports craft breweries who have been dealing with the crippling effects of the alcohol ban

  • It’s easy and pretty simple

  • You can make it the way you like it and in any beer style you prefer

  • It’s much safer than many of these other homebrew concoctions that we are seeing in backyards

  • It’s FUN – of course!

  • It’s quick, just click click and we deliver

Below are some suggested recipes that you can try with your Brew in a Box wort kit.

By simply changing the dilution ratio, hops, malts and yeast you can make many different beer styles from this wort kit.

This guide is all based on the 10L concentrated wort kit. Simply add the wort from the Brew in a Box kit to a fermenter and top it up with the amount of water specified In the table below.

Hops:

Some of the intermediate and advanced recipes require you to add hops. If there is a (B) after the hop name, you need to take this amount of hops and boil it in 1 litre of water for 30 minutes before adding it to your fermenter. If there is a (DH) after the hops name, you need to add this amount of hops to your fermenter 3-5 days after fermentation has started.

Sugars:

Some of the intermediate and advanced recipes require you to add sugars. Simply take the amount of sugar specified and boil it in 1 litre of water for 10 minutes before adding it to your fermenters.

Yeast:

Once you have added everything to your fermenter (wort kit, water, hops, malt and sugars) you are ready to add your yeast. Make sure that the wort is cool before adding your yeast and ferment at the temperature recommended on the packet. The recipe’s below are just a guide, the beauty of these Brew in a Box kits is that you can make whatever your heart desires. We’ve made the wort, you make the beer!

 

Below is a guide to produce a basic blonde ale, we recommend you start with this to get a feel for the process and the results before you experiment further. At the end of the document are some suggested alternatives, but one of the best things about home brewing is that you can make anything that you want! So go forth and explore.

Making the beer:

 

The box contains 10 litres of high gravity wort. This can be used to make a myriad of beer styles by simply changing the dilution ratio, the yeast, the hops, added flavours or all of the above! We’ve taken the hard work out of brewing so that you can get on with the fun stuff.

  1. Clean and sanitise a 25 litre fermenter. We suggest DemaClean for cleaning and DemaSan for sanitising. Although we will be making 20 litres of beer, the extra space is needed to help contain the fermentation activity
  2. Remove the plastic spout from the Dema-Wort (Brew in a Box) box
  3. Spray some sanitiser over the spout before opening it and emptying the wort into your fermenter
  4. Add a further 10 litres of cool tap water into the fermenter, swirling the fermenter as it fills to make sure everything is well mixed
  5. Once you have your 20 litres of wort, add the yeast and close up the fermenter, making sure your airlock is in place for fermentation. I fyou do not have an airlock, us a length of pipe to go from the grommet in the top of your bucket into a bottle of cool boiled water or sanitiser

Note: If your water tastes good out of the tap, it will be good for brewing. If it has a chlorine taste (or just doesn’t taste good) use filtered or bottled water.

 

Bottling the beer:

  1. Once fermentation is complete (there has been no activity in the airlock for at least 2 days) you are ready to bottle your beer. This normally happens about 7 – 10 days aer you begin fermentation. If in doubt, wait an extra day or two.
  2. Clean and sanitise your bottles and a 5 ml syringe
  3. In a heat proof jug pour 250 ml of boiling water over 120 g of sugar and stir until dissolved
  4. Using the syringe, add 6 ml of the sugar solution to each 500 ml bottle (or 4.5 ml to each 340 ml bottle)
  5. Once you have primed each of your bottles, fill them with your fermented beer.
  6. Seal your bottles and give them a good shake
  7. Leave the bottles in a warm place (about 20°C is good) to condition for at least a week.
  8. After a week, put one of your bottles in the fridge for a few hours and try your beer. If it is still not properly carbonated, leave the rest of the bottles for another 2 days before trying again

 

Note: because we have naturally carbonated the beer it is completely normal to have a small layer of sediment at the bottom of the bottles

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Happy (Home) Brewing!

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