Why I should make beer ?
Beer has been made for thousands of years, and it was just another part of keeping a house. Almost everyone made beer or at least had a friend that did (possibly because it was safer than water in a lot of places).
We think you should brew because there's nothing better than inviting friends over, giving them a beer, and saying "I made this!"
Does is taste good ?
Yes! Homemade beer tastes great. When you brew using the same grain, hops, and yeast that craft breweries around the world use, you can make some really good beer -- beer that's as good if not better than what you'll find in stores.
How much space do I need to make beer ?
We designed our kit for apartments in Paris, or the place is not necessarily the rule. And although we believe that our kit is quite fun to watch (especially when it is full of beer), the goal is not necessarily to look constantly. This is why our kit takes less than 20 square cm of space. We usually let it in corner while fermenting. The only rule is to keep it somewhere in a dark place away from strong light (avoid direct sunlight!).
How is your beer making kit different from others ?
Our Beer Making Kit takes the brewing process used in craft breweries around the world and scales it down to fit your kitchen. We wanted to simplify brewing without slashing down the quality. Whether you want to make an evening with friends, you can do it with our kit, or if you just want to make beer - from really good ingredients - this is the only kit on the market that allows you to do it.
Can I use your mixes to experiment with my own recipes ?
Absolutely! Brewing has a long history of people putting, what might be thought of as, strange things into beer, and you're limited only by your imagination.
Where does alcohol come from ?
Yeast is creepy, but it's also really cool. It turns sugars into alcohol. While brewing, you're extracting sugars from grain (usually malted barley). The liquid you're left with will become your beer.
What are hops ?
Hops do a lot for your beer. They're bitter, so they balance the sweetness you get from malted barley. They also contribute fresh aromas to your beer that can range from citrus, pine, flowers, grass, pepper. There are dozens of varieties of hops in existence, and every year new ones crop up.
BREW MAKING QUESTIONS
Other than a kit, what else do I need to start brewing ?
If you've ever made pasta, you should have everything you need to start brewing. Except for what's in the kit, you'll just need 2 or 3 stockpots (6 - 8 quarts are ideal), a large strainer, and a funnel.
Two weeks after you brew, you'll need bottles with swing-tops or a couple six packs of regular, non-twist-off beer bottles with a capper and caps.
My mix is a little old. Is it still good ?
Bright light, extreme heat, and oxygen can be enemies to beer making ingredients, but thankfully we pack our ingredient mixes really well. As long as your mix is not kept in extreme conditions (ie: hot car or cold freezer), your Beer Making Mix will be good for up to a year after you received it.
What do I do if my fermenter isn’t filled to the 5 liters mark with liquid when i’m finished brewing ?
While your beer boils, water evaporates. You want to keep it at a low, rolling boil. If your boil is very vigorous, extra water will evaporate from your beer. This means when you fill your fermenter, the liquid won't go all the way up to the 5 liter mark. To fix this, just add cold tap water to the fermenter until you're up to the One Gallon mark. Then proceed as normal.
I just finished brewing, and my beer looks crazy, did I mess up ?
A lot goes on while beer is fermenting. Your beer is becoming alcohol in front of you. It will change over time, and it might not even look like beer for a few days. So don't worry if your beer looks cloudy. Everything will settle to the bottom. Don't worry if your beer looks green for the first few hours. Hops are green, and they will settle to the bottom. In the end, don't worry. Beer will be beer, but if you're still not sure, just send us an email, and we'll help you out.
There’s crud around the inside of the fermenter, is that bad ?
That crud is just yeast and sediment from your beer. It's a sign of an active fermentation, so it's definitely not a bad thing. If it gets in your blowoff tube, clean it out with a sanitizer solution and flush it with warm tap water. It may appear a little cloudy afterwards, but that's fine. Switch to the airlock if your beer's activity has slowed down.
How do I know if my beer is ready to be bottled ? Is an extra week in the fermenter reason to worry ?
Once you're finished brewing, keep your beer in a dark place and try your best to forget about it (the occasional peek is fine). After two weeks, check on your beer. Look at the surface of your beer for any sign of bubbles. Even the tiniest can mean your beer is still fermenting, so if you notice any, just come back in a few days. It's better to wait an extra week than it is to bottle too early. Bottling too early can contribute to over carbonated beer.
What do I do if my beer is over-carbonated ?
Bottle conditioning means you're carbonating your beer in bottles with a little sugar, usually in the form of honey or maple syrup diluted with a little warm water. You'll find bottle conditioning used in traditional breweries around the world, but it's also what you do at home.
Over-carbonation can happen for a few reasons:
The first possible reason is that your beer was bottled before it finished fermenting. See the question on knowing when to bottle to avoid this problem.
Another possible reason is that too much sugar was added when bottling your beer. This can happen if you boil off too much liquid when brewing but still add the full amount of sugar for 5 liters. See the question regarding what to do if your fermenter isn't filled up all the way to prevent this from happening.
If your beer is over-carbonated, move all your bottles into the fridge. Colder temperatures will help stop additional carbonation while helping the beer absorb some of its CO2.
That was great. Can I reuse my kit ?
Sure! We made our Homemade Beer Making Kit with a high quality glass fermenter because glass doesn't harbor any bacteria that may otherwise be bad for your beer. All you need to do is clean your equipment with sanitizer and figure out what you'd like to brew next. All you need is another Homemade Beer Making Mix and a new packet of No-Rinse Sanitizer.