How do you know fermentation is complete?

S-shaped airlocks

Fermentation is the most critical step in the brewing process when yeast turns the sugar in the wort into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Depending on the type of yeast used, the concentration of sugar in the wort and ambient temperature, fermentation will usually take between five days and several weeks to complete. Once fermentation stops,…

What Is A Trappist Beer? What Does Trappist Beer Taste Like?

Trappist beer

Beer has been brewed in monasteries since the middle ages and, although they didn’t actually invent beer, it’s fair to say that monks played an important part in the development of beer as we know it. Medieval abbeys were basically self-sufficient and, in addition to praying, the monks used to work long hours in the…

What Is Sparging In Beer Making?

Sparging is the last step in the lautering process

When you’re first getting into beer making it can often seem a lot like alchemy; part science, part magic and with a lot of strange words that more experienced brewers use to describe unknown and mystical procedures. Three words that come up a lot are lautering, sparging and vorlauf. But what do they mean and…

What is Brewing Efficiency & How Is It Measured?

Most all-grain beer recipes published online and in homebrew books mention brewing efficiency or brewhouse efficiency. But what is brewing efficiency and how is it measured? Brewing efficiency is the quantity of sugar in the wort divided by the total amount of sugars which were potentially available in the grain expressed as a percentage. For…

Easy Viking Mead Recipe | How To Make Mead Step By Step

Viking mead ingredients - honey, water and yeast

Mead is the oldest alcoholic beverage known to man and is believed to have its origins in Asia, some 7,000 years ago. Probably discovered by accident, mead soon spread to other parts of the world and is known to have been consumed by the Ancient Greeks, Romans, Mayans and of course the Vikings. Early civilisations…

11 Items A Home Brewer Can’t Live Without (No. 7 is a must!) 

Part of my small batch, all-grain, homebrew setup

One of the great things about homebrewing is that there’s very little special equipment needed to get started. Apart from a fermenting bucket, airlock and no-rinse sanitiser, you can mostly get by with equipment that you already have in the kitchen. Most beginner homebrewers start by purchasing a homebrew kit which includes all the essential…

How To Keep A Keg Cold Without A Kegerator (Tailgating, Weddings) 

The easiest way to keep a keg cold is with ice

Whether you’ve bought a keg for a party or brew your own beer at home, if you want to serve draught beer on tap you’ll need to find a way to keep the keg cold. Most homebrewers store their kegs in a kegerator which is basically a refrigerator that has been specially designed to dispense…

Can You Ferment Cider Too Long? | Cider Fermentation Timeline

Fresh apples are made up of approximately 85% water and 10% fermentable sugar. They also contain yeast which means that to make cider, you simply need to extract the juice and leave it in a clean container away from sunlight to ferment. Traditional craft cider made using naturally occurring wild yeasts takes two to three…

How Long Does It Take To Make A Craft Beer? (Steps & time scales) 

Brewing craft beer in a microbrewery

One of the first things that my friends ask me when they try my homebrew, after the inevitable question of ABV, is how long it takes to make craft beer. I tell them that it usually takes around four weeks from start to finish. I then point out that most of the activity occurs on…