How to be awesome at brewing your own beer

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Gordon Biersch brewmaster Chris Alltmont spends his days slaving over suds for your satisfaction. Naturally, he was our go-to guy when we wanted to find out how to make beer from the friendly confines of home. And let's be honest, creating something that will result in your own inebriation is satisfaction enough.

1. It's all in the kit

A typical home-brewing kit will run you about $120. This includes everything you'll need: A can of concentrated brewer's wort, hops and yeast, a racking cane used for siphoning, and a five-gallon jug the shape of an office water cooler.

2. Hop to it

Mix the hops with two to three gallons of water and bring to a boil. After it's boiled for a few minutes, remove from the heat and immediately add two to three gallons of cold, purified water. This will lower the temperature to room temp (68-72 degrees) - optimal for fermentation.

3. Yeast Perfection

Once you've hit room temperature, add the yeast provided in the kit. Find a large plastic container for the mix and stow it away in a dark closet or basement for about four days. After that, use your racking cane to siphon the beer-in-training into the jug, or "carboy," as Alltmont calls it. Once in the jug, your brew is ready to sit for two to three weeks ... so hurry up and wait!

4. Gimme some Sugar

Now you're ready to bottle the beer. But first, add some priming sugar to the mix to allow the beer to re-ferment. Any kind of sugar you have in the kitchen will work, though Pixy Stix are not recommended. Funnel the beer into bottles and seal them with caps.

5. Keep them warm for about a week so fermentation can continue its wondrous work. Finally, cool the bottles in the refrigerator for a week to carbonate the beer and you're ready to drink! Brewing your own beer takes patience, but hey, it's better than prison toilet wine.