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This is a really good beer, and is super cheap and easy to do. It is really hoppy, if you don't like that you can use less hops.
It is not sweet at all, it just have a mild honey aroma, that is really pleasant with the bitter hops taste. (I don't like sweet beers). It have more or less 4,7 alcohol percentage.
Here is the recipe for 23 liters of honey beer.
It is delicious for cooking too, I use it in risotto (especially good in leeks risotto!), bread, soups, meet, river fish...
I spent an average of 50￠for a 75 cl bottle: malt→2,50 € for kilo, honey→5 € for kilo, plus few cents for the sugar and the bisulfite). I used wild hops that my mom picked and dry, and purchased the malt from a local bakery (they use it to make bread). This kind of malt is not the actual right beer kind, but it still work pretty well, and is way cheaper; it just leave a little bit of deposit on the bottom of each bottle.
I bought this two beer fermenters for 35 €.
Is really important to disinfect with the sodium bisulfite (read direction on package) every things you are going to use to make the beer.
☛You can also use your usual beer recipe and substitute part of the malt with honey (keeping sum of the different water percentage of them).
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Step 1: WHAT YOU NEED
- 2kg malt;
- 1kg honey;
- 100g to 135g dry (wild or purchased) hops, depending on how hoppy you want the beer;
- sugar (for sparkling);
- 7g yeast (1 sachet) or brewing yeast;
Tools (look at drawing):
1- 25liter bucket for brewing beer with a bubbler, 25 liter bucket wit a tap;
2- a big pan (at least 15 liter capacity), a small pan (at least 7 liter capacity);
3- a big stainer (fine) or https://www.instructables.com/id/Simple-Filter-for-Brewing/;
4- a food safe hose;
7- sodium bisulfite (for disinfect);
8- beer densimeter;
9- beer bottles (I used 75cl bottles).
Step 2: HOPS INFUSION
Boil the hops in a big pan with 10/15 liter of water for 20 or 30 minutes, than allowed to cool down to 22° C, with a top on.
Step 3: THE MUST
Heat up a little bit the honey and the malt (''bain marie'' or microwave), for an easier pouring and mixing.
Slowly add them to 3 liter of hot water.
Boil really slowly for 5 to 10 minutes, always stirring.
Allowed to cool down to 22°C.
Step 4: MAKE THE BEER
Put some water at 22°C in the fermenter, add the must and the hops infusion (with a stainer).
Add the rest of the water up to 23 liter, also at 22°C.
The beer should be around 22°C, it is really important.
Step 5: YEAST
Add the yeast and stir really well for 30 seconds.
Step 6: THE BUBBLER
Put the top on the fermentator.
Pure some water with bisulfite in the bubbler.
Step 7: THE FERMENTATION
Is important that the beer temperature is around 22°C, and really constant during the all fermentation.
After few hours you will see the bubbler bubbling, it is the sign that the fermentation started.
It can last from 5 to 10 days depending on the room temperature and the ingredients used.
Step 8: END OF THE FERMENTATION
When you noticed the bubbling stop, pour some beer in a long cylindric container and immerse the densimeter in it.
Look at the level of it, it will tell you when the beer is ready to bottle (on mine is write ''bottle'' and is around 1002-1006).
Do not bottle the beer before the fermentation is completely done and the level on the dendimeter is right, or the bottles of beer are going to explode! It's happened to me before, and what a mess!
Step 9: POURING
Pour the beer from a bucket to the other, with the hose (sucking the air out of it, and having one bucket hight and one down).
Leave on the bottom some sediment, so the beer will become more transparent.
Do it carefully, especially trough the bottom, so you won't pick up the sediment (place the hose almost horizontal, see drawing).
✱I use this sediment to flavoring bread, cakes, cookies…(Do not store it in a sealed recipient because this part have a lot of yeast in it and may fermented more and explode it).
Step 10: BOTTLES PREPARATIONS
(Follow the direction of the package of the sodium bisulfite for disinfect the bottles).
This is how I do:
Make a solution of sodium bisulfite (or other food proof disinfectant), with 10/15 g of bisulfite for 1l of water (or how specified).
Pour the solution in a bottle, shake it, and than from a bottle to another, and so on… change the solution every 10-15 bottle.
Allowed the bottle to dry for 10 minutes.
I actually wash away the sodium bisulfite with boiling water because I'm really sensitive to it, but it should volatilize with air contact anyways.
Step 11: BOTTLE UP
Put a teaspoon of sugar in each bottle for the sparkling.
Pour the beer in the bottle, do not make the bottle full all the way, leave at least 3 cm from the neck.
Shake the bottle a bit to make the sugar melted.
330cl beer bottle→2g sugar
500cl beer bottle→3g sugar
750cl beer bottle→5g sugar
Do not put too much sugar or the bottle will explode!
OR: get all the priming sugar you will need, boil in a small amt. of water, and put it in your beer before you bottle (stir it in). Here's a calculator to tell you how much sugar to use: http://www.homebrewdad.com/priming_sugar_calculator.php
Step 12: MATURATION
Put the bottles for 5-7 days in a warm place, beet wen 18° and 24°, for the second fermentation.
Then store them in a cold place.
The beer is ready to drink in other 15 days, but an additional maturation of 1 or 2 months improve the taste.
The beer should been drink in 24 months .
The deposit on the bottom of the bottle is normal and natural, and for avoid that the beer become cloudy I suggest to keep the bottle in a vertical position, and pour it in a glass really slowly.
Step 13: DRINK IT
The beer is done!
This is the color it will have. This is just been brewed, and that is why is so cloudy, but it will become more transparent during the maturation.
Enjoy! Every suggestion or tips are welcome!