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Before we start... if you are sitting comfortably... lets have a quick lesson on the basics of beer ingredients.

Hops: Hops are used in the brewing process for their bittering flavours and aroma. For example, a traditional English brew will use a third more hops than beers of the lager variety. More than one type of hop can be added to give a specific characteristic, and sometimes even whole hops are added to the beer at the brewery (a process called dry hopping) to give extra aroma to the beer.

Barley: Barley is used to give a beer its body and strength. Malting quality barley, which has a lower nitrogen content, should be used. Too high a nitrogen level can cause cloudy beer. Barley is converted into malt by germinating the barley in water, a process that breaks down the complex carbohydrates in the grains. The germination is stopped by drying, and then crushing the grains to give malt.

Water: Water is vital to the whole process. Regional water varieties, combined with artificial treatments, give a beer its distinctive regional tastes.

Yeast: There are many varieties of brewing yeast, and many breweries are very secretive about the specific cultures that give their brews their distinctive tastes.


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Right then. How to get yourself some exceedingly cheap beer. Now, this whole brewing process is quite complicated. Obtaining relatively palatable results takes time and effort, although at the beginning only a moderate amount of equipment. For this section of The Beermonsters Guide To Alcoholic Beverages, I shall simply point you in the direction of a selection of links for each of the different stages of the entire homebrew experience. Apart from drinking it. I imagine you can already cope with that part....

Equipment.

These pages from Breworld are a pretty comprehensive list of suppliers of everything you could possibly need for home brewing including Homebrew kits, Homebrewing books, Real Ale Cask suppliers, and suppliers of Malt extracts, Grains, Hops and Yeasts in the UK.

Brewing Methods.

Again, Breworld has an excellent basic guide to brewing kit beers.

Recipies.

A variety of recipies here from pale ales and bitters to brown ales and stouts.
This is a useful "basic" recipie to either try on its own or to experiment with.
More recipies from Brew Your Own magazine.


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