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Beer, wine and cider at home: secrets and recipes
Beer, wine and cider at home: secrets and recipes

Basic tips for beginners and simple recipes.

How to make beer, wine and cider at home
How to make beer, wine and cider at home

What is important to know before you start

Home brewing and winemaking are interesting hobbies that, if desired, are not too difficult to master. To prepare an alcoholic drink, it is enough to take a liquid containing sugar, add yeast and wait.

The yeast will absorb the sugar, and alcohol and carbon dioxide will be produced in the process. After a few weeks, you will have a fermented drink ready to drink.

To make it tasty and safe, you need to consider two important points:

  • Disinfection of equipment. Anything that will come into contact with the liquid before and after the fermentation process must be thoroughly treated with a disinfectant. This will get rid of pathogenic microorganisms, as well as extend the shelf life of the finished drink.
  • Optimal conditions for yeast to work. They are the ones who do the main thing, your task is only to help them. Therefore, it is important to select quality yeast (brewer's or wine, not bakery yeast) and maintain the required fermentation temperature. It will differ for different types of wort.

What equipment is needed

1. Thermometer

It is needed to check the temperature at different stages of beer brewing. Choose a quality thermometer, ideally a long one so you don't scald your hands when you lower it into the brew kettle.

Goodly Kitchen Cooking Thermometer with 15 cm Probe →

2. Hydrometer

This device measures the gravity of the wort. This should be done before and after fermentation to determine the initial and final gravity. Based on the data obtained, you can calculate the strength of the drink, that is, the alcohol content in it.

Hydrometer-sugar meter for wort, mash and wine →

3. Kitchen scales

They come in handy for accurately measuring yeast, hops, malt and other ingredients. And in general they will not interfere with the household.

Electronic kitchen scales Redmond →

4. Overflow siphon

It is needed to bottle your precious drink after fermentation or pour the wort from one container to another. It is best to take the automatic one.

Overflow siphon 2 meters →

5. Fermentation tank (fermenter)

They come in glass, stainless steel, and other materials, but it's best to start with a regular plastic bucket with a lid. This is an affordable and easy option. A large glass jar or bottle is also suitable for wine.

Plastic container for fermentation with a lid, 32 l →

6. Water trap

It is installed on the fermenter to release carbon dioxide while keeping oxygen out. If you are using glass jars or bottles as your fermentation vessel, a pierced finger medical glove will do.

Plastic odor trap Browin →

7. Bottles for bottling

You can use containers from purchased drinks or take a new one. For 20 liters of beer or cider, you will need about 40 half liter bottles. For the same amount of wine - 20 liters.

If the recipe contains hops, go for brown bottles. Dark glass will eliminate the unpleasant odor that can appear in beer due to exposure to sunlight on hops.

Bottle 0, 5 l with a drag stopper transparent →

Brown drag bottle 0.5 l with stopper →

8. Capping machine and lids

There are different types of lids, choose according to your taste. The choice of a closure depends on their type.

Beer bottle capping machine →

Wine bottle capping machine →

Set of beer caps, 100 pieces →

9. Disinfectant

The most popular is Star San. It is safe for humans and does not require rinsing. The agent must be diluted according to the instructions and sprayed on everything that will come into contact with the liquid before and after fermentation. Disinfection will not affect the taste of the drink.

You can also use hydrogen peroxide. Prepare a solution in the following proportions: 15 ml of peroxide per 20 liters of water - and treat the equipment. You do not need to wash off.

Disinfectant Star San →

10. Detergent

You can use regular dishwashing liquid, but it is not as powerful, and it also contains surfactants and flavors that should not be in your drinks. It is best to buy a specialized product from a brewery or winemaker store. It will help to quickly remove plaque and other contaminants.

When washing containers, use only the soft side of the sponge. Hard will leave the smallest scratches in which unnecessary bacteria can linger.

How to brew homemade beer

Basic steps

The process includes several basic simple steps:

  • mix malt with hot water to make a wort;
  • add hops and boil the mixture;
  • cool;
  • introduce yeast and leave to ferment.

The number of specific steps depends on the cooking method. Home brewing comes in two flavors: extract and grain.

The extract is easier, so it's best to start with it. To do this, you need to buy hopped malt extract (concentrate). It is added to water, boiled, and then cooled, yeast is introduced and left to ferment.

Grain brewing does not use malt extract, but sprouted barley. It is crushed and then mixed with hot water to release the sugar. After about an hour, the liquid is separated from the grain cake using a special cloth bag or a fake boiler. The next steps involve boiling and fermenting as in the previous method.

After a few weeks, the young beer is bottled, a little sugar is added and left to saturate with carbon dioxide for a while. This process is called post-fermentation.

You will need

Grain or concentrate, yeast and hops

It is best to buy them at your local brewery and winemaker store, where the ingredients will be fresher. Be sure to ask for the malt to be ground if you don't have your own mill.

Soup kettle

If you're not sure if you're into brewing, try brewing a small batch of beer in a saucepan first. After that, choose a boiler with a volume of at least 20 liters. It is also worth purchasing a faucet. After installing it, it will be easier to pour hot liquid from the boiler into other containers.

Rag bags for hops and grains

They will make your life easier. Place the ingredients in them and place in the cauldron. This will prevent them from floating on the surface and will be easy to remove.

Immersion cooler

This is not a must for beginners, but it really helps to make better beer. After you have boiled the wort, it should be cooled as soon as possible to a temperature suitable for fermentation. If there is no special cooler, you will need to lower the container in which the wort was boiled into cold water (for example, into a filled bath).

Homemade beer recipe

To get started, try brewing beer using the extract method.


  • Hoped malt concentrate - 1.7 kg (one pack).
  • Sugar - 1 kg.
  • Water - 22 liters.
  • Yeast - comes with a concentrate.

Cooking process

  1. Pour the concentrate into a fermentation vessel, add 3.5 liters of hot boiled water and sugar. Stir.
  2. Pour in 18.5 liters of cold water and stir again.
  3. Pour yeast onto the surface of the liquid. Do not stir.
  4. Close the container using a water seal and place in a dark place with a temperature of 18-21 ° C for about 10 days. You will understand that fermentation is complete when the odor trap stops releasing gas.
  5. Bottle the beer using a siphon. Do not touch the sediment at the bottom. Leave 2–3 cm of free space under the neck.
  6. Add a little sugar (half a teaspoon to half a liter) for fermentation and carbonation.
  7. Close the bottles tightly and place for 7 days in a warm place with a temperature of 20-24 ° C.
  8. Then put them in a cool place for another 7-60 days to ripen. The term depends on the type of beer and is usually indicated on the concentrate packaging.

How to make homemade wine

Basic steps

Making wine at home is even easier than making beer. You just need to add wine yeast to the fruit juice and wait.

You will need

Fresh fruit or juice

It is the main ingredient in wine. You can take fresh grapes or any other berries and squeeze the juice out of them. Or buy a set for home winemaking with ready-made concentrated juice.

Wine yeast

They are dry and liquid, designed for red and white wines - you have plenty of room for experimentation. Before using, just read the instructions on the packaging and follow them.

Chemical additives

You may need potassium disulfite, potassium sorbate, and enzymes. They are used to destroy harmful microorganisms, extend the shelf life of the drink, and also make the wine more transparent.

Homemade wine recipe


  • Grapes - 10 kg (from this amount you should get about 7.5 liters of juice).
  • Sugar - at least 100 g per 1 liter of juice.
  • Wine yeast and sulphides - optional.

Cooking process

  1. Sort out the berries. Remove unripe and rotten ones, and get rid of twigs and leaves. If using wine yeast, wash the berries. If you want to cook with wild yeast (living on the skin), do not wash.
  2. Crush the berries and place them along with the juice in an enamel pot or plastic bucket, filling the container three-quarters full.
  3. Cover with gauze and place in a dark, warm place for 3-4 days. Pulp (remnants of pulp and skin) and foam will accumulate on top. Stir the contents with a wooden stick 1-2 times a day to prevent the wort from souring.
  4. Remove the pulp, squeeze the juice out of it and combine it with the rest. Strain through cheesecloth 2-3 times.
  5. Pour the juice into a fermentation vessel, filling it to 70%, and add sugar. Place a water seal on top or put on a medical glove, piercing one of your fingers with a needle.
  6. Leave the wort to ferment for 30-60 days in a dark place at 22-28 ° C for red wine and 16-22 ° C for white wine.
  7. After this time, the wine must be poured into another container. It's time to do this when the glove has deflated, the wort has brightened, and a sediment has appeared at the bottom. Use a siphon for transferring and make sure that no sediment gets into the new container.
  8. Add more sugar if desired (no more than 250 g per liter).
  9. Leave the wine to mature for 2-4 months. If sugar was added, put on the glove again, if not, close the lid tightly. The temperature for ripening should be 5–16 ° С. If sediment appears at the bottom, pour the wine into another container.
  10. When the sediment no longer falls, and the aging period has passed, pour the drink into bottles and close with corks. Store homemade wine in a cool place.

How to make homemade cider

You will need almost the same as for making wine, only the main ingredient will be apples or pears. And instead of wine yeast, you will need cider. The cooking technology is also very similar.

Homemade cider recipe


  • Apples - 8 kg (this amount should make about 4.5 liters of juice).
  • Sugar - at least 200 g.
  • Cider yeast - optional.

Cooking process

  1. Decide if you will use special yeast or try cooking with wild yeast. In the second case, do not wash the apples.
  2. Remove the seeds and the core of the fruit so that the finished drink does not taste bitter. Cut out the rotten parts.
  3. Process fruits to make juice. The ideal option is a juicer. If not, grate the apples and squeeze the pulp thoroughly.
  4. Pour the resulting juice into a large saucepan or bucket and add sugar. If using cider yeast, add it at this point.
  5. Tie the top of the container with gauze and leave for 2-3 days at room temperature. Pulp and foam will accumulate on top. Stir the contents of the container 3-4 times a day with a clean wooden stick.
  6. On the third day, remove the pulp. Pour the juice into a clean bottle and put a medical glove on it, piercing one of your fingers with a needle.
  7. Leave to ferment for 30-60 days at 18-22 ° C. Gradually, sediment will appear at the bottom.
  8. Pour the drink into another bottle, being careful not to touch the sediment, otherwise the fermentation process will be repeated in a new container. Add more sugar if desired.
  9. Close the container tightly and let the cider mature in a cool, dark place for 60–120 days. Then you can bottle it.

What to learn on the topic

These tips should be enough for your first steps, but there is still plenty to do in the world of home brewing and winemaking. Here's what to help you dig deeper:

  1. Brewing classics. All styles and types of beer from ale to lager →
  2. Craft beer →
  3. Home Winemaker's Handbook →
  4. How to stop drinking and start tasting →
  5. Wine. Tinctures. Cider →

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