Give the Gift of a New Hobby – Homebrewing!
It can be difficult to know where to start with new hobbies, so our goal at Mangrove Jack’s is to provide the equipment and the ingredients that you need to confidently make delicious, full-bodied beers at home.
Our range of products are the perfect gift for beginner brewers. They’re an easy entry into the hobby of homebrewing and for those with limited time on their hands, the great news is that brewing with extract doesn’t even take long to do.
So, if you have a beer lover or keen DIY’er in mind, give them the best gift that just keeps on giving. Who knows, maybe they might even share some of their brews with you!
So how does extract brewing work?
The process of extract brewing uses malt extract (a concentrated wort). This means that the technical and time-consuming stages of the brewing process, such as converting grain into wort, have already been taken care of. This gives brewers more time and freedom to experiment in the fermentation stages, and of course there’s more time that can be spent taste testing.
Extract brewing can be simplified into five steps:
This is the most important part of the brewing process as it gives the beer the best chance possible from the get-go. All equipment should be properly sanitised before and after use to avoid contamination and spoiling batches of beer.
2. MIX MALT & SUGARS OR ENCHANCERS TOGETHER WITH WATER
The malt extract, sugars or enhancers and boiling water are added to a fermenter and mixed until dissolved. Cold water is then added to create a less concentrated wort. Dextrose and enhancers help develop the flavour of the beer, and enhancers take brews to the next level by improving the body and mouthful of the beer. In some cases, they can even increase the level of alcohol to produce stronger brews.
3. ADD YEAST
To begin the fermentation process, yeast is added to the fermenter. The yeast converts the sugar in the wort into alcohol and CO2. Important flavour compounds are also created at this stage.
Now this is the hard part, waiting. The brew is then left to ferment and should stay at the same temperature consistently for the length of time required by the recipe. Depending on the style of beer brewed and the temperature during fermentation, this usually takes around one week. A hydrometer can be used to determine when fermentation is complete.
5. BOTTLE OR KEG & ADD CARBONATION
Once fermentation has finished, you can choose to bottle or keg your beer. Bottling is generally simpler and a good place to start, whereas kegging tends to provide more consistent results and takes less time. During bottling, carbonation drops are added before sealing the bottles. Then there’s generally another 14 days to wait until the beer has finished conditioning. After that it’s time to chill, serve and drink.
The essentials for brewing beer at home
Go all out with your gift using this list of essential items that every homebrewer needs for a successful brew day:
- 30L (8 US GAL) FERMENTER – a fermentation vessel to brew your beer or cider in
- BREWING EXTRACT KIT – the concentrated brewing wort that you can find in every one of our pouches
- BOTTLE BRUSH – to clean your bottles before they’re ready to be filled
- MIXING SPOON – a long handled spoon to mix the ingredients inside the fermenter
- SANITISER – to clean all brewing equipment (fermenter, spoon, bottles etc.)
- CARBONATION DROPS – gives your beer or cider the fizz
- TAP AND BREW BOTTLER – to transfer your brew from your fermenter into your bottles once fermentation is complete
- HYDROMETER – a brewing tool to take Specific Gravity (SG) readings, which tells you when fermentation is complete, and your beer is ready to bottle
- THERMOMETER – can be stuck onto your fermenter to measure temperatures. Different recipes will require different fermenting temperatures, so it’s important to keep this under control
- PURE LIQUID MALT, ENHANCER OR DEXTROSE – you need to add one of these ingredients to your extract brew. Dextrose helps develop the flavour of your beer, but enhancers and pure malt extract are a special blend of dextrose, sugars and malts that take the taste of your beer to another level
- RUBBER GROMMET (BUNG) AND AIRLOCK – attaches to the top of the fermenter to allow CO2 to escape without letting unwanted bacteria in that could contaminate and spoil your brew
- BOTTLES – to fill with your freshly brewed beer or cider
Our brewing kits are the best gift for any beer lover. Our Craft Series beer pouches kits include a wide variety of styles from Stouts to IPAs, sours and pilsners. Plus, if you’re looking for the perfect present for someone who prefers cider or seltzer, then we’ve still got you covered. Check out our range of cider pouches where there’s everything from traditional apple to something a little different like lime and elderflower. Our Hard Seltzer kits are available in three flavours – pineapple, raspberry and lemon and lime – and come with all the ingredients that you need to make a fresh batch of homebrewed seltzer.
With our cider and beer pouches, you just need the addition of dextrose, an enhancer or pure malt extract to give your brew that extra boost. Also included with all of our products are a set of simple instructions to guide you through every brew.
Where to find all the essentials
You can find all of the equipment that you need to start brewing at your local homebrew shop. You’ll also find our wide range of brewing ingredients in store and if you’re still looking for more gift ideas or need any advice, they’re friendly experts that give great guidance.
If you’d like to learn more about extract brewing, read our blog.