Home brewing has been done for thousands of years. It allows for an individual to make fermented beverages such as beer in the comfort and privacy of one's own home or microbrewery. In order to have a better, more complex understanding of home brewing, we must first understand the type of equipment and supplies available to the home or micro brewer.
Home Brewing Kit - A home brewing kit consists of everything needed in order to successfully brew one's own lager, pilsner, stout, or IPA. The ingredients in the kit will vary slightly depending upon the type and flavor of beer one is brewing. Regardless, the kit will come with a list of instructions, often called a recipe. Many experienced brewers will come up with their own recipes in order to brew a unique ale or lager.
Hops - A hop is a twining plant that bears male flowers in loose clusters and female flowers which appear cone like. The dried female cones are used in beer recipes and are what gives the brew its bitter taste. Hops come into play throughout the brewing process.
Grain - Grain is a key element in beer making. Typically, malted barley is mixed with other grains such as rye, corn or wheat. The milled grain is then combined with water to form a mash. The mash is heated which stimulates the production of sugars. Yeast is then added which aids in the fermentation of the sugar, converting it to alcohol.
Siphon - A siphon is used to siphon the first fermentation into a new, clean container. Proper siphoning keeps impurities such as dreg or foam from being transferred to the new container.
In order to make a successful batch of brew, it is also important to ensure all the equipment used is sterilized to prevent contamination.