How to Brew Beer in 7 Easy Steps

How to Make Beer at Home

Home brewing beer at home is remarkably easy. Unlike the guesswork that characterized home brewing years ago, modern brewing kits and equipment simplify the entire process. With clear, step-by-step instructions and pre-measured ingredients, complete beginners can produce delicious, high-quality beer. It’s a hobby that when you’re done, you have beer!


There are seven basic steps to brewing your own beer at home, and this is not a coincidence, because seven is a lucky number. Let's get cooking!

  1. Get Ready, Get Set, Go
  2. Brew
  3. Cool
  4. Ferment
  5. Bottle
  6. Enjoy
  7. Repeat

Step 1: Get Ready, Get Set, Go


Beer brewing at home is like backyard grilling. First you need the grill, which you use over and over, and then you need your food, like burgers or chicken, which you use each time you want to grill. With home brewing beer, we begin with the home brewing equipment, which we use over and over. When we want to brew, we choose the home beer recipe kit. Check out our all-in-one home brew equipment kits right here. You can also check out our beer recipe kits for home brewing right here. We have over 400 different recipe covering a comprehensive range of beer styles to keep your fermenters bubbling for years to come!  


You begin your homebrewing journey by gathering your brewing equipment. You’ll need:

  • Brewing Kettle
  • Fermenter
  • Air Lock
  • Funnel (optional - for use with carboy fermenters)
  • Sanitizer
  • Siphon
  • Long Spoon
  • Beer Recipe Kit (or individual ingredients)

If you don't already have brewing equipment, then simply choose one of Boomchugalug’s beer making equipment kits, which have all of the home brewing equipment you will need to brew your own beer. This equipment can also be used for home winemaking, cider making and mead making, which is good to know, so you don't have to worry about having to buy all new equipment when you want to explore other directions in fermentation fun!




Step 2: Brew


The steps for basic home beer making are listed below, but if your home brew recipe kit has detailed instructions, then follow your home brewed beer recipe's instructions.


  1. Sanitize: Having properly cleaned and sanitized equipment is tremendously important in producing the best tasting beer. All equipment that contacts your beer after the boil process should be sanitized. Various brand name sanitizers are available, but B-Brite and Star San are excellent cleaners and sanitizers.
  2. Steep Grains: Fill your 5-gallon brew kettle with about 2 - 2.5 gallons of water. If your recipe has grains, place the grains in the grain bag. While the water heats, steep your grains for about 30 minutes or until the water reaches 170 degrees. Lift the grain bag and let the water drain into the kettle. A light squeeze of the grain bag is okay, but avoid squeezing the grain bag too hard. Too many grains boiling in the wort can lead to an astringent character in the beer.
  3. Bring Wort to a Boil: Once your kettle of wort begins to boil, remove the kettle from the heat and add the malt extracts. Stir well, and when all of the malt extract has been dissolved, return the kettle to the heat and bring back to a boil. Pay very close attention when this sugary wort is coming to a boil. Unattended brew kettles will boil over creating a horrendous mess. Your recipe will give you the specific times to add the hops throughout the course of the boil.
  4. Add Hops: Your recipe will give you the specific times to add the hops throughout the course of the boil. (Pro Tip Caution: When first adding hops, do so slowly to avoid your wort boiling over the kettle.)

Step 3: Cool


Everyone in home beer making agrees that this next step is cool. Your recipe's boil time is over. You now have wort, which is the boiled mixture of malt and hops. You must now cool the wort. We are going to add yeast to ferment the beer. The  yeast is alive, and if we didn't cool the wort, then we would kill the yeast. Quick cooling of the wort is important so you can get your yeast into the fresh wort before any unwanted guests can sneak in. 


Among home beer brewers, several methods of quick cooling are popular:

  • Ice Bath: Set your pot into a sink filled with ice water.
  • Wort Chiller: Place a wort chiller into your wort. From your faucet, run cold water through the wort chiller, letting it drain into the sink. Wort chillers are the fastest way to chill wort, but both methods work.



Step 4: Ferment


Fermentation is the process where the yeast consumes the sugar in the wort and converts it to alcohol. Once fermentation is complete, you have fresh, young uncarbonated beer! If you have your fermenter sealed up tight, you will see bubbling through the airlock. This is CO2 (another product of fermentation). For most typical beers, fermentation will finish between 2 - 7 days. At this point, the yeast has run out of sugar and stops working, which means no more bubbling. This often surprises beginner brewers, but it is exactly what we expect. It's like your car running out of gas. We all know what happens in that scenario: the engine stops. This is exactly what happens when yeast runs out of sugar. The yeast stops working.

A lot of home beer makers find fermentation to be the most magical part of the home brewing process. Our wort is now cool, so let's begin the magic!

  1. Sanitize: Like always, sanitize all equipment that will contact the beer.
  2. Transfer the Wort: Pour the cooled wort into the fermenter. If using a carboy, here is where the funnel is useful. 
  3. Add Water: Fill the fermenter with water to bring the total volume to 5 gallons.
  4. Aerate the Wort: Give it a good splash. Yeast need oxygen to do their job.
  5. Pitch the Yeast: Dry yeast is easy to use and doesn’t require any prep. Just sanitize the yeast pack and scissors, cut open the pack, and pour the yeast into the fermenter. No mixing needed - the yeast will take care of itself!
  6. Seal the Fermenter: Attach the airlock and store the fermenter in a cool, dark place. Keep ales at about 68°F for proper fermentation, or defer to your recipe's suggested fermentation temperature.
  7. Wait: This is the hard part, and this is the fun part. Hard because we want the beer to finish so we can eventually drink it. Fun because it's great fun watching the airlock bubble away. Remember, most beers will finish fermenting within 2-7 days, and then the yeast will mostly or completely stop. If you still see a bubble from the airlock once every few minutes, then the fermentation is over. Once fermentation ends (no airlock bubbling), we have beer. But it's too soon to bottle, because too much yeast will still be floating around. For typical beers, it's pretty common to leave the beer in the fermenter for 2 weeks - the first week for fermentation, and the second week to let most of the spent yeast settle to the bottom of the fermenter after fermentation is complete.

Pro Tip for the Beginner: If you are a first-time brewer and your recipe says to take a hydrometer reading - SKIP IT! If you are following any legitimate recipe, then your wort's specific gravity will fall within the specified range. Play with the hydrometer on your second batch after you've mastered the basic skills.


Step 5: Bottle


Right now in your fermenter sits a beautiful, young, and soon-to-be consumed beer. Only problem is that it's flat. No bubbles, no carbonation. Although the yeast fermented all of the available sugars and then stopped, there is still plenty of yeast floating around in the beer, and the following steps will detail how we will add a controlled amount of a simple sugar known as dextrose (corn sugar), bottle immediately, and set the yeast to work fermenting this so-called priming sugar. The CO2 is now trapped in the beer, and after about two weeks, the beer should be carbonated and ready to drink!


So here we are. After about two weeks, your beer is ready to bottle.

  1. Clean & Sanitize Everything: (Do you see a theme repeating here?) Make sure your bottles, bottle filler, bottle caps, bottling bucket, and transfer hoses are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.
  2. Prepare the Priming Sugar: Boil the priming sugar in 16 oz of water. Let it cool, then pour it into the bottling bucket.
  3. Transfer the Beer: Siphon the beer from the fermenter into the bottling bucket. Try to leave behind as much of the sediment as possible. If you vacuum up some sediment - don't worry. It's mostly yeast, and we need yeast to carbonate our beers!
  4. Fill the Bottles: Attach the bottle filler to the hose and connect it to the spigot on the bottling bucket. Push the filler to the bottom of each bottle and fill to the top. When you remove the filler, it will leave the perfect amount of headspace.
  5. Cap the Bottles: Use the bottle caps and a capper to seal each bottle.
  6. Carbonate the Beer: Store the bottles at room temperature for about two weeks to let the beer carbonate. Don't place these newly bottled beers anywhere too cold, or the yeast will go dormant and not carbonate the beer.

    Step 6: Enjoy


    Is this the most important step? It might just be. Some people say it's just as much fun to brew the beer as it is to drink the beer, but for others, the enjoyment phase is what they've been looking forward to all along. Whatever your motivation, enjoyment is good. And to fully enjoy the beer, chill some in the refrigerator, grab a beer glass and get ready for some fun!

    Don't we have enough stuff to worry about in life? Why do we need a numbered list just to drink a beer? Because proper pouring requires lots of practice to master the finer nuances, and practice makes perfect. Lots and lots of practice over and over again.

    1. Chill Your Beer: Place your bottle-conditioned beer in the fridge for a few hours until it's perfectly chilled. A cold brew is the best way to enjoy all the delicious flavors! You don't have to chill it, but room temperature beer will foam like crazy. Just sayin'.
    2. Open the Bottle with Care: Okay, we're just embellishing here, but stay with us. Use a bottle opener to pop the cap off gently. Listen to that satisfying hiss of carbonation - it's music to a brewer's ears!
    3. Pour Slowly: Tilt your glass at a 45-degree angle and slowly pour the beer. Aim for a smooth, steady stream down the side of the glass to preserve carbonation. Leave the last bit in the bottle to avoid pouring the sediment.
    4. Admire Your Brew: Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder! Hold your glass up and take a moment to appreciate the color, clarity, and head of your homebrewed beer. You've made this! Soon we'll make it disappear!
    5. Take a Whiff: Give your beer a good sniff. Enjoy the complex aromas of hops, malt, and yeast. Let your nose prepare you for the taste explosion to come.
    6. Sip and Savor: Take your first sip and let the flavors dance on your palate (yeah, that's right. Home brewing will turn you into a professional dancer). Notice the balance of sweetness, bitterness, and every other subtle flavor. Enjoy every drop of your handcrafted beer.
    7. Cheers to You!: Raise your glass and give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back. You've successfully brewed, conditioned, and enjoyed your very own homebrewed beer. Cheers!

      Step 7: Repeat


      Okay, so maybe this sound obvious, but let's unpack it. Don't you wish you could brew your beer and drink it on the same day? This has been the dream of brewers since the beginning of time, but unfortunately, we have to wait. And because we have to wait, it's important to not let yourself run out of your beer. If you drink your last precious glass of home brewed beer with nothing on the way, then you have to wait at least four more weeks for the next batch to be ready. Thus, do not procrastinate and always have something in the works. Here are other formidable reasons to keep the home brewed beers in production:

      1. Craftsmanship and Creativity: Brewing is like being a mad scientist in your kitchen! You get to experiment with different ingredients, flavors, and techniques. Whether it’s tweaking a recipe or inventing your own, the creative process is incredibly rewarding.
      2. Quality Control: When you brew at home, you’re the quality control expert. You decide what goes into your beer, ensuring freshness and avoiding any unwanted additives (you wouldn't believe the list of additives that professional breweries put in their beer). Plus, nothing beats the satisfaction of sharing a pint of your own creation with friends and family. Nothing beats the satisfaction. Only brewers understand this.
      3. Community and Camaraderie: Homebrewing brings people together. Join local clubs, attend festivals, and swap brews with fellow enthusiasts. It’s a great way to connect, learn, and share experiences with others who appreciate the art of brewing. And you get to drink the beer. What's wrong with this picture? Nothing!
      4. Cost Savings (and Bragging Rights): Sure, brewing equipment can be an initial investment, but over time, it pays off. And don't get pulled down the rabbit hole that you need expensive, fancy equipment to make excellent beer, because you do not! Imagine the joy of saying, “I made this!” when you crack open a bottle. Plus, brewing your own beer at home is usually significantly cheaper than buying craft beer.
      5. Endless Variety: With home beer brewing, the world is your beer garden.  Literally! From hoppy IPAs to rich stouts, fruity sours to crisp and grainy lagers, you can explore the wonderful world of beer styles and flavors. It’s like having a personalized beer menu at your fingertips!

      Ready to Brew?

      There you have it! Making beer at home is a fun and rewarding process. With each batch, you’ll get better and more creative, and your taste buds will thank you for it, too. Ready to start your next batch? Check out Boomchugalug’s brewing kits and get everything you need in one box. Cheers to your brewing adventure!