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Eat + Drink October 7, 2014   |  by

Oktoberfest Special: A BYOB (Brew Your Own Beer) Guide

If you’re the kind of person who likes to DIY, then learn how to BYOB (Brew Your Own Beer) with our Oktoberfest Special guide! Three proponents of beer homebrewing teach us a thing or two.

By Hiasa Kyte

The Essentials

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Coopers DIY Beer Kit (Image credits: iBrew)

Homebrewing is pretty much a scaled-down version of commercial brewing so you’ll need to source the ingredients (malt, hops, yeast and water), do your own mashing and boiling, wait patiently while fermentation takes place and, finally, bottle the beverage. It sounds potentially complicated, but that can all be sorted out with a homebrewing kit.

Raymond Lee of homebrewing specialists iBrew recommends the kit sold by famed Australian brewery Coopers. “The Coopers DIY beer kit includes all the basic equipment and ingredients,” says Raymond. “It even has a DVD to demonstrate how to use it.”

Homebrewer Timothy Foong believes that kits, while great for beginners, are just the first step. “They usually contain everything you need for your first brew but kits are sometimes extremely bare bones,” he says. “At the basic level they contain a fermentation vessel like a bucket, a carboy or a variation of either, bottles, a long spoon, a hydrometer for measuring pre- and post-fermentation gravity of the beer, a stick-on thermometer and a sanitizer which is essential for keeping everything clean and keeping infections at bay. You just need to add on a large pot for boiling, which some people have already.”

He sees homebrewing as a hobby that can be as simple or as fancy as you like, with all kinds of advanced equipment available for enthusiastic hobbyists to include in their arsenal.

Mervyn Chen, another homebrewer mentions the need to keep everything cool, as heat isn’t the best thing for a fermenting beer. “In hot and humid Singapore, it’s great to have a device or gadget to keep the temperature consistent in the low 20s,” he says. “You can start off with an ice-pack and styrofoam box combination and then upgrade to a chiller when you get serious.”