Summertime is coming, I want to start my first DIY project and make my own homemade hard cider or beer. But I only have little experience or even zero. Here is what you should know about homebrewing.
Homebrewing and fermentation
By the definition of homebrewing, it means you brew something at home. It might be coffee or beer. If you are making coffee, "brew" means you make coffee by mixing it with hot water. If you are making beer, "brew" means you make beer by soaking, boiling, and fermentation.
For some homebrewers, they don't use the verb "homebrew" when they are talking about making hard cider since the hard cider making process doesn't involve boiling. But here, we want to focus on fermentation and what you should know before your first homemade drinks.
What is fermentation and what can I ferment?
Fermentation is the process in which a substance breaks down into a simpler substance. Microorganisms like yeast usually play a role in the fermentation process, creating beer, wine, sake, hard cider, and mead.
Unlike whiskey, vodka, brandy, or gin, they are one of a type of distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented drinks. Therefore you can't homebrew/ferment your own whiskey or vodka but beer or wine.
What is yeast?
Yeast is a microscopic fungus consisting of single oval cells that reproduce by budding, and are capable of converting sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide.
You might hear about wild yeast. The definition of wild yeasts is the yeasts live on fresh fruits' skin. But making your hard cider/wine with wild yeast could be hard for homebrew newbies since what strains of yeasts live on the skin is hard to control and some of them might be considered bad for making a tasty drink. You need to be experienced to make sure the result is great.
That is where commercial yeast (aka cultured yeast) comes in. Commercial yeast suppliers help homebrewers choose a specific strain of yeast and culture it. With commercial yeast, it is easier to make and control the fermentation.
What to know more about how to start your first batch?
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