Apartment Living

07.05.2018 | 2 Minute Read | By Michael Hochman

It only takes a few clicks on Google to learn how to make beer at home or watching a short “How To Make Homebrew” video on YouTube to know what to do. But making beer at home is more than having a few good beer recipes and a bunch of trendy ingredients. Exactly how much room does it take, especially in an apartment or small space, to make beer at home?

Basic homebrewing for small spaces

The answer to how much room do you need to make beer at home is that it depends on how much beer you wish to make. The good news is that no matter how little space you have, there’s a beer making process for you.

There are three basic beer brewing processes: extract brewing, partial mash and all-grain. If you have a small space or are a beer-making beginner, the extract method is your best bet. This process uses concentrated malt extract – rather than grain– which is mixed with hops and added directly to the brew pot to create the wort or beer base. This skips the more involved, more expansive mashing process in the beer recipe entirely and is perfect for apartment brewing.

Basic kitchen needs for small batches

So exactly how much space do you need? Fortunately, not a lot. At its most basic, making beer at home requires a kitchen and minimal storage space. In fact, you can brew a batch as small as a single gallon, which will make about ten bottles worth of beer, and that doesn’t take up a lot of room.

In the kitchen, you will need a stovetop capable of boiling a two-to-three gallon pot (for a one-gallon batch, larger pots are required for bigger batches), so basically any stovetop. You will also need a sink (or bathtub) big enough to create an ice bath to cool down your wort pot. And then enough counter and floor space to spread out your basic equipment and to transfer mixtures between vessels. It really doesn’t take much, but don’t expect to cook dinner at the same time.

How much storage space do you need to make beer at home

The other major factor in your homebrew operation is storage space. If you’re making small one-gallon or five-gallon batches, storing your beer for fermenting in your transfer vessel doesn’t take up a lot of room, and can utilize any available space such as the bottom of a storage closet, in a living room corner or behind your couch. Same goes for your finished, bottled product. Remember, homebrew beer does not need to be refrigerated until just before you are going to drink it. All it needs is a relatively cold, dark space.

And don’t forget that you will also need to store your brewing equipment. Basic homebrewing only requires a pot for boiling, a similarly-sized transfer bucket, a sturdy strainer and empty bottles. Want to keep it even more effortless? Purchase a turnkey homebrew starter kit online or from some well-known breweries.

You can do it small

It really doesn’t take as much space to make beer at home as you may think. If you have a small space, you can keep it simple and still make a great, uncomplicated home beer. The more space you have, the more elaborate you can get. But the bottom line is you can most certainly make homebrew in your apartment.

Photo by Adam Wilson on Unsplash

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