Making beer or cider using an off-the-shelf kit


Lucinda and Sean Flynn, from Hurstbridge, are permaculture enthusiasts who are leading lights in North East Region Permaculture.

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1. Add sanitiser to water.
2. Wash then sterilise your fermenting drum.
3. Choose your beer or cider, cut the pack open, and remove the contents from the side pocket.
4. Heat syrup in a bucket of hot water, pour it into the disinfected fermenter, add three litres of boiling water, then sugar (cider) or brew enhancer (beer, ginger beer), and stir.
5. Top up to 23 litres with cold water. Add other ingredients as instructed (the middle photo below shows an elderflower package for cider). When the temperature is right (check instructions), sprinkle yeast on top. Seal the lid and add an airlock. Leave to brew for 1 week, until your hydrometer says the specific gravity is correct – i.e. fermentation is complete.
6. Once fermentation is complete: If using a keg, wash and disinfect the keg and your syphon then syphon the beer into the keg. If you don’t have a syphon, just open the tap.
7. If using bottles, wash and sterilise the bottles and crown top lids, line your bottles up ready to fill (ours are stored in a screw top jar), and add sugar or carbonation drops to each bottle as instructed.
8. Use syphon or use bottling valve to fill bottles. Then cap, and store in a cool dry place while carbonation occurs.
9. Drink and enjoy!

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