Everything Newfoundland & Labrador with its Culture, Cuisine and Traditions

Making Beer 101

Making Beer 101

With the price of beer today, it’s a wonder why more people aren’t making it. The cost is only a fraction of the price of commercial beer. The method is simple; just one fermenting process and only one container required.

You can use reusable 2 litre plastic pop bottles instead of normal 12 oz bottles. It is less effort in washing and capping.


Items required to make your own homebrew can be found at your nearest beer-making supply shop or at most hardware stores. All of these items are relative inexpensive; you will make your money on the first batch of homebrew you make.

You will need:

  • 5-gal plastic pail with cover
  • Siphon hose (6 ft long)
  • Hose clamp for siphoning
  • 12 2-litre plastic bottles with caps
  • Hydrometer
  • Large pot


  • 20 litres water
  • Malt extract (40 oz can – any flavour)
  • Yeast (1 tsp brewers yeast)
  • 5 lbs sugar (corn sugar is preferable)

Sanitizing Equipment:

You must sanitize all of your equipment. Clean equipment with warm, soapy water. Rinse well, remove all soap residue. Then sanitize utilizing household bleach (1 tbsp to a gallon of water). Rinse well, so you don’t leave any aftertaste.

How To Brew:

  1. Pour 10 litres of fresh cold water into 5 gallon plastic pail
  2. Using your large pot, bring 7 litres of water to boil
  3. Add one can of malt extract. Stir and cook uncovered for approx 30 minutes
  4. Add sugar, stir and totally dissolve
  5. Pour contents into the plastic pail quickly (this allows air to be incorporated with the mixture)
  6. Top up with drinking water or tap-water until temperature is neutral (pail or carboy should be almost full)
  7. Sprinkle yeast over top of water, and stir well. Cover with lid (lid should be on loosely)
  8. Allow 10-14 days to ferment (room temperature should be between 20-14 degrees C

Test for beer readiness with a hydrometer. The “ready to bottle” reading should be about 1.008 for dark beers and 1.010-1.015 for light beers. If you don’t have a hydrometer, you can judge the readiness by the taste test; beer should not be sweet tasting and there should be little or no bubbling action in the beer.


Place the carboy or pail on a sturdy table with the 12 2-litre bottles on the floor. Put 2 tsp of sugar in each bottle.

Siphon beer into the bottles. As you fill the bottles, keep the end of the siphon hose near the bottom of the bottle to avoid any frothing. Ensure you leave an air-space (approx 1” from the top). Screw caps on tightly. Invert each bottle and shake to dissolve any sugar at the bottom. Place bottles in a warm area for a few days, then store in a dark cook place.

You can drink the beer within 2 weeks of bottling; however it will improve with age.


  • If using tap-water, boil water to get rid of the bacteria
  • Pour beer carefully to avoid disturbing sediment
  • Re-cap partially full bottles (it will hold its fizz up to two weeks)
  • Rinse out empty bottles immediately after use, using a mild bleach solution
  • When siphoning, tip the pail or carboy when nearing the end of bottling

have at ‘er – go for it



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