Hobby brewing in the Netherlands
GeneralA home brewer (or amateur brewer) is understood to mean someone who at home brews small quantities of beer for their own use. This is often done with simple equipment on a small scale.
HistoryHobby brewing is an ancient hobby. Where it is nowadays a hobby, it used to be a primary necessity of life. After all, water from the tap / pump was heavily contaminated and full of bacteria while beer was purified by the boiling process. In the Netherlands this was mostly done in the south in the late Middle Ages. Nowadays the hobby is popular again, partly due to the back-to-basic attitude of the critical consumer and because the product beer appeals to many people.
Method (in short)Making your own beer is not as difficult as you might think, with home-garden-and-kitchen material one can easily start as an amateur brewer. As with many hobbies there is brewing equipment for every wallet, from tens to a few hundred, the hobby brewer can make it as expensive as he (or she) wants it.
Brewing processThe brewing process is understood to mean; the process in which the wort is made. Wort is the initial sugar-containing product prior to beer that has not yet undergone fermentation. The hobby brewer often cooks the crushed grain (mashed grain) with a few liters of water. In practice, this process often takes between one and two hours. By cooking, the enzymes in the cereals produce sugars, which are needed for fermentation.
Fermentation processAfter the wort has boiled for long enough, the hobby brewer cools it off as quickly as possible to prevent possible infections. When the wort has reached a temperature of approximately 20 degrees (with high fermentation beer), the brewer transfers the wort to a so-called fermentation vessel or tank and the yeast is added. The yeast creates pressure in the vessel and the water trap ensures that it can escape the carbon dioxide pressure, but that no bacteria can enter.
After a few days, the yeast has done its work and has become wort beer, officially called the young beer. The young beer is transferred to a clean barrel to lose the yeast cake at the bottom of the barrel.
BottlingNow the hobby brewer is left with nothing more than adding a few grams of sugar per liter of beer, which ensures that a nice head is created when the beer bottle is opened. The sugar is therefore also called 'bottled sugar'. The hobby brewer fills bottle by bottle and caps it by means of a crown cork device.
After placing the beer in a cool place for a few weeks, the beer can be poured and drunk.