All beer or at least the vast majority of beer consists of 4 main ingredients; Barley, Hops, Yeast and Water. That is it. Of course there may be additional ingredients but the vast majority of beers you buy at the shops only contain these 4 key ingredients. These ingredients combine and are fermented to create alcohol which is what makes beer.
- Barley is a grain just like wheat, before reaching a brewery Barley is processed via malting, enabling the brewer to extract the stored sugars from it. Malting the barley changes the flavour and composition of the grain itself which make it perfect for creating beer.
- Hops are the flowers of hop vines. They are full of resins and acids that balance and season the beer when added during the brewing process.
- Yeast are the organisms that turn the sweet liquid created from a beer kit into the beer itself. They consume the sugars and as a by-product produce alcohol and carbon dioxide, which are vital components of beer.
- Water is the main ingredient of the beer and any water good enough to drink will be just fine for using with your beer kit.
A beer kit contains all the ingredients you need to make your first beer. They are specially prepared in such a way that it makes it extremely easy to go from kit to beer in just a few steps and a very short amount of time.
The next thing we need to do is to start looking at the various beer kits available and which one to buy to suit your needs.