Brewing your own beer is actually not that hard: you can soak some loaves of bread in water, leave them in a cool, dark place for a couple of days, and just squeeze out the liquid. This is one way the ancient Egyptians did it.
They practically lived on the stuff. As in medieval Europe, beer was much safer to drink than water (think cholera), and it even found a way into their religious ceremonies. Egyptian beer was not, however, anything like what you’ll find in a can or bottle today: since it fermented extremely rapidly, it was drunk either very young or had an alcohol content that would make the most ardent modern craft brewer smile in appreciation.
Neither of these styles will appeal much to modern palates, though. If you want to create something you and your friends will actually enjoy, you will probably want to use a brewing kit rather than a large clay jar.
Like the wine maker kit we reviewed before, you’ll receive almost all the equipment you’ll need for brewing without having to shop around. In addition to what’s included, a large (10 gallon) pot and bottles are required at a minimum, although you might want to purchase some additional stuff depending on what kind of beer you want to brew.
Instead of having to search for your own wheat, barley, hops and yeast, these brewing kits all come in a recipe kit, which is pre-measured for you and available in a number of flavors.
Most importantly, buying a kit takes a lot of the guesswork out of the process, making consistent success much more likely. The attached instructions have been tested extensively on identical equipment, and online support is available when you need it. It takes about 7-8 weeks to produce 5 gallons of beer, which, depending on your age, should be more than enough when making a good barbeque.
Unlike similar, cheaper kits that use plastic fermentation vessels, these glass carboys are much easier to clean and sterilize, further improving your chances of getting a perfect batch. Another reason for this specific kit’s relatively high price is the fact that it allows you to ferment your beer twice. If you just want something drinkable, fast, this isn’t necessary, but most people agree that a secondary fermentation stage does make for a more rounded, flavorful product.