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What is so special about our home brewing kits?

Let’s face it: Home brewing is complicated – until now! The 'Braufässchen' home brewing kits are the fastest and easiest way to brew your own beer or cider. With just a few steps you come to successful brewing. With the step-bye-step instruction and the perfectly weight-up ingredients you just need about 10 minutes until your beer is ready to ferment. After just one week your home-brewed beer or cider can be tapped directly from the keg. Cheers!

Why is brewing with the 'Braufässchen' home brewing kits so much faster than in a brewery or with other home brewing kits?

For 'Braufässchen' we completely rethought the process of home brewing. Currently most approaches for home brewing use the same processes than conventional breweries, only on a smaller scale. We thought, that it should be possible for a small scale to allow a unique approach. Therefore we went back to the drawing board and reinvented the process of home brewing. The two main innovations to make home brewing faster and easier are to brew directly in the keg and to brew under pressure.

How did you simplify this process?

The beer/cider is brewed in a single-step process directly in the keg. Firstly this has the advantage, that the keg is already aseptic. So no cleaning is necessary. Furthermore we developed a pressure control valve. During fermentation, the yeast converts the malt sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The valve regulates the pressure during this process. This is necessary in order to bring in just the right amount of naturally arising carbon dioxide as sparkling carbonation in your beer/cider while also preventing overpressure within the keg. This is an approach which is only suitable under small scale conditions. Big breweries can’t brew this way as it would be very difficult to maintain the pressure in a big vessel. Brewing under pressure also stabilizes the fermentation and is one method of reducing unwanted by-products.

What exactly is the difference between brewing with 'Braufässchen' and conventional brewing?

Normally the beer has to be transferred after the fermentation either in bottles or in a keg for storage and carbonation. The storage usually requires several weeks and is necessary to remove unwanted by-products like fusel alcohols. These by-products are generated if the conditions for the yeast are not perfect. During storage the yeast has no sugars to ferment and will therefore metabolize most of the by-products. With 'Braufässchen' we selected special yeasts and malts to provide the best fermentation conditions possible. This prevents the formation of unwanted by-products in the first place. For carbonation breweries usually add either sugar or carbon dioxide during storage to carbonize the beer. This is not necessary with our kits as the pressure control valve keeps just enough of the natural arising carbon dioxide during fermentation. For us it is very important to leave the beer as natural as possible. Therefore in contrast to most big breweries the beer doesn’t undergo any technical treatment like pasteurization or filtration. During the cooling period in the fridge the yeast settles on the ground and the beer is naturally filtered. We want the beer to stay as fresh and natural as possible.

Which other measures did you take to speed up the brewing process?

First of all we put a lot of effort into finding yeasts which can ferment fast and without producing unwanted by-products. The production of by-products is biochemical process and is due to a process which seeks equilibrium between several factors. So you can either try to remove by-products later (what most breweries do) or try to prevent the formation in the first place. For breweries the last one is very difficult due to the big scale. We put a lot of effort into finding the right combination between fermentation conditions and yeast so the beer is fermented very fast and tastes delicious. For example we have figured out special ways of preparing the malt and the wort for 'Braufässchen' so that the yeast finds the best conditions (nutrients) for fermentations. Another important point is the fermentation temperature. As all reactions in biochemistry, the fermentation of sugar to alcohol depends on the temperature. As our kits work with ambient temperature we have a faster brewing process in general. But a faster brewing process in the wrong conditions would also mean more by-products and undrinkable beer. Therefore the tricky part was to find the right yeast that can ferment in ambient temperate without producing unwanted byproducts. When we were developing the 'Braufässchen' concept we were screening hundreds of different yeasts together with different malts to find the most suitable yeast-wort combinations. This was the most work intensive part of the whole product development.

How can you guarantee that every beer brewed with 'Braufässchen' will be a success?

We not only eliminated all unnecessary and complicated steps of home brewing. We also removed the most common sources of error. The most critical steps for the success of home brewing are hygiene and the recipe. As we provide all equipment, we can guarantee that everything is properly aseptic and remove the possibility of contamination or unwanted by-products normally due to not properly cleaned equipment. We take care that all ingredients are properly weight and conditioned suiting the recipe. Also we’ve optimized the entire procedure, so neither the water you use nor the fermentation temperature can seriously alter the final result.

What is the scope of delivery of a 'Braufässchen' home brewing kit?

All brewing kits contain specific components: the empty five-liter keg as a fermentation tank, step-by-step instructions, the pressure control valve and all necessary ingredients to brew five liters of your favorite beer or cider. Beer kits include around 650 g - 750 g of malt extract, 9 ml of hop extract, 4 g of yeast and flavours and wood chips, depending from your beer style. Cider kits include juice concentrate, natural flavouring, dry yeast.
You can download the instructions here and get the first impresions.

Do I need any additional equipment to brew beer or cider?

No, everything is included. You only need to add water. One part of the water needs to be boiled so in fact you need something to boil water (for example a pot and a stove). But we assume this should be on hand.

How long does it take until I can enjoy my beer or cider?

After one week your beer/cider is ready fermented and you can enjoy your home brewed beverage! The beer/cider has to ferment for five days at ambient temperature. For proper fermentation the temperature is crucial. We recommend to keep the keg at temperatures between 19° and 21° C. After the fermentation your keg has to rest for two days in the fridge. We consider it as very important that the beer will be ready within one week as this makes it much easier to brew your own beer on demand. For example, if you want to invite your friends for a BBQ next week, you know exactly when you have to start to brew. So it is very easy to brew exactly the right beer for any occasion..

Does the Brewbarrel fit inside my refrigerator?

With its external dimension it’s exactly like a normal five litres party keg. The dimension of the keg are optimized so that it fits to most regular refrigerators. The dimension are: height 27 cm (10.6 in) and diameter 18 cm (7.1 in).

Which water should I use for the fermentation?

You can use tap water if it’s clean. But if there is chloride in it, or much chalk you should use bottled water without carbon dioxide.Use a measuring cup to measure the water. It’s very important to use the right amount of water. If you are not sure if your tab water contains chloride ask your water company or use bottled water to be on the safe side. Chloride is added to the tab water in some regions to prevent the spread of bacteria. The same mechanism of action which prevents bacterial growth would also prevent the yeast from fermenting your beer/cider.

What alcohol amount do I get with the 'Braufässchen' home brewing kits?

The alcohol amount ranges between 4.3 and 6.0 %. Due to temperature and other factors the alcohol amount may vary a little bit.

Why is the beer more cloudy than the beer in the bottle?

Your home brewed beer is as natural as possible. This means, that there is no technical treatment applied to your beer. Usually breweries use either chemical or technical filtration to make the beer crystal clear. By this a lot of the natural flavour components of the beer are lost as well. Also the beer/cider is not pasteurised and therefore as fresh as possible.

How long is the ready fermented beer/cider edible?

Your beer/cider is durable for about two to four weeks after the fermentation time as long as it is kept refrigerated all the time. During the storage in the fridge the beer/cider will be naturally cleared and during some maturation processes gain new flavour components. So it’s no problem to keep it longer in the fridge as the minimum two days. It will only become clearer and develop a more harmonic taste.

How fast should I empty the keg after opening?

After you first released the pressure you should drink your beer/cider within a few days. Even though you can reseal the barrel by turning the pressure control valve after the initial opening there will be oxygen in your beer/cider. Like with wine oxygen will also alter the colour and taste of beer. Therefore you should keep the beer/cider refrigerated and finish your barrel within a few days.

During fermentation foam is escaping from the pressure control valve. Is this good or bad?

This can happen during the first days of fermentation. In the first days there is a lot of sugar and the yeast is growing exponentially. Therefore the yeast is very active and produces a lot of CO2. Due to this a lot of foam will rise. Some of this foam may escape with the overpressure through the pressure control valve. This is no problem at all. Indeed it is a sign that your yeast is healthy and your beer/cider on the way to becoming very delicious. After a few days there should be no more foam escaping through the pressure control valve..

How durable are the ingredients?

When you receive your Brewbarrel the ingredients have at least a minimum durability of six months. Please store the Brewbarrel ingredients on a cool and try place. Especially keep them away from direct sunlight and heating. All ingredients have their own best before date. Please check this before brewing.

Can I reuse my keg to brew another batch?

Unfortunately this is not possible. With our home brewing kits we want to make sure that every beer/cider will become a delicious success. As cleaning and hygiene is key for successful brewing we do not recommend to reuse the keg. It is very difficult to really get the barrel clean and therefore it is indeed easier to recycle your old one and buy a new set.

What is the target group for the 'Braufässchen' home brewing kits? The experienced home brewer or the novice?

With our home brewing kits we want to create an easy solution for everyone who has always thought about home brewing but never had the time to undergo all the efforts necessary. Usually you have to buy a lot of equipment and make yourself familiar with the techniques behind home brewing. Also you have a lot of cleaning effort and mostly the first batches of your home brewed beer are not so delicious. We are offering an opportunity for everyone to brew beer with very little effort. You get all ingredients already weighed and have an easy step-by-step instruction and a guaranteed brewing success. We want brewing to be likable and fun and by this open home brewing to a much wider audience. Our home brewing kits are considered for people who are just interested in home brewing or want to try new beer varieties easily. Of course it can also be interesting for experienced home brewers to easily try new recipes with little effort.

Do I have to pay alcohol taxes?

The home brewing kits itself do not contain any alcohol. But please inform yourself about the regulations in your country and state on home brewing and if you have to pay taxes for home brewing. Usually your local home brewing association can be very helpful in answering this questions.
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