Post-apocalyptic life is hard. Every day that goes by it’ll feel harder. That’s why it’s imperative that you find a little joy where you can. One thing you might try is brewing your own beer. It’s also helpful if society starts getting back on its feet since people will gladly barter for alcohol.
Beer brewing has been around for centuries and hasn’t always been as precise a science as it is today. The basics of beer brewing are:
- Soak malted grain in hot water to release malt sugars.
- Boil the malt sugar solution with hops for flavoring.
- Cool the solution and add yeast to begin fermentation.
- The yeast ferments the sugars, releasing CO2 and ethyl alcohol.
- After fermentation is complete add sugar and bottle to create carbonation.
Depending on the ingredients you use, these steps can make an infinite number of flavors of beer. Sadly, some of these ingredients will be hard to come by in the PAW.
Barley is the type of grain typically used to make beer, but you can pretty much use any type of grain. You can scavenge grain for all kinds of places.
Unfortunately, unless you live in Germany, the Northwest US, or the UK, you probably aren’t going to be able to find hops for your brew. You could always scavenge at a local Co-Op or brewing supply store for hops and yeast, but its not a renewable resource. This isn’t a show stopper, hops are just for flavoring and aroma so we can actually make beer without them.
Yeast in a concentrated form is difficult to come by as well. But unlike hops, yeast occurs naturally pretty much everywhere in nature, so it’s just a matter of exposing your concoction to the elements for a little while.
- First you need to malt your grains (about 5 pounds). This can be accomplished by toasting them near a fire.
- Now you need to boil the malted grains in 5 gallons of water for about an hour. At this point, if you have them, add about 2 ounces of hops. At this point, your concoction is called “wort”.
- While the wort is chilling it, place it in a field or forest for a few days where it can gather the wild yeast in the air, just make sure to put a screen of some kind over the wort so no leaves or twigs or other contaminants get into it.
- Under ideal temperatures (60-70F), the yeast will need roughly 1 month to complete the fermentation process. Add time for colder temperatures and subtract for warmer temperatures. If the temperature is too extreme, the yeast will die and the fermentation process will terminate before completion. You can tell the wort is done fermenting when it stops bubbling.
- At this point, add 3/4 of a cup of sugar to the beer, stir it up and bottle it. Let it sit for about a week and it should be properly carbonated.
So kick back with your tasty beer and forget about life for a while.