Brew your own beer for Christmas for cheap lager and ale

With the cost of living crisis and inflation hitting all of us hard, the price of beer is set to rocket as pubs and brewers have to pass on prices rises to drinkers - but brewing your own beer and lager can help ensure your taps don't run dry this Christmas. Here's all you need to know about brewing your own beer to beat price hikes in UK supermarket and pubs as Christmas looms.

Will brewing your own homebrew beer help people beat the risk of beer shortages this Christmas.Homebrew beer is easy brew and could help save your Christmas cheer - if you move now.  (Credit: Pixabay)

Have I got time to brew my own beer before Christmas?

Yes - you can plan ahead now and cut your festive outgoings by brewing your own beer as demand an inflation increase the price of your favourite beer.

How long does it take to brew beer at home?

Preparing the beer for fermentation from a kit will typically take around 15 minutes, but that's just the start. Depending on the strength of the beer you're brewing and the type of yeast used, the fermentation period will take around 7-14 days.

After the fermentation period is complete, your beer will need to be transferred to bottles, or a barrel, where sugar is added to start a process called priming, which will trigger a second period of fermentation where CO2 is produced to give your beer that essential fizz.

The bottled beer must then be left to clear and ferment, and this period can take anything from 4-6 weeks - but leaving it longer will produce an improved taste.

Do I need to be an expert to brew beer at home?

While some home brewers create their ales from scratch, this is a complicated and skilled art - but there are hundreds of homebrew kits that are simple to use and provide all the ingredients and equipment required to make your favourite type of beer.

The kits provide full instructions and the easy-to-follow process will not be too taxing. You will often need to provide your own bottles, which can be recycled from previous session, and by asking friends to keep theirs for you. New caps are easy to fit and can be bought on line for just a few pounds.

Does homebrew beer taste like my favourites from pubs and supermarkets?

Don't expect your homebrew to taste exactly like your shop-bought mass-produced beers, but think more along the lines of it tasting like a typical craft beer. Providing you don't encounter any issues of contamination during the brewing process, homebrew beer is extremely drinkable and many believe it comes with an added kick of self-satisfaction.

These beer kits have come a long way, and anyone with memories of sneaking a swig of their dad's homebrew will be pleasantly surprised how fare they have come over the years.

How much does it cost to brew my beer at home - is it cheaper than in shops?

Assuming this is your first brew, you'll need to buy a brewing kit, which includes the beer ingredients and all the physical equipment required to brew the booze. These typically start at round a 40-pint capacity, and cost from around £25. You may also have to pay a few pounds extra for beer caps for your bottles - but these cost around £1.50 for 50, along with a tool to apply them for around £10.

Buying bottles can be expensive, to make sure you save up yours and ask friends to do the same - homebrew shops sell a cheap product to disinfect them in the bath etc., leaving them ready for refilling.

So, while the initial brew of 40 pints might cost from around £0.90p a pint, subsequent brews with all the reusable equipment in place will cost around £0.50p a pint - and that's worth raising a glass to if the shelves in supermarkets run dry.

Where can I buy homebrew beer kits 2022?

Just head to Google now and choose from the many suppliers offering a huge range of kits. Don't wait too long, though, as many quickly sold out during the previous lockdowns as thirsty folk faced shortages of beer on shelves.

Is brewing beer at home legal?

Yes - but normal licensing laws apply, so starting a pub in your garden shed and charging for your produce is a strict no-no, but sharing with family and friends is perfectly legal and if shortages do materialise, it could be the ideal way to save Christmas for beer fans.

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Author: Pete Barden:

Twitter: @pete_barden

Pete Barden is a qualified journalist who has written and produced for publications including The Sun (, New Statesman Media Group, Whatcar? ( Stuff Magazine (, Fastcar Magazine (, Maxim Magazine and UK broadcast stations within the Heart network (Formerly GCAP). Pete specialises in motoring and travel content, along with news and production roles. You can find out more about Pete Barden on LinkedIn.

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