Hops and cannabis are really close cousins. Enjoying a beer with your bud is nothing new. Neither is canna-infused beer. That said, it is making a major resurgence these days. Craft beers with this unique, new twist are springing up everywhere.

Even better? If you make your own brews at home, it is absolutely easy to incorporate cannabis into your regular process.

AN OVERVIEW OF BREWING

The basics of brewing are thousands of years old. First step? It is necessary to convert a starchy grain like barley (or another grain) into “sugar.” This is called wort. The wort is then added to yeast. This in turn begins the process of making alcohol. Enzymes in the yeast convert the sugar to a higher-grade substance.

Hops and cannabis are added to the brewing process to add flavour. Both hops and cannabis have antibacterial properties, which actually helps the yeast do its job. To make cannabis-infused beer, in other words, all you have to do is substitute cannabis for hops; or mix the two. It’s that easy.

Cannabis Beer Homemade

HOW TO PREPARE YOUR CANNABIS

Established and practiced brewers have their own techniques and timing. However, it is still necessary to prepare the cannabis separately.

The first thing? Remove the “impurities,” if not toxins from your bud. Soak the cannabis you plan to use in filtered water. This will remove natural impurities. It will also wash away other undesirable substances that cling to the leaves.

The question of when to add the cannabis to the concoction is a matter of some debate. When adding cannabis to the wort as it is boiling, you might lose terpenes in the process. Some believe that only dried bud should be added to the cooled wort. This is a matter of experimentation and individual taste. However, when brewing a strain containing THC, remember that just the right amount of heat and time is required to decarboxylate or “activate” the THC. Too much or too little heat will render the cannabis less effective.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

If you are an experienced brewer, skip this part. However, if coming to the process for the first time or even as a relatively inexperienced brewer, stop here. You need to be prepared for this. Watch a few YouTube videos. Gather the equipment you need all together in one place. This recipe is designed to make about 19 litres of beer, so plan accordingly.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1.8 kilograms glucose (brewer’s sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 2-3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1.6 kilograms malt extract
  • 28 grams hops/14 grams cannabis flower plus 14 grams hops/227 grams ground cannabis leaves
  • 4.7 litres plus 1.9 litres of lukewarm water
  • 2 large saucepans
  • Muslin or cheesecloth
  • 25 litre white or black plastic bucket with a lid
  • Thermometer
  • Bottles for finished beer

Brewing Process Cannabis Beer

BREWING PROCESS

  1. Set the large saucepans on the stove to boil. Put 2.4 litres of water in each saucepan. While the water is boiling, begin the fermentation process. Wrap the herbs (hops and/or cannabis) in the muslin.
  2. Mix the yeast with 4 pints of lukewarm water (21-32°C) and put this to one side.
  3. Now, put the glucose into one of the boiling pans of water. After it has dissolved, put the muslin-wrapped hops/cannabis in the same pan. Simultaneously, put the malt extract into the other pan.
  4. Simmer for 40 minutes. Remove from heat.
  5. Remove the muslin package and put it in a pan of cold water to cool off. Don’t use too much water. You do not want to dilute the cannabis-infused liquid still inside. In the meantime, pour the contents of both pans into the bucket. Then, squeeze all the remaining liquid out of the muslin package into the bucket.
  6. Add enough water to the bucket to insure that the temperature is 26.6°C.
  7. Now add the yeast.
  8. The bucket should be kept in a warm place (about 21°C). It will take about two to four weeks to complete this part of the process. Some brewers also wrap the brew bucket with blankets to insure a consistent temperature.
  9. Once the fermentation process is over, now comes the next part. Bottling. Bottles and bottling kits are also very easy to find. Make sure that you sanitise all your equipment. Once poured into the bottles and sealed, the wait is not yet over. It is best to leave the bottles for at least another two to four weeks before sampling.

That said, once you get the hang of it, you can always have a batch or two in progress.

Cheers!

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