I never would've even thought of brewing beer in a coffee maker until I found this article. What a great idea! The process of brewing coffee is very similar to the way beer is brewed. This mini-homebrew recipe below only produces a small batch of beer, but very worth it since you most likely have most of these supplies in your kitchen already!
You need the following equipment:
A standard electric drip coffee maker (with water heating compartment and hot plate)
A wooden rolling pin
1 coffee filter
A saucepan, larger than 2 quarts
2 1-quart canning jars with lids
2 6-inch squares of cheesecloth
2 rubber bands
½ gallon filtered water (not distilled)
Ingredients from homebrew supply store:
1¼ cups malted barley (or can use base malt)
5 to 7 hop pellets
½ packet of champagne yeast (or can use baker's yeast)
Malted barley acts as the sugar content for fermentation. The hops will help preserve the beer and give it added flavor. Make sure you clean everything thoroughly before starting, because any kind of small residue can affect the process.
Start with the 1¼ cups malted barley. Take the rolling pin and roll gently just to crack the grains, but don't over roll to get the consistency of flour. Place the grains in the coffee pot. Put 2 cups of filtered water into the coffee machine and turn it on. The hot plate and water-heating chamber with temperatures of 170°F and 150°F are perfect temperatures for brewing. Then wait for the coffee maker to brew for about an hour before it shuts off. The coffee maker will break down the grains and complex sugars into fermentable sugars.
Strain the liquid through the coffee filter and put the filter full of grain into the filter basket. Pour the strained liquid back into the water-heating chamber. Add 1 of cup water to the strained liquid in the chamber and start the coffee machine again. After the liquid flows into the coffee pot, turn off the machine and pour the liquid back into the chamber. Repeat 5 times, adding another cup of water each time. Keep an eye on the coffee maker through this "lautering process." This is where the hot water washes over the grain extracting the sugars.
The liquid that comes out is called "wort," or sweet liquor. Place the wort in a saucepan and when it comes to a rolling boil, add 5 to 7 pellets of hops. Boil for an additional 30 minutes, then turn off the burner. Stir until mixed then pour the wort into the canning jar. Pour down the side of the jar without splashing to keep all the ingredients contained. Next, place the jar into the sink filled with cold water. When the temperature reaches 60-70°F, screw on the top of the jar and shake vigorously. Take off the top and add yeast.
Put a piece of cheesecloth over the top of the jar and secure it with a rubbed band. Place jar in a cool, dark place and the liquor will become beer in 5-7 days.
If you try brewing beer in your coffee maker let us know how it turns out! This is a great way to learn and understand the process of how beer is made. I simplified the instructions above; for more details read the article. Now this is a long process that is time consuming and you will only have created a small amount of beer. This process will be fun to try, however if you're really serious about making beer, I would check out our complete Cooper’s Complete Homebrew Kits and our Mr. Beer Complete Beer Making Kits.