The art of brewing beer has been a crucial part of cultures in African societies despite the influence from colonial masters. The Umqombothi is the traditional beer of the South Africans. As one of the most popular drinks in South Africa,This beer is made from maize meal, corn malt,crushed sorghum, yeast and water. Although the Umqombothi has a relatively low alcohol content, it appears to be very rich in vitamin B.
Prep Time 3 d 1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 3 d 1 hr 50 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine South African


  • 1 kg extra King Korn (umthombo)
  • 11 ltr 11 litres water
  • 2 kg sorghum
  • 2 kg maize meal
  • 1 kg brown sugar


  • Make a paste with the maize meal, 1 kg sorghum and six litres boiling water in a large bucket.
  • Cover tightly and leave to ferment over two to three days in a dark, warm place .
  • After this period, bubbles should appear on the surface to show that it has started fermenting.
  • Take out 2 cups and set aside.
  • Put 2 litres of water in a pot, bring to a boil and stir in the remaining paste.
  • Turn down the heat and simmer for an hour.
  • Turn off the heat, allow to cool, then transfer back to the bucket with the 2 cups set aside earlier.
  • Stir well using a ladle. Pour in the remaining dry sorghum, add 3 litres of cold water, stir well.
  • Seal and cover with a blanket or thick cloth to help insulate and leave to ferment for 24 hours.
  • Strain and serve.