Home-brewing is sweeping the nation. This was already happening before the Covid-19 pandemic, but now it’s even more popular than ever. There’s a lot to learn if you’re trying this activity yourself.
Granted, learning and experimentation with this new hobby are quite alluring to many who take it up. Then again, you need to be reasonably sure of enough success that you find it all worth your while. Keep reading for 10 beer brewing tips that you can use to get better at your craft.
1) Don’t Neglect Sanitation
The concepts of sterilization and sanitation are two that you need to take to heart from the very start. Sanitation problems can happen before you even start brewing. They also don’t end until you cap your bottles. The most crucial period for sterilization is just after you cool the beer you make. This is prime time for bacteria and infections, given how the yeast has yet to start fermenting.
2) Start With The Darker Beers
No matter what kind of beer you love, you’re better off starting with darker beers having higher ABV or Alcohol by Volume. Stouts, porters, and others like them are usually much better at covering up any mistakes you make. This is because they have a rather forgiving nature in terms of makeup and their flavor profile. If your first several batches flop, it can be very easy to lose faith in beer brewing. So, go easy on yourself. Mastering beer brewing tips takes time.
3) Use Glass Fermenters
Many home brewing kits have plastic buckets for fermenting. They’re certainly an affordable way to get going when you’re new to it. However, they’re also pieces you might want to upgrade sooner rather than later. Stainless steel and glass fermenters have several benefits that plastic will never give you. First, your contents won’t stick so easily, making them far easier for cleaning and sterilization. Secondly, they’ll be a stronger barrier against oxygen.
4) Read Books
You might want to just homebrew so you can kick back and enjoy a pint, possibly while watching a game or just enjoying it on your own. Still, it helps if reading is another hobby of yours. Other beer brewers highly recommend the following texts before you:
-“Designing Great Beers”, Author: Ray Daniels
-“Great Beers of Belgium”, Author: Michael Jackson
-“How to Brew” and also “Brewing Classic Styles”, Author: John Palmer
-“Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation”, Author: Jamil Zainesheff
5) Prepare Your Yeast Correctly
There are two primary guidelines about healthy yeast that you should follow. First, never let it just sit in your fridge for months. Secondly, be sure you give it the right oxygen level and the best nutrients to work well.
6) Don’t Use Your Stove-top
If you have a boil over in your kitchen, you’re going to have quite a mess to clean up. It’s also more likely than you think. If you can, heat your concoction somewhere else. A propane burner is a good idea, used on a patio, in your garage, or even in the driveway.
7) It’s Like Cooking In One Regard
You know that a chef or cook is only as good as their ingredients. The same applies to brewing beer. Get fresh ingredients and make sure they’re high-caliber. You also need to understand them. Learn what you can store and what you can’t. Fresh hops can often be stored in your freezer with minimal freshness loss. However, malt and crushed grains that get frozen eventually oxidize in ways that ruin the flavor.
8) Find Your Gold Standard Of Alcohol Level
You want to keep your alcohol level light using ABV Calculator, but you also don’t want it to be too light. Stronger beers with more alcohol percentage certainly have more flavor, but managing the higher-gravity fermentation is hard to do if you’re a beginner. Then again, if you go too light, you don’t have as much room for mistakes since there’s nothing to mask over flaws. If you’re just starting, aim for a range of 5- to 7-percent ABV, a lot of people make use of ABV Calculator to get an accurate reading of Alcohol content in their brew.
9) Use A Bigger Kettle
Many starters get going with a 5-gallon stainless steel kettle. The stainless steel is a great idea, but the 5-gallon size probably isn’t. Go ahead and splurge from the start on something larger, perhaps a 7.5-gallon kettle or more. You’ll save money with this later on, it’s better for all-grain brewing if you ever try it, and it lowers your chances of boil overs.
10) Bottle On Your Dishwasher
It might feel like bottling takes just as long as brewing. Want to spare yourself some mess? Bottle on your dishwasher’s open lid! Put the bottling bucket on the counter just above your dishwasher, and then fill all your bottles on the dishwasher’s open lid. If there’s any spillage, you can just channel it all into your dishwasher when you finally shut the door. It’s a lot less mess for you to clean up.
The craft of Home-brewing is one part art, one part science, and hopefully totally fun. Think ahead, take care of your hardware, and make good use of ABV Calculator and other online tools available on the internet. Getting things right means having your beer to enjoy on your own or with friends and family. Getting things wrong can mean frustration, wasted time and money, and the chance you turn away from something you could have been great at. Hopefully, these tips will make you a master in no time.