Making craft beers at home is a hobby that many individuals easily give up on because of how challenging it can be. If you’re a craft beer enthusiast, this homebrewery guide should have all the tips you need to know before you start brewing your first beer.
Homebrewery Guide | 7 Tips to Know Before Crafting Your First Beer
Every homebrewery guide starts off by telling you the same thing: making craft beer is both a science and an art. With that said, the first thing you should do before you begin brewing is to load up on as much information as you can about this topic.
There are many books about brewing that you can read. You can also try consulting some successful craft brewers to ask them for tips.
On top of that, there are countless sources of information online that include brewing blogs, software, discussion forums, etc. Believe it or not, there is a wide community of beer enthusiasts out there who would gladly give you all the advice you need and teach you about the art of crafting beer.
Afterward, try to focus on mastering how to brew one type of beer. Identify a specific flavor you want to brew towards and tweak your ingredients and recipe until you achieve the perfect taste.
Dark beers such as dark ales and stouts are the perfect starting points for any beginner homebrewer. Their rich flavor profiles serve as great covers for initial mistakes most newbies might be prone to making when crafting.
Achieving success early on is important for those new to the art. It should keep you encouraged to pursue the hobby despite how challenging it might be.
Brewing dark ales for the first time rarely results in total flops. This should keep you motivated enough to keep trying until you perfect that Australian dark craft beer taste.
A typical homebrewery guide would recommend that you get a basic homebrewing kit to get you started. While this may be enough to get you through your first few attempts, it’s better to have an expansion mindset when buying your next tools.
Standard homebrewing kits typically have everything you need to get you started. This includes tools like hydrometers and airlocks.
There are equipment-only kits and those that also have ingredients that go with them. Some kits are even recipe-specific, giving you all the things you need to craft that recipe in one box.
As soon as you get the hang of things, you can start procuring specialized equipment and ingredients for your own recipes. At this point, having a long-term mindset comes in handy.
Most brewers start with a small 3-gallon pot. Eventually, you’ll start to feel that you need a bigger one. Instead of going for a 5-gallon pot, invest on a 9-gallon one instead.
You’ll also save a lot more money if you invest in a good chiller and a glass fermentation vessel early on.
4. Glass Fermenters are Key
Speaking of fermentation vessels, make sure to use glass fermentation vessels as soon as possible.
Basic homebrewing kits typically have cheap plastic fermenters. If you want to get serious about this craft, you’ll want to invest in a glass fermenter as early as you can.
These fermenters are not only easier to clean, but, unlike plastic, they’re also not porous. This gives them much better protection against oxidation, which is crucial to the fermentation process.
5. Pay Special Attention to Sterilization and Sanitation
Every homebrewery guide would tell you that one of the keys to a successful brew is paying special attention to sterilization and sanitation. Dusk, bacteria, specks of dirt, and other particles are some of the primary reasons that your homebrew will turn out to be a flop.
If you want your brew to be a success, you have to make cleanliness a priority throughout the entire brewing process. Thoroughly wash all your equipment before you even begin and maintain that cleanliness until you cap your bottles.
Keep this rule in mind: If your beer will come into contact with it, sanitize it.
Most basic starter kits already come with a sanitizer. However, it’s still wise to keep a container of your own just in case.
Drinking bad beer isn’t going to get you some scary foodborne health disease. At worst, you’ll just have some bad-tasting beer.
Still, it’s still not a great feeling especially after you just spent days brewing. Avoid the hassle of this altogether by maintaining exceptional cleanliness throughout the entire process.
6. Use Only Top-Quality and Fresh Ingredients
Just like your equipment, don’t be afraid to invest in top-quality and fresh ingredients if you want to achieve great results.
Liquid yeast, for example, should give you a far better product than dry yeast. Fresh extract is essential in extract brewing and is a far better alternative to using extracts that have been packaged for and stored for several years.
Keep your liquid yeast fresh by storing it in your refrigerator. At the same time, keep your hops in the freezer as well.
Always remember that ingredients like yeast, crushed grains, hops, dry malt, and liquid malt, have a short shelf life. It’s important to use them as early as possible to make the most of them.
7. Maintain a Brewing Record
Finally, a tip that should be in every homebrewery guide: Regardless of how simple or complex a recipe may be, always keep a record of every brewing session.
Note the ingredients you used, the recipe you followed, and the outcome. Write down every little detail of what you did during the brewing process.
You can also assign codes to every beer you make and use a permanent marker to write it on the cap. In your log, write the code down along with a brief description of the beer as well as the flavor you were aiming for.
This should help you to quickly identify what modifications you need to make next time to achieve that perfect flavor you wanted.
When you’re done with all the tips above, you can finally start brewing with this homebrewery guide by Food Farmer Earth:
Making your own craft beers might seem like a daunting and intimidating task for any beginner. The homebrewery guide above, however, should tell you all the things you need to know to get you started on your beer-crafting journey.
What other homebrewery guide, tips, and hacks would you like us to talk about? Ask us in the comments section below!
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