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5 brewing beer mistakes you can easily avoid

5 brewing beer mistakes you can easily avoid


While beer brewing is often touted as serious business, it's actually a fairly simple process but mistakes can be made.

Here's 5 brewing mistakes that can happen if you take your eye off the boil.

Sanitation is not just the job of the Sanitation Department


If you think that you can just grab your beer making equipment from the back of the closet and start to brew, you’re probably in for bad batch of beer.

You need to sanitize everything bit of equipment you use. If you're starting out as a home brewer, your kit should contain a cleansing and sanitising agent.

You must ensure that at the very least your drum is fully clean and sterilized before your start your brewing.

There is nothing more disappointing than recognizing the scent of a contaminated brew when you bottle your batch!

You pitch your yeast when the wort is too hot


Cooling your beer down is not just to assist with removing nasties from your beer and reducing the risk of any infection, it helps with ensuring that your yeast finds itself in a hospitable environment - that is to say if you pitch your yeast too early, you run the risk of killing it (it’s a microorganism after all).

No yeast means no fermentation.

And well, that just sucks right.

If you want to get really fancy, you might want to invest in a wort chiller.

Your yeast is older than the hills


Yeast is a living breathing organism. It’s job in the beer making process is to feast on the sugars and beer wort and ferment them into alcohol.

If your yeast is too old then you run the real risk of fermentation not occurring.

If you are brewing from a beer kit, it’s often recommend that you discard the yeast that comes with the kit and purchase some fresh yeast.

But in saying that, I've never had a problem with yeast from a beer kit.

You drink your beer too early


It can most definitely be a mistake for sure to drink your beer too early. Your beer needs time to carbonate and most importantly, it also needs time to chill out and finish the fermentation process.

A patient beer drinker will let his beer sit in a quiet part of the garden shed for two - three weeks at least before indulging.

He knows that his beer will taste better for it and be worthy reward for his efforts.

Storing your beer at the wrong temperature


We’ve already talked about temperature once but we’ve got to do it one more time. The storage of your beer is very important. The yeast does different things at different temperatures. 

So during the fermentation stage, the beer needs to be kept at a constant temperature that's appropriate for the yeast.

Same goes for the storing of the beer.

If you leave freshly bottle beers in your shed in the middle of winter, they might not carbonate so leave them somewhere warm for short time. 

Lager beers love the cold, so can be stored in the shed, where as your ales may benefit from being kept in a warmer environ.

These are some easy mistakes to avoid - have fun with your brewing but keep in mind you've got to keep it clean and warm! Or cold…

Beer caps and cappers - how and what to use when bottling beer

Beer caps and cappers - how and what to use when bottling beer

Beer caps and cappers - how and what to use when bottling beer


Once I was bottling beer I got about 10 bottles into capping them and I remembered that I hadn’t added any sugar for carbonation.

I quickly opened the beers and added the sugar and got back to it.

But what If I had forgotten to add the sugar?

That’s a beer bottling horror story right there.

NE this is a nice point to talk about what kind of bottle caps you can use to put on your carefully crafted home brew.

The answer is that you can use pretty much any crown seal on your beer but you just need to remember that some crown seals are better than others. 

In my experience is best to go with a branded bottle cap rather than the cheapest you can find. I've found the cheaper ones tend to be less forgiving when using a bottle capper and they are more prone to being rendered unusable if you make a mistake. 

The ever popular beer company, Mr Brewer has a handy pack of 144 crown metal caps for a fair price. There is actually plenty of caps to chose from on Amazon - compare the prices and options

What do I use to cap beer bottles with?

You need a beer capper! Beer cappers come in two forms being the hand held and the bench capper.

The 'wing' hand held capper

For some reason cappers often come in red
The hand held capper is a popular way to cap your beer. Often called 'wing' or universal Rigamonti cappers or Red Baron, they are pretty handy and durable to use.

They do have a couple of draw backs - they can sometimes be hard to separate from the capped bottle if you've applied too much pressure and if you do apply to much force, then you can break the glass bottle.

Overall, they are pretty good units to use. It's actually very satisfying getting a cap on a bottle properly, there's this sudden 'thump' moment when the crown bends down and forms the seal.

Bench Capper

The bench capper can be easier to use because it's a simple pull down lever that can be used with one hand whilst the other hand holds the bottle in place. It's hard to make a mistake with such a method!

It's a good idea to buy a bench capper that can accommodate different sized bottles. The Ferrari model does exactly that which can be quite handy if your bottle collection is all kinds of different shapes and sized.


The Ferrari capper has the following specifications:

  • Spring loaded
  • Caps bottles quickly, cleanly, and accurately
  • Has a magnetic Bell to hold cap in place
  • Self-adjusting spring-mounted capping mechanism
  • Easier to adjust for different size bottles


These are the characteristics you should bear in mind for any bench capper that you might be thinking of buying.

We'll leave with this final tip:


Do I need to sanitize the bottle caps?

As always, before capping your beer, the bottle caps need to be santized before doing so. The best the best way is to soak them in sanitizing solution. That way the whole cap gets santized.

You can use a Star San solution or some sodium percarbonate to kill the bugs.

The best way to properly store opened beer hops




What is the best way to store opened beer hops?


Today I brewed an ale. After I added the deliciously smelling Cascade hops, I wondered if my my trick of storing the left over hops in the freezer was actually a good storage method.

You see, when I first used hops with a brew, that's the first thing that came to mind to do (maybe I was thinking about coffee or batteries) and I've done it ever since without a further thought. 

Is this an OK way to store the hops?

Are there better ways to care for hops?

Do different hops need different storage methods?

These are the questions that I started to ponder.

So, to save you the hassle, I've done some research into the best ways to store beer hops. And when I say research, I meaning I just did some reading on the internet.

Because beer brewing only needs to be simple and not over thought.

But first we need to take a moment to discuss why the home brewer wants to preserve their hops.

It's because they lose their bittering qualities over time, and their essential oils degrade and this means you might not get the desired brewing flavours if you used hops that have deteriorated.

Fresh is best as they say.

So what's the answer to storing hops then?


Turns out freezing hops is actually a popular trick with beer brewers!

This is what you can do and pretty much all you need to do.

Take your left over beer hops and place them in a zip-lock bag. Remove the excess air, seal and place in the freezer until required.

If you want to go all 'professional' you could use a vacuum sealer to remove all the air.

In such cases, you might not need to freeze the hops if the sealing has been done properly, but it wouldn't hurt.

You can also refrigerate the hops. Again, put them in a zip lock bag and remove as much air as possible. I read that hops can stay fresh for up to a year this way.

That trick would seem to rely on there being hardly any air in the bag!

Extra for Experts:

How to dry hop your beer
How to add hops to the beer kit's wort
Where to buy beer hops online