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Simple hacks for home brewing from Reddit brewers

beer brewing hacks

Here's some random as tips we found on Reddit that keen home brewers have shared so that we can all become better backyard brewers.

Remember these are just ideas and tricks and ways of doing things, they may not all be suitable for your brewing needs. As with all brewing, one learns by doing and experimentation!
  • If you're a kitchen based brewer, bottling beer over your dishwasher door; clean up is as simple as closing the door.
  • Clean our your 'Boil in a Bag' brew bag by first shaking it out, then turning it inside out and holding it under the shower. 
  • Pour the contents of the bag into a bowl and use that to pour into boiling water. It is MUCH easier to scrape extract out of a bowl.
  • Be wary that if using dry malt extract, the steam from boiling water causes significant amounts of extract to cake onto the sides of the bag. If this is an issue for you, we suggest you put the DME in first before you add the water.
  • Re-hydrate dry yeast that you've saved by pouring it into a plastic bottle of water (of the correct temperature of course), capping it, and shaking. Burp any excess gas by gently opening the bottle (as you would a bottle of soda). When it comes time to pitch the yeast, simply pour out of the bottle into your wort.
  • Placing a packet of silica gel in your hydrometer case can help absorb any residual moisture that may be left after using it (we think this is a flight of fancy in some ways and not necessary).
  • When making a yeast starter, place the flask inside of a plastic grocery bag, and then place it on the stir plate. Should the starter overflow, the mess is contained within the plastic bag.
  • We love this idea. Put a book or other wedge under the back of your fermenter after sealing it up. On brewing day, gingerly slide the book/wedge to the front of the fermenter and you'll have a slanted yeast cake and a nice "deep end of the pool" in the back side of the fermenter to rack from.
  • A few marbles, glass beads, or large SS ball bearings will reduce the risk of boil over dramatically. It works by providing nucleation points at the bottom so that large bubbles rise up and pop and less small bubbles are available to form foam. Of course, if you use foam inhibitor such as Fermcap-S, you probably don't need any other hacks! 
  • Using a spray bottle of Star San solution seems like a good hack. Doesn't waste time with dunking everything in a bucket when you can just spray it liberally and get good coverage.
  • Put spigots in all of my fermenting buckets, so you need use an auto siphon.
  • When transferring out of a fermenter into a keg, fill 1 pint mason jars with the slurry, and refrigerate them so that you can use it as a yeast starter for another brew.
  • Buy hops in bulk. 
  • Instead of hand cleaning your bottles and dunking them in sanitizer put them in the dishwasher bottom rack. USE NO DETERGENT, and put the dishwasher on the hottest cycle. The temperature is hot enough to kill the nasties that could infect your beer (we also add the dish washer is handy for removing bottle labels).

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