⇒ 5 mistakes EVERY beer maker should watch out for (even you, dude who brews every month)


5 mistakes EVERY beer maker should watch out for


Beer brewing can be a thankless task at times and no one will thank you if you serve them a horrible tasting home brew when you host your mates for a 'BBQ and Brews' evening.

Here are 5 mistakes that home brewers should bear in mind before they even begin to open the can of malt extract from their kit.

If you follow them well, you'll be sure to produce some delicious tasting brews.

1. Wash, wash away your sins.


We actually mean sanitize.

Sanitise the heck out of everything you use. If you're starting out as a home brewer, your equipment and kit should contain a cleansing and sterilizing agent.

You NEED to make sure that at the very least your drum is fully clean and sterilized before your start your brewery process. If brewing is going to become a hobby, sanitization needs to be a habit.

There is nothing more disappointing than going to bottle your brew and recognizing the scent of a bad brew that has been contaminated by nasty bugs.

2. Temperature 


It would be a mistake to think that homebrewing is basically a 'set and forget' process.

It's not.

Well, it can be and a key part of that is making sure that where ever you leave your beer to ferment that it's a place that has the desired temperature and that it is a constant temperature.

Don't leave your beer outside on the back porch to do its thing! Too much heat will kill the yeast so no direct sunlight. Too much cold and it will go dormant. Leave it wrapped in blankets in your garden shed if you have to, but make sure it's in a generally constantly heated place. Heating matts are pretty popular to keep beer at a constant temp.

My work colleague leaves her beer brewing in the bathtub!

3. Those bubbles...


Just because the bubbles have stopped bubbling through the airlock, it doesn't mean the fermentation process is complete.

It would be a real shame for your bottled beer to start exploding if you haven't given the beer a chance to finish the process.

Use a hydrometer to ensure the fermentation is finished before you at least consider getting that beer into glass bottles.

Hint: more experienced brewers tend to let the batch sit in the fermenter for at least a week longer than normally recommended on beer kit cans or after fermentation is complete.

In the sense that the yeast has stopped feasting on the sugars and making alcohol, fermentation has finished however there's a 'tidy up' phase where sediment falls to the bottom of the fermenter which helps clear the beer and the yeast will continue to tick things over.


3. Running before you can walk



Get the basics of beer brewing down first.

Before you run off and try and make the fanciest beer you can that features some imported yeast from England and three different kinds of hops, learn the principles of beer making.

You will enjoy your first few brewing experiences if you keep them simple. Then you can start to branch out into more complicated recipes and practices.


4. Not keeping records



If you write down what you did, what you used, when you did it and why you'll have a good basis on which to make a judgement about your beer brewing failures and successes.

If you find that you've pulled off a stunner of a beer, you might be able to figure out just exactly how that happened.

It could be the difference between remembering that you used a certain kind of hops in your brew!

5.  You drink your beer too early


Patience my young Padawan.

It is a mistake for sure to drink your beer too early.

Post-bottling, your beer needs time to carbonate. It also needs time to just chill and do its thing. The fermentation process is in a sense a simple chemical reaction but there is a complex relationship going on with the beer's ingredients that need time to sort themselves out.

The patient beer drinker who leaves his beer at least three weeks before indulging will be a better beer maker for it. If you can make it to 5 or 6 weeks before you taste, the better your beer should taste. That said, if you are keen on a hoppy beer, you can be forgiven for getting into it earlier.

Image credit Bruno Girin as per Creative Commons Licence

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