What every beginning beer brewer should think about

Saturday, June 3, 2017
If you're a home brewer looking to up your game, you've come to the right place! We've gathered some valuable insights from seasoned brewers that can help you perfect your backyard brewing game.

Our collection of tips is designed to provide you with a wide range of ideas and tricks to improve your brewing skills. However, it's important to remember that not every suggestion may be the right fit for your particular brewing needs. Brewing is a process that requires experimentation and patience, so don't be afraid to try new things and find out what works best for you.

By following the tips shared by our expert brewers, you'll learn valuable insights that can help you fine-tune your brewing techniques and create better-tasting beer. With a little bit of practice, you'll be able to produce beer that rivals even the most popular craft breweries.

beer brewing hacks

  • If you're a kitchen-based brewer, bottling your beer over your dishwasher door can make clean up a breeze. Once you're finished bottling, simply close the door and any spilled beer or equipment can be easily cleaned up later.
  • When it comes to cleaning out your "Boil in a Bag" brew bag, shaking it out is a good start, but turning it inside out and holding it under the shower can help to remove any stubborn residue. This can help to ensure that your bag is thoroughly cleaned and ready for your next brew.
  • Pouring the contents of your brew bag into a bowl before adding it to boiling water can also make the process much easier. This can help to ensure that you're able to scrape out every last bit of extract, without any of it getting stuck to the bag or utensils.
  • If you're using dry malt extract, it's important to be aware that the steam from boiling water can cause significant amounts of extract to cake onto the sides of the bag. To avoid this issue, try adding the DME to the water first, before it starts boiling.
  • Adding rice hulls to your grain mash can also be a helpful technique to prevent the sparge from blocking. This can help to ensure that you're able to extract as much sugar as possible from your grains, without any unwanted blockages or complications.
  • Rehydrating dry yeast can also be an important step in the brewing process, especially if you've saved yeast from a previous batch. To rehydrate your yeast, simply pour it into a plastic bottle of water at the correct temperature, cap it, and shake gently. Be sure to burp any excess gas by gently opening the bottle before pitching the yeast into your wort.
  • Placing a packet of silica gel in your hydrometer case can help to absorb any residual moisture that may be left after using it. While this may not be a necessary step, it can be a helpful technique for brewers who are concerned about keeping their equipment in top condition.
  • Use a ph Meter to test your mash. When it comes to brewing beer, achieving the correct pH is critical. This is where a pH meter comes in handy. A pH meter is a device that measures the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. For homebrewers, pH measurement is particularly important during the mash stage, as the pH level of the mash affects the beer's flavor and fermentation process.Using a pH meter to test your mash is a simple yet effective way to ensure that your beer is brewed to perfection. Ideally, you should aim for a pH level of between 5.2 and 5.5 during the mash. This range provides the optimal conditions for the enzymes responsible for breaking down the malted grains to work effectively.
  • When it comes to making a yeast starter, it's important to be prepared for any potential mishaps. One common issue that can arise is an overflowing starter, which can create quite a mess. To avoid this, you can take a simple precaution by placing the flask inside a plastic grocery bag before putting it on the stir plate. This way, if the starter does overflow, the plastic bag will contain the mess and make cleanup a breeze. Additionally, using a stir plate can help increase the number of yeast cells in your starter, leading to a healthier fermentation and better tasting beer.
  • 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.
  • 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 to save money. Make sure you are going to use it though! You can store excess hops by keeping it frozen.
  • 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).
  • You can add extra fermentables like DME on top of what your recipe asks for to increase the ABV of the beer.
These are some pretty simple homebrew hacks that make the preparation and brew day a bit easier - it's always best to do your brew as best you can however!


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