10 Tips for Beginning Homebrewers

There are things we wish we would have known when we were starting at home brewing. It would have made us brew faster, stronger, better, quicker, and more quality beers. This might be the most important article you read at the moment.

Here are things that you must know if you want to make homebrewing as easy and successful as possible. Stay tuned.

1. Thermometer Game

Calibrate your thermometer. When your thermometers are off, your beer is going to be off. When we first started brewing, they give you that stainless steel thermometer from the homebrewing kit. We used it for about a year. It was 15 degrees off when we finally decided on calibrating it. That means our mashing temperatures were all wrong. We got way lower alcohol by volume for the first year and everything tasted the same. Super malty because there was too much sugar left in the beer.

2. Get to Kegging Fast

Three beer taps
Credit: https://www.northernbrewer.com/blogs/kegging-bottling-techniques/kegging

Cons of bottling

  • It can be tedious.
  • You are paying for other people’s used bottles.
  • Spending too much time washing and cleaning.

Pros of kegging

  • It’s faster than bottling
  • Easier to drink the beer.
  • It takes less time to transfer the beer into a keg.

3. System Over Recipe

Learn your system. Develop your protocol and your techniques on how you are going to do things. When everyone starts brewing they want to try all these different styles. Start with the same recipe and hone your system to figure out everything. Make sure you are hitting your pre-boil gravity and brew the same recipe multiple times until you feel like you got the recipe perfect.

4. Dry Erase Board

Woman writing on a dry erase board
Credit: https://www.popsci.com/story/shop/dry-erase-boards/

You can take lots of notes and keep track of your budget and schedule. Have your ingredients up there and your possible deadline. These notes will constantly be in front of your eyes.

5. Buy Used

Everyone wants to buy the flashy stuff. If you want to spend your whole fortune and savings on brand new equipment that looks super nice to ahead.

You can find great equipment and stainless steel never goes bad. People start homebrewing but give up and you can pick up that equipment a lot cheaper. They sell their used equipment for great affordable prices and this is where you can get most of the things you are going to need.

6. Use a Pre Chiller

Learn how to cool your wort fast. Have a pre chiller. If you get a pre chiller it means you will have two chiller. One in your kettle, and one in your pre chiller. Fill it up with ice. Invest in a big cooler that can hold a lot of water and ice. This can cut your chilling down process by half.

7. Scale Up Quick

You get more beer when you scale up. And you don’t have to brew as much. For those brewing once or twice a month do two 10 gallon batches and you will be just fine. Less brewing means less cleaning.

8. Don’t Turn Brew Day into a Party

Arms cheering with beer mugs
Credit: https://www.tennesseeavenuebeerhall.com/about

Brew by yourself. Everyone will be excited to make beer. We’ve all been there. It’s going to turn into a party pretty fast. But it could also turn into a mistake. When you are trying to become a better brewer, you’re trying to make your beers taste better. Brew by yourself and you won’t have all the distractions. Maybe you can brew with another person that is qualified as a homebrewer and you guys can help each other out. Take good notes and make good beer.

9. Clean As You Go

Putting cleaning powder into a stainless steel brewing kettle
Credit: https://www.brewcabin.com/clean-brew-kettle/

Keep your things clean. When you are brewing there’s a lot of downtimes. After a long brew day you may be tired and just want to relax. But you wake up the next day and everything is still dirty and sticky. That makes it even harder to clean. As soon as you are mashing in start cleaning. When you get to boil you got 60 minutes to clean your mash tun. Treat it like a restaurant. You want everything cleaned at night. Nobody wants to clean in the morning. Next time you go to brew it will be ready for you to go.

10. Make sure your Fermenter has a Spigot

Having a fermenter that has a spigot connected to it it a great advantage. Nobody wants to wait a month to drink 5 gallon batches of beer. There are so many variables like oxygen and how much yeast you pitch that can influence the time needed for your beer to ferment. With this you are able to pull samples and take gravity readings. You could be fermenting your beer in 3 of 4 days and you didnt even have to wait that whole 2 weeks.

If you have a spigot, pull a reading. Put it in your hydrometer. When you hit your final gravity start kegging. Faster you get your home brew the more you are going to want to home brew.

Hopefully this article helped you more than when we first started brewing. Find better ways to make better beer. Cheers.

You May Also Like