We know that beer brewing is a personal experience. Especially when you are just starting to find out what works for you and how you want things to be done. But sometimes there are ways of doing things that will save you time and effort.
We have worked hard in collecting tips and tricks which will make brewing at home easy for beginners. It can be a little intimidating handling all the new equipment and trying hard to follow your recipe. But don’t worry. We are here to save the day. With these tips, your brew day will be simple, fun, and give you a great batch of beer.
For more tricks don’t forget to check Top 10 homebrewing hacks: Tips for beginners.
1. Take it small and simple
Brewing beer can be a complicated or easy process. Depends on the type of beer and the method you are planning to take. For beginners, is always useful for the first recipe to be as simple and as easy as possible. You don’t want too many ingredients or too much different equipment.
Try an extract for your first recipe. That is how most of us came into the world of brewing. And don’t worry if it doesn’t come out great. That just means you need more practice. Give yourself time and try the recipe again until you are completely satisfied with the result.
2. Use filtered water
This is really the minimum effort you can make. Don’t believe advice saying good water makes good beer. Your tap water may taste nice but you don’t know what’s in it. There are some chemicals used in tap water that can produce off-flavors in your beer.
Instead of tap water, you can use reverse osmosis or natural spring water which are much better options for your beer. Later if you are still interested in creating water adjustments for your beer you will have plenty of time. But now it’s better to focus on the basics.
3. Check your thermometer
We cant tell you how many beers were ruined because of a single thermometer that just needed to be calibrated. You will use it all throughout the brewing process so make sure you have accurate readings all the time.
Brewing a beer is very sensitive to temperature ranges which have to be obtained in the process. Having a reliable and calibrated thermometer is vital. As a beginner, you can use the one you got in your homebrewing kit just make sure it’s accurate.
4. Weigh down all your additions
This is very simple advice that works wonders. With additions such as hops, fruits, or spices which you are planning to add in your fermenter or even during the boil you want them to fall to the bottom to get most of the flavor. If you tie them up in a muslin bag with a couple of sanitized glass marbles it will do the trick.
This way you don’t have to keep pushing them down because they will sink to the bottom. Glass marbles are easy to sanitize and they don’t take too much space.
5. Use dry yeast first
This early you don’t want to get bothered making a yeast starter. Just use dry yeast since they have a larger number of active cells and it will provide for better fermentation.
Not to mention that dry yeast is easier to store and use. You can just sprinkle it in your fermenter. Just make sure to sanitize the packet and scissors before you open it. Using dry yeast as a beginner homebrewer is a sensible thing to do. There are some great yeast strains you can try and you don’t have to worry about the cost because it’s less expensive and you can buy it in larger quantities.
6. Get some software
Trust us. This is something that even experienced brewers do. There are so many different free brewing software out there it would be a shame not to use it. There are many different calculations in the brewing process that you need to be aware of and they make your brew day much easier.
Check the priming sugar calculator if you are planning to bottle, mash calculator, or even complete recipe builder. They are here to make our life easier. Don’t think that you have to do everything by yourself. Those days are over. Let the modern homebrewing days begin.
7. Shake it up
Your wort is not sleeping so don’t be scared to wake it up. Especially right before pitching your yeast, you need to make sure there is enough oxygen in there for a healthy fermentation. Later maybe you want to buy an oxygen wand or something similar but for now, 30 seconds shake is perfect.
If you don’t have enough oxygen in your wort your yeast might not survive. Once the beer starts to ferment is the time to be careful and avoid oxidation. So just give it a good shake before pitching your yeast and you should be fine.
8. Temperature Control
It’s not enough to put your fermenter in a cool dark place. It needs to be under a certain temperature range depending on the type of beer style which you are making and the yeast strain that you are using. Putting it in your basement or in an air-conditioned area is not giving you the temperature accuracy that you need.
Investing in good temperature control is what makes the difference between a good and a great beer. This is one of the basic things that even beginner brewers need to think about. You don’t want to waste your ingredients, all the hard work and energy to let it all down because your beer was in a warmer or a colder temperature than recommended.
9. Give it Time
Maybe you have seen people in homebrewing videos drinking and enjoying beers after only 5 days of fermentation. And they all swear it tastes great and amazing. But for a good beer, you will need to ferment it for at least 2 weeks if not even longer.
The best advice from us is to give it time. If youre not sure if it’s finished fermenting leave it an extra day or two. Brewing beer for the first time its better to have patience and wait it out. Later you will have more experience and know by instinct when your beer is ready. For now, just give it some extra time to be sure.
10. Have Fun
We know that you want to create an amazing tasting beer. But brewing beer is also more about the process. You can ask your friends to come and give you a hand during a brew day. So they will also appreciate how much effort and time it takes to create a good beer.
For us, brewing beer is a journey through different styles and flavors. And we have great fun discovering new combinations that work for us. Sharing beer and experience is a great thing that brewers can do. So have fun and make some great beer. Cheers.