TOP TEN HOMEBREWING HACKS: Tips for Beginners

In this article, we are talking about the top 10 homebrew hacks for beginners. A lot of people make their way online looking for home brewing content. It seems that the hobby is on the incline. We love to help you all out. We also want you to learn from our mistakes when we were beginner brewer. So this top 10 list of things we wish we had known when we started brewing.

1. Sanitizer in a spray bottle

As you begin your home brewing journey you probably learned that sanitizing is important. The best way to sanitize is to use a no rinse sanitizer. You can drop your equipment directly into the sanitizer solution.

For some applications, it’s nice to have a sanitizer in a spray bottle. One of the added benefits is it’s not going to leak. A sanitizer in a bottle is great for those applications where it may be difficult to rinse or reach things.

2. Mason jars are your friend

Four glass mason jars filled with granola cereal
Credit: https://www.alohasunrisegranola.com/products/mindful-mason-jar-granola-refillable

It actually took us a few years to learn this one. We came around to the idea when we started using more advanced yeast nutrients. Yeast nutrients are very sticky. They arrive in a plastic bag. Opening and closing that bag and pouring them out is very messy. You will learn over time that a nice sticky residue will aggregate on the outside.

Put anything that’s loose in a mason jar. Seal it up nice and tight. One of the great things about this is they stack pretty well and keep everything well contained.

3. Buy two of everything

We don’t mean buy two of every expensive thing in your home brewing kit. What we mean is if it’s economical to buy two of everything. We learned this lesson the hard way. That goes for other things which could get easily broken.

4. Bottling wand as a Wine thief

You have probably seen a wine thief. It looks like a turkey baster and it’s used to draw wine or any kind of homebrew up out of the fermenter and put into another container. If you wanted to taste a 1-gallon batch this works just the same way. When you want to grab a quick taste and see how something is doing your bottling wand is your friend. Of course, be sure to sanitize it.

5. Schedule your racking’s

When you need to rack something you need to have it moved. Typically many days in advance. At least 24 hours in advance. Unless the residue at the bottom is very well compacted, even then moving it more than 10 or 12 feet could create problems. Scheduling your racking helps avoid any difficulties.

Schedule your racking. Know when you’re going to be needing to rack your brew from one vessel to another so you can be prepared when that time comes.

Transferring beer from beer bucket to a glass bottle.
Credit: https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-transfer-and-siphon-beer-the-kitchns-beer-school-2015-217261

6. Ditch the bubbler

We have a preference for silicone airlocks and they are made from breathable silicone. It’s a two-piece contraption where the valve is held on with pressure from how it’s seated in the bottom of the bun part. This creates a very tight seal where air and bad bacteria cant get in. But carbon dioxide can come out. We prefer them because they don’t require any maintenance and they are incredibly reliable. In the long run, they will save you a lot of time and concern.

7. Rinse your empty bottles

Rinsing your bottles after you empty them rather than when you need them is a smarter way to go. If you pour a bottle into a glass, rinse the bottle immediately. Rinse it a couple of times, give it a couple of good shakes, and put it away. You will save yourself trying to get the sticky residue out of the bottom of that bottle in the future.

8. Freeze your fruit

A bowl of frozen berries
Credit: https://www.frozenfoodeurope.com/frozen-fruits-still-growing/

Fresh fruit will ferment just fine and eventually it will ferment completely. But you are going to have a lot better time with juice extraction when you’re fermenting with frozen and then thawed fruit. The benefit is frozen fruit is frozen at the peak of freshness so you’re getting perfectly fresh fruit.

The little ice particles inside the fruit will shatter most cell walls and help release the juice once it thawed. It will definitely speed things up and you won’t feel the need to be sitting around and cutting up fruit because it will just fall apart once it goes inside your fermenter.

9. Re-use your yeast

A lot of times we get done with primary fermentation we rack it up into our secondary vessel, collect the yeast up and throw it. Every new homebrewer knows that yeast isn’t expensive, but it’s not cheap either. If you like yeast try yeast washing. it’s not that difficult. There are several ways of doing it. No reason to pay a bunch for more yeast.

10. Make batch labels

Three beer bottles with different labels and tags
Credit: https://www.trendhunter.com/trends/brew-club

The minimalist art of creating batch labels. A batch label can have your fun little brewhouse logo on it and it contains blanks for you to fill in. Such as an ABV, when it was bottled, and what the style was. It tells you what’s in the bottle and it comes right off when it’s time to reuse the bottle.

We hope you learned something from this. We are always eager to learn creative ways of cutting corners while home brewing and still making something delicious. If you are looking for more friendly advice you can check our 10 Home brewing tips, recommedantions and hacks, Week 10. Until then have enjoy creating wonderful tasting beers. Cheers

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