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Old 08-14-2008, 07:54 PM   #1
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Default Basic Keys To Brewing?

Okay, I've been doing a lot of reading, and I'm trying to get my process down. I've been brewing a short amount of time, and here are the things that seem to be keys to consistently producing really good beer. Critique and add as needed.

And I know a lot of this is covered in the stone cold pipe thread, but I'm trying to get a focused response, thanks!

So, in no certain order, here we go:

1. Sanitation - use proper sanitation techniques. But, remember, you're sanitizing, not sterilizing. And don't worry about every little weird smell in the fermenter. If you made a mistake, the end result will help tell you where you went wrong, and besides, it's too late to fix it now!
2. Make a proper starter. You should have 5 billion yeast cells per degree of OG.
3. Oxygenate your wort.
4. Pitch your yeast into the wort, with both at the desired fermentation temp.
5. Leave the beer in the primary longer than the fermentation. Let the yeasties do their job, and that takes time!
6. Ferment at the proper temperature, and keep the temp consistent.
7. Buy a hydrometer and learn how to use it.
8. Be patient. Stop obsessing over everything, like taking hydro readings every thirty minutes.
9. RDWHAHB.

So far, so good?



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Old 08-14-2008, 07:59 PM   #2
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I'd say 5 is optional, but just fine. Most of us keep everything in primary.

You're also missing a very important one: Give your beer proper time to ferment and condition.



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Old 08-14-2008, 08:01 PM   #3
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I'm a novice too, but I would add
7. Never, ever panic.

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Old 08-14-2008, 08:01 PM   #4
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My rule has been roughly three weeks in the primary, and I've been brewing ales between 1.042 - 1.054. Sound practice?

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Old 08-14-2008, 08:03 PM   #5
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Sanitation is over-emphasized, in my opinion. That's not to say it's not important, but a lot of new brewers stress out about it and automatically assume that any odd smell/sound/sight coming out of the fermenter is an infection.

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Old 08-14-2008, 08:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioBrit View Post
I'm a novice too, but I would add
7. Never, ever panic.
Ah yes, I forgot to add the Hitchiker's Guide rule. Damnit.
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Old 08-14-2008, 08:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustDave View Post
Sanitation is over-emphasized, in my opinion. That's not to say it's not important, but a lot of new brewers stress out about it and automatically assume that any odd smell/sound/sight coming out of the fermenter is an infection.
Good point. I guess the better way to put it is:

Use good sanitation practices, but don't freak out about every little thing.
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Old 08-14-2008, 08:22 PM   #8
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You forgot to add possible the most important rule

-brewing is more fun while consuming other brews

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Old 08-14-2008, 08:24 PM   #9
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+1 on stressing out about sanitation. Think about general safe food handling practices and just apply them to homebrewing. No need to be able to perform open heart surgery in your brewing area using brewing equipment.

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Old 08-14-2008, 08:45 PM   #10
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Yeah, once I figured out that I'm sanitizing, not sterilizing, things were much easier!



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