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-   -   Stepping up your brewing game. (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/stepping-up-your-brewing-game-359826/)

bobcatbrewer 10-09-2012 03:58 AM

Stepping up your brewing game.
 
So I'm headed onto my fourth batch now, to date I have made a belgian, pumpkin porter (still aging), and I also have a Old Ale still sitting in the primary. So far my beer has turned out pretty good. I noticed a little inconsistency in the first batch but overall it was great.

My question is what really separates the good brewers from the bad and what good habits should you practice while brewing. I understand sanitation is important so I'm always sure to do a good job with that. What about things like wort temps, water types, etc?

Thanks in advance,

tally350z 10-09-2012 04:56 AM

The first thing I focused on when I started was my yeasties. Mainly my pitching amounts, pitching temps, aeration, and fermentation temps. I think that is a good starting area.

amandabab 10-09-2012 05:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bobcatbrewer (Post 4482105)

My question is what really separates the good brewers from the bad
Thanks in advance,

repeatability

bobcatbrewer 10-09-2012 06:14 AM

tally could you go a little more in depth? By pitching amounts are you talking about how much of a yeast starter you are making? Also what are preferable temps for your yeast starter. I have had mine going at room temp for 24 hrs prior to pitching it. Also could you talk more about aeration?

Thanks,

tally350z 10-09-2012 06:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bobcatbrewer (Post 4482267)
tally could you go a little more in depth? By pitching amounts are you talking about how much of a yeast starter you are making? Also what are preferable temps for your yeast starter. I have had mine going at room temp for 24 hrs prior to pitching it. Also could you talk more about aeration?

Thanks,

Well, for me at least each time I make sure I go to mrmalty.com and check my pitch rates to make sure I am pitching the most viable yeast. Also making sure you aerate your wort well. Using pure O2 or shaking. Also to ferment at the proper temps to prevent any off flavors that can result.

estricklin 10-09-2012 07:05 AM

Keep a brewing journal so that you can look back at what you've done in the past.

I pay a lot of attention to my mash, the temps and how long so on and so on.

As for fermentation I try to keep it at a decent temp, I don't get too anal about it but I do write down what the temps were; unless it's a lager in which case I am critical about temperature.

Read some books on brewing if you haven't already.

The most important thing I can tell you is take other brewer's advice with a grain of sand. My beer got a lot better when I started thinking about what i was doing, and stopped being afraid of messing up, because at that point brewing got way more FUN!!

Odin_Brews 10-09-2012 12:11 PM

Im with amandabab, repeatability. I keep a detailed journal and focus on hitting my mash temps, volumes and gravity(s). That way you can make a beer as planned or make the same beer over and over once you find that magic recipe you need as a house staple

william_shakes_beer 10-09-2012 12:17 PM

As stated above, keep a brew journal that records what the recipie said to do, what you actually did, and tasting impressions of the first beer, and at least weekly until the batch is exhausted. I have found, for instance, that head improves with time on some batches but not with others.If you don't know where you've been you can't figure out where to go next.

duboman 10-09-2012 12:42 PM

I too agree with repeatability and consistency as well as paying attention to the yeast. The yeast make the beer and the happier they are the better the beer will be. If you have not read the book "Yeast", I highly recommend it. It is the one book besides Palmer's that has really improved everything I do about making great beer!

unionrdr 10-09-2012 12:55 PM

Patience is the big one in brewing,I think. Give the yeasties a good wort,good temps,& time to do their thing. Beer is like bbq,it's done when it's done. Then allow time to clean up & settle out clear before racking to bottling bucket. Be sure kegs or bottles are clean & well sanitized. Use a priming calculator to style to get better flavor/aroma for the style brewed. Makes it more enjoyable I think.


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