1 – Brew often
. Brewing is like golf - if you only do it once a quarter, you’re never going to improve your game. But if you string 4 rounds together in rapid succession, you’ll find you become adept rather quickly. Being sanitary almost goes without saying, but to do that it’s a matter of having good form. (e.g. when you take off that plug/air-lock to check for a reading, where do you put it? Do you sit it on the counter?) Good sanitization is about a smooth clean process. You can’t learn that by reading online – only by doing it. Even in all the YouTube videos they skip all the small stuff.
2 – Understand the proper usage of your sanitizing agent
. (i.e. don’t rinse off your Iodophor/StarSan.) People go for decades using it improperly: rinsing it off with tap water, waiting for a “full” [arbitrary] soak time, using 3x as much as needed, using .3 times as much as needed, etc. If you’ve used the proper amount, it’s specifically designed not to be rinsed off. It’s also designed to have contact time for only 2min. If you rinse your equipment with “clean” tap water, you negate the purpose of the sanitization rinse product. Will you get away with it if you’ve cleaned your equipment well before? – sure. I did for years. Then I listened to a couple of radio podcasts with the creators of Iodophor & StarSan and they took all the myth out of it and explained that if you rinse with tap water, you negate the sanitization product’s purpose. Save yourself some grief and learn that up front.
Originally Posted by pkeeler
Watch the pot when it is coming up to boil after you've added the extract. Be super ready to reduce heat and stir.
3 - If you do boil-over, take the kettle off, turn off the heat, and clean up immediately rather than baking the sugar onto your stove
. The extra 10min of stall time won’t hurt the wort at all.
4 – You don’t have to purchase anything other than what you already have in the kitchen, but if you do purchase a large brew kettle, don’t get one less than 7.5 gal
(30 quart). (Note: if you have an electric stove you may
have to stick some washers under the heating element to lift it up to make sure you have 100% contact to your kettle to get a full boil.)