Ten Tips for New Homebrewers

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FlyingWombat

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10 Tips for New Homebrewers


Always make room for a mess. Ensure you have enough space and a safe environment when brewing. Things can get messy, and you don’t want to damage electrical equipment or end up with a mess in tight spaces and not have enough room to clean up.

Record everything you do. Record every part of the brew day, the ingredients, quantities of those ingredients and even the mistakes that occur. This will help you understand why your beer tastes a certain way and will allow you to improve your recipe in the future.

Make a brew day checklist. Checklists help you remember what you have to do during the brew day, ensure nothing is forgotten and helps you to organise your day if you have conflicting priorities.

Make your first beer a SMASH (single malt and single hop). This tip is mainly for those getting into all-grain brewing for the first time. Making a SMASH beer allows you to understand the ingredients you are working with and the flavours they provide to the beer.

Use a proven recipe. There are thousands of beer recipes available online for free. We will be releasing one soon as well! Proven recipes are great at helping you understand the ingredients involved in the brewing process and inform you on what procedures you will perform, giving you a strong base to go and make your own recipes for that style.

Spend time planning your recipe. Don’t rush brewing! Think about the style of beer you want to make and the ingredients you want to use. If you shotgun it on the day, it could lead to a bad-tasting beer and wasting your time because you won’t end up drinking it!

Take it easy on the specialty malts. Less is more with specialty malts; most beers rely on a single base malt. You can always experiment down the line, but generally, beers consist mostly (90% or more) of base malts and plenty of beers are just entirely base malts. So start small and gradually increase the specialty malts on subsequent batches as you hone in the recipe.

Change fewer variables at a time. When trying to improve your recipe, only change a couple of variables at a time. This will help you understand which ingredients and processes impact the flavour of your beer. If you change too many things from one batch to another you won’t know what variables had what impacts on the final product.

Don’t open your fermenter. Opening your fermenter exposes it to microorganisms like other wild yeast, bacteria and fungi that can infect your beer and make it skunked! Only open your fermenter when dry hopping or when it is ready to be bottled/kegged.

Clean and sanitise everything. The majority of your time spent brewing is spent cleaning. Being a good janitor means that you decrease the risk of infection. So use proper brewing chemicals to sanitise (e.g. Stellarsan) everything that comes into contact with your beer, or is used to make your beer.

If you have any further tips for new homebrewers, reply below; otherwise, happy brewing and check out our YouTube channel FlyingWombat TV,

Cheers!
 

AlexKay

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Taste the Malt

If you're brewing all grain, this gives you a great idea about what sort of flavors a particular malt is going to contribute. Best for specialty malts, but also base malts and (if you taste sparingly) roasted malts. I've seen it suggested that you mix your grist well and then taste a handful to get an idea of the finished beer. One thing: don't taste malted oats; the husks cannot be chewed up.
 
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