Posted on January 15, 2010 by mike
I’ve brewed a few batches now and gone through a few ups and downs and I’ve realized there are a few things that I’m doing now that I didn’t do when I started. These are time saving, money saving and flavor adding homebrewing tips. I’ll be continuously adding to this list as I brew or as I find out more tips from fellow brewers. Feel free to comment and help me add to this list, but remember it is for beginners and should serve to give confidence.
- Never dump your sanitizer down the drain before you are finished brewing or bottling. You never know when you’ll need it again.
- When you put your airlock on, don’t just fill the cap with water, use sanitizer in that water to have one extra little bacteria barrier.
- Put your liquid malt extract jugs in a sink full of hot water or pan on low heat. It really makes pouring out of the jug a lot easier.
- Fill your liquid malt extract jugs with a little bit of water and microwave on high for 25 seconds. Swoosh it around to get the rest of that liquid malt extract out.
- Pulling labels off and cleaning bottles you get at the store is one way to save some money on bottling. You could also ask your local bars if they would hold on to some of their bottles for you. If you really want to get serious, find a local recycling drop off place and dig through the dumpster, but be careful of broken glass.
- Have an extra propane tank on hand.
- Get a good thermometer.
- Keep your fermentating wort out of sunlight. Cover with a blanket if need be.
- I prefer glass carboys to ferment. Though it is personal preference, I have heard of the plastic embarking slight flavors on brew or the porous nature of the plastic to allow some oxygen into the fermenter. Plus you can see the beautiful bubbles. Its a little more to clean up, but I think its worth it.
- Buying a liquid yeast in a pouch such as Wyeast is totally worth the extra couple bucks instead of a dry yeast.
- Did you know you can use an empty dishwasher as a drying rack for bottles? I rinse and clean all my bottles, then put them in the dishwasher and do a “rinse only” cycle to get all detergents off of my bottles. Let them sit and they’ll come out dry.
- Always keep notes of what you do, did, or doing. Keep track of times, gravities, colors, flavors and anything else that could aid in making a better brew the next time. I’ve got a blog
- Give yourself enough time to brew
- Be patient. Its hard to screw up a beer if you kept good sanitation. Just give everything one more week if you are unsure.
*Updated Jan 18, 2010 -Added in suggestions from comments. Some were a little more advanced than this particular site is addressing at this point, but good for future reference.