Monday, May 16, 2016

Homebrew Practices that Matter

  1. Clean your equipment at the end of every brew day, sanitize before use on your next brew day! You don’t want to give any nasty critters the chance to start growing and embedding in your equipment so don’t leave it laying around with the perfect environment for this to happen. You also don’t need to use PBW to clean your equipment, dish detergent will do unless it’s a carboy you can’t get your hands into. Just make sure you clean it when you’re done using it for the day. This goes for Kettles, Mash tuns,pumps,hoses, flasks, hop bags etc… etc… etc...
  2. Control your fermentation temperature and know the yeast you’re using. Some yeast perform best at 65, others 72 and still others at extremes one way or the other. Know your yeast and control that temp!
  3. Know your equipment! Take the time to figure out the efficiency of your system so when you’re formulating a recipe you scale the ingredients to hit the numbers! This is important for future batches and adjustments otherwise your variables are too numerous to nail down what’s causing a certain flavor or lack thereof.
  4. Know your water and the role it plays in each beer style! I know my water is high in alkalinity and total hardness. I can use my tap water for dark beers. Pale beers get RO water with gypsum and chloride added in with even ratios for malty pales, 2:1 for hoppy pales. Amber beers are just a mix of tap and RO water. Do yourself a favor and have your water tested.
  5. Make sure you’re not drunk by the end of your brew day! Drinking too much during the brewing process, next to ignorance, is probably the number one contributor to bad beer. It can cause you to forget to pitch your yeast, clean and sanitize an item, add hops during the boil etc... etc… etc…
  6. Do not bag your hops in a beer you want to have great hop flavor and aroma. The loose hops rolling around in your boil seem to release more oils into the beer contributing more hoppy goodness.
  7. Allow your hops into the fermentor. Long term contact with the hops also help in flavor and aroma contribution. Not all hops have to enter the fermentor but a significant amount will help the flavor and aroma of your beer.
  8. After fermentation avoid allowing oxygen in your beer if you want it to last. If you have beer that’s going to be sitting around for a while then take extra care to avoid any splashing, vigorous stirring, air pockets in your auto-siphon etc.. etc.. etc… Oxygen is terrible for finished beers and will cause cardboard flavors, loss of hop flavor and aroma and staleness.

So says FerventBrewer

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