Many people have picked up the hobby of brewing their own beer at home. It is a fun experience, but it takes time to learn the craft. Therefore, mistakes in home brewing are commonly made. The key is to not get frustrated by the mistakes you make, but rather learn from them. However, you want your first batch to turn out as great as possible. With that in mind, here are some tips for avoiding common mistakes when making your own beer at home.
The first way to avoid mistakes is to read over the home brewing guide that came with your kit. If you didn’t get a kit, it is a good idea to purchase a guide book and read through it. This book tells you all that goes in to brewing beer at home. It will cover common mistakes, and give you some needed education about the process.
Probably the most common mistake for a newbie is not sanitizing their materials. You can clean something forever, but you need to sanitize it when you are making beer. Many home brewing kits will come with a sanitizing kit. If it doesn’t, you will need to sanitizing materials. Everything that touches the beer needs to be sanitized. Otherwise, your batch could be ruined. This cannot be stressed enough. Not sanitizing your materials will ruin the taste of beer as well as increase the risk of bacteria growth.
Another mistake people make is not paying attention to the fermentation temperature. The proper fermentation temperature depends on the type of beer you make. More directly, it depends on the type of yeast you use. Yeast is the agent that is responsible for fermenting the beer. Depending on the yeast, the proper temperature varies from the 60′s to the 70′s. Make sure you read the instructions carefully and that you are keeping the temperature where it belongs.
Along with storing your beer with the proper temperature, pay attention to the lighting as well. If you use bottles, brown bottles keep out the most light while clear ones allow a lot of light. Light can diminish the taste and quality of your beer, so make sure you store in a dark location. This is a mistake that could ruin the beer even if you follow every other step perfectly.
Another common mistake is being too eager. It is natural to want to try your beer right away or too soon. However, beer takes time. From the moment you brew it until the moment it is ready to drinks, several weeks may have passed. The urge to bottle your beer early is large. But if you bottle it too early, the gases will be released in the bottle and your entire batch will be ruined. Patience is mandatory when brewing beer.
Another mistake to avoid is not finding a good recipe. Beer kits come with basic beer recipes that wind up not tasting very good. Even if you follow everything perfectly, you could end up producing a batch of beer that doesn’t taste good. That can be very discouraging for you. Instead, find a recipe on the internet from someone that made a successful batch of good beer. Pick a type you know you like, such as pale ale. Follow that recipe and you will wind up with a good tasting beer as well as some confidence for your next batch.
Another way to make sure you don’t make any mistakes is to document everything you do. Not only does this serve as a list to make sure you didn’t forget anything, but it also saves every step in case you create a great batch you want to make in the future. Beer making has a lot of little details so it is easy to lose track of them. Documenting everything alleviates that problem.
Lastly, don’t be afraid of failure. The chances of your first batch of beer tasting great are pretty slim. Stick with it and try new things. Eventually, you will find that your beer making improves to the point where you enjoy drinking the beer as much as you enjoy making it.