There’s nothing more satisfying than kicking back with an ice cold bottle of suds after a long day at work; the only thing that could make enjoying that hard-earned beer better is knowing it’s been freshly prepared by YOU! No wonder why home brewing is sweeping the Austin area by storm!
If you’re looking for a hobby that you can really enjoy – and who knows, one that could become an exciting career opportunity down the road (you never know if you could become the next big brew master!) – home brewing is definitely an option you should consider. But before you get started, here’s a look at four important tips to keep in mind…
Sanitation is Key
If there’s one thing you don’t want to overlook, its sanitation, and in terms of home brewing, sanitation involves sterilization. If the process isn’t sterile, you’ll end up with some skunk-tasting beer; even worse, you could end up getting yourself and anyone else who drinks your creations sick. Make sure the entire process – from the set up to capping your bottles – is sterile.
Make sure you cool the wort as quickly as you can; doing so will enhance the fallout of proteins and tannins that could negatively impact your beer. Additionally, fast cooling reduces the risk of bacteria growth. Another benefit: it improves the clarity of your beer, making it more aesthetically pleasing.
Don’t Skimp on Ingredients
While purchasing less-expensive ingredients might be tempting, especially when you’re first starting out, resist the urge. Just like when you’re cooking, the quality of the ingredients you’re using will have a major impact on your home brew. If you want your beer to taste good, you should always fresh ingredients and use the highest quality that you can find.
Nix the Plastic Fermenters
You’ll find that lots of home brewing kits – especially starter kits – come with plastic buckets. Those buckets are meant to be used for fermenting, and while they’re cheaper and they will technically get the job done, the final product usually isn’t as good. Instead, opt for stainless steel or glass fermenters. Why? – Because they’re easier to clean (remember, sterilization is super important), your mash won’t stick, and they create a much better oxygen barrier, so your brew will taste a whole lot better.
Home brewing is a lot of fun, and with these tips, it can yield some pretty awesome results. It’s kind of like a science experiment, and if done correctly, the end product can downright incredible.