While craft brewing is booming in the US, so is homebrewing. Some of the best beers are coming out of homebrewing operations! It would be wrong to ignore the waves the homebrewing community is making (Golden Road isn’t ignoring this amazing amateur potential with their Vice show: Beerland)
When it comes to getting started with homebrewing, it takes a little research to make sure that you’re not making rookie mistakes.
Homebrewing is such an amazing hobby to have (that could blossom into something more) all you have to do is make sure that you know what you’re doing!
Here are a few tips and tricks to help you get started with your homebrewing endeavors:
Get yourself a big Kettle
A lot of people start homebrewing and think that they should start small with their equipment! But let’s be real if you’re committing to buying a starter kit you’re going to be committed to brewing. So make sure that if you have the option to buy a larger kettle, to take it. You’re going to outgrow a small kettle almost instantly so if you’re going to drop some cash on equipment, opt for the larger kettle.
Don’t skip sanitization
Beer making can be a delicate process. And a lot of what you depend on are micro-organisms that need certain conditions in order to thrive. Before you start brewing, make sure that you sanitize. Don’t skip this step or you’ll risk bacteria growth that you don’t want, you’ll risk your yeast, and you’ll risk your health.
A clean homebrewing operation is a successful operation.
Make your own starter
A good starter is crucial for almost any fermentation process. Think about sourdough and kombucha: you need to have a fantastic starter in order to get the stellar product you’re trying to create.
So when it comes to your yeast starter, you should make your own! The quality of your starter is crucial to the success of your brew. Make sure that you take the extra time out of your day to make a strong starter for your beer. You’ll decrease the chance of contamination and increase the quality of your beer in about 20 minutes time.
Airlocks vs. blowoff tubes
Airlocks are great when it comes to smaller fermentations. I personally am a fan of airlocks for small batches of kombucha, making pickles, and especially giardiniera. However, when it comes to medium to large batches of beer, you’re going to need a bigger… airlock.
Instead of using an airlock, we highly recommend using a blowoff tube, so your airlock isn’t overwhelmed!
After bottling, keep your beer at room temp
One of the biggest mistakes I see people make with their brew is not keeping it at room temperature after bottling. A lot of people like to transfer their beer directly to the fridge. But your beer isn’t done when it’s in the bottle!
Those bad boys need to sit at room temperature in order to carbonate.
Find a good spot in your kitchen or pantry that isn’t in direct sunlight and doesn’t get too hot or cold during the day. Let your beer sit at room temp in its a cozy little spot for at least 2 weeks so that it properly carbonates.