Learning how to brew your own beer is an exciting hobby—it’s very hands-on, and you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor. However, there’s a lot to learn before you make your first batch; here’s what you need to know before brewing your own beer.
Keeping your equipment and workstation free of germs and bacteria by cleaning and disinfecting everything is a constant battle in making beer. No one can overstate the importance of keeping your brewing station clean; proper sanitation begins before you work on your beer and doesn’t end until well after you attach the bottle caps. It’s vital to sterilize areas while your beer is cooling to prevent bacteria from taking over while the yeast ferments.
Understand How To Handle Your Wort
There’s a lot of science that goes into brewing beer that influences the quality of your product. Knowing how long to cook your wort is essential to determine what type of beer you’re making, with longer boils creating darker beers—which are typically better for beginning brewers. You’ll want to boil your wort for an hour to 90 minutes to release tannins from your grains and oils from the hops.
Once your wort boils, you’ll want to cool it down rapidly to avoid contamination. Many breweries invest in wort chillers, but hobbyists may use a tub of ice.
Keep Records of Everything
Before brewing your own beer, it’s important to understand that there’s a lot of trial and error. One of the best things you can do for your beer is keep detailed records of as many aspects as possible for every batch. Keeping track of how much time you spend on each step, the temperatures attained throughout, and even details like humidity in the air and the age and freshness of your ingredients work to give you an idea of what might need to be done differently next time.
Keep a detailed report of every step in your process to see how different factors affect your finished product. These records allow you to discover the optimal conditions for brewing your ideal batch.