Brewing your own beer can be a highly rewarding and satisfying activity, but it takes quite a bit of time and patience to perfect. If you are a beginning homebrewer or are wanting to improve your brew, here are five tips you can use to enhance the quality and tweak the taste of your homebrew, make the process easier, and save yourself some money in the long run.
- Use fresh ingredients.
This seems obvious, but most homebrewers use a starter kit in the beginning, which generally use dry yeast and possibly some other lower-quality ingredients. These are fine to use when you’re learning the ropes, but once you complete a few batches, switching to better ingredients, like liquid yeast, fresh extract, hops, malt, and crushed grains will dramatically improve the flavor.
- Control fermentation temperature.
While the yeast is fermenting, your beer needs to be kept at a constant temperature between 66 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit in order to yield the best-tasting beer. To do this, keep the beer in a cool, dry area of your home, wrap the fermentor in wet towels, and place a fan in front of it, then re-wet the towels every eight hours. You can also purchase a thermometer from a brewing shop to keep track of the temperature.
- Cool beer quickly.
To reduce the chance of bacterial growth in your beer and increase the fallout of tannins and proteins, you need to cool your beer as quickly as possible. You can inexpensively purchase an immersion wort chiller for this purpose, and the resulting brew will be significantly clearer, more sterile, and of higher quality.
- Change one aspect of your beer at a time.
Once you get the hang of the basics of home brewing, you will probably want to start improving certain aspects of your beer if you aren’t satisfied with it or if you want to try different varieties. But you don’t want to try to alter too many things at once because it will be difficult to determine what alteration worked and what didn’t. Stick to one change at a time, then you can keep a record of how well it worked.
- Make long-term purchases.
Many homebrewers initially use smaller, cheaper equipment, but if homebrewing is something you want to pursue for many years, you should probably consider buying the high quality, large equipment from the beginning. If you continue this hobby, you will likely end up buying that equipment down the road anyways. So, while it’s a larger initial investment, it will pay off in a few years when you don’t have to keep replacing your equipment.