Making homemade beer is a popular activity around the United States. As more and more people join the ranks, more and more home equipment becomes available. There are things you can do to make better beer and have a better experience with the process, from getting the right CO2 growler to getting the bottling process correct. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Follow the instructions. If you were given a beer making kit for the holidays, read the instructions. This can be important because some of the work that needs to be done to make home brew may be more complicated than you think. If you decide you do not want to use a CO2 growler and want to bottle your beer instead, the equipment in the kit may be made to be used by more than one person. If you need two people to bottle your brew, you may end up with a kitchen covered in your beer if you try to do this by yourself. Save yourself time and stress, read and follow all instructions.
- Use your dishwasher to bottle beer. No, this does not mean that you find a way to get the machine to do it for you but you can place the bottles up in the top tray and then anything that you spill goes into the dishwasher and not onto your floor. One reason that CO2 growlers and other beer growlers have become so popular is they are easier to deal with than the bottles but if you are looking to make beer gifts for friends and family, you may want to bottle your brew.
- Go for a bigger kettle than you think you need. When you get a beer making kit, you will probably go out and get yourself a starter kettle. That may seem to make sense but unless you only plan to make one batch of your home brew, you are going to end up getting a larger kettle so you may as well just go ahead and get a bigger one to start with. It is also a lot easier to work with in the beginning. You will have a much lower chance of spilling all over if you start with a bigger kettle from the get go.
- Go ahead and splurge on a wort chiller. The timing of chilling the wort is important and not as easy to get right as you may think,. If you do not do this right, you may end up brewing up an ideal home for dangerous bacteria and find yourself in the role of Typhoid Mary. It can be a bit hassle to get your wort chilled properly and buying a chiller is worth the expense.
- Create the yeast starter yourself. Many experienced brewers will tell you that the thing they pay the most attention to is the yeast they start the process with. Getting this right can make a big difference in your brew. By spending about 20 minutes at the start of the process on your yeast, you can make a much better batch of beer.
- Pay close attention to your materials and powders. Think you would never drop your disinfectant into your brew by accident? Think again. You do that once and you will never do it again but you can save yourself the time, effort, money and energy by just paying good attention to what you are doing.
- Make sure your wort gets the oxygen it needs. When you get your wort to the right temperature, you have gotten most of the oxygen out of the wort. Your yeast needs this to do what it needs to do to make your beer. Some people will tell you to add tap water but that will also change the flavor of your beer. If you want to get the needed oxygen to the yeast in your wort, buy an aeration stone. If you have ever had an aquarium, you know how these work.
Getting all of your equipment such as the CO2 growlers, if you are going that route, is just the start of the fun to have in brewing beer at home. These tips can help make your beer better for everyone who drinks it.