Alcoholic Alchemy: Quick Tips for the Beer Brewer in You

Friends Toasting BeerPeople have enjoyed beer as a beverage for centuries, but it is only now that the popularity of homebrewing gaining. From hobbyist to small batch brewers, backyard brewing is becoming a staple in modern America cementing beer’s popularity in the bar and in American hearts.

But just wanting to brew beer is not enough. The combination of water, barley, and hops doesn’t do itself, and it can be a daunting task for the uninitiated. Picking the right hops, for example, is a task in itself. Cascade, Amarillo, or the Galaxy hop variety?

Before you quit and find solace in a bottle, let these simple steps be your guide to starting on your first homebrewed beer.

Investing in Equipment

Investing in equipment is the best way to get started: most starter kits come with the standard 5-gallon kettle. Don’t be afraid to get the larger 7.5-gallon kettle. This will prevent boil overs and at the same time, prevent you from wasting your ingredients.

Most homebrewers think that a wort chiller is an unnecessary expense and try to accomplish this task by dumping a bunch of ice in a bathtub. Wort chillers not only save you trips to the grocery but also time and the risk of contamination.

An auto-siphon is a brewer’s best friend. Most starting kits come with a 5/16” auto siphon, but spending just $4 more and you can get a ½” racking crane. This will help you move your precious brew from vessel to vessel, quicker and more efficiently.

Yeasty Business

Yeast is one of the main ingredients in brewing beer. These little critters help ferment the beer and turn that mash into homemade deliciousness. Making your own yeast starter not only gives you more control over the brewing process, but it also saves you money. Plus, it’s easier than you think.

The only downside with using your own yeast starter is the time it takes to make. You’ll want to give yourself a 24-hour head start to give the yeast time to keep reproducing. This way, you’ll lessen the risk of contamination and increase the chances of active fermentation.

Brewing beer maybe a science but it doesn’t mean you can’t be creative. Hopefully, with these few tips, you can be on your way to creating an alcohol empire of your own.