So after reading the bio of Garret Oliver, you decided you want to be a brewer. After all, it sounds like so much fun. But as exotic a life as it seems Garett has, it requires a lot of hard work and discipline to become a master brewer. Here then are some tips from brewers across America for young brewers to improve their brewing process:
While the list is not in hierarchical order, cleanliness is at the top of the list for a reason. According to Jim Leverentz, everything you read about cleanliness is true. Always be clean. Francie Lengerich suggests using vodka as a sanitizer. However, Bob Bacolas advises not to use bleach as a sanitizer. He says there is a chemical reaction that occurs with the chlorine and maltose molecules that run the taste of your beer.
Record-keeping and research
Francie recommends keeping a brew log. He says to assign a code to each beer for easy reference. He also suggests making a copy of the index page and hangs it on your beer fridge with a magnet. Paul and Carolyn Baker of the Shady Lady cautions against reading everything you can find on the Internet on the subject of beer or wine making. You will talk yourself out of the hobby, they call it, as you become overwhelmed.
A classic beginner’s mistake, according to Dan small of Dan’s Homebrewing Supplies, is the overuse of specialty malts such as crystal. He says when using roasted malts stick with only one type. When tweaking your beer, he says, it is always easier to add a simple recipe than to take away from a complicated one. But when you do, don’t rely on your computer program. Instead really on your nose and mouth.
Doug from Just Brew It! Reiterated the importance of reading the recipe with understanding. Reading the recipe wrong can result in “over-bittered” beer.
Follow Procedure and Get Feedback
According to Erik Schmid of The Brewmeister, you should follow procedure and get feedback. If your goal is perfecting the process and monitoring your brewing results, then you should try to make the same recipe over and over again. Each time you taste the new batch and make notes accordingly. By doing this and going over the notes, you will know what to do differently.
Byron Burch of the Beverage People, says get a good opinion. He warns that giving free beers to your friends and then asking their views is not what is meant by “peer-reviewed.”
Bob Peak of the Beverage People suggests putting a wooden spoon under your bottling bucket when you are using a bottle filler without a spring in the tip. Make sure the handle sticks out over the edge of the counter. Loop the hose over it, then hang the filler in the “off” position while capping some bottles.
Erik Schmid says you should opt for installing or buying a bucket with a spigot mounted at the bottom if you are using one for a primary or secondary fermenter. This will avoid having to siphon your beer.
There are so much to learn as a young brewer, but there are always great brewmasters ready and willing to show you the ropes. If you keep these tips in mind, you will inevitably become a brewmaster one of these days. As a bonus tip, Chris Colby, Editor of Brew Your Own Magazine says, remember to keep oxygen away. Yeast needs oxygen to gore and ferment. However, after they have had “enough,” minimize your beer’s exposure to oxygen. If you expose your beer to oxygen while it is aging, you will end up with cardboard-like aromas in your beer. We hope you found these tips helpful. Let us know in the comments box below.