5 Common Mistakes in Home Brewing
We “ALL” do it at some stage in our homebrew journey. I know it is hard to believe that you’ve made a mistake and have to pour your beer down the sink or worse yet have bottles exploding all over the place. This is all a process of learning and becoming a better brewer.
I have put together a quick list of commandments you don’t want to skip before brewing your Small Batch beer:
Sanitise, Sanitise, Sanitise
What does this mean, clean my hands, wipe down your work bench, wear plastic gloves, put on a hazmat suit?. Sanitising means killing any bacteria that may harbour where your beer will spend most of its time. At the beginning of your brew day santise your airlock, syphon, carboy and bung using Star San or Sodium Percarbonate. Both are non-rinse and non-toxic and don’t add any off flavours to your beer. When you are ready to keg or bottle sanitise your these too before transferring your fermented beer into your preferred storage vessel. Remember anything your beer comes in contact with should be sanitised first.
Don’t add more than the recommended dose of sugar when priming
You may think putting extra sugar in at bottling day will make it sweeter, more alcohol…don’t do it! – it only takes a bit of extra sugar to explode your bottles. Follow the same process with a keg, do not over prime. The keg is more forgiving as our kegs include an automatic pressure relief valve to regulate once the PSI gets too high. Measure your priming sugar exactly for the beer style you are making.
Monitor your fermentation temperature
Read the instructions of the yeast, packet and your recipe. It will give you a fermentation range you should aim for. Brewing outside of these ranges will either involve a stuck fermentation or off flavours in your beer. The beer will thank you for it and you will be impressed with the results.
Another one of the most common beginner home brewing mistakes is underpitching. Beer requires a certain number of yeast cells for a healthy fermentation. Follow the recipe instructions and use enough yeast. When brewing 5 Litre batches you would typically use 3.5 grams of yeast. Make sure you pitch your yeast when your wort has sufficiently cooled. As a guide it should be pitched at 24C.
Take your time, don’t keep worrying that your beer wont turn out. More often than not you will be happy with the results. Follow the instructions carefully, keep an eye on the temperature, let fermentation have time to complete and allow the beer to fully carbonate before serving. Once you have mastered avoiding these mistakes it becomes second nature and you then focus on creating your own beers.
Our commitment is to help you brew better beer, with only the essential premium equipment you need. Get one of our home brew starter kits and mini keg kits and start your journey with us. Just because you are brewing small doesn’t mean you cant dream big. Tag us @smallbatchbrew so we can tell the world about another up and coming Master Brewer.