Sep 06

Get Started with the Process of Making Beer

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As some of you know, I’ve been brewing beer for several years now and have decided that I would like to share my knowledge with other people just getting in to the hobby as well as experienced brewers.

I’ve had quite a few friends ask me several questions, including “Is the process of making beer hard?”, “Where do you get your supplies?” and “How much is it to get started?”. So I thought I’d answer these questions in this article.

Lets start with the first question, “Is the process of making beer hard?”

The answer is NO. Brewing beer is a very easy process and I’ve told friends that if you can make a box of mac and cheese, you can brew beer. The biggest difference is that you really need to keep an eye on your sanitation procedures to make sure you don’t get a bacterial infection but it’s nothing to get hung up on.

On to the second question, “Where do you get your supplies?”

Normally I will tell new brewers to check out their LHBS (local home brew shop) but since I live in an area where I have to drive to a neighboring city to visit my LHBS I have a couple of online stores where I get my supplies. The stores I normally use are, More Beer, Adventures in Homebrewing, Midwest Supplies, Northern Brewer and Austin Homebrew Supplies. I always watch for deals on products and shipping.

Now the last question is a little trickier to answer. “How much to get started?”

I always suggest getting a basic starter kit. Most of which include 2 plastic buckets. 1 for a fermenting bucket, the other for a bottling bucket. It will also include a bottle capper, siphoning equiptment and a hydrometer. All in all a basic starter kit and your first recipe kit will run you about $100 give or take. And don’t forget about the things that aren’t in the kit like a brew pot and bottles which can run you a bit more.

Even though the upfront cost can be a little pricy, my bets are that once you’ve made your first hand crafted beer you”ll be hooked.

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Aug 23

The Biggest Mistake Homebrewers Make

As an experienced homebrewer, one of the biggest mistakes I see that both new and experienced home brewers make in the process of making beer is failure to sanitize everything properly.

A good example of this is a couple of weeks ago I was making an easy beer recipe (an all grain Guinness clone from Austin Homebrew Supply). It was my 6th batch of beer made in as many weeks and I got sloppy. I still can’t pinpoint exactly where the infection came from but when I opened the fermenter to transfer it, the smell was horrendous.

I do know that it ended up being a late night, we were tired and mistakes were made.

The moral of the story is make sure you always have a sanitizing solution on hand and make sure that everything and I mean everything you use is sanitized after you boil your wort and the process of making beer will be much more rewarding.

The sanitizer I use for every brew day is One Step