It goes without saying that I very much enjoy making beer. It is very rewarding to me to be able to brew up a beer and then share that beer with friends and family.
Now it was not always this way… when I first started making beer and started researching the how to brew beer basics… I found that the so called “basics” where not that basic at all… I discovered a ton of hype on the internet about how difficult it was… how precise you had to be… people convoluted the hell out of it… they complicated it and made it far from fun.
I eventually caught on that what was going on was that some people simply like to make things difficult to make themselves look better… and with making beer is no exception.
So eventually I weeded through all of the garbage out there … and learned how to… well… Make Beer Easy! (I even went on to open my own micro brewery)… And yes the beer tastes as good as or better than the self-acclaimed brewing gurus who try to complicate the process…
So hence this site was born… I made it to help the average Joe make good tasting beer easily from home….
….if it’s yours first time on here feel free to roam around the site… there is a ton of information on how to make good beer regardless of whether you are learning how to brew your first beer or getting ready to make your 100th.
If you are looking to brew your first beer here is another post you will find helpful to get you started:
So again there is a ton of information on this site to help you regardless of where you are in your beer making learning process…
…in this post I am going to give you 3 very important basics involved in brewing beer… you do need to make sure you understand and abide by these basics!
Sanitation (Crucial to Making Beer)
There is no question that sanitation is one of the keys to making good beer… beer is highly susceptible to bacteria and even the smallest grain of dirt can make a whole batch of beer go bad.
Now don’t freak out… proper sanitation is not hard.
Anything that is going to touch the beer must be sanitized is all. There are great food grade sanitizers on the market.
Star San is by far the most popular used by home brewers.
The basics of sanitation are:
- Anything that goes into the boil, the boil itself will sanitize. No need to use sanitizer
- Anything after the boil MUST be sanitized. This involves simply cleaning your equipment good between brew days using an unscented hand soap… and then rinsing or spraying it with a food grade sanitizer like Star San.
That is really all there is to it… not hard but a crucial step!
Here is a post where I explain how to clean and sanitize your brewing equipment and brewing space.
Fermentation Temperature Control (Get the Temp Right!)
Two areas that temperature control are paramount to making this delicious nectar of the gods.
=> Temperature Control Basic #1: When you are done brewing you need to get the wort (unfermented beer) to a temperature that will not kill the yeast and also not put it to sleep.
Putting it to sleep is better than killing it…
When you put it to sleep that means the wort was too cold when you pitched the yeast (sprinkled the yeast on top of the wort). As long as you put your fermenter in a room that is set at the correct fermenting temperature the yeast will wake up as it warms up.
Putting the yeast to sleep will slow down how fast the fermentation starts but in the end it will be fine.
And if you for some reason pitched the yeast when the beer was too hot, you can always re-pitch yeast into the fermenter when it has cooled down to the proper temperature range. You will want to wait a couple of days to make sure the yeast died before re-pitching.
When pitching your yeast I have found that between 64 – 70 degrees F is the sweet temperature spot for pitching your yeast.
=> Temperature Control Basic #2: Now this one is by far one of the top how to brew beer basics you need to follow. As important as Sanitation in fact.
The Temperature you ferment your beer at will make or break your beer.
If you ferment to cold the yeast is going to go to sleep and the beer will be under fermented, meaning you will miss your Final Gravity and the ABV (alcohol) will be much lower than it is supposed to be and the yeast will not have been able to add the flavors it was intended to also.
Now if that sounds bad… fermenting to warm is even worse. Fermenting to warm can create serious off flavors in your beer and can even make it go bad… meaning you will have to dump the batch down the drain!
So… again this is not hard… simply keep your beer in a room you have set at anywhere from 60 – 72 degrees F. Use a heater in the winter and an AC unit in the summer to keep the room in that range.
My sweet spot is 65 degrees F. Take a look at the yeast you are using. It will tell you the ideal range. Some yeasts will allow you to ferment even higher than 72 degrees F.
The Recipe (Careful What’ya Brew)
It should go without saying that the recipe you use to make your beer is going to determine how the beer is going to turn out. I know I know mind blown here!
It should be obvious…
BUT there are a ton of recipes out there… there are a ton of beer kits on the market… AND not all recipe sources and beer kits are created equal.
Some simply are better than others….
If you do a google search for a beer recipe you will find a shite ton of recipes out there… and this is great… but again it sucks finding a recipe… following the correct procedures only to have the beer taste like hell because the recipe sucked.
So the following are some good places you can get some good recipes from:
If you are new to making beer or are brewing using a kit the following post gives you detail on my two favorite beer kits and also gives you tip on how to make the beer turn out great!
If you are into all grain brewing in the following post I share my top 5 favorite all grain beer recipes. I have brewed these for years and even had them on tap at my micro brewery. Enjoy them!
My top 5 Home Brewing Recipes
And lastly… what I always recommend when it comes to home brew recipes is regardless of what stage in your brewing journey you are at (kits, partial mash, all grain)… use a beer kit!
Yes there are beer kits for all stages… even all grain beer kits… and when you go shopping for one of these kits you can see the reviews from people who have brewed the beer previously.
Some of the best kits on the market come from Adventures in HomeBrewing. I have done a review of them here:
Let’s Wrap it Up
Alright my brewing friend… there you have it… I trust you found my Top 3 how to brew beer basics helpful.
Stick to the basics… learn the process step by step… go easy on yourself… and enjoy the journey and you will be making beer easy in no time.
If I can help you out in any way, feel free to drop a comment in below and I will be sure to get back to you!
Cheers my friend. Big Robb is out!