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Top Tips For Those Who Want to Start Brewing Beer

There’s no doubt about it: brewing beer in your own home is a highly rewarding hobby and one which can not only bring hours of pleasure but also a fantastic, delicious drink at the end of it all for you and your friends to enjoy. The craft beer renaissance has spurred people all over the world to begin experimenting with brewing, and there’s simply never been a better time to get involved in this ancient and fascinating craft!

Once you’ve gotten yourself the basic bits of kit and ingredients required to begin your brewing adventure, you’ll no doubt be eager to get started. We’ve gathered five of the most helpful tips for those looking to make their own beer - follow these pieces of advice, and you’ll have an even better tipple at the other end!

Start Simply

If this is your first foray into the world of beer-making, it’s probably best to kick things off with one of the more straightforward brews in order to familiarise yourself with the process. 

Start with a simple IPA, bitter ale or porter, and perfect the classics before you start experimenting with other flavors and infusions. It’s never a good idea to try running before walking, and this way, you’ll avoid early disappointment which might put you off later. 

Take Sanitation Seriously

If you were to ask a hundred brewers what the most important aspect of brewing beer is, the chances are that all one hundred of them would say the same thing: sanitation. 

When you brew beer, you’re trying to create the perfect conditions in which yeast will flourish and encourage fermentation. The problem with this is that those same conditions are also perfect for beer-spoiling bacteria and wild yeasts in the air to flourish, too. The solution to avoiding this? Careful and thorough sanitation of all your equipment before you begin. 

Read, Research, Share

Beer making is an ancient art which has survived into the modern day relatively unchanged from its rustic origins. Across the centuries, reams and reams of text have been written - from dusty old tomes you might find in your library, to the wealth of information out there on the blogosphere. By reading all you can about different brewer’s successes, failures, tips and advice, you can increase your skills and knowledge, and become a better brewer. If you’ve made a discovery of your own, feel free to share it online; there will be other brewers out there who might benefit from your findings.

Chill your Wort Quickly 

Wort is the name given to beer before it has been fermented, and in order to get the best results, you’ll want to chill your work quickly and efficiently straight away after the first boil. By increasing the speed of the chilling, you’ll remove a lot of proteins which can create cloudiness in the beer, and more importantly, you’ll get the beer below the temperature at which bacteria most efficiently thrives. Investing in an immersion chiller is a great idea for those looking to achieve a quick chill time. 

Learn How to Make a Yeast Starter

Generally speaking, a lot of the yeasts included in a brewing starter pack aren’t of the highest quality, and often aren’t in great enough quantities to make a really top quality beer. Good beer requires a lot of quality yeast, and if you want to save yourself some money and hit the high notes of flavor every time, we’d advise learning how to make a yeast starter at home. It isn’t a difficult thing to do, but it does require some planning and preparation… but believe us, it’s well worth the effort when it comes to flavor and efficiency in the end.

How to Home Brew Beer to Perfection

Brewing beer is an art. It takes practice, discipline, and a ton of creativity. While brewing your own masterpiece is something that can’t be taught and can only be done through trial and error, doing an excellent job at brewing beer is a skill that anyone can acquire.

Here’s how you home brew beer to perfection:

Study, Study, Study

Admittedly this is the boring part, but it’s one you can’t skip. Knowing the fundamentals of brewing by heart even before you start buying the equipment and ingredients would save you a ton of time and minimize the number of mistakes that you’ll make further down the road. For absolute beginners, there’s Homebrewing For Dummies by Marty Nachel. For more experienced brewers, I suggest Brewing Better Beer by Gordon Strong.

Sterilize Everything

This goes without saying, but it is reminding. Please don’t cut corners. Never forget to sterilize everything that will touch your beer. Iodophor and bleach are recommended for this. Keep this in mind especially when you’ve just cooled your beer. At this stage, the beer is even more susceptible to bacteria prior to yeast fermentation.

Take Good, Good Care of Your Ingredients

Only the freshest ingredients should be included in your home brewed beer. Be careful where you store your ingredients as well. Remember that liquid yeast should be stored in the refrigerator, grains should be stored in a dry place, and hops should be kept in the freezer. Also, remember that all of the above have brief shelf lives, so get brewing, fast!

Cool Wort As Quickly As Possible

A quick cooling of your beer will reduce the chances of it getting infections and unwanted proteins and tannins. An immersion wort chiller would do the trick just fine.

Boil For 1-1 ½ Hours

Nothing more, nothing less. Not only does boiling your wort sterilize it, but it also brings out the strong bitter flavor from the hops. It also kicks starts the coagulation of the proteins and tannins from your grains. If you want a darker brew, boil for only an hour. If you’re going for a lighter brew, boil for an hour and a half.

The Fermentation Temperature Is Crucial

Make sure that the fermentation temperature remains within 66-68F. If you don’t have a fermentation refrigerator, a good D.I.Y tip would be to place your brew pots in a dry place at home with wet towels over it and an electric fan steadily blowing in front. Wet the towels every 12 hours to maintain the desired temperature. To be sure, use a stick-on thermometer!

Boil It All in One Pot

Boiling the whole batch in one pot can add richness to the flavor of your beer. Brewing 7-12 gallons of beer can even help you move on up to all-grain brewing.

Glass and Stainless Fermenters above All Else

Glass and stainless fermenters offer complete protection from oxygen compared to your vulnerable plastic buckets. Also, glass and stainless fermenters are much easier to sanitize. Not only are you saving your time, but you’re also ensuring that your beer is clean and top grade.

Now, what are you waiting for? Get to brewing!

All About The Perfect Pilsner

Brewing beer is tough work and it has been said that a Pilsner is without doubt one of the harder types of beer to brew. No matter if you are trying to make a German Pilsner or American Pilsner you need to choose your ingredients carefully. Two widespread types of pilsner are the German pilsner and the Bohemian pilsner. You need to try a Pilsner with the perfect blend of the graceful clear crisp Czech Pilsner and the restrained steadiness of a German Pilsner.

Crisp pilsner is the right summertime beer. Fuego Jalapeno Pilsner by Twisted X Brewing Firm is a traditional pils with a burro kick.

Pilsner 37 is Orlison Brewing Co.'s trendy take on an Old World pilsner. Brewing mild coloured Pilsner from extract is usually a challenge as extracts are inherently darker than corresponding grain malts due to the extraction process The very best course of action is to decide on the lightest attainable pilsner or lager malt extract if you'd like an authentic mild pilsner color. This Pilsner is crafted within the fashion of a brand new world Bohemian pilsner.

The defining instance of Pilsner is the original Pilsner Urquell from the Pilsner Urquell brewery in Pilsen, Czech republic. Prima Pils is my favourite pilsner. The pilsner is now making a comeback in American craft beer.

This makes a very good German Pilsner using the late extract addition methodology. We discuss about the grain invoice, the significance of using Pilsner malt and also why all grain can produce a lighter Pilsner than extract.

I not too long ago used this German Pils extract in my Purple Headed Blonde recipe. Anyway, I hold promising these friends that I'll brew a lightweight bodied Pilsner beer for them however I maintain failing to take action. I've brewed some lagers in the distant past when I used to do extract brewing.

Pilsner Urquell uses 100% pilsner malt with no other additions. I take advantage of all grain and partial mash extract brewing methods. The hops should last me by most of the winter brews.

My oven seems pretty maxed out at 5-6 lbs of grain which at this stage is at about 8 lbs as a result of water it has absorbed. Malt extract is principally just pre-made (and condensed) grain extract. The key elements are 6 lbs German Pils, 1lb 15L or 20L crushed Crystal, 4 oz Saaz hops, a teaspoon of gypsum and a bundle of Czech Pils yeast 2267.

Pilsner - Our Pilsner is brewed in the Bavarian Landpils” or country pilsner type, from the finest malt and Hallertau noble hops to give this beer an unmistakable hop aroma. I've by no means brewed a lager all grain which is now the only method I brew. Moravian Pilsner malt is most fascinating for brewing Pilsners, although it can be difficult to search out here in the US. Pilsner malt from other sources is an appropriate alternative, and lager malt can be utilized in a pinch, although it will result in a darker beer than true Pilsner malt.

It is a good Pilsner malt and by no means disappoints when coupled with different high quality substances and correct brewing methods for Pilsners. The Great Dane makes this beer with Peck's Pilsner, its Czech-type pilsner (generally referred to as a Bohemian pilsner).

What is the Perfect Amount of Head on a Beer?

This may in face be one of those age old questions. Almost like what came first the chicken or the egg? The only difference here is that chickens have been around for a lot longer than beer. Nevertheless the question of what is the perfect amount o head for a beer will have many answers from different people all over the world.

Take a look at this photo and you can straight away see two completely different sizes of head on this beer. Same beer, same glass but one has about 3/4 inch or head and the other about 2 inches. Which one is best?

Well this is a tough question to answer but I think it really comes down to personal preference. Much like the world of wine snobs or should I say wine connoisseur.

You see for wines your could do a blind test to people of all walks of life with some premium wines that are decades old ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars per bottle, compared to clear skin bottles which may only cost a couple of dollars. The results are amazing. I have seen it with my own eyes. How do the wine connoisseurs pick the most expensive quality bottles whereas an non-wine drinker may choose the cheapest bottle as they enjoy the taste better. Simple. Its all about what ever you prefer.

Now back to the beer.

I can understand the rush of fast pubs may sometimes provide more head as the beer froths up as it comes out of the tap. Getting a smaller amount of head takes a certain pouring technique and skill. However sometimes the faster paced bar staff may not have time for this. however this is not the reason why some bars serve beer with lots of head.

It is actually tradition in some cultures, especially European bars. Germany for instance. When they serve their large 1 Litre and halt Litre stein glasses you will often be provided with about 1 /3 head. While this is custom for the person who enjoys the beer they may turn their nose up at this and say "what a waste".

In fact while working bars in the UK I was often requested to provide no head on the beer at all so as the drinker could get more beer to consumer. After all you can't really enjoy the head.

But then our European market may beg to differ. Having been brought up with lots of head in their beer drinking diet, they would become quote accustomed to this. Then any bar serving limited or no head would be an insult.


So what is the answer? Whatever your choose. I advise to try both. Go enjoy a beer from a traditional German bar and notice how the head hits your lips as you consumer the liquid. Then go to a local bar and see how they serve it. If you really have a preference you could always ask the bar staff and they should be able to meet your request. I always though 1 to 2 fingers height is about right. Or the glass on the right in the picture, but that is just me.