Beer Kit Tips and Tricks
Congratulations, you’re the proud owner of new beer making kit and you’re
ready to make your first batch of home brew. Well, before you do, there are
some tips and tricks that will greatly improve the quality of your beer. Keep
in mind that if you follow the instructions included in the kit, your beer will
be perfectly adequate. However, doing a few things differently can produce
much better results.
Storing Your Ingredients
Many ingredients for making beer don’t keep well over long periods of time,
but they can be stored for a few months. Try to keep all of your ingredients
in a cool, dry location. If you have a liquid malt extract, keep it in your
refrigerator. Any hops you have that aren’t going to be used in the near term
should be stored in their unopened packaging, in the freezer. Also, it’s a
good idea to buy a few extra yeast packets to have on hand, just in case you
get a bad one.
Sanitize, Sanitize, Sanitize
Regardless of which kit you purchased, the need for sterilization will be
emphasized. However, we want to re-emphasize that point! Every piece of
equipment that comes in contact with your beer at any stage of the
brewing process (no matter how briefly) must be thoroughly sterilized.
Even the tiniest bit of bacteria can ruin your beer.
Before each item is used, it should first be cleaned of all visible dirt or
residue. Cleaning can be done with a dish cleaning sponge or pad and plenty
of hot water.
Once all of the items are clean, fill the fermenter or racking bucket with your
hottest tap water and mix in the appropriate amount of sanitizer. (Two
ounces in five gallons is the normal rate if you are using household bleach.)
Then put all the other items that need to be sanitized into that bucket to soak.
All items should soak for at least ten minutes, but longer soaking periods
will generally not hurt them.
When you’re ready to use an item, take it out of the solution and rinse