We understand that new brewers are always seeking advice on how to enhance their beer. Therefore, here is ACE’s advice for every novice brewer.
Keep your recipes simple.
Remember, brewing is more akin to baking than cooking. Simplicity often leads to excellent beer. With a plethora of ingredients to choose from, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. However, I recommend selecting a few elements and allowing them to shine.
Utilize fresh ingredients.
The quality of what you consume hinges on using the finest and freshest ingredients. Ensure that your yeast, hops, and grains are in top condition. That’s why we suggest purchasing from your local homebrew store, as it guarantees quality.
Focus on fermentation.
Always remember that as a brewer, you create wort, but yeast creates beer. This is why any fermentation issues can significantly impact the quality of your brew. Use enough yeast, ferment at a consistent and appropriate temperature, and ensure proper aeration of the wort.
ACE 3000L Stainless Steel Beer Fermenter
Oxidation is one of the most common off-flavors found in beer. Keep your fermentation in an oxygen-free environment. Creating an oxygen-reduced atmosphere may pose a challenge for new brewers, but it is crucial. Make sure all vessels are purged with carbon dioxide during transfers.
It is essential to document every step of the brewing process. Keeping a record of each stage will provide clarity. If you have any doubts about your techniques, whether good or bad, you can refer back to your notes.
Change one variable at a time.
Similar to documentation, when altering your recipe, it is best to change only one element at a time. It’s easy to become confused when making multiple changes, and you won’t be able to determine what improvements have been made to your beer.
Maintain yeast health.
I recommend that all brewers familiarize themselves with the advanced skill of determining the appropriate amount of yeast and making a starter when brewing any beer with more than 5% ABV. Such beers require at least 200 billion yeast cells, while the average yeast package contains only 100 billion cells.
Cool the wort quickly.
Cooling the wort may not appear significant, but it is crucial. Remember, bacterial infections can occur at temperatures below 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, rapid cooling facilitates the removal of proteins from the wort, resulting in a cleaner beer.
Know your equipment.
Whether you’re using an extract, performing a partial mash, or brewing with whole grains, it’s crucial to understand every aspect of your equipment. Familiarizing yourself with your system improves efficiency, ensures safety during brewing, and aids in troubleshooting if issues arise.
Practice proper sanitation.
Although it may seem obvious, many instances of beer contamination occur due to carelessness. Just like you wouldn’t want your surgeon to have merely “clean” hands and instruments, you should strive for sterilization in brewing.