Four Keys to Successful Brewing

4 Keys to Successful Beer Brewing


1) WATER - Because beer is mostly water, always use good tasting water. If your water tastes bad, use bottled spring water. If using city tap water, boil all of it before it comes in contact with your malt. A 10-15 minute boil will rid it of chlorine. Chlorine reacts with malt and yields off flavors. Running your water through a charcoal filter removes chlorine.

2) MALT - Do not follow the recipe on most cans. Use brewing quality malts and syrups. Always boil your malt in a couple of gallons of dechlorinated water. Boil 10- 20 minutes for kit beers and 45 minutes for unhopped malt syrups and powders. Avoid using too much table sugar or corn sugar in your beer. Do not use more than 20% sugar (as the total weight of your recipe) as it promotes dry, winey, cidery flavors. Use dried malt extract, brewers rice syrup or brewers corn syrup instead.

3) YEAST - Use a good fresh strain of yeast. It is best to throw away the yeast that comes with a beer kit and replace it with a high quality strain of dry yeast that has been refrigerated (we recommend Nottingham, Safale 04, Safale 05 and Saflager yeasts). Better yet is the liquid form of yeast which produces beers of commercial quality (e.g. Wyeast and White Labs). Ask for directions with liquid yeasts as they are not difficult to use and produce excellent beers.

4) SANITATION - Beer is somewhat prone to infection by beer spoiling microorganisms. Sanitize everything that comes in contact with the beer after the boil. Use the following sanitizing solutions: Iodophor (iodine), Star San Easy Clean (Oxygen based) or household chlorine bleach (use 1-2 tablespoons per gallon cold water, soak 10-15 minutes and rinse very well). Note: Bleach will pit stainless steel and corrode other metal objects. Starsan used in conjuction with a spray bottle is economical and very effective.