Congrats for taking your first step into the exciting world of beer brewing. Before, you establish your brewery, you need to master the art of brewing. As you take your first baby steps in brewing, you will make mistakes. Mistakes are an inevitable part of learning any new craft – be it homebrewing or any other new experience.
Don’t be scared of mistakes, it happens to even the best beer companies. Instead, look at mistakes as an opportunity to learn, improve and ultimately gain mastery over beer brewing. With that said, there are some smart ways to avoid the most common mistakes made by beginners.
In this guide, we walk you through the rookie mistakes made by all beginner brewers, so that you can know how to avoid them.
#1: Not Keeping the Beer Brewing Equipment Clean
This is the biggest and most common mistake that every new brewer makes. Fermentation is crucial to beer brewing and there are both good and bad fermentation. For successful brewing, you need to ensure that fermentation is under your control.
Dirty hands, unclean surfaces, and improperly sterilised beer brewing equipment introduce wild bacteria that can ruin the batch. Even the most skilled brewers know that cleaning is critical and do not skip thorough sterilisation of all beer brewing equipment every time they brew a fresh batch. It may be a bit time consuming, but you will thank us later when the brewing process proceeds as per plan, without any glitches.
#2: Taking Shortcuts and Not Following the Recipe
As a beginner brewer, it’s essential that you follow the recipe to a “T.” Avoid eyeballing ingredients, or taking shortcuts. You can experiment later with flavours once you’ve got the basics right.
#3: Using Old or Expired Ingredients
It may be tempting to use an old yeast packet that has been lying around in your pantry for years. Don’t do that – beer brewing is equal parts an art and equal parts science. To maximise the taste of the final beer, you need to purchase fresh, high-quality ingredients. Ensure that all the ingredients you use – hops, yeast, grain, malts, etc. – are fresh and of the highest quality. Waiting too long to use your ingredients will cause them to go stale, leading to poor tasting beer.
#4: Fluctuating Temperatures Affect Fermentation
The magic of beer brewing happens when yeast works on the wort. But, for yeast to work its magic, it requires a stable temperature. Make sure that you place the wort undisturbed in a location that is not too hot nor too cold. Too hot temperatures can speed up yeast action, while too cold temperatures slow down the yeast, both of which affect beer quality.
#5: Using Poor Quality Water
Water is the simplest, yet most crucial ingredient for brewing. Using poor quality water affects the flavour of the final brew. Think of water as the blank canvas for beer brewing. Tap water contains various contaminants like fluorides, chlorine, dissolved solids and other contaminants all of which greatly affect the flavour of the brew.
Ideally, we prefer using RO (Reverse Osmosis) water since it’s stripped off all contaminants and gives you the best blank canvas to start brewing.
#6: Taking on Too Much Too Soon
This is another classic beginner mistake. Attempting to brew a complicated recipe or a large batch is sure to lead to disaster, especially if this is your first time. Always start with a simple, tried-and-tested recipe and start with a small quantity. Also, make sure to read the recipe several times. Plan and get the ingredients ready, so that you don’t find that you’re missing a key ingredient halfway through the process. Start slow, perfect your basics and then you can get adventurous later on.
#7: Over Boiling the Wort
This is another common mistake made by beginners. You would have heard the adage, “a watched pot never boils.” That doesn’t hold true in beer brewing. When it comes to brewing, you have to be very watchful, especially during wort boiling. The wort can boil over at a moment’s notice. So, make sure that you keep your eyes on the pot at all times.