Homebrewing Instructions (don't follow the instructions)

Kit beer instructions are written so that anyone can follow them. This means they are simplified and miss steps essential for excellent beer.

You, however, are a discerning homebrewer who cares enough to brew properly.

There are a couple of areas in particular to ignore...

Don’t sprinkle your yeast

A nicely rehydrated homebrewing yeast, ready for pitching.

A nicely rehydrated homebrewing yeast, ready for pitching.

Most kit manufacturers will tell you to sprinkle the dried yeast on top of your wort, seal and walk away.

The problem is that dried yeast needs to be rehydrated with sterile water before pitching.

Otherwise the sugary wort will destroy up to half of your yeast count as it floods across the cell wall.

Always rehydrate dried yeast in warm water before pitching in your wort.

Don’t use bleach

A lot of kit manufacturers will tell you to use bleach as the go-to cleaner and sanitizer.

Sure, it’s easy to use and in every laundry cupboard, but it’s also a bad choice.

The main problem is that it’s very hard to remove the bleach smell and taste from plastic.

You’ll also need to rinse it off, which can introduce beer-spoiling microbes.

Use PBW as your cleaner of choice, followed up with a no-rinse sanitizer like StarSan.

Brewing temperature

You’ll get the advice to brew between 70°F and 80°F (21°C-27°C) from mainstream kit manufacturers.

Higher brewing temperatures will lead to off flavors, so always brew at the lower end of the temperature spectrum.

Your yeast manufacturer will give you a preferred fermenting temperature range. Strive to ferment at the low side of this.

There are a number of ways to do this. but my favorite is to set up a fermenting fridge. You’ll have absolute control over your brewing temperature.

Always brew at the lower end of your yeast’s temperature range.

Brewing sugar

Most times you’ll be told to add a couple of pounds (a kilo) of dextrose/ to your batch. This is a clean-fermenting brewing sugar.

This is good advice in that dextrose won’t give cidery off-flavors like household sugar.

The problem is that it doesn’t give any flavor.

Used dried malt extract, liquid malt extract or raw malt itself to brew a full-flavored beer.


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