Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The New Rules for Me...Common Sense Home Brewing

As home brewer's we all have a tendency to want... to want a better set up, to want more equipment, to want cheaper prices, to want the perfect recipe.   I am no different, but what I want... to consistently make excellent (near competition quality) beer with my current set up.  To that end I have developed some rules for my self.  By following these rules I avoid wandering all over the fertile landscape of home brewing.   These rules are my road map.   I'm sure you have all been tempted to try many different methods, recipes, and techniques.  By having rules, you can try different things in a way that you know, that you have proven will work for you.

Image result for follow the rulesSo with out further adieu, I present my common sense rules for making excellent beer.  The first rule is of course have fun.

  1. .
  2. It's about the skill of the brewer.
    1. It's not the equipment
    2. It's not the recipe
    3. It is about the skill of the brewer
      1. The cleanliness of the brewer
      2. The sanitation of the brewer
      3. The organization of the brewer
      4. The subtle tricks, nuances and processes picked up through experience... and failure
  3. There is no substitute for Sanitation. 
    1. Clean everything. 
    2. Sanitize everything.
  4. Know your equipment, and it's limitations
    1. Stick with your process
    2. Do not change from 3 vessel, to BIAB, to Partial Mash, to No Boil constantly.  
    3. Find your process and stick with it. 
      1. For me that process is Partial Mash.
        1. I don't do all grain 5 gallon batches
        2. I don't do purely BIAB, although I use a bag.
        3. I don't do purely extract
  5. Proven Recipes tend to work well.
    1. Proven means vetted out, tested, published in a reputable journal of home brewing.  BYO or ZYMURGY
      1. Get BYO Here
    2. Proven means recipes from sources you KNOW and trust.
      1. It may mean a recipe off of Beer Smith, or BrewToad, or Brewer'sfriend, if you know the brewer and their quality.
        1. Be careful with online recipes... I saw a so called partial mash "stout" recipe that had 4 lbs of chocolate malt in it. and 9.9 lbs of LME... uh... well... no... hard pass sir.
  6. There is no substitute for Sanitation.  YES I'M REPEATING MYSELF
    1. Clean everything. 
    2. Sanitize everything. 
  7. Record everything
    1. Have a brewing log for every batch.  Record Everything that happened while you were brewing.
      1. Successes
      2. Failures
    1. I've been brewing for 24 years, and I still learn all the time.
    2. I'm currently re reading "How to brew" by John Palmer. This time I'm reading it with a note book, studying everything.  
      1. get the book here
    3. Next up "Principles of Brewing Science" by George Fixx.
      1. a very technical book for more advanced brewers
      2. Get Principles of Brewing Science Here... but have your learning cap on.
What are your rules for home brew success?

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