Mistakes Beginner Homebrewers Make (And How to Avoid Them)

 2020-02-14 07:17 AM by

The following are some of the common mistakes that beginner homebrewers make. If you’ve done any of these, don’t worry… we all have. But here’s what you need to know, so you know how to avoid them
1. Too Much, Too Soon
Immediately trying to craft a difficult brew or aiming for a too large of a batch is a sure-fire recipe for disaster for any homebrewing newcomers.
Excited beginners, including myself, have a habit of setting their sights high. This is fine, but homebrewing is about fermentation after all — you have to let your skills age and develop too. That’s part of the fun. That’s where you learn the most about the craft.
Beginners should start with a simple recipe and plan for a small quantity. Try to plan ahead and know what brewing equipment you will need, before you discover mid-batch that you’re missing something. Don’t get in over your head too fast. You’ll have plenty of time to brew beer. Start slow, perfect the technique and then scale out accordingly. Patience is essential in this stage.
2. Ignoring All Important Cleaning & Sanitization
Proper cleaning and sanitization is the single most important practice in homebrewing. Fermentation is the key to brewing, and there are both good and bad forms of fermentation.
Dirty hands, surfaces, and equipment can all contribute to the introduction of bacteria and other ingredients that can ruin your batch. It will happen if you don’t clean your equipment.
Experienced brewers clean all their brewing equipment and surfaces throughout the entire brewing process. It’s recommended that you get a cleansing or sanitizing solution that is made specifically designed for brewers. Scratched and damaged brewing materials should be replaced immediately as well, as they tend to store more bacteria.
This really cannot be understated. You absolutely must clean your equipment if you want your final product to taste as you intend. The smallest little contaminant will alter the overall flavor, clarity, and color of your beer.
3. Using Poor Quality Water
Water is the simplest, cheapest and most important ingredient used in brewing, yet many brewers still use plain old tap water for their brews.
Water sets the stage for quality and taste. Think of the water as your blank canvas. Tap water is anything but a blank canvas, as it contains chlorine, dissolved solids, and any other number of contaminates that are known to greatly affect flavor.
Personally, I prefer to use spring water or another source that has been run through a Reverse Osmosis / De-Ionized filtration unit.