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Monday, August 15, 2005

Brewing - Before Getting Started

So you are probably confused. How will you know what to do? Take a deep breathe and relax it isn't as complicated as it might seem. If you like to read about things before you get started, grab The New Complete Joy of Homebrewing. Tons of people have used it (and the original version) to get started. Also, the home brew store may give you (or sell you) a small pamphlet that explains the basics. One note of caution, you can read until your eyes fall out, but, at some point you just need to jump in. If you are worried that you will mess it up, you should try to find somebody who has brewed before and invite them over to help. A good way to get started is to buy the equipment and an ingredients kit. This way you don’t have to worry about the recipe and the all the steps are written out for you. Keep these general guidelines in mind:
  • Keep things clean.
  • Follow instructions in the ingredient kit.
  • Set aside 4 hours the first day. Depending on how you chill the wort it may take more or less time.
  • Make sure you have a cool place to keep the beer while it is fermenting. 65 to 75 degrees is recommended for Ales. The closer to 65 the better. (Depending on the yeast.) This isn’t a problem if you have a cool basement or if you are doing this during the winter months (those of you that have cool winters).
  • Chilling the wort can be very time consuming so read up on this and decide how you will do it ahead of time.
After you brew and bottle your first batch plan to brew a second batch soon after you taste it. It will be much easier the second time and the practice will help you remember the steps. This way you can remember to avoid any mistakes you made the first time.

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