Skip to content

10 Tips for Homebrewers who are just starting out


    Let’s go over ten tips for homebrewers who are just starting out.

    10 Tips For Homebrewers Who Are Just Starting Out

    My first purchase for homebrewing was an ebook. Before I brewed any beer, I devoured the book by Charlie Papazian, The Joy of Homebrewing cover. Looking back, I realize that only a tiny portion of the book stuck in my mind that first time. 

    However, I’ve read it numerous times, and something fresh “clicks” every time. And Charlie’s enthusiastic and encouraging style is truly a delight. Suppose you’re looking for additional book suggestions. In that case, I highly recommend the work of Randy Mosher: The Radical Brewing and John Palmer’s How to Brew–both excellent books, regardless of how long you’ve held that beer shovel.

    However, there are some things they don’t mention within the book that I believe could be very helpful to the beginner homebrewer. To be honest, they could tell you in the book, but there was a reason why they didn’t make it into my brain’s thick layer. So here are ten suggestions:

    Find yourself a big(ger) kettle.

    Like many fellow homebrewers, my first purchase was an equipment starter kit. After I got it, I just got a brewing kettle and the ingredients to get me ready to go. So, I purchased the kettle with 5 gals of stainless steel for $35. Stupid. It only took me two weeks to brew before I spent another $70 on the 7.5-gallon kettle. If you’re ever planning to start brewing with all grain or want to decrease the chance that your kettle will boil, spend the money on a giant kettle immediately upon purchase. You’ll save cash in the end. 

    Word chillers are worth the investment.

    One of the most effective ways to decrease the risk of your beer contamination is to chill the wort as soon as possible, thereby reducing the temperature to a safe range from hostile bacteria. Many homebrewers start this by submerging their kettle within an ice bathtub or sink. Depending on the amount of bags of ice purchased (additional cost), it will take anything from 40 minutes to more than an hour.

    You could save tons of time, cut down on any hassle and lower the chance of contamination by purchasing a chiller for your wort. They come in various shapes and sizes; however, the most popular is a coiled-inspiring chiller. Immersion chillers are typically priced between $50 and $70 and typically chill five gallons of wort within just 20 minutes. 

    It’s as simple as hooking a cold-water source to the chiller’s immersion and adding it to the kettle during the last 10 minutes of boiling to clean it up and then switch on the water once you’ve removed the kettle from its heat source. The chiller will do the rest and is quite simple to clean after chilling your beer. (Plate chillers can also be found. However, they are a bit more complicated to operate and will cost significantly more.) 

    Find a big(ger) Auto-Siphon.

    If you’re transferring your kettle from the primary fermentor or adding racking to the keg, the auto-siphon will be the primary tool you’ll need. The majority of brewing setups for beginners come with five-thousandths of an” auto-siphon. They usually cost around $10 by themselves, however for only $4, you can buy a 1/2 ” rack cane, which will help you save an enormous amount of time from getting the liquid you want to move from vessel to. It wasn’t until the fortieth batch of homebrew that I switched to a larger size. Something I would have done when I made the first batch. 

    Make your starter yeast.

    If I ask homebrewers with experience to share their top tips they’ve done to improve their beer, One of the most common responses I get is, “I am now paying particular attention to my yeast and ensure that I make an excellent starter.”

    If you purchase yeast in a tube, a smack-pack, or even a box with dry yeast, making a yeast starter is a fantastic way to ensure that your fermentation process is off to a fantastic beginning. It takes just 20 minutes to complete and dramatically increases your odds of having a healthy, active, and active first fermentation phase. It also lowers the risk of contamination because the fermentation of sugars into alcohol occurs more quickly when the yeast is healthy and abundant. 

    Oxygenate your wort.

    Once the hot phase has ended and your wort has been chilled, there’s only a little oxygen left. Luckily, yeast needs oxygen to get their fermentation going. There are several ways to add oxygen to your beer. It is possible to add water from the tap, but this can dilute the beer, which reduces the ABV and the overall taste of the beer. 

    The best method for me is to use an Aeration Stone (as you have seen in aquariums) and an oxygenation system. They range between $35 for the stone for aeration to $50 for an oxygenation kit (without the oxygen tank). Trust me when I say that your beer will thank you.

    Buy handles for your carboy.

    Carboy handles were considered useless accessories when I first began making brews; however, since then, I’ve bought handles for nearly all of my carboys. Carboy handles are beneficial, particularly if you have larger glass cars. The ability to grab the carboy from its top and then move it a couple of feet into your cellar is worth the price cost for one.


    Make use of a blow-off tubing.

    Before I even started to brew, I had read many articles about blow-off tubes as an alternative to airlocks for bigger beers. I should have listened. No matter if I were using the 6.5-gallon bucket or 6.5-gallon carboy, more hefty beers were overflowing the airlocks nearly every time. 

    Utilizing a blow-off tube instead of an airlock does not mean your beers won’t go crazy, but it does mean that you don’t get a mess of your hands. Place one end of the tube inside at the very top of your bung, with another tube submerged into Star San (sanitizer) which is all set. Krausen can work it through the tube before it gets into the solution bucket. So, checking this every day and then replacing your Star San isn’t a bad idea. 

    Do a mummy bag mash.

    Leaping to buy a mash tun might appear like a considerable expense when you’re just beginning, and many homebrewers believe that they cannot begin making all-grain beers without one. Wrong! If you own a premium sleeping bag, just make the mash in your brewing kettle (heat to a boil!) before wrapping it in the sleeping bag for about 60 minutes. You’ll be amazed at how well it holds. Take a look after 15 minutes, and add boiling water to raise the temperature.

    Bottle in the dishwasher.

    The process of bottling your homebrew can be time-consuming. From cleaning the bottles right down to cleaning the fermenter at the end, it’s possible to feel like an entire bottling session can last longer than a brewing session, particularly in an unfortunate accident or two. (I have let nearly five gallons of sanitizer run across my kitchen floor since I didn’t know that one of the siphons was slipping out of the container). 

    This simple trick will avoid a lot of clutter: Place the bottles on the lid of your dishwasher. Place your bottle over the counter directly above the dishwasher. Fill your bottles onto the open lid. The spillage will be channeled to the dishwasher once you shut the door. This means there’s a lesser mess for you to tidy. 

    Cook-overs on stovetops that are made of foil.

    If you’ve ever had to simmer on the stovetop and then had a boil-over, you know what a hassle cleaning up the mess is. Although stopping boil-overs ultimately is ideal, it’s not likely. Instead, you should take two minutes to prepare and spare yourself the pain of your elbow in the future. First, take your burners off the stovetop and place the aluminum foil across your stove. Let your burners go through the foil. If the kettle begins to boil, remove the burners, collect and discard the foil, and voilà! A clean stove! Are you a homebrewer with propane burners brewing on your patio, driveway, or garage? This foil device can work to your advantage to prevent stains and unhappy spouses.

    We hope you will find these suggestions from a homebrewer on staff. Comment below to share your tips for your fellow brewers.

    Here are some resources I recommend:

    120 Alcoholic Drinks for Connoisseurs shows you over one hundred unique alcoholic drinks to make and show off to your friends and have a night you won’t forget.

    Professional Bartender Kit is a must-have collection for anyone interested in bartending, mixology, or someone who loves to make drinks.

    RUBY Decanter w/ Built-in Aerator is easily the best on the market that we recommend.

    8oz Premium Flask for when you’re going out and don’t want to blow all your money on drinks.

    Stainless Steel Cooling Stones for keeping your drinks cold and classy.

    Bartending & Mixology Masterclass teaches you everything you need to know about mixing drinks and alcoholic beverages like a professional.