How to Prepare for Brewing Beer at Home
Mr. Beer has been producing home brewing kits since '93. We're very confident that the beer recipes and equipment you are working with will make the process fast, clean, simple, and very tasty. That being said, good beer is terribly hard to wait for. This is where many of the issues happen for new brewers - shortcuts get taken and their final beer tastes less than awesome. So, we've collected 7 points in an effort to curb that temptation.
- Choose a simple and gratifying beer recipe.
While we certainly can't blame you for wanting to start your foray into beer brewing with a hard hitter like Lock Stock & Barrel Stout or American Burleywine – we wouldn't suggest it. Beers like these have to undergo a particularly long conditioning time to achieve the right flavor and mouthfeel. If you have to wait 6 to 12 months to get a taste of your first homebrew, you're likely to feel like homebrewing is a torturous process – which it shouldn't be! All of our recipes will be cook up rapidly and with ease, but Partial Mash recipes do demand a few extra steps. If you are in the mood for easy beer that tastes amazing, maybe skip Partial Mash and head straight for a standard recipe.
- Sanitize properly.
A beer infection can cause all sorts of odd smells and off flavors in a beer, which could mean a whole lot of wasted beer. Fortunately, your Mr. Beer kit will provide a cleaning solution for your keg and bottles, which should keep your beer safe from infection. However, leaving the lid off of your keg or fermenter during the brewing process could expose your batch to an infection. It's one thing to briefly taste, but be sure to close the keg right back up.
- Be ready to wait the entire "Time to Brew."
Sure, some beers will taste good before the suggested conditioning time comes to an end, but more often than not, beers need the whole allotted time period to have extraordinary taste and mouthfeel. The anticipation often drives new brewers to drink bottles of an unfinished or cidery beer, only to later taste the one bottle they let sit and realize what they missed.
- Read all of the recipe instructions before you get going.
Though the instructions provided with any Mr. Beer product should be clear and simple, misinterpretations can happen. We encourage all brewers to reach out to our customer service team in the event of confusion. Ironing things out before brewing is much better than after.
- Choose the right water.
We won't be total water snobs here, but the water you use to brew will have an effect on the end product. So, if you cannot stand the flavor of your tap water on its own, don't expect it to make delicious beer. If you feel aware of the additives in your water and their flavor, then you can certainly use it. Distilled water on the other hand often has the minerals boiled out of it. No minerals means that yeast cannot ferment the sugars into a flavorful alcohol. This is why we suggest using purified water to brew if it accessible to you.
- Don't ferment too hot.
All of our recipes will list the consistent temperature range needed for storing your beer during fermentation. If room temperature in your home is above this range, we suggest setting the keg inside of a cooler with some frozen water bottles. If you let the beer ferment much too hot you'll likely end up with a vinegary beer.
- Take notes.
While it may sound silly to "take notes" on brewing your beer, it can help you record what went right and want could've gone better with the process. Maybe you used all of the suggested fruit in a recipe, and are realizing that you personally prefer less fruit, or you'd like a different berry altogether. Note taking allows you to capture these thoughts for the next b