Buzz Kill: 6 Homebrewing Mistakes to Avoid on Your Next Brew
Who doesn't love beer?
From baseball games to football games, all the way to a quick appetizer at the bar, beer goes well with most all of our favorite pastimes.
It's no wonder people have taken an interest in learning how to brew it themselves. With all the instructions and ingredients out there, Mr. Beer has found a way to compile all the necessary brewing products and accessories in a way that simplifies the process without taking away the quality.
Most often, when brewing from home, there are always some basic mistakes that are made. Therefore, in order to gain the best results on your first go-round, you should aim to avoid some of the following major blunders:
1. Never Neglect Sanitation
New brewers often end up battling with unruly yeast and rampant bacteria. The reason could be because the excitement and anticipation of the finished product are so high, that often thorough sanitation and cleanliness gets put on the backburner. So in order to avoid a disastrous end product, sanitize effectively.
2. Don't Overcomplicate the Process
Most often brewers will want to "fact check" certain ingredients and instructions by comparing and contrasting brewing suggestions on blog sites. However, Mr. Beer's products have been tried, tested, and in production for over 50 years. Just follow our directions.
3. Try Not to Use Alternate Forms of Filtering the Beer
Brewers might consider using coffee filters or cheese cloths to filter the beer. Unfortunately, those methods will only produce an aerated beer and cause spoilage. Always give the beer ample time to settle in the fermenter, and do not disturb the fermenter during the bottling process.
4. Never Open the Beer During Fermentation
New brewers will usually want to check to make sure the fermentation process is working by opening the fermenter, and often too early. When the fermenter is opened before full fermentation, you will run the risk of rogue organisms that can, and will, sour the beer.
5. Always Allow for Further Fermentation if Beer Appears Cloudy
Everyone brews in different conditions, and depending on temperature, extra fermentable sugars, or old yeast, it may take a few additional weeks before you're ready to bottle.
6. Do Not Rush the Process
There is nothing worse than the frustration of waiting weeks to bottle your beer, only to find the taste is painfully awful. Your first thought to yourself might be "where did I go wrong?" Often, if you know you've followed every step instructed in the guidelines and the beer is still unpalatable, you more than likely did not let it ferment long enough. Always follow the suggested time, and don't hesitate going the extra mile. In the end, your result will be well worth the wait.
7. Keep Your Temperature in the Given Range
When the directions ask you to fill your LBK with cold water, take heed. Filling with room temperature water will mean that your wort's temperatures stay high, and likely much too high for pitching your yeast. Be aware that the temperature range each refill and recipe has is for the wort temperature, and not the temperature of the room or space your fermenter is in. While the room may feel nice and cool, your wort could be staying hot, especially considering the heat created by fermentation.
Be sure you've got it right with one of our stick-on thermometers. It is those above-range temperatures that can cause cidery off-flavors in your beer. Brewing one of our refills? Check out our blog post, How to Brew Using a Mr. Beer Refill.
Lastly have fun, take your time, and enjoy the process. There is no greater feeling than knowing you put in the work, followed all the necessary steps to ensure a great product, and you can sit back and enjoy the final product. So the next time you have a few friends over for the big game, and you serve your freshly brewed beer, you can take great pride in being able to say it was your own creation.