It’s pretty crazy to think that we’ve only been brewing for one year. If we hadn’t been recording it on here we’d definitely be asking ourselves “how the heck did that even happen?”. We’re not going to go into too much detail (if you’ve been following our blog you know most of the story already). That being said, here are five lessons that we’ve learned over this past year that we thought we’d share. There’s a lot to brewing, and we’re far from experts, but these should at least help get you on the right path.
1) A stuck mash sucks. Best to avoid it whenever possible.
2) If you’re brewing for the first time, don’t rely on the instructions you get with your first kit or recipe. They tend to assume that you already know what you’re doing. Instead, pick up a good book (pretty much anything by John Palmer is a good starting point) and learn about the process first. It’ll make everything far less hectic. Don’t worry about getting too technical. That’ll come later if you’re interested in taking it that far.
3) It’s okay to start off with extracts and don’t let anybody tell you different. You’ll eventually move to all-grain, but some of those extract recipes are perfectly fine if you’re looking to get your feet wet.
4) However good you think your first brew is now, in a month or two you’ll realize it’s either mediocre or terrible as your tastes develop…….and that’s okay. You can read every book on home brewing ever written, but nothing can replace experience and the sharper palette that comes as a result. Don’t get discouraged. Things are about to get much, much better.
5) Join a home brewing club. Getting feedback from your friends and family is always fun and rewarding, but if you really want constructive feedback it’s best to get it from experienced home brewers. Not only will they be specific about what they like and don’t like, they will also give you great tips on how to improve your recipe and brewing process. There’s other benefits like bulk buys on hops and grain, as well as yeast banks to help you save on your brew supplies.
Honourable mention: Hot Scotchies! Two parts fresh wort and one part scotch. This simple recipe will help keep you warm on chillier brew days.
So that’s it! Stay tuned for our next post and feel free to stop by our facebook page for a recap of our anniversary brew.