When you are brewing beer, there are many different methods. Sure, the process is basically the same. But depending on your brewing expertise, you might perform some steps differently than other brewers. Thatís why there are so many different beers.
So, Iíd like to give you some tricks of the trade that you can apply during different brews to see which ones work best for you. Adjust your brews each time so that you can get a different taste. Youíll soon find the method that works for you and perfect it each time you brew.
When you buy your grain from a home brewing supply store or one of the many sites on the net, you might want to just add the grain as is to your brew. But, youíll want to crush your grain just a little to let out the taste. Youíre not trying to crush them entirely, just enough to bust open the husks.
This is not really a problem at the store, because most will crush them for you. All you have to do is ask. But if you buy from the net, itís easy to do with a rolling pin. Place the extract on the counter and cover with a towel or see through plastic so that you can see when your extract has been crushed enough. You could just purchase a malt mill, but that shouldnít come until you know you want to be a consummate beer brewer.
Many brewers will tell you to purchase bottled water so that there are no parasites or small bugs that you canít see from the tap. I would agree that for the best beer, you might want to look into doing that. But, I have boiled water for brews before. Itís just like being in the military and making mountain water into wonderful fresh water that properly hydrates.
When you add your crushed grains to the water, there are many different ways you can do this mess free. I particularly like using cheesecloth and string. Weave the string through the edges of the cheesecloth and make yourself a type of teabag. Pour your extract into the cheesecloth, tighten the ends and drop in the water before turning up the heat. When you are ready to remove the extract after reaching 160 degrees, itís easy to just pull it out of the water using the string. Let it sit after removing the extract for about 30 minutes.
By the way, allowing the heat to reach 160 degrees is a judgment call that can be adjusted. Try 150 and different temperatures until your brewing becomes a great fit for your taste. Also, allowing it to sit for 30 minutes is another adjustment point. You can find different cooling times that might work better.
Expert brewing enthusiasts might have shiny new looking pots or huge aged pots that theyíve been using for years. But, I love using the keg. Cut the top off of one of the old kegs you can find just about anywhere. It helps if you are a regular at a bar or know a bar owner. They might just give you one. Itís also unique. You just might be the only brewer in your circle of brewing friends who uses a keg.
There are many ways to skin a cat. When you are working with brewing beer, youíll find that you might have different methods that you like. Go back and forth. Donít be afraid to experiment. Thatís how the best brews in the world were made in the first place.