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Getting into homebrewing at Christmas

Many of you may be receiving homebrew kits or equipment for Christmas. It is certainly a novelty, but also lines up with many people’s interests. Homebrewing is not very difficult, but starting out you might feel a bit overwhelmed and really don’t want to ruin your first batch. So here we will focus on what to do with your first batch and what can go wrong, but we also have a range of other articles that can help beginner to experienced brewers.

One thing to remember is that the ingredients last for a long time. So if you get the present early, or just never get around to it your kit should be fine. This may not be the case however if you store them in a warm and damp area. Like most food stuffs this just isn’t the best location. Somewhere cool and dry is perfect.

The next thing to remember is read all instructions you get. It might seem pointless but there are moments when you may need to do multiple steps at the same time. A few steps are hour long processes so you won’t be in any kind of rush. It just pays off to be prepared. For example an early step we recommend is adding your yeast to some previously boiled water. This helps the yeast to activate quicker when added to your homebrew. The water is boiled to kill off bacteria, but if the water is too hot the yeast will die as well. So it needs some time to cool and then enough time to sit in the water to wake up. This is where the balancing act comes in, and why it pays off to be prepared.

There is no end of things you can prepare for really. While you don’t need to prepare every little thing, each can make your homebrewing a little bit easier. If before starting you clean everything, make some space and set out all your ingredients and equipment it will be a much smoother experience. One very important thing at Christmas is preparing a warm place to store your fermenting beer. If it is too cold it will stop fermenting, so make sure an airing cupboard or whatever warm space you have is free.

Keeping a record of your homebrewing is not only a useful tool, it can also be a nice way to remember what you have done and accomplished. There are a lot of random things that can happen in homebrewing. A small change can have a noticeable effect you might want to replicate or avoid. So if you do run into a large problem it can help eliminate what might have gone wrong. Even if you don’t plan on editing every little detail of your homebrew, knowing what you did, how it turned out and if you liked it can be very useful. You’ll be able to track your process and have a better idea of what you might like to try in the future. It is also good to keep track of when you made each batch, it is worth writing on the bottle when each beer was made. Luckily our kits come with stickers for you to write this on.

The most important thing is to make sure you have fun while homebrewing. While it there are no end of tips on how to be prepared, you have to do it in a way that works for you.

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