The first time I brewed I just wanted to get it done… heck I wanted to drink the beer the next day, but obviously I had to be ‘patient’ (yeah right) for 18 or 20 days… probably the former?

Second time around, I wanted to know all about mixing in my own ingredients… I didn’t want someone else’s ingredients… I figured I was smart enough and knew what I liked better than anyone else and could therefore come up with a BETTER home brew recipe… (yeah right)…

My hunger for brewing information just kept growing and growing until I became overwhelmed with information… there’s so much information out there for FREE on how to brew beer, but you have to sort through a lot of junk and conflicting information…

Some will say that you should always transfer to a secondary… others say they bottle or keg without ever transferring to a secondary fermentor…

And you know what the right answer is?

“It depends”…

Experience will teach you a lot… and the good news is that it doesn’t have to be your experience…

See I’ve filtered out the useless or gotten clarification on conflicting info and came up with a list of The Best 5 Tips I Got As A New Brewer and threw away the rest… including ‘cleaning and sanitizing’… I figured if you don’t care about that one you shouldn’t be brewing anyways and anything else I tell you to improve your brewing will be useless… so I just included what I consider ‘the best’…

The Famous KISS principle

When I was in the military my Division Officer once yelled at us “Keep It Simple Stupid!”… and in many things I’ve done over the years, simple is usually better than complex…

When it comes to home brewing, it’s better to start out with simple recipes. Ever heard of SMASH? (Single Malt and Single Hop)…

It’s easier to add to a simple recipe than to take away from a complex one… When I made up my first recipe I threw in 4 different kinds of hops and I could not tell which hop gave the beer what aroma or flavor… if you stick to just one hop, you’ll get to know your ingredients faster and will be brewing better beer faster…

Two hops are okay if you use one single kind for bittering and the other type for flavor and aroma (not mixed)…

Fermentation and Temperature Control
I can not stress this one enough… fermentation temperature control will help you brew tastier beer than moving to all-grain…

I am willing to bet that anyone who brews with extract and controls the temperature of their fermentation will brew a much, much better beer than any all-grain brewer who doesn’t control the temperature of their fermentation… There is just no comparison…

Steep Small, Boil Big

At first, I didn’t get this one… meaning ‘why’, but now I understand the rule of thumb… now, just like any rule of thumb there are exceptions and I’m just going to give you the exceptions to this rule…

Unless you are planning on adjusting the mineral/pH profile of your water while steeping, then use less than one gallon per pound of specialty grains…

… and you don’t need to boil a full boil (6 to 6.5 gallons) if you do a late addition like I showed on my video “how to brew a blonde ale“…

To Secondary Or Not
This one is a tough one… and it is a big big ‘it depends’… I wish I had a simple answer, but you just need to really understand yeast and fermentation to make a decision on this one…

However, here’s a quick rule of thumb I use… the only times I transfer to a secondary are for dry-hopping and for lagering… but I don’t always? (sorry, I just don’t) I’ve dedicated a whole chapter on fermentation in my home brew training program which talks about this in more detail and I recommend you read it if you are serious about brewing…

… and last…
Don’t Believe Everything You Read On Home Brew Forums
Here’s the truth… brewing is nothing new… it’s been done for thousands of years… and really really smart people (I mean smarter than you and I combined) have figured out what works and have published great information on brewing…

The problem with forums is EGO… new brewers sign up on a forum and read it for a couple of days and then turn around and ‘teach’ new brewers what they just learned only two days ago… that is until someone who actually knows what they are doing comes along and sets them straight… but by then all kinds of conflicting info gets spread around and there are more people posting bad or conflicting info that brewers who know what they are doing are able to combat…

I mean you can see this for yourself… go read the forums today and a new brewer will be asking if they’ve ruined their beer… everyone will tell them to ‘relax and have a home brew’… a couple days later, that new brewer will be the one telling other new brewers to ‘relax and have a home brew’…

See finding information on brewing forums is sort of like drinking tap water in a 3rd world country…

Sure, it looks and smells good… it might even quench your thirst momentarily…

… but before you know it, you’re vomiting out of both ends because the ‘water’ (like the free brewing information on forums) turned out to be filled with dirt, giardia or other junk…

Don’t get me wrong… there is a lot of good information out there, but if you’re new, it’s impossible to know what’s good and what isn’t…

That’s the main reason why I started taking numerous notes until my note binder evolved into my home brew training program… so you don’t have to worry about filtering out all the bad info out there… I constantly update it and continuously verify the information in it… I’ve literally spent over a thousand hours researching and verifying brewing information so I hope you take advantage of my ‘brew info crazyness’

Cheers


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