Saturday, April 9, 2011

How to Brew Beer: First Brewing Day...EVER

Homebrew Day, Hour 1:
“So…uh…what do you want me to do?”
“Clean? Clean what? Why? How? Where? When? With what?”
“Shuddup, Colleen.”

Yep, that was my job, and will be your job, as well—sanitizing (Don’t get that confused with sterilizing, like I did. I thought I need to boil everything all the way down to the spigot on the fermenting bucket. That would have been an interesting attempt at pretty plastic art.) No, but I do suggest picking up what seems to be the easiest product to use for sanitizing everything, plus it’s food-grade, so if you don’t completely rinse it off your stuff, you’re still good and it won’t affect your brew, nor your cells: Five Star Star San. I have fond memories of using this during my janitorial days. Fine, so I was fired for eating all of the doctor’s office’s Hershey’s Kisses and accidentally filling up the dishwasher with Ivory dish soap. Details, details. At any rate, this stuff is great. Here, have a photo.
You're going to get to know this product well.
 When I say sanitize, I mean sanitize. I'm talkin' tubes, pipes, spigots, buckets, feet, hair, hands, everything. Ok, you can skip your body parts (Your hands will be sanitized once touching this stuff, believe me.), but every single thing that will be even remotely close to your wort needs to be clean.

You know what? I'm getting waaaay ahead of myself. What you really need to do first is get a book. Not just any book, but this book (below on the right). Then, when you've finished studying it and you get your next unemployment check, pick up this book:

This is going to be your very best friend.
Yes, you need this, too.
The "Joy of Home Brewing" (purchase from on link below) is a classic and is a must-read. Seriously, you MUST read it or you will be totally lost and not know what you're doing, unless you have a good friend like I do to share his or her wisdom about brewing beer with you. Most people aren't as lucky as I am in that respect, but you can certainly make friends at your local homebrewing supply store, too. I've had nothing but great luck with friendly staffers and customers alike here in Lakewood, California, at Stein Fillers. I even felt comfortable enough to tell them the immense screw-up I perfected with the first kit I bought from them.

As for the second book, "Brew Ware," ( link below) unless you, again, have a great friend like Nosh (not to be confused with Josh), who will happily loan you some brewing supplies, you'll need to figure out everything you need. This book also tells you how to make some of your own stuff on the cheap, too.

If you're absolutely, totally broke and happen to stumble across tons of free supplies and other necessities, check this amazing site out: How to Brew. (click Amazon link below to order book online). John Palmer is an amazing guy. Why? Because his book is online for FREE! It has a ton of information that you'll need to start out with, but please, do the guy a favor and eventually buy his book. It's one of those necessities, for sure.


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