Throughout the home brewing process, sometimes it’s easy to get a little stressed. With all the different steps, temperatures to hit, and precious beer on the line, we all want to make sure the batch turns out the way we want it to. On top of it all, the summer heat has a way of boosting that stress level.
But the most important thing is to have fun. What’s the point if brewing isn’t enjoyable? Besides, the more we can relax and enjoy the process, the less likely it is that we make a costly mistake.
Here are five ways you can keep your cool when brewing beer in the summer and enjoy your brew day:
- Brew with a friend: An extra pair of hands makes brewing much easier… and more fun too! Share some homebrews, divvy up the responsibilities, and talk some shop. If you’re visiting someone’s house, just remember to bring something – ingredients, beer, or food – to contribute and to say “thanks” to your host.
- Clean up first: I don’t know about you, but I always prefer brewing in a clean space. The more clear surfaces you have available, the less you’ll have to balance things precariously and the less chance you have of spilling something.
- Read all directions and plan the process ahead of time: Just like in grade school, read all beer recipe directions before beginning. All of our Beer Box Recipe Kits come with step-by-step instructions to guide you through the brew day. Here are 10 recipe kits just right for brewing beer in the summer. If you’ve built your own beer recipe, plan out in advance what temperatures and what volumes of water you want for your batch. Planning out a road map for your brew day will help eliminate at least some of the guesswork later on. The more details the better.
- Measure out all ingredients beforehand: Taking a few minutes to weigh out your grains and hops will give you a little extra time to pay attention to those things that will almost definitely go wrong. If you measure out things like Irish moss in advance, you’re much less likely to forget about them in the heat of the moment.
- Take your time: What’s the rush?! It’s always easier to make mistakes and get flustered under pressure of a deadline. If it means devoting a whole day to brewing, so be it. If you can plan it so that you have no where else to be, you’ll be much more likely to enjoy where you are and what you’re doing.
Just like Charlie Papazian always says, “relax, don’t worry, have a homebrew!” This couldn’t be more true when brewing beer in the summer. Remember that even if your brew day doesn’t go perfectly, your beer will probably still come out pretty well. Embrace the process and keep in mind there is nothing you’d rather be doing than brewing your own beer!
David Ackley is a beer writer, brewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He is a graduate of the Oskar Blues Brew School in Brevard, NC, and founder of the Local Beer Blog.