Planning Ahead

Monday, November 12, 2012

To ensure a successful brewday, always plan ahead! There is nothing more frustrating than spending the time to setup only to realize something is missing, like; one small ingredient, no starter or you simply misjudged the timing and will be late for your big date.


Everyone's brewday is different but for me there are a few things that always get reviewed 3 days before any project. Find them after the jump.

MoreBeer.com - Absolutely Everything! for making your own beer at home.


Do I Have a Recipe? Whether it be a newly designed recipe or one from my favorite book, I always make sure the recipe is set and I am satisfied with it before I begin to gather ingredients.

Do I Have the Time & Space to brew in 3 days? Let's hope so! Keeping a (Google) calendar is always a good way, in general, to keep organized. Also, make sure to check if there is a free fermentation vessel or keg/bottle space to empty one out in to and reuse. 

Do I Have the Correct Yeast? Working from a homegrown yeast bank saves a lot of money so it is always an excellent idea to check your stores before you go to the store. You could also brew on the yeast cake of a previous batch, at the same time clearing out space and reusing yeast.

Make a Starter. Not all beers need one but they are a good idea. The starter will also allow you to harvest some of the new yeast to save for another generation later. Always make the starter 3 days ahead if you can, two days is acceptable but you will profit more from that extra day.

For the most part that is all that gets done 3 days ahead, the next items on your checklist can happen between then and your brewday, or if you have the time, the morning of your brewday. I find, however, that the following is less stressful if I do it the day before.

Buy the Ingredients that you will need. If you store grain in your house, that's great, just make sure to not forget to go buy your specialty grains, hops and other items. Make a list so you do not fall short and have to run out mid-boil to buy the missing ingredients.

What Else can you do on brewday? All grain brewing can often take 6 to 8 hours, leaving plenty of boil time for you to utilize for other tasks. I like to bottle, keg, clean taps, transfer brews, cook (with spent grains!) crochet, run or read during my down time. It really depends on how productive you want to be and how tired you are willing to be at the end of the day.

Do you have a checklist? Leave it in the comments to share your ideas about how to make your brewday less stressful.

And, as Charlie Papazian always says; 
"Relax. Don't Worry. Have a home-brew!"-


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