Tips for Making Beer

* Clean and sanitize! It can't be repeated enough. Clean and sanitize! Use an electric dishwasher if available.

* A bottle brush will be handy for cleaning the bottles. A good thermometer will be useful for many things.

* Start collecting non-screw top bottles well in advance of beginning this hobby, you will need about 50 to bottle a standard batch. This is a good excuse to start buying premium brands. For more details visit to .Also old recyclable glass soft drink bottles and some champagne bottles are outstanding (a dark beer in a coke bottle is stealthy to say the least), and can often be found at yard sales.

* Screw top plastic soda bottles are excellent choices for beginners. Most home brewers don't like the feel and appearance of plastic beer bottles but they work great. They are cheap, strong, and easy to use. If you use them make sure to remove the labels so that someone will not pick up a bottle of beer thinking it is a soft drink.

* An extra large cooler full of bleach water is a great device to soak bottles in to sanitize them.

* Glass carboys, although heavier and a little more expensive, are really the best if you are going to be brewing for a long time. The plastic buckets eventually get scratched, are more difficult to clean and the plastic will let in oxygen, albeit very slowly.

* Most beers benefit from a second fermentation stage, or a "secondary." Once fermentation has slowed (the airlock is either no longer bubbling, or has slowed to 2-3 bubbles per minute), very carefully siphon the beer from the first fermentor to another sanitized fermentor, preferably a glass carboy. To know more logon to .Splashing is discouraged at this stage, as you do not want oxygen getting into the beer. A slow, smooth siphon is best. This "secondary fermentation" gives the beer more time to clear, meaning less sediment in the bottles, and generally results in a better tasting beer.

* Keeping temperatures down in the fermenter will result in a cleaner and better tasting beer. Try to keep the temperature between 60-70F (16-21C) if possible (for ales) and 45F-55F (7-13C) for Lagers (closer to 45 the better). Much cooler and the yeast go dormant, but if it gets too much warmer you'll get some unusual "fruity" flavors. The ideal temperature varies depending on the strain of yeast you use, so the above recommendation is just a general guideline.

* An easy way to keep the temperature down is to keep the fermenter in a large bucket of water and wrap the whole thing with a big blanket. You can add ice packs or frozen water bottles to drop the temperature a few degrees if you need to.

* Cans of Malt Extract can be purchased at your local home brewing store, or online? They often come in different flavors and produce different tasting beers.

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