Whattttssssss going on y'all!
My name's Ty Stevenson.
I'm a homebrewing, Waters Brewer Owning, Marine Corps veteran, College Grad, Wolfdog owning, full time job having, ordinary dude who is writing these grammatically incorrect sentences in hopes of helping YOU, the homebrewer, out. From yourvery first beer, to owing your own brewery.
I wake up between 4-6 AM every day, work on my business for a couple hours, take my dog on an hour walk, make my lunch, go to work at a winery (wish it was a brewery), come home, walk my dog again, watch some sports, work on more business, cook dinner, and spend the rest of my night with my loving girlfriend. Put that routine on repeat and that's the jist of my life. I also homebrew about every 3 weeks and I listen to a lot of podcasts revolving around brewing, business, and how to succeed at life. I grew up living in apartments and motels, with family friends, and was eventually taken in by my grandparents at the young age of 13 after my mom could no longer support me. Pops was in and out of my life for the better or worse, but we are friends now.My grandparents really made me the man I am today from disciplining me when I was being a stubborn teenager, to being there for every one of my baseball games for 13 years. They really taught me how to work hard, fight for what I believe is right, and always be kind to others. I became a Marine before the age of 18 and was in the reserves until the age of 23. Went to college at 18 and graduated at 23 with a management degree, all while being in the Marines. Have a background in construction and started working 2 days after graduation day.
I woke up at 3:15 AM one morning (not kidding) and decided I was going to start a buusiness, and thus Waters Brewer was founded, but that's a story for another day...
5 Simple Tips That Will Help Get You Through Any Given Brewday
This guide is NOT a foolproof plan to brew perfect beer every time, it's just some super simple tips that are easy to implement to make your life easier on brewday.
#1 - Make A Checklist
A day before you brew your triple gold medal, all America, world class beer, just make a simple check list of everything you know you are going to need. Maybe even type it up on excel so you can add/change and have everything right there for you for all your future brews as well. You can then just print it out and put a check next to the item when you know you have it.
It is something that if done correct, could just save your beer from failure.
You don't want to get all the way to the end of your boil and then remember that you forgot to buy that last 2 oz's of Centennial hops for your flame out addition... It might not be the end of the world but in your mind you know that you should have had those hops and that you could have made it better...
Or maybe you forgot to go buy new sanitizer and when it comes time to transfer your wort to the bottles, without a clean siphon/hose and bottles... Guess who is going to have to make a trip to the LHBS... And for some of us, that store is NOT too close.
#2 - DON'T GET HAMMERED!
You might have that checklist mentioned above, you could have all the ingredients and and everything is ready to go, but if you simply forget to do something because you got too hammered during/before brew day... You're gonna have a bad time... (coming from experience with this one)
I remember I was about to bottle my 10th batch I believe it was, an American IPA, I had some buddies of mine over because really, who ISN'T interested in the brewing process, it's a mysterious thing for most people. We were just shooting the shit and drinking some beers, started drinking around noon on a Sunday, nothing too crazy, but by the time I had finished sanitizing all my bottles and equipment we were at least like 4 beers deep and I get to bottling. I think everything is going smooth and I finish siphoning the last of the beer in to a bottle I had an realizatio...I forgot to add priming sugar to ALL of my bottles...So I had to go back, boil up some sugar, wait for it to cool some, and add it to each bottle separate. Needles to say this fucked up my carbonation levels when it came time to drink those beers.
I'm sure there are other stories of people getting hammered during brew day (and I would absolutely love to hear them), just try not to let it happen. Would you rather get hammered and possibly forget something, or stay sober and brew some bomb beer?
#3 - Write Down the Brewing Process
Don't just write down the brewing process, write down everything you did that day, what music you listened to, did you have friends over? How was the food you ate today? Get laid last night? Rainy or sunny outside, day of the week...
All of these things come in to the equation when it comes down to your brew. Some may be a little excessive, depending on how superstitious you are, but you get the point...
Write down as much as you can so that when you try your beer in a month of so and it turns out to suck dick, you can look back at your notes and see if you did anything wrong, or if it turns out bomb, you can replicate that exact brew.
If you're only going to write down a few things... write down the ingredients used, order/time you added them, and the temperatures.. Those are the things that will fluctuate the most from brew to brew.
#4 - When in doubt, sanitize it out
If you have to think twice about if you already sanitized something, or if you have to sanitize something, just sanitize it. It won't hurt you (most likely) to sanitize something again. The risk is just too high if you didn't sanitize. You could put your beer from the primary fermenter in to a bottling bucket with the priming sugar, and you forgot to sanitize that bucket, there's a great chance your beer could have got infected because you forgot to sanitize that bottling bucket.
#5 - Ask for help!
Don't be afraid to ask for help! There are soooooo many misunderstood ways to brew, brewing ingredients and equipment, and facts about brewing. There are communities out there such as Reddit/Homebrewing and HomebrewTalk, that are specifically designed to help out homebrewers. These sites will usually get you a reply or two within moments to help you on the spot for all your homebrewing questions, wants, and concerns.
You can always call your LHBS and ask them any questions you may have as well, the workers at those LHBS's tend to be super knowledgeable and helpful. You can always call a buddy that homebrews for help. Shoot, you can even email me if you need any help, especially if it comes to brewing water.
I hope this little guide helps even just a little bit and if I helped even one person make better beer, that's the goal right?
Thanks for taking the time to read this article and I hope you learned something new and gained some valuable knowledge that you can pass on to your homebrew buddies. As always, like, comment, share. Comment on my Instagram post about this and you'll get a picture of you'rs shown on Waters Brewer's Instagram account! Feedback/Comments is always appreciated. Have a day worthy of brewing!
- Ty Stevenson