So you’ve now brewed a beer. Maybe it went great! Maybe it didn’t. Maybe it tasted delicious. Maybe it tasted flat, or soapy, or off in some other way. Maybe you’ve just finished bottling and are eagerly waiting to taste your first home brew in a couple weeks. Maybe you’re itching to try again. To give it another go. To make another beer.
What do you do now? My advice is simple. Get another recipe kit and brew! Brew your favorite styles. Brew different recipes. Get a feel for different kinds of beer. What you need to work on is mastering the process. Getting used to cleaning/sanitizing your equipment, having a smooth 60-minute boil, adding the ingredients at the right times, etc.
Don’t feel like you have to make your own recipes, at least not yet. You need to give yourself time to go through the motions and understand what’s happening at each step. “Why am I adding hops at the beginning of the boil? Oh yeah, that adds bitterness.” Etc. Get used to the basics. Get used to the ingredients used in a stout versus the malts used in a pilsner versus an India Pale Ale. Look at light vs dark malts. Try different hops, different yeasts, etc. KEEP A JOURNAL! Keeping a journal is huge! It’s the difference between a scientist and hobbyist. Home brewing is a science. If you want to figure out what’s happening and why, if you want to understand how different ingredients and methods affect the final product, WRITE YOUR NOTES DOWN!
Keep bottling, keep brewing, and keep tasting. If you have questions, feel free to ask here or search online. Google provides answers. Homebrew forums provide loads of experiences and stories of homebrewing, answers to thousands of questions. If you have an issue, someone else has had the same problem before and posted about it online, where others have discussed and provided possible answers.
As for this blog, look forward to more in-depth posts about brewing various styles, about the different ingredients, and about my own experiences in brewing. Do not expect regular updates, however. I’m in the final semester of Grad-school and expect to be quite busy. You’ve got to be patient. In the meantime, brew a beer and drink up.