The biggest mistake a brewer can make is to spend time and money making a quality beer wort or wine must but fail to take the time to clean and sanitize their equipment. All kinds of surprises await the brewer who uses unclean equipment- bacterial infections, wild yeast ferments, gushing bottles, a plethora of off-flavors and aromas... The first step to consistent and predictable results is employing sanitary procedures.
First, it's important to understand that cleaning and sanitizing are two separate procedures, neither one difficult. Cleaning is the act of removing physical particulate matter from something, such as your fermenter. If you have, for example, dried yeast stuck on the sides of your fermenter after doing a ferment, use an appropriate cleaner such as Oxygen Brewery Wash, PBW, or OneStep to help break up the particulates and scrub the surface with a non-abrasive scrubber, brush, or towel. Dish soap is not recommended as soap residue can produce off-flavors and aromas in your product.
Used bottles often benefit from a cleaning as there may be dried yeast sediment or other material in the bottom. The best way to reduce your time and energy cleaning is to clean as soon as possible; rinse bottles out well immediately after emptying them and don't let dirty fermenters sit for long without cleaning. Once particulates dry, they are much harder to remove from surfaces.
Once your equipment is clean, you must sanitize it before subjecting your beer, wine, or other beverage to it. Sanitizing is killing 99.99% of all microorganisms on a surface. To do this, use a food-grade sanitizer such as IoStar or StarSan; bleach is not recommended as it is not food grade, may be difficult to remove from plastics, and trace amounts can produce off-flavors and aromas. Merely mix sanitizers to the recommended concentrations and make sure that the sanitizing solution thoroughly contacts all surfaces of any equipment that will come in contact with your beer or wine. This includes fermenters, airlocks, siphoning equipment, bottles, etc.
Sanitizing procedures should be done just prior to use. Sanitizing a week, day, or even hours prior to using the equipment does no good as it may become recontaminated by airborne yeasts and bacterias in that time period.
If this sounds complicated or like a lot of work, it really isn't. It is, however, absolutely necessary and should never be dismissed. Happy brewing!
Avangard Pale Malt
Outstanding German pale base malt. Typical color is 2L. Clean, sweet flavor with nice body, suitable as a base for most beer styles. For full malt specs, click here.
Beechwood Smoked Malt
This smoked malt from Swaen is a traditional "rauchmalt" as used in German smoked beers. Smoke character is smooth and woody, without being earthy or ashy. May be used up to 100% Color 2.8L. Full spec sheet here.
Belgian Dark Candi Sugar (1 lb.)
Boosts alcohol; found in Dubbels, Bruins.
Belgian Light Candi Sugar (1 lb.)
Boosts alcohol; found in Saisons, Trippels
Bitter Orange Peel (1oz)
Aurantium amarae pericarpium Also called "Curaçau orange peel", these green-gray peels are one of the most popular specialty herbs on the market. They are used commercially by domestic brewers to duplicate the beer styles that put Belgium on the brewing map. While not very bitter, they are a key ingredient in Belgian style white beers.
Brewer's Best Equipment Kit
6.5 gallon Fermenting Bucket and Lid, Bottling Bucket with Spigot, Bottle brush, Bottle Capper, Auto-siphon, Hydrometer, Airlock, Basic Brewing Text, Pack of Cleaner, and Fermenter Thermometer. Fully-scalable as you grow and develop as a brewer. Things not included that you'll need: Large pot to boil in (called a kettle in the brewing world), a...
Briess 2-row American brewers malt. Typical color 1.8L. Mildly malty sweet, less grainy, slightly grassy base malt suitable for most beer styles, especially North American styles.-DP 140. For full malt analysis, click here.
Briess CBW Malt Extracts (3.3 lbs.)
These are our extracts of choice, both for price and quality. Very clean, high gravity malts. CBW stands for Concentrated Brewers Wort, which is exactly what these brewer's grade, pure malt extracts are—concentrates of brewers wort. CBW malt extracts are produced in a 500-bbl state-of-the-art brewhouse, the second largest in Wisconsin. After la...
Briess Dry Malt Extracts
Briess Special Roast
Flavor contributions: toasty, biscuity, sourdough, tangy. Briess special roast provides a deep golden to brown color for ales. Typical Color L: 50 Not to be confused with Special B. Full spec sheet here.
Briess Two-Row Malt (USA) (50 lb)
1.8L Base malt suitable for most beer styles. NOTE: In-store purchase price on a sack is $55. Milling is available for $0.20/lb.
download PDF Lovibond Flavor Unique Characteristics/Applications 1.3 None Use up to 5% for increased foam, improved head retention and enhanced mouthfeel in any beer style. Unfermentable by normal brewers yeast (wild yeasts and bacteria can consume dextrins). Briess Carapils® Malt is produced exclusively from North American,A...