Most experienced homebrewers learn a few homebrew hacks and tricks along the way that they use to make a brew day flow smoother or just help brew better beer.

In this post, I’m excited to share three of my favorites that I’m sure will help you as much as they have me. Enjoy!

#1 Be disciplined about washing those empties

Once you’ve collected or bought your first batch of glass bottles, chances are you’ll be using them for many years to come to bottle your homebrew.

And if you’re like me, bottling day is not the highlight of your week. One way to REALLY make bottling even more of a pain in the ass is giving yourself the extra work of having to clean dirty bottles.

But this is 100% preventable. Here’s what you need to do:

  • First, you need to apply a small dose of discipline. Becoming more disciplined in how you treat those empties is step 1.
  • As soon as you finish pouring one of your homebrews, take the empty bottle, rinse it out.
  • Then, squirt a drop or two of dish-washing liquid into the bottle, add warm water, and let it sit there for a few hours.
  • Then rinse out the bottle, check that it is clean inside (it should be), and store it upside-down somewhere safe and clean

Come next brew day, you’ll have a nice collection of cleaned bottles, needing only to be sanitized for use! And that saves a ton of time (and frustration).

#2 Create a sanitation station

On brew day, there will be a whole bunch of stuff you need to sanitize at different stages of the brew.

For instance, you’ll need to have the mason jar used to re-hydrate the dry yeast sanitized well before you need the fermenter to be sanitary, and so on.

A small trick to prevent sanitation headaches is to invest in a large bucket or tray that you can fill with sanitizer. Use this “sanitation station” for all your sanitation needs throughout the day.

This simple container is where you’ll be soaking all the kit that needs to be sanitized (e.g. airlocks, scissors, lids, etc). Just plop them all in there at the beginning of the brew day, and pull them out as needed.

What a pleasure! 

A sanitation station loaded with a full brew day’s worth of kit. No more sanitizing headaches!

#3 Have extras on-hand

Whether it’s brew day or bottling day, you can save yourself a ton of trouble by just having some spare parts on-hand when needed.

For instance, let’s say you’re bottling and you’ve sanitized just the right number of crown caps you’ll need to bottle the whole batch. You place a cap on a bottle, crimp it, and Blam! You’ve put it on skew and the cap’s destroyed. Now what? If you made sure to santize a few extra caps, no hassle. If not …

Another example: On brew day, you want to make sure that you’ve got an additional airlock assembly sanitized and ready to go. Fitting an airlock to a fermenter lid can be challenging, and breaking the gasket or just dropping the damn thing is easy to do. If you have a spare, you’re laughing.

Think through your own brew and bottling day procedures and identify where having duplicates handy might save you time and frustration.

Why not share some of your homebrew hacks in the comments below? We can all learn, all the time.

Now, go brew some awesome beer!

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