Home Brewing 101: FAQs

Four weeks ago I bottled a new batch of beer and set it out in the garden shed. I opened one today and it doesn’t taste right. What’s up?

The chances are that it’s nothing you’ve done in the brewing process. Remember, brewing is a temperamental process and the most likely reason for your beer not coming out right is that you moved it from somewhere warm to somewhere cold. It is probably that the yeast you used needs to be at brewing temperature – that is, in the same room where you are brewing – in order to carbonate your beer. Leave it in the brewing room for two weeks before moving it outside next time.

This is the first batch I’ve brewed and it actually tastes OK but it’s a little watery. What does it sound like I did wrong?

Just one thing, and it’s easily remedied. What you need to do is use blended sugars – something more attuned to the brewing process. What you have described sounds to me a lot like you have used white sugars in the brewing process. What comes out of that normally tastes a bit like cider – as you say, it doesn’t taste horrible, it just doesn’t taste like beer.

My first brew is really cloudy, having been in the keg for three weeks. I would have expected it to be mostly, if not totally clear by now. What’s happened?

It sounds like you have done things pretty much right, but to avoid this happening you could try leaving it in the fermentation vessel for four or five more days next time.

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