40. RDWHAHB. Come on, you knew this was coming. When all else fails, consider pouring yourself a tall cool glass of RDWHAHB- the world will be alright.
39. Read this article. Ah, you’ve gotta love a good self-reference, endless loop, meta quip à la Douglas Hofstadter. I feel like this tip should be higher on the list…
38. Complete a formal brewing program. Granted, these programs often come with a hefty price tag ranging anywhere from about $8,800 for a Professional Brewer’s Certificate from UC Davis, on up to Siebel’s WBA Master Brewer Program with a tuition cost of around $27,750, and are probably not viable options for the average homebrewer, which is why it’s not higher on the list. Not to mention, these types of programs are primarily intended for the homebrewer looking to turn pro, but I can pretty much guarantee you that at the very least, the quality of your homebrew will almost certainly improve after completing one of these brewing programs!
37. Use a Secondary Fermenter. Not always necessary (think German Hefeweizen), but racking your beer to a secondary comes in handy when you’re looking to clarify and condition your beer, or if you’re dry hopping with anything.
36. Use Your Local Homebrew Store as a Knowledge Resource. If anyone is going to know about their product and have a passion for brewing, these guys should (usually).
35. Brew more. Experience trumps theory, and perfect practice makes perfect. So get yourself on a regular brewing schedule and stick to it.
34. Watch online brewing videos. In addition to a list of helpful brewers on youtube, I always enjoy BrewingTV; informative, intelligent and helpful advice, all with a good sense of humor- it’s the homebrew way.
33. Listen to brewing podcasts. The Brewing Network (www.thebrewingnetwork.com) is a fantastic resource when it comes to homebrewing podcasts, and the best part is they’re free and downloadable so you can educate yourself on the go. The Jamil Show anyone?
32. Follow your recipe and be precise. Remember what happened in Kindergarten art class when you added all the colors of paint together? Sure, you got firsthand experience discovering all the shades of brown, but then you eventually learned that careful application of color made for better pictures. This may sound obvious, but adding a couple extra pounds of DME that was just laying around the house to your 5 gallon batch of homebrew will definitely change how your finished beer turns out— and probably for the worse. Granted, experimentation is great, but precision and process control equals more repeatable, consistent results.
31. Read brewing magazines and online articles about brewing. Homebrewing and the world of beer are developing faster and faster all the time, so it’s a good idea to keep yourself informed on the latest trends and techniques. Get yourself a subscription to Zymurgy, BYO (Brew Your Own), or both. Low on funds? No problem. BYO posts a ton of their articles online fo’ free (byo.com), and there many other talented and altruistic writers (ahem) from the homebrew community all over the web. While you’re at it, why not get a subscription to Draft, Allaboutbeer, Beer, Imbibe, The Beer Connoisseur, Beeradvocate, and any other craft beer mag you can get your hands on. And no, I don’t get a cut from any of those guys if you do pick up a subscription, but I wouldn’t say no if they wanted to kick a free magazine or two my way…