Proper storage can help keep your beer at its prime until drinking time! Cool and dark is ideal – but dark is essential as sunlight and even fluorescent light can turn beer ‘skunky’. The brown in your bottles shields your beer from the majority of harmful rays, however it is best to store your beer bottles in your refrigerator if you have the space or a dark cupboard.
Avoid changes in temperature. Repeated heating and cooling will cause the protein in your beer to become destabilised and produce a cloudy beer.
Lagers – a home-brewer needs more technical equipment to be able to brew a lager at home. Lagers require a long secondary fermentation period of a few months under controlled temperature conditions. Eg. you would need a dedicated refrigerator for fermenting and storing.
You have put time and effort into creating your beer, so you should take some time to enjoy it – and some effort to ensure it is served to its full potential.
The age of the pint glass is over. With craft beers come stronger flavours and higher alcohol content. These are sipping beers. The conversation on proper glassware has long been discussed, and can get quite elaborate with different types of glassware recommended for each style of beer. To start out we recommend the tulip glass as a good all-rounder. Its bulbous bottom, tapered neck and flared edge provides an elegant way to serve your special brew. More importantly, practically speaking it funnels the aroma of the beer nicely, holds the head of the beer firmly, and the flare means you can drink from it easily (even if you have a big nose!).
As you progress in your beer drinking and you really want to show off, you can look to purchase some longer stemmed glasses for the more effervescent beers. Like a champagne glass displays the fine bubbles as they rise, a Pilsner or Weizner glass is good for lagers and other more carbonated beers.
You should check that the size of glass you choose allows for the entire bottle of beer to be dispensed at once – or else that it is being shared between two glasses. This is to ensure the least disruption to the sediment which will naturally accumulate on the bottom of your bottle conditioned beer.
Pouring – Pour slowly to keep your sediment from rising, and pour in one go if possible. Pour down the side of the glass until about half-way filled and then pour right down the middle of the glass to encourage the formation of a good head on your beer. The head will help trap the hop aroma and keep your beer at its best for your drinking session.
The general rule is that as the alcohol content goes up, the ideal serving temperature also rises. Most HomeBrewtique beers are best served a bit warmer than from your fridge ( 8-10 degrees C). This temperature encompasses pale ales, bitters, IPAs, porters, sours etc. We recommend taking the beer from your fridge about 15 minutes before you plan to drink them.
Very light beers such as lagers, pilsners, kolsh and wheat beers should be served straight from your fridge (5-7 C) while the stronger, often darker beers, such as imperial ales, dopplebock and barley wines, should be served a bit warmer (10-12C) so let them sit out of your fridge for a while before serving.
You may choose to experiment with what temperature you enjoy your beers the most. Take one from the fridge and open it up and then sip slowly at 10 minute intervals taking note on how the beer flavours change. Often as the temperature rises you can taste more complex flavours. Pick the temp you enjoy best to serve each of your bespoke brews! You can make note of this preferred temp on your brewers notes in the recipe instruction booklet.