The Importance of a Brew Day Checklist

This past weekend I brewed for the umpteen hundredth time. Something that has become so customary in my life, it’s almost like I go into autopilot. I knew my recipe, I knew my process, I knew my numbers. Yet, something was different. I couldn’t put my finger on it, so I went along brewing without regard.

It was a fun brew day for me, as my parents were visiting from out of state, asking a lot of questions and being involved in the process. My father spent the entire day out in the garage with me while we brewed a Czech Pils. I got a little excited as I realized he’d be back up to visit again in September, and he could taste his hard work first hand.

It wasn’t until the next morning when I was looking at my Beersmith recipe print out that something caught my eye. I vividly remembered measuring out all of my grains. I remember double checking my volumes and recording my gravities. I knew my hops were right, as I let him smell both the Sorachi Ace and Saaz as I opened the packages and measured them out. Then it hit me. I only added 2 salts. I always add Calcium Chloride, Gypsum and Epsom Salt to my German Lagers. I skipped right past the Epsom Salt on my recipe. On brew day, this didn’t strike me as odd as I generally only use Epsom Salt in German region beers that need to lean slightly less malty. This isn’t a style I make often. 2 salts was comfortable, but in this case, it was wrong. In the grand scheme, it isn’t a huge issue. I don’t add enough to make a drastic change, really only bringing my Sulfate to Chloride ratio from .8 to 1.1.

It’s very easy to get distracted when brewing with other people, or when you are out of your comfort zone. For this reason, I decided to make a Brew Day Checklist and decided to share it in hopes that others may find value in it.

Download your copy of the Jay’s Brewing Brew Day Checklist

Stephen Boyajian - Avid homebrewer and all around nice guyStephen Boyajian has been an avid homebrewer for 4 years. A fan of many styles, with a particular love for IPA’s and Stouts. He lives in Gainesville, VA with his wife, 3 kids and dog. When not brewing, he enjoys playing golf or playing guitar.

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