Undertaking a home brew is not a complex activity if you choose to use ready to use products. Starting from scratch is an entirely different ballgame. There are risks of contamination and infection with any process of this nature. It is extremely important to work in an environment that is clean, and sanitized.
Sanitise Your Equipment
Every part of your system and the equipment needs to be sterilised before use. Kept in storage, these parts are prone to contamination by various pollutants, and they will definitely be subjected to dust. Any form of contamination will affect the outcome of the process. It may even force you to throw the batch away. Drinking brew that is contaminated or infected can make you ill.
The bottles in which you place your completed brew, are as vital as the equipment you used to manufacture it. Bottles should always be clean, and crack-free. Clean bottles should always be rinsed before bottling to rid the interior and exterior surfaces of excess dust. Don’t forget the caps in the process. The sterilising solution you developed using sugar, dissolved in boiling water is more than adequate for the process.
Signs of Contamination
Once the brewing process has been completed, it is some time before your brew is out of the woods. Keep your eyes open for any visible signs of deterioration. A lacto-infection is indicated by strands which appear in your brew, while a micro-derm infection is visible by the milky layer that appears to sit above the brew. In both cases, the brew must be discarded.
Your bottles brew should be kept at room temperature for a minimum of two weeks, and a maximum of two months, before chilling, and serving up for your friends to enjoy. There is nothing more rewarding that cracking the cap off your own home brew, and sipping at the froth that holds the taste.