Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Home Brewing Equipment You Will Need

Getting Started

You don’t need a lot of fancy, and expensive, equipment to brew your first batch of beer. 

Many brewing supply stores sell starter kits for $75 or less.  If you are interested in pursuing the hobby long term, a deluxe brewing kit can be found for less than $150.  A number of online stores will even ship the equipment and ingredients directly to your door.  It can cost even less if you borrow some or all the equipment from a friend.  Here’s a quick summary of what is needed:

A Large Pot – at least 3 gallons in size, though a larger one will generally result in fewer spills

Tubing & Clamps – to siphon and bottle the beer- A 6 foot section of 3/8 inch ID (inside diameter) food grade plastic tubing will work.  Clamps are available at your brew store

An Airtight Fermenting Bucket – a 5 gallon plastic bucket with lid, or a glass carboy (a big glass jar).  If you can afford it, purchase a glass carboy as they are easier to keep sanitized and don’t leak.  If you get a carboy you may need a large bottle brush to clean it

An Air Lock and Stopper – sized to fit your fermenter.

A Bottle Filler – available from your homebrew supplier – should be sized to fit on the end of  your siphon tubing

A Thermometer – A floating thermometer with a range of 0-100 C or up from 32-220 F

Bottles – You will need just over 2 cases of 12 oz bottles to bottle 5 gallons of beer.  Do not use the twist-off  bottles – always use high quality bottles that require a bottle opener.

Bottle Brush – While some experts overlook the importance of this, you will need a small brush to get your bottles clean. Do not depend on new bottles to be clean already.

A Bottle Capper – a hand driven device to cap your bottles also available from your homebrew store.

Bottle Caps – New bottle caps sold at your brewing supplier – you will need about 50 caps for a 5 gal batch

A Sanitizing solution – Beer is prone to infection, so everything must be sanitized before use.   Household bleach can be used, but it must be thoroughly rinsed to prevent contamination.  Your brew store may have alternatives such as iodophor and starsan.

As you can see, home brewing is not a task to be taken lightly. There is good amount of equipment that
have you running all over town to gather what you need to get started. That's why it is recommended that you purchase a good starter kit. Quality is very important in this endeavor.