The next time you are at a party, and someone asks you, “What type of beer do you like?” or, “Where do you get your beer from?” –you will be able to wow them with an answer like, “My own”, or, “My garage.” With our help, you will be the hit of the night! But first, before you even begin to think about brewing, you are going to need to get the basics down first; starting with the equipment. After all, beer making is an art, a science, and a rewarding (gulp, gulp, gulp) pastime; so you need to make sure you have all the necessary tools. Get ready to get thirsty, and let’s get started!
Shop Till you Drop (Or Get Thirsty)
Just as with any other equipment, you will find that you get what you pay for. If you are just starting out with brewing, then purchasing a very simple brewing package, or equipment, may not be such a bad idea. However, if you plan to make this into a lifelong hobby and brew more regularly, then better and more reliable equipment is the way to go. Brewing equipment does not have to be purchased in a package, feel free to browse for products individually in stores or online for the best deal. Happy shopping!
Brewing Equipment List
Now, let’s take a look at what you will be shopping for!
Brewing Guide: Of course you are going to want to know what to do with all your equipment once it is purchase! A proper brewing guide will help to start you off on the basic process of brewing your beer. You can also find a lot of information online! Udemy offers easy to use and affordable online courses on brewing your own beer.
Brewing Kettle: Brewing beer involves boiling your beer, and you are going to have to have a big and sturdy enough pot to do so. Beer recipes generally make around 5 gallons of beer, so aim for a stainless steel pot that can hold around that much or more. For all-grain recipes, a 6 to 8 galloon stainless steel pot will work best, because you will have more pass and will definitely want to work with a larger pot size. If stainless steel is not your first choice for equipment, ceramic steel will also work. However, be sure to stay away from any types of aluminum pots.
A Fermenter: Your beer is going to have to go through a fermenting process, and therefore, will have to be kept safe and protected from any outside particles that could contain dust or bacteria. The best choice for a fermenter will be one that uses an airlock to keep everything closed and locked off to the outside air. Aim for a 5 to 6 gallon glass bottle for your home brewing needs. If you do not want to purchase a glass bottle, you can also use a food grade plastic bucket. However, it too should come with a good airlock to keep fermentation strong. It is best to purchase 2 fermenters – a primary and secondary one.
Funnel: If you want to prevent a huge mess from happening while using a glass bottle fermenter, you will need to purchase a funnel. Home brewing funnels are generally 8 inches in diameter and should come with a snap-in screen for filtering out unwanted particles. Your funnel should be reserved solely for brewing. Do not try to use one that you already have in the kitchen, because it will not be able to be fully sanitized properly.
Straining Tools: If you decide to make all-grain beer, then you are going to need a lauter tun to strain out the hops from your beer once it is boiled. For the mash in your beer, a grain straining bag will come in handy.
Siphoning Tools: Siphoning tools will enable your beer to be transferred to another fermenter, or into its bottles, without being exposed to air. Siphoning equipment consists of plastic or stainless steels tubes that can also be known as racking canes. Purchase ones that are 3/8 inches in diameter, and consider a pinch clamp as well for easier maneuvering. Additionally, make sure that when you purchase your shiphoning tools, they are food grade vinyl, as non food grade ones can leak chemicals into your beer as it passes through.
Bottling Tools: Once you beer is finished, you are going to have to bottle it off – and what a satisfying feeling that will be! Your bottling equipment should consist of: bottles, bottle cappers, caps, and a bottle filing wand that connects to your siphon tube. For your bottles, try non-twist off bottles or ones that have a flipper top.
Cleaning Tools: Just like any successful cook or scientist, you are going to need to practice very good cleaning and sanitizing habits while brewing your beer. No one is going to want to drink dirty beer, and neither are you! Aim to purchase some fragrance-free cleanser, or ones that are designed specifically for brewing. Once you use your cleaning equipment it will need to be sanitized to keep it clean for your next brewing job. Iodine is a good sanitizing option and is non-toxic when diluted with water.
Other Supplies: These other supplies will help to make your brewing experience easier and more enjoyable overall. Consider these things to save you time and help you produce better results:
- A thermometer: Make sure you purchase one that can be exposed to very hot liquids. You will need this for mash-extract and all-grain beer brewing.
- A hydrometer: This will help you measure the density of your beer. You can measure its final alcohol content when you are done, which is always fun!
- A worth chiller: This will help cool your beer down after the entire 5 gallons have been boiled, which will save you a lot of cooling time.
Being able to make something by yourself that everyone else wants is definitely a good feeling. Now that you have your equipment list ready, get searching for the best deals for you and your taste buds!