Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Getting Started: Equipment

You have already decided to brew a batch of beer, now you need to know what to buy in order to do so.

I would recommend that you buy a kit from a site like Northern Brewer, Midwest, Williams Brewing, or even better your Local Homebrewing Store (LHS). All of these places should offer a basic brewing kit that will come with something to ferment the beer in, stir the beer with, measure the sugar in the beer, and bottle the beer. Most likely you will also need to pick up a large pot to boil the beer in.

If you would rather piece together the equipment yourself here is a list of what you will need...

  1. 6.5 gallon fermentation vessel such as a carboy (glass or plastic) or a food grade bucket
  2. 5 gallon bottling bucket with a valve on the bottom
  3. 3.5 gallon or larger boiling pot (the bigger the better, especially if you ever want to brew more than 5 gallons or want to move onto all grain brewing)
  4. Spoon for stirring the beer
  5. Thermometer 
  6. Hydrometer (measures gravity of the wort)
  7. Air Lock (keeps bugs out of beer) 
  8. Stopper to attach the Air Lock to the carboy (if using carboy)
  9. Lid for bucket (if using bucket)
  10. Siphon (used to move beer around)
  11. 50 empty beer bottles (screw off tops are no good)
  12. 50 bottle caps
  13. Bottle caper
  14. Sanitizer (Star San, Bleach, Iodophor)
  15. Ingredients for brewing (Malt Extract, Hops, Yeast)
I would suggest brewing from a starter kit (which can be found at your LHS or on one of the listed websites). If you would rather you can pick up your own ingredients, I will be using creating a wheat beer for this example. If you are following my recipe then you should go pick up 3.5 pounds of pale liquid malt extract, 3.5 pounds of liquid wheat extract, 1 oz of Hallertau hops, and 1 packet of dry yeast (such as Safale US-05).

The Basics

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