The wide availability of home brewing tutorials, product reviews, and beer brewing supplies outlets ensures that anyone with a little time and money can get involved in making their own beers with unique flavors that are designed to taste just right. Whether you love the idea of taking greater control over your beer selection or you enjoy experimenting with different beer recipes, home brewing beer on your own is a popular hobby that isn’t too hard to pick up if you have the right supplies.
Don’t Go Too Big or Too Small
If you’re just starting out with home brewing, it’s possible that you could either invest too much or too little in your new set up and you’ll quickly learn that you’ve made a mistake. For instance, you may only pick up a smaller pot for boiling your beer so that you can just barely fit five gallons of your brew in it. That may cause a problem for certain recipes that could use a little extra space. It may be worth investing in a six to eight gallon pot just so you have all of the space you need if certain recipes ever push the limits on a five gallon pot.
By the same token, there are some really handy home brewing supplies you can pick up that make the process easier but may be overkill for the casual home brewer. For example, a wort chiller is a kind of tube system you can insert into your beer when it’s done boiling and then use to cool it off by pumping water through the wort chiller. This saves a lot of time, but it also uses a lot of water and requires some creative uses for the roughly 20 gallons of water you could be using. Most casual home brewers may not be ready for that kind of work!
A Fermenter for Home Brewing
If you’ve ever been to a home brewing supply store, you’ve probably seen the five gallon buckets that are used for fermentation. The beer is allowed to ferment in these buckets while an air tight valve lets the gases escape. While most beginner’s kits include a plastic bucket, you may want to consider a glass carboy that will be far more air tight and won’t retain any flavor from past brews—a common problem with plastic buckets.
A Funnel for Home Brewing
Whether or not you already have a funnel, pick up an eight inch funnel that will be dedicated to beer brewing. A solid home brewing funnel will also include a screen for catching any particles in your beer when you pour it out. You should also pick up a dedicated strainer.
Siphoning Equipment for Home Brewing
A siphon set up is the most reliable way to transfer beer without exposing it to air. For your health and safety, use food grade vinyl tubes that are specifically designed for home brewing. You’ll also need a racking cane and a pinch clamp to give you greater control over the flow of beer.
Cleaning Supplies for Home Brewing
Sanitation is an essential element for beer brewing, and therefore you’ll need to pick up low-sudsing , fragrance free cleaners for your home brew set up. One good option is Iodine since it’s non-toxic and effective.
Hydrometer for Home Brewing
A hydrometer will help you measure the density and alcohol content of your beer and will give you a better idea of your beer’s qualities.
Thermometer for Home Brewing
Certain beer recipes will require careful monitoring on a thermometer. Pick up a thermometer that goes up to at least 180 degrees.
The prize of home brewing is a cupboard stacked with fresh beer, and the final step of the process is bottling and then using a bottle capper to clamp the caps on tight. Use non-twist-off bottles and a bottle-filling wand to wrap up your home brewing project.
This article was written by Ed Quinn.
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