What gear do I need to start home brewing?
If you’ve decided to brew beer, you’re in great company. Einstein, Churchill and Thor himself and every man with a shed has at one point or another brewed some tasty beverages. But they all had to start somewhere, and so here’s a list of what equipment you might need to get started brewing beer.
We’re talking about brewing using a beer kit here, the kind of brewing where you ‘beer wort’ basically comes in a can. You get to choose what hops or sugar you add (jelly beans maybe) and the rest is simply following some good brewing instructions.
But what do you need to brew some good home made beer. This list is just the basics, you could probably actually get away with using less but at the very least, this guide should help you decide what you need to get that golden ale flowing down your gullet.
What gear you might use on brewing day
- A beer kit – source a handy brew from an online store, or your local brew supplier. Some supermarkets stock them
- A brew enhancer, DME or dextrose – 1Kg
- Hops – an optional addition but good for getting some good aromatic flavours and it’s easy to add hops to the beer *
Equipment for brewing
- Sanitizer – To sanitize all of your equipment. It’s a must. If you don’t your beer might die.
- 6 gallon / 23 litre fermenter (drum or bottle). You will use this for making your beer in
- Thermometer – To monitor the temperature of the wort – this is so you can add the yeast at the correct temperature and avoid killing it. *
- Hydrometer – Used test the original gravity of your batch *
- Paddle or spoon – Something to stir the boil with, maybe not your wife’s best spoon. A long handle is what you need.
- Gloves – making beer can get a little messy *
- Can opener – to open the beer kit
- Water – Access to both boiling and cold water
- Bubble Airlock – to allow the release of CO2 and to assist with the observation of fermentation
Bottling your beer – what you need
- Bottles! – cleaned and free of dirt and spiders or slugs (trust us on this, it’s happened)
- Sanitizer – Yes, one again you need sanitize all equipment and bottles and caps
- Bottle caps – Make sure they are not twist-off bottles
- Bottle capper – speaks for it self, helps you place the caps on bottles
- Hydrometer – To measure the final gravity *
- Priming sugar – Sucrose which is to carbonate the beer while in the bottle (called beer conditioning)
- Bottling wand – This allows you to easily control the flow while bottling and means less spillage will occur. *
* denotes an optional item of equipment