Essential beer brewing equipment needed for home brewing
A good beer is a work of art. It’s not just an alcoholic beverage that people drink to relax. Brewing beer is a bona fide art which involves taking separate ingredients and putting them together to create something completely new and unique. Of course, this level of praise cannot be given to the kind of beers you will find in the refrigerator of your average general store or gas station. Commercial beers are usually at best barely palatable and at worst, hardly deserve to be called beer at all.
Craft beers and Import beers can expose you to a world of higher quality beers and superior flavors, but the expenses and logistics involved can mean this is not a practical solution for everyone. However, you can brew your own beer. Brewing beer is cheaper than buying craft beer or import beers and makes beer brewing a completely different kind of hobby.
How much does it cost?
Making beer does require some specialty gear, but despite that, it is an inexpensive hobby for most people who choose to partake in it. It is quite possible to make very good beer with a setup that doesn’t cost more than $150. Here is a list of the essentials you will need, along with a few optional pieces which will make your beer brewing experience easier.
Essential Equipment for beer brewing
- 4+ gallon pot. Generally, the bigger the pot, the better. An aluminum lobster pot will also suffice.
- A 6 gallon plastic bucket with a spigot for sanitizing and bottling.
- A 6 gallon fermentation bucket. These have a lid with a hole for an airlock.
- Airlock and stopper.
- 3 or 4 small nylon bags for adding hops to the boil. If you have any spare pantyhose lying around those also work.
- Racking cane. This is used to siphon beer out of the fermenting vessel or kettle. An “auto-siphon” version can make the siphon process much easier.
- Food grade sanitizer either iodine based or acid based.
- Hydrometer and hydrometer jar.
- Waterproof thermometer with a range that includes 130 degrees Fahrenheit to 190 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bottle caps
- Bottle capper
- Bottling wand
- 5 feet of 3/8 inch beverage line
- Bottles. If you want to get them the cheapest way possible, throw a party and have your friends bring the beer. Just keep the empty bottles.
- 5 or 6 gallon carboy. It replaces the fermentation bucket from above
- Wort chiller. These save time at the end of the brewing
- 8 gallon stainless kettle with ball valve
If you aren’t lucky enough to have a local brewing equipment purveyor, then most of this equipment will be available online. Most homebrew stores will have beginners set packages that include all or most of these items. Buying a set that’s geared towards beginners will make your fledgling brewing experience much easier. Once you have an appropriate set, all you need is a good beer recipe for a beginner and you’re ready to start brewing!
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