Thursday, April 4, 2013

Getting Started - Beer Brewing Equipment:

So you have decided to start home brewing beer. You have tried a friend’s home brew, got some stuff as a gift, or you have just been a big fan of craft brew and want to give brewing a shot for yourself. How do you get started? Well, you need some equipment.

Home beer brewing is typically geared toward 5 gallon batches, which makes about 2 cases (24 12oz bottles) of beer. While there are other products found in big box retail stores that provide good alternatives and are an easy way to get started, such as Mr Beer 2.5 gallon extract kits, or Brooklyn Brew’s all grain 1 gallon kits, it is not that much more expensive to get a basic 5 gallon home brew kit. The advantage is not only do you get more to drink, but that you have the basic equipment to fully immerse yourself in the hobby if you decide to. You will continue to use the 5 gallon equipment even if you start to upgrade your system down the road. Here are the recommended pieces of equipment you will NEED to get started, all of which can be found at Salt City Brew Supply.

A primary fermenting vessel (with airlock) - This just needs to be a food grade container with a volume of 6 gallons or better that you can seal. The airlock will let gas out and keep oxygen from coming in. Most commonly used are glass or plastic carboys, or plastic buckets. There are pros and cons to both options, but both work great.

A kettle (big pot) - You can start by borrowing your mom’s stock pot, either Aluminum or Stainless steel, but she probably wont have a 7 gallon pot for a full 5 gallon boil. This is OK, 4 gallons or bigger will do for starters and will allow you to boil 2.5 gallons, you will just add water later in the process to get to the 5 gallons.

A siphon hose - You need to be able to move your beer around without pouring, so a length of tubing will due for siphoning. 5/16” hose is common, and can be used if you upgrade other items such as an Auto Syphon down the road.

Bottling bucket - If you would like to put the fizz in your bottles you need to “prime” it with just a little more sugar before bottling it. A bottling bucket will allow you to add the extra sugar to your beer that will provide the carbonation once bottled.

Bottles, Caps, and a Capper - Putting your beer in something when it is done is the last step before drinking, and while a pressurized keg system is very nice, it is quite a bit more expensive than bottles.

Cleanser to clean, Sanitizer to sanitize and Thermometer to meter your thermo.

There are many other pieces of equipment to make brewing beer easier, more efficient, and more consistent, but these are the things you will absolutely need. Salt City Brew Supply can help you start down the home brewing journey, and we can help you find what fits your situation best.

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