Beginner’s Guide to Home Brewing – Equipment

Equipment

The equipment and procedures we will be incorporating are on the beginner level and at times other processes may be discussed if they are relevant to the topic. All the equipment you will need can be found at a brew supply house and they will be happy to get you started. Page 17 has an equipment list. To brew outdoors requires a burner that can handle the large kettles that you will be using. They can be hooked up to a natural gas line or in my area I have to use propane. For 5 Gal. batches an 8 Gal. stockpot is needed to boil all the ingredients and water at the same time. Stainless steel, copper, or ceramic steel is required and never aluminum since the acid can leach out the metal and destroy yeast. As you advance and see the need for larger batches an old discarded keg of 15.5 gal. Is great for the brew kettle. You’ll have to cut a large hole in the top and have a lid that fully covers it when needed. See if you can get your hands on a tempered glass lid that fits. It is a good idea to use a kettle that can hold the whole volume of liquid so no additional adding of water will be necessary, this way avoiding contamination. If you lack the proper size always top off the fermenter with previously boiled and cooled water or sealed bottled water. A fermenter is a vessel where the final product you boiled will be transferred to and allowed to ferment over a period of time. This can be a new 5-6 gal. plastic pail bought at a brew supply. All my fermentation will be in a glass jug called a carboy. Those are the containers that were used years ago by bottled water distributors. The preferable size is the 6 or 6 ½ gal. since this will usually give a 5 gal. batch enough space to ferment. Transferring is accomplished by siphoning from one vessel to another with clear tubing. You will find a complete equipment list on page 17. All equipment purchased will be reused, excluding caps and ingredients, so only the initial costs may set you back a little bit.

Gather everything you will need well in advance and review the functions of each so you are familiar with each item. A large plastic container with a lid can be purchased to store these pieces when clean and dry to keep them away from dust and grime. If your equipment is put away properly it will be ready for use in optimum condition.

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