If you’re confused about what home brewing equipment you need then look no further. This article will tell you exactly what you need and will hopefully stop you buying lots of stuff that you don’t!
For the purpose of this post we will look at the all grain method, which is where you extract sugars from the grain using the mashing process. There is also the extract method, which simply skips the mashing process and you just need to add a malt extract to your brew.
The equipment size below is based on producing 20 litres of beer. Let’s begin!
I would recommend buying a kettle that is capable of holding about 50 litres of water. It might seem excessive when only producing 20 litres of beer, but I find that the extra space is very useful. I always add more water than the recipe requires. This is to allow for evaporation and it saves the water bubbling over the top when at full boil.
My advice is to have heating elements added to the kettle when you buy it, rather than having a separate heat source. It just means you have one piece of kit, but that’s just my personal preference.
As with the kettle I would aim for a mash tun with a 50 litre capacity. You will be adding water to grain so you will want to make sure that you have plenty of space.
Fermentation vessel with airlock
You will need a fermentation vessel that can hold about 30 litres. This be 20 litres of beer and the remaining space will be for the yeast to do its magic. An airlock is also a must have. It will allow the carbon dioxide gas to leave the vessel without air coming in to contaminate your brew.
I recommend using one that either clips on the the side of the kettle, or is built into the kettle. I’d stay away from ones that are not fixed; you will be checking the temperature many times by hand and it can be difficult to read. Also, in my experience they can warp in the heat.
In order to calculate the alcohol content of your beer you will need a hydrometer. All you need to know is the original gravity (before fermentation) and final gravity (after fermentation).
You have a number of options when it comes to bottles. For me the simplest is one with a swing top. You don’t need a bottle capper or to keep buying caps so for me it make sense.
You will need sanitiser, to make sure all your equipment is clean, a masher to squeeze out as much of the grain sugars as possible, and a measuring jug.
If you have any questions about the information above or you would like some advice on what home brewing equipment to buy, just send me an email to [email protected] or connect on social media.