Basic Home Brewing Equipment

Making your own beer or wine at home is not very difficult. With this basic brewing equipment you can easily make for your first 5 gallon batch. Eventually you may want to expand your equipment inventory, but this list covers the bare minimum you need to get started.

Brew Kettle

A brew kettle is a heavy duty stainless steel pot that is used to boil your wort. It should have a capacity of at least 20 quarts for a standard 5 gallon batch of beer. Bigger is always better if you can afford it.

Large Stainless Steel or Plastic Spoon

You want to have a large spoon made from stainless steel or food grade plastic for stirring your wort. It is best to have one that only used for brewing.

Fermenting Vessel

There are 2 basic types of fermenting vessels on the market. One is the plastic “bucket style” with gasketed lid. The other type is the glass carboy. I have an 8 gallon plastic style and 6 gallon glass carboy. You can get away with just one, but I like the option of being able to do a secondary fermentation for some recipes. For this reason, I will do the first several weeks in the plastic bucket style and transfer it over to the glass carboy for final few weeks.

There are pros and cons to both style fermenters. The plastic type is less likely to break and has a very wide mouth which makes it easy to clean with a brush. Plastic however is porous and harder than glass to keep super clean. The glass carboy is made from a non porous material (glass) and is the gold standard. However, it is breakable and heavy. It is also more difficult to clean with a brush because of its narrow mouth. It requires a special brush to clean properly.

Funnel

If you use a large mouth plastic fermenting bucket for your primary fermentation, you won’t need a funnel. However, if you are using a glass carboy you will need a funnel to transfer your wort from the brew kettle into the carboy.

Air Lock

This simple little device prevents oxygen from entering the fermentation vessel. There are several styles but all use water to prevent air from entering but allow gas to escape by bubbling through the water.

Auto Siphon System

The auto siphon is a simple but wonderful invention. When transferring your brew into the secondary fermentation vessel or when filling bottles, this is a handy tool.

Capper

Unless you are using flip top bottles, you will need a capper to crimp the caps on your bottles.

Bottles

Of course you will need bottles to store your finished product in. There are several styles and sizes to choose from. Some bottles require caps and some have reusable flip tops. It is entirely up to you what kind to use.


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