- 4-gallon stainless steel stockpot
- 1 large funnel
- 1 long-handled wooden spoon
- 1 thermometer
- 2½-foot length of 3/8-inch clear plastic hose
- 6-foot length of 3/8-inch clear plastic hose
- 5-gallon glass carboy
- 5-gallon food-grade plastic bucket
- 1 airlock/fermentation lock
- 3½-lb. can of malt extract syrup (often called a "beer kit")
- 1 lb. plain, light dried malt extract (for brewing)
- 1¼ cup plain, light dried malt extract (for bottling)
- 1 package ale yeast
- 1 rubber stopper with hole that fits airlock/fermentation lock
- 1 beer hydrometer
- At least 60 new, unused bottle caps
- Bottle capper
- 60 reusable beer bottles
Brewing beer is a hobby that has steadily been growing more popular in the United States. In this article, you will learn how to assemble a basic beer kit.
Go to a local department store such as Target or Walmart. Purchase a 4- to 5-gallon stainless steel or enamel stockpot, a large heavy-duty funnel, a long-handled wooden spoon, a long candy or meat thermometer with a clip, a jug of household bleach, and a 5-gallon heavy-duty plastic bucket. From a home store, such as Home Depot or Lowe's, purchase a 2½-foot length of 3/8-inch clear plastic hose and a 6-foot length of 3/8-inch clear plastic hose.
Locate the nearest home-brewing store. This way you can ask questions, compare items and prices, and establish a relationship with the store that will be useful if you need help later. If there is no home-brewing store near you, find a reputable Internet store, making sure you use a store that specializes in home brewing.
Fermenting beer in carboys
Next, purchase a 5- or 6½-gallon glass carboy. These are easy to sterilize, easy to fit with a cork and allow you to see through the glass to check the process of fermentation. Carboys are easily found at local beer or wine supply stores, or check with your local drinking water supplier. It is better not to order carboys by mail, as they are very heavy and incur high shipping costs.
You will need to purchase the following items from a home-brewing specialty store: 1 beer hydrometer, 1 airlock/fermentation lock, 1 rubber stopper drilled with a hole that will fit your airlock/fermentation lock, 1 package ale yeast, 60 new crown bottle caps and a bottle capper.
Malt extract kit
Also from the specialty store, you will want to purchase the supplies to make your first batch of beer. For your first brew, you will need a 3½-lb. can of malt extract syrup (often called a "beer kit"), 1 package ale yeast,1 lb. plain, light dried malt extract for brewing and an additional 1¼ cup plain, light dried malt extract for bottling.
Reusable beer bottles
When your beer is ready to bottle, you will need 60 clean, sterilized bottles. You can purchase new bottles, or you can acquire them somewhere else. These do not need to be new, and any type of bottle can be used as long as it will accept a crown bottle cap. Most 750 ml champagne or sparkling wine bottles can be used with the type of bottle cap usually used in home brewing. Check with hotels, caterers, bars or anyplace that hosts weddings.
TIPS AND WARNINGS
- TIP : There are a number of optional items that will make brewing easier but which are not necessary to make a good beer. After you have made a few batches of beer, you can decide whether to buy them.
Another way to get the 5-gallon bucket cheaply is to visit a larger restaurant near you and ask employees if they have any food-grade buckets that they were going to throw out. Many will even come with a lid and/or a spigot, making other steps of brewing even easier.
To cut expenses further, ask at the local brew store if there are any home brewers looking to resell old equipment as they upgrade.
- WARNING : Always make sure your equipment is sterile and in good condition before brewing.