Homebrewing Supplies

Here's a brief rundown of the equipment you need to start making your own beer at home.

Brewpot

Deep Frier with propane tank

The name says it all. This is where you brew your beer. It needs to hold at least 2-3 gallons, but preferably five, to make the typical beer recipe. I like to use a propane-fueled deep frier. It's five gallons, and can also be used for a fish fry or a low country boil - great occaisions to entertain with homemade beer.

Carboy


Carboy

A carboy is a glass container where most of the fermenting takes place. The standard size is five gallons. Sanitizing the fermenter after each brew and thouroughly rising to eliminate any unwanted aromas is key if you want to keep making fresh-tasting beer with no nasty off-flavors.

Carboy Brush

Carboy Brush

When you clean your carboy, you also want to scrub any stains off the interior. Those can harbor yeast, bacteria or other sources of foul flavors. The best tool for the job is a carboy brush, which is designed to reach every nook and crany of the carboy.

Bottling Bucket

Bottling Bucket

To transfer the fermented brew from the carboy to bottles, you need a five-gallon bucket with a valve. Any such bucket or cooler will do the trick, but it's a good idea to have a removable valve so you can clean it thoroughly. Stale beer vesting in bucket valves has fouled many a batch of homebrew.

Hop Socks

Hops and barley in their socks

The brewing parlance "hop sock" is misleading. These muslin sacks work like teabags, holding the hops and grains while you brew. Using them saves you the chore of staining the wort after brewing.

Spatula

Spatula

It's important to stir while you're brewing, especially in this recipe and other that use extracts. To do that, you need a spoon or a spatula long enough to reach the bottom of your brewpot and your bottling bucket.

Bottle Capper

Bottle Capper

After you bottle the beer, the bottles need to be sealed. If your bottles don't self-seal, you need to get bottle caps (it's often possible to recycle old ones, but clean them first). The magnet on the bottom makes it easy to fit caps over the tops of bottles.

Siphon

Siphon and plastic tubing

Siphoning is the easiest way to transfer beer to the bottling bucket after fermentation, without getting too much nasty sediment in the bottles. A length of plastic tubing can do the trick, but an auto-siphon (the straight tube in the picture) makes the job even simpler. It creates the vacuum for you; all you have to do is pump.

Thermometer

The sort of long thermometer brewers prefer

At several points in the brewing process, knowing the temperature of your wort is crucial, once to prevent overheating the malt and once to keep your yeast alive before you pitch it. You need a long intrument that can fit in your carboy and brewpot.