Want to Brew Beer at Home?

This guide is intended for people like me: longtime craft beer enthusiasts who are curious about setting up a home brewery system to make their own beer (and are at least 21 years old).

When I began researching what I needed to get started, I was confused by the plethora of options and differing opinions. Granted, with beer, the possibilities are endless, but as a first-time brewer, I simply wanted straightforward and simple directions to help me get the experience of that first batch under my belt.

So, I decided this site would serve two functions. First, as a guide to brewing a relatively simple batch of beer. And second, to share the pitfalls and hurdles I encountered while brewing my first batch. Therefore, each of the following sections will contain straightforward directions for each step of the brewing process interspersed with my own experiences in that step of the brewing process.

However, I've also provided a quick reference guide (69KB PDF) which lists only the bare-bone steps in plain English.

Brewing at home is legal, cheap and produces a fresher, higher quality beer than buying at the store. All you need to make your own beer is:

All the necessary equipment. The glass carboy, plastic food-grade bucket and brew kettle are not included in most brew kits.

Equipment

Starter's Brew Kit (~$125 - usually the second-cheapest starter kit)

Any brew kettle under four gallons will only be a hassle. Five-gallon glass carboy, shown filled with airlock.  Cheap beer kits include plastic, not glass, carboys.

Other items not in the brew kit

Ingredients ($30+ depending on recipe)


Miscellaneous


NOTE: For first time brewers, it is highly recommended to choose an ale for your first batch. Ales ferment at room temperature for a few weeks, whereas lagers ferment at much colder temperatures for longer time periods. Therefore, without climate control equipment, lagers are very difficult to make correctly.

For my first batch, I chose to make an Imperial Stout using a recipe from the local homebrew supply store. Dark, roasted, with hints of chocolate, this strong bold style is one of my favorites.

Ready to get started?