ACCESSORIES NEEDED FOR HOME BREWING
Now that you’ve read so much about home brewing, you’re probably all excited and ready to get going. Although your beer will need a couple weeks from the first day until it’s ready to drink, the actual home brewing process only takes a couple hours. Your main concern is probably what equipment you’ll need to start home brewing. A lot of this will depend on how serious you are about home brewing. There are a few different factors you may want to take into consideration. The two main factors are your seriousness about home brewing and your budget.
If you are very serious about getting into home brewing and think you’ll be doing it a lot, then you’ll probably want to purchase some good home brewing equipment. On the other hand, if you are trying this for the first time and aren’t sure if you’ll do it again, you’re not going to want to spend a lot of money on new home brewing equipment. Some of the household equipment you already have in your kitchen may suffice.
You also need to keep your budget in mind. If finances are a concern, you’ll want to use what you already have in your kitchen or get your equipment as cheaply as possible. Many of the equipment pieces listed will make your home brewing easier, but aren’t a necessity. One last thing you should consider when deciding what to buy and what not to buy is the amount of room in your home. Do you have extra space for additional equipment such as what you’ll need for home brewing? Although many of the pieces are small, some of them are larger and will take up some space.
Here is a list of what you will need for beer making in your home.
- A large pot
You’ll need it to be at least 5 gallons (some use up to a 16-gallon size). The larger the better because there will be less chance for spills. This is usually a large stainless steel pot, sometimes called your brew kettle.
- Tubing & Clamps
Clamps you can get at a store that sells home brewing equipment. Tubing is for the siphoning of the beer. You’ll want food grade plastic tubing in both 3/8″ inside diameter and 1″ inside diameter. The large tubing is used during the initial fermentation period and the smaller tubing is used to get the beer from the fermenter for bottling.
- Airtight Fermenter
You can purchase a glass carboy or use a 5-gallon size plastic bucket. This is where you will keep your beer while it’s fermenting. Glass carboys come in different sizes although the most common size is 5 gallons. If it’s in your budget, you’ll want to go with the glass carboy because you won’t have to worry about it leaking and it’s very easy to clean if you have a large brush.
- Carboy Brush
If you have invested in a carboy, you’ll want to have a carboy brush, as nothing will clean it better.
- Airlock and Stopper
There are different sizes of rubber stoppers, but you’ll need 1 3/16″ – 1 8/16″ to fit a 5-gallon carboy. The stoppers go in the opening on the carboy and the air locks go in the stoppers. You can get a type 1 or type 2 air lock. They both work about the same, but the type 1 is easier to clean.
- Bottle Filler
This will be used when you’re bottling your beer and should be sized so it fits your other tubing. This is available where they sell homebrew supplies.
You’ll need one that ranges from for 32°-220° F or 0°-100°C.
This is not a necessity but is very handy. It comes with a sampling tube that will measure the beer’s gravity before and after fermentation. This will let you know how much sugar has been converted to alcohol.
You’ll want to get returnable grade bottles because of the heavy duty cleaning they’ll need, which they are strong enough to withstand. If you’re brewing 5 gallons of beer, you’ll need about 60 bottles if they’re 12 oz and 32 bottles if they’re 22 oz. Do not get the twist off cap bottles, but rather the ones where you pry off the lid.
While this is not a necessity, it will make washing your bottles a lot easier.
- Bottle washer
This attaches to your faucet, goes inside the bottle, and sprays water all over the inside of the bottle, making cleaning easier.
- Bottle caps
You’ll need around 50 caps for 5 gallons of brew, which can be purchased at a homebrew supply store.
- Bottle Capper
This handy little device can be held with both hands or there’s also one that mounts to your table and only requires one hand.
- Sterilizing solution
This is a necessity to keep your equipment sterile to prevent bacteria and risk of infection. Some people use unscented household bleach.
You’ll need this when you pour your beer from the pot (brew kettle) into the carboy.
- Sparge Bag
These are used when you steep the specialty grains or hops in the brewing pot. They come in reusable nylon or disposable bags.
- Racking Cane
This hard plastic tubing is used to transfer the beer from the fermenter to the bottling bucket. It has a bend on end and a special cap to allow the beer to flow through on the other end. It helps to minimize the amount of sediment that flows through.
- Bottling Tube
This hard plastic tube has a spring-loaded tip that lets beer flow when it’s pressed on the bottom of the beer bottle.
- Bottling Bucket
This is made of food grade plastic and has a spigot on the bottom for your convenience. The priming sugars are put in these before bottling, which is why they’re sometimes called priming vessels.
- Wort Chiller
You don’t have to have these, but they’ll make the wort cool down a lot faster. They come in different sizes and styles. Many people make their own with a tubing bender and copper tubing.