Today we will be discussing two topics: what equipment is needed to home brew and the beginning steps to home brew.
1). The following is a list of the basic equipment needed to brew 5 gallons of beer:
- 1 boil pot usually about 5 gallons
- long handled spoon
- fermenting bucket with lid
- bottling bucket w/ spigot
- syphon tube
- 48-12 oz plastic or glass bottles w/bottle caps
- bottle cap crimper
- hydrometer (to determine the ABV)
- bottle filling wand
If you contact our local customer service rep. Weiler can provide all the homebrew equipment needed.
Unless you are comfortable creating your own recipes it is easier to buy a pre-packaged brew kit. You can choose your beer style and difficulty level ( easy to advanced). Also many beer retailers offer a basic equipment kit to get started. The following are two very important points.
- Rule 1 is if it comes in contact with the boil wash it.
- Rule 2 is if it comes in contact after the boil sanitize it. (Sanitizer comes in powder and liquid form. Follow the instructions for use and disposal.)
Let’s get started. First is the water, tap water is fine if it tastes good and has no off odors, otherwise buy water in gallon jugs. You will need 5-7 gallons, Assuming you bought a kit you will add your fermentables (usually liquefied malt) to your water and bring to a boil. Usually the boil runs for 60 – 90 minutes. At some time in the boil based on the kits instructions you will add the hops. Make sure you stir constantly. When the boil time is up it is necessary to chill the wort (unfermented beer) to below 80 degrees, 70 degrees is preferable before adding the yeast. Again follow the kits instructions. The best way to chill is to put the pot in an ice bath. Use your thermometer to monitor the temp. Once you have achieved the proper temperature transfer the wort to the fermentor, add the yeast and stir vigorously for 5 minutes which will bring oxygen into the wort that the yeast will need to do their job. Bubbling should start in a few hours and go for about 2-3 days. Even though it doesn’t look like any activity is going on the fermentation will go on for 1-2 weeks. Again follow the instructions that came with your kit. If you are interested in the ABV (alcohol by volume) you will need to take a reading when the wort is chilled. This is the Original Gravity and please record your reading.
Part 2 will follow soon on bottling, carbonation and ageing.