A few weekends ago, I decided to brew some homemade beer, a hobby I first got into about a year ago. Making beer at home is surprisingly easy if you’ve got the right equipment, so over the next few posts, I’ll take you step-by-step through the process! For my first post in the series, I’ll take you through the equipment and basic ingredients you’ll need to have on hand to get started.
To start, you’ll need the following equipment:
A very large pot, or two. (VERY large – the biggest you can fit on your stove, ideally)
Brew bag(s) (unused nylon paint bags are fine)
A large plastic spoon with a very long handle
A brewing thermometer
A fermentation bucket
A bottling tube
Empty beer bottles (not twist-cap bottles)
A box of new bottle caps
A bottle capper
If you’re starting from scratch, there’s no shortage of beer brewing starter kits out there that will equip you with all the basic equipment you need for a reasonable cost. These beginner kits don’t typically include the large pot or the brew bags, so you’ll need to pick those up separately. Most major cities (and even some small cities) have homebrew supply stores where you can pick up anything you need.
When I brew, I use the ‘bag brewing’ method, so this equipment list assumes you’re brewing the same way. I don’t quite have the funds for all the equipment to go with the traditional way of brewing beer but the beer in a bag method works. The only drawback is it isn’t quite as efficient as it could be.
Once you’ve got all your equipment, you’ll need to get an all-natural cleaner – if the bottle has children smiling on it and the colour green – you are probably set. You don’t want to add any chemicals to your equipment. Clean everything (bottles included) and rinse with warm water to remove any soap residue – total cleanliness is key to brewing good beer. You may need to do most of your cleaning in the bathtub, since some of the equipment is pretty large, so make sure your tub is clean.
Next you’ll need to pick up your ingredients. The homebrew supply stores that I mentioned above should have everything you need.
The ingredients I used for this particular batch are:
- 2Kg Pilsner malt
- 500g Munich malt
- 283g Carapils malt
- 250g Carared malt
- 250g Crystal malt
- 14g Fuggle (placed 15 minutes into the boil)
- 19g Tettnang (placed 30 minutes into the boil)
Distilled water – lots of it.
Tomorrow I’ll be back with part 2, which is the actual process of brewing!