Everything You Need To Brew Beer From Home
One thing you may have noticed when browsing guides to brewing your own beer at home is that some guides fail to tell you what kind of equipment you need!
If this is your first time brewing beer, you probably won’t have a clue what kind of stuff you need – so check out the guide below to discover everything you need!
1. Legal Permission
For most states (and countries too) brewing a little batch of beer at home for your own consumption is completely legal. However, things get a little bit more complicated if you plan on making so many gallons of beer, or selling some of your beer to your friends.
It’s always best to check your state laws about brewing beer at home before you start purchasing ingredients or equipment. This way, you will know what you can and cannot legally do so you don’t unintentionally break the law. Never just passively assume that it’s fine – you might end up in legal trouble!
Equipment is the biggest cost when it comes to brewing beer at home, and you need to get quite a few different bits and pieces. Although each can be sourced for a few bucks, the price will build up – so check out the list below to find out what equipment is absolutely necessary for beer home brewing.
- 1 Large Pot (at least 4 gallons) – This is what you will be using to brew your beer. The larger the pot, the more beer you can brew in a single go.
- Plastic Bucket with Spigot (preferably 6 gallons) – This bucket will be used for both sanitizing and bottling your beer.
- Fermentation Bucket (6 gallons) – These buckets are used for fermenting and must come with a prepared hole ready for an airlock to be inserted.
- Airlock and Stopper – Airlocks and stoppers need to be purchased separately if you are not getting a beer-brewing kit. Without an airlock and stopper, you can’t effectively brew beer!
- Hydrometer with Jar – Hyrometers allow you to read your beer’s potential alcohol content so you can make sure your fermentation process is working.
- Racking Cane – This is used to siphon your beer out of the fermenter.
- ⅜ Inch Beverage Line (5 feet) – This is used to transfer your beer and to help fill up your bottles with ease.
- Waterproof Thermometer – Needs to have a range that includes 130 degrees Fahrenheit to 190 degrees Fahrenheit.
You will also need some bits and pieces like bottles for your beer, bottle caps to close the bottles, a bottle capper, a bottling wand, and small nylon bags to add the hops to the boil. You should also get a food-grade sanitizer – these can either be iodine or acid-based but it’s necessary to ensure that the rest of your equipment is kept clean and safe to use.
If you are not planning on bottling your beer, then you don’t have to purchase the beer bottles, bottle caps, capper, or bottling wand – but other pieces of equipment like the beverage line are still important as it helps you transfer your beer to whatever vessel you want to use to store your beer once it’s completed brewing and ready for consumption.
You can’t make beer without a couple of key ingredients. How much of each all depends on how much beer you hope to make but no matter what, you will need the following to brew your own beer:
- Water – You won’t get far with brewing beer without any water.
- Hops – Hops add both flavor and aroma to the beer you brew. They also help preserve the beer too so it’s fresher for longer.
- Grains – Most beers are made from malted grains, like barley. Other popular types of grain you can use for brewing beer include wheat, rice, corn, oats, and rye. Each has its own flavor so choose wisely.
- Yeast – This is what eats the sugar in your beer and creates alcohol. So, it’s a necessary ingredient!
- Ice – Ice is used in certain parts of the brewing process like cooling the wort. Never use commercially sold ice – make your own sanitized ice that does not contain any dormant bacteria that could potentially ruin your beer.
From equipment to ingredients, there are a lot of different things you need to gather before you can start brewing your own beer at home. Use the list above as a basic beer brewing checklist and check out some other beer brewing guides for more information! Good luck!