Before you start brewing, you will need some basic equipment – but don’t worry you don’t need that much and its pretty inexpensive to get started.
The basics which I’ve survived on for a few years are:
- A fermentation vessel
- Stirring implement
- Bottles and caps or a pressure barrel
- A beer kit
All the equipment can be bought from your local home brew shop – you’ll also get to chat to knowledgeable staff if you need a hand. If you struggle to find anything close by, there are plenty of online business selling home brew equipment and in the UK Wilkos have a good range of basic equipment.
You’ll need a stirrer to mix your beer up – most homebrew shops sell long handled plastic ones, although mine recently snapped so I’ve upgraded to stainless steel.
A hydrometer will help you check up on your beer, letting you know when fermentation is complete and you can find out how strong the beer is!
A thermometer is essential to ensure your beer doesn’t get too hot or cold as this could wreck the whole batch! I use a stick on LCD strip on the fermentation bucket, but any thermometer would do.
Steriliser is one of the most important things to have to hand when brewing. Cleanliness is sooo important and I’ll go into that further in another post.
Finally you’ll need the beer kit/ingredients themselves and something to store the finished beer in. Like the fermentation vessel, cheap pressure barrels are great for the job or you can choose to bottle the beer. The usual homebrew stores will sell plastic or glass bottles, or you can recycle the ones you drink by washing, sterilising and fitting them with new crown caps.
If you do bottle you brew, you’ll need a tool for putting the crown caps on (unless you get Grolsch style swing top, or plastic screw top bottles) you can buy a simple tool where you hammer the cap on, or a slightly less scary lever operated one!