Let's Get Started: Brew Beer at Home
July 26, 2014 by
What Beginning Home Brewers Need to Know
One of the first things the new home brew
enthusiast will need to do is order
equipment. This basically
consists of a 6-gallon glass carboy or plastic brewing bucket with an air lock,
a brewing kettle (4 or 5-gallon pot), transfer tubes, thermometer, stirring spoon,
grain bags, priming container, hydrometer (for measuring
potential alcohol content), bottles, bottle capper, and some
other basic home brewing equipment.
If you have an extra 50 dollars, I would
suggest you go ahead and purchase a wort chiller. This
is the copper tubing you may have seen at the brew store.
Without one, expect to wait an hour or so for your brew to
cool before you can add your yeast. A wort chiller
does the job in about 10 minutes. You'll thank me
Don't forget to get the ingredients for your first batch
of beer! I would just get a simple
beer kit. Choose something simple like a
Here is what the basic ingredients and
your first brew kettle will probably look like...
Oh, and a word about bottles... you can purchase beer
bottles from your
homebrew store, at about 90 cents each -
or the cost of a typical beer! So, to save money,
simply start collecting the bottles from the beer you
You'll need about 52 12-ounce bottles for
a 5-gallon batch of beer. NOTE: No
twist-off bottles! You'll be capping your home brew with a
beer capper. And, foreign bottles like Heineken or
Corona won't seal properly since they are slightly different
in size when compared to the typical American bottles (and
If you are brewing a strong beer high
in alcohol, such as a Belgian Tripel, then consider wire
cap/swing top bottles or a cork bottling system.
Regardless the type of bottle, always shoot for collecting
brown bottles. Why? Because brown bottles do not
allow certain wavelengths of light to pass through -
something that can produce off flavors in your beer.
For example, have you ever smelled the skunky smell coming
off a Heineken? That's not a production feature.
It's because somewhere during distribution, the beer has
been exposed to light.
Instead of ordering from a
supplies store in our directory and having to wait a
week or so before you can get started in the home brewing
hobby, make a quick visit to your local
home brew supplies
store. Most larger towns have one or more anyway. This is the quickest - and best - way to
get started! You can get your initial questions
answered, and depending on how many brews the supply
store people have drank today, most of the info will be
accurate! And, of course there are no shipping or
Obviously, if a
brew store is
nowhere near you, you'll have to get your supplies from one
Your next step? Jump right in!
Perhaps asks a friend or neighbor to join you. You'll
need about 4 hours, generally, to brew your first
extract-based beer. Here are some guidelines on
brewing your first batch
of beer at home.