Home Beer Brewing Equipment

Preparation and the right beer brewing equipment are one of the keys to success in home beer making. The other key is of course the correct ingredients that actually makes the brew.

Beer Kettle

This container will store the wort or unfermented liquid to be boiled. Often a five gallon glass carboy, which looks like a large water bottle, is used. Hops and other ingredients are added through the spout at the top.

Fermenter

The fermenter is container with a lid that will be used to hold the cooled wort. Yeast will be added to carry out the fermenting process. If secondary fermentation is specified as part of the recipe, two fermenter containers will be required.

Bottling Tank

The fermented beer will need to be siphoned into a container before bottling and like all beer making equipment, it is essential that this container is completely clean.

Beer Bottles

Clean and possibly sterilised beer bottles will be required for storing the final product, assuming you and your friends and family do not drink five gallons of beer right out of the tank!. Dark brown or green bottles are best in order that the beer does not get spoiled by light during storage.

Bottle Filler

Bottle fillers are spring loaded devices that are used to fill the bottle when the end is pressed.

Capper

A capper is optional but also helpful to put caps onto the bottles. Corks or screw-tops are alternatives, but both have drawbacks. Cork can splinter or introduce mold into the brew and screw-tops need to be seated properly in order to ensure a tight seal to avoid oxygen spoilage.

Thermometer

A thermometer is essential to check the temperature at various stages

Hydrometer

A hydrometer is useful to measure the specific gravity or SG . SG is a measure of the density of some material relative to water. Not a critical item for home beer brewing but nevertheless, extremely helpful.

Other useful items include various siphon tubes, copper and/or glass and/or hard plastic. A timer with a loud bell or buzzer, so you do not forget those time critical moments.

Sometimes the copper tubing is formed into what is known as a wort chiller. The tubing is formed into a spiral around the tank and cold water flows through it in order to draw heat away from the boiled wort. Again, although not essential for many recipes this can still be helpful.

Some form of heat source will be needed for boiling which can take the form of Bunsen Burners or electric heating coils amongst others. Some means of cooling is also required but most of the time air will take care of that stage.

It is important that all equipment is cleaned and possibly sterilised. This can be done with a dilute bleach solution followed by a thorough rinsing in boiling water.

At least part of the beer brewing environment should be able to be kept cool, below 13oC (55oF) for part of the time.


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