How to Make Beer
So, you've got the itch to brew your own beer at home? Now
you need to know how to make beer and what homebrew supplies you'll need to become the neighborhood's noted
beer master. Well, that depends upon what you want to brew and how professional you want to look to your
friends. Some home brewers make great beers using makeshift equipment for their beer making
equipment, while others have setups that look more like professional mini breweries. When it comes to your
home brew equipment, as with all other endeavors, cost is a limiter for many home beer brewers. Keep in mind
that just because you spend a lot of money on your home beer brewing equipment, that does not necessarily
mean you will brew great beer. We have seen lots of people make absolutely outstanding brews using mostly
common kitchen items as their homebrew beer equipment.
The quality and resulting taste of your brew will be the result of a lot of things. Things like buying quality
ingredients, following the procedures properly and monitoring the process throughout. If you want to be a great
brewmeister from the very beginning then you should learn everything you can about the steps involved, the troubles
to look out for and how to improve the beer.
This is the best guide we have found for How to Make Beer
Basic Homebrew Equipment:
Let's first establish how much beer you will be making at a time. Five gallons is the amount that most home
brewers brew in one pass. Most home brew beer equipment sold commercially is designed to process that amount. When
you consider that amount of beer will fill two cases (48 bottles), five gallons should be enough.
The following list is comprised of the beer making equipment and accessories that you will be most likely to
need as you embark upon this new and exciting hobby. You may not need some of these homebrew supplies, at first,
and in many cases you will be able to find substitutes. Nonetheless, the beer making equipment listed will at some
time cross your path as you pursue your hobby in the future.
- The Fermenter: The container in which fermentation occurs. Fermenters are sometimes called carboys, and are
manufactured in glass, stainless steel, and plastic. The plastic version is the least expensive, but not
recommended by experienced home brewers, but may be satisfactory for your first venture into the hobby. One
popular plastic type is called a Better-Bottle.
- The Bottling Bucket: This is the container into which the fermented beer is transferred for subsequent
pouring into bottles. It is also the container in which a sugar mixture, called primer, is added to the beer to
cause carbonation in the bottle. Its volume should be at least as large as the fermenter, as all fermenter
contents, except the wort residue, is transferred to this container.
- The Brew Pot: This is the container or kettle in which the wort is boiled before it is transferred into the
fermenter. These can be purchased specifically for this purpose; however, any suitable sized kettle can be
- The Bottle Filler: This is a handy gadget that attaches to the end of the tube that is used to drain the
bottling bucket. This valve is a type of spigot that fits into the bottle and controls the input flow.
- The Capper: A hand operated device that centers and crimps the bottle cap onto crown-top bottles. No home
brewer using crown tops can live without one.
- The Hydrometer: An instrument traditionally used to measure the specific gravity of the fermenting
- Siphoning Tubing: Utility tubing which is used to transfer the beer between containers.
- Bottles: One of several types used to store the beer. Some have handles and flip tops, some are similar to
traditional crown tops with flip tops, and the traditional crown-top bottles that required crimped
- Bottle Caps: Required tops for use on traditional crown-top bottles.
- Airlocks: A small device, that is attached to the top of a fermentation vessel to allow fermentation gases
to pass while preventing contaminants from entering.
- Thermometer: Usually a dial type used to measure the temperature of the wort.
- The Bottle Brush: An small but critical tool for ensuring clean bottles.
- The Wort Chiller: This device in a nice-to-have for rapidly reducing the wort temperature to the optimum
for starting the fermentation process.
- The Minor Accessories: burners, large spoons, whisks, basters, tongs, funnels, measuring cups, measuring
spoons, bottle stoppers, and scales.
Naturally, all of this homebrew equipment can be purchased locally
and online. For many of the items, such as the bottling bottle and fermenter, you can use standard kitchen
utensils converted to the process and at less cost.
If you can afford it, however, you may be better served to buy new home brew equipment or buy a kit that
includes all the homebrewing equipment and home brewing supplies necessary to ensure that your foray into brewing
beer at home is a success. From our experience most of the kits come with a very basic set of operating
instructions but you will most likely want more information and a better guide to brewing beer than the one they supply. Their objective is to sell you
equipment, not to educate or train you on how to make beer.