Naturally, there are many tools needed for home brewing. And when you’re new in the brew game, you may be thrown off by the vast number of things you need.
However, you only need to learn how to categorize these tools into “must-haves,” “might haves,” and “nice to haves,” and you’ll navigate this stage expertly.
Consider the following essentials for homebrewing:
A fermenter is a container that holds the wort while fermentation occurs. There are many different styles that are beneficial in different scenarios, and some examples include plastic carboys, glass carboys, and special fermenters.
Airlock and bung
An indispensable step in brewing entails putting an airlock into the fermenter to allow the escape of carbon dioxide. However, it’s the ideal shape and size for preventing contaminants from entering.
And depending on the fermenter’s structure, you may need a bung to hold the airlock in place.
You cannot avoid using an airlock because the carbon dioxide buildup within the fermenter can result in an explosion if it’s not let out now and then. Even if it doesn’t explode, the bung or airlock may pop off when the pressure gets out of hand.
Every stage of fermenting beer takes place in a brewing kettle or pot. Consider getting a high quality that’s also sizable, as you’ll likely increase the quantity you brew as your skills improve.
Your heat source must be strong enough to pre-boil the wort within a reasonable time. Conventionally, your kitchen range can brew smaller quantities of wort, but you may have to consider a more potent source like a turkey fryer.
Siphon or tubing
A common mistake to avoid when brewing for the first few times is attempting to carry the vessel without assistance. A five-gallon fermenter may hold wort that weighs as much as forty pounds, and carrying it alone exposes you to many dangers.
So, consider getting a siphon or tubing for transferring large batches of wort. You can consider an auto-siphon, a vacuum that pumps liquids from one container to another without allowing oxygen to permeate the contents.
Unscented cleaners are better for brewing wort because the fragrance may reflect in the taste, even after cleaning thoroughly. There are also cleaners specially designed for homebrewers.
The sanitizer is essential because that’s how to ensure the death of microorganisms that can damage your brewing equipment after cleaning. Choose no-rinse sanitizers because they destroy 99 percent of the leftover bacteria and yeast, making your homebrewing gear squeaky clean.
You need to monitor the gravity or density of the sugar in your beer. And even though some may argue about the importance of this tool, the truth is that it enhances precision.
The hydrometer allows you to keep track of the fermentation process and control the alcohol level. The tool cannot be used alone – combine with a container for accuracy.
The ideal temperature for pitching the yeast should fall below 75°F, and you can use a thermometer to ensure accuracy. However, it’s best to choose a calibrated option that won’t give in to extreme heat.