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Equipment & Ingredients

Equipment needed:

The best place to purchase brewing equipment is in a homebrew supply store. A homebrew supply store is an excellent resource for first-time homebrewers. The sales staff can instruct about the basics on brewing, give tips on each step and advice on what equipment is needed. There are many homebrew supply stores and one can likely be found near you.

Brew kettle: The first item needed is a 3-4 gallon pot, which you may already have. The pot will be used to cook the beer ingredients -- also known as "wort." Stainless steel is ideal although aluminum or enamel will work fine.

A plastic or metal spoon, which you may also already have, is needed to stir the wort.

Primary Fermenter: A 5-6 gallon carboy, or beer fermenter, is needed to ferment the wort after it has been boiled. Because a batch will yield five gallons of beer, a slightly larger container is needed to give the beer room to ferment. Therefore a 6-gallon fermenter is recommended.

The glass carboy is recommended over a plastic fermenter for two reasons. First, the clear glass allows the fermentation process to be seen, allowing you to see fermentation activity taking place. Second, glass is easier to sanitize than plastic which can trap bacteria that form on scratches on the inside of the container. These bacteria can spoil the taste of a beer.

Bottling Bucket: A five-gallon container used to hold siphoned, fermented beer. From this bucket you will siphon into bottles.

Siphon: A siphon is used to transfer beer from one container to another. It is needed in several situations. First, the beer will need to be siphoned after fermentation is complete (about 7-10 days). Most of the beer will need to be siphoned off to the bottling bucket, leaving about an inch of yeast on the bottom of the fermenter.

The siphon is then needed to take the beer from the secondary container to bottles.

Brew Kettle


Bottle Capper

Bottle Washer


Funnel: A funnel is needed for pouring the wort into the glass carboy. It is also useful when straining or sparging grains.

Airlock (Fermentation Lock): The airlock forms an airtight seal that allows C02 to escape but prevents foreign material from entering the fermenter.

The airlock will be partially filled with water. A carboy will require a stopper.

Capper: A capper is a tool that will attach a cap over the top of the bottle. With a firm squeeze of the capper, a cap will seal taste and carbonation in the beer.

Bottles/Caps: A five-gallon batch of beer yields approximately 2-2 1/2 cases of beer (48-60 bottles). The American Homebrewers Association recommends using brown bottles which may be purchased new, used or recycled. The bottles must be the "pop top" variety, not the twist-off type.

All bottles must be thoroughly sanitized before bottling, and the inside free of any contaminant.

Caps must be purchased new. They come in a bag with more than enough to cap two cases of beer.

Bottle washer (optional): This will speed up cleaning and sterilizing bottles. Attached to the sink, the washer shoots a concentrated spray of water into the bottle.

Sanitizer: An iodine-based sanitizer is recommended over other cleansers. Immersing equipment in an iodine solution will kill any bacteria on the equipment. Antibacterial soap and chlorine bleach are also excellent sanitizers, but the equipment must be rinsed thoroughly after cleaning.

Hydrometer: This instrument measures the alcohol content in beer and determines when a beer is fully fermented and ready to be bottled. The hydrometer measures specific gravity, the thickness of, the density of and the potential alcohol content in a beer.


Brew Kit: For beginning brewers, beer kits include all necessary ingredients to make a five-gallon batch of beer. Most kits come with malt extract, hops, priming sugar and bottle caps.

List of Ingredients

Main Home Brewing Page | Overview | How To |
Papazian | Glossary | Beer Guide | Links |

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