Let’s talk about the home brewing equipment that I currently use.
My home brewing setup is almost as simple as you can get. I use the standard equipment for extract beer brewing. It doesn’t allow me as much flexibility with recipes and brewing procedures, but it is affordable. Something I will document as time goes on is my quest for more complex and robust equipment that allows me more liberties in constructing my home brews.
I use a five gallon stainless steel pot for boiling. Pretty standard, nothing fancy:
The spoon that I use for stirring the wort is a plastic one that you can buy at most home brewing shops, but I would like to upgrade it to a stainless steel version sometime soon because the plastic has shown some signs of melting and has changed colors over time. Disconcerting. I also use this spoon as the rod for suspending specialty grains in the water as they steep – it’s the only thing that I have sitting around that is long enough to span the kettle but thin enough to tie a steeping bag around.
I have a couple of thermometers I have used to monitor the temperature of the wort. One is a basic candy thermometer, which I like because it clips on to the side of the kettle and the other is a digital thermometer that gives me a much more precise reading of the temperature:
The best piece of equipment that I have invested in to date has been my wort chiller. It saves me A TON of time and effort in cooling the wort. You need one of these:
I have a super nice strainer that sits perfectly over the fermenting bucket and allows me to remove excess hops and whatnot before the fermentation:
I have typically used the standard plastic Ale Pail for fermenting:
but I recently purchased a carboy that should be easier to clean out, and I won’t have to worry about scratching the interior and introducing extra bacteria to future batches of beer.
I use a standard hydrometer to measure the alcohol content of the beer. Fun fact: back in my engineering days we used these things to measure the fine-material content of soils. It’s a lot more fun to use them in to make beer.
We’ll get to topics like bottling equipment later on.
What home brewing equipment do you use?