Getting The Basics Right
To brew your own beer, you need to have a few things in place before you start. First of all you need a bit of spare time and a lot of patience, because it is almost certain that you will mess up your first batch in some way. Second of all, you will need the right equipment – and this can be as simple or as complicated as you are prepared to make it. To begin with, you will need a container large enough to hold at least twelve quarts. Yes, that is a lot, but without it you just can’t get the complexities right.
You will also need a measuring scale. Brewing recipes are very specific with regard to amounts used, and although you may believe you can judge by looking, a mistake one way or the other will ruin the batch. A thermometer is an essential too. At certain temperatures the beer can go badly wrong, so you’ll need to know how hot the mix is at any given time. A large metal spoon, which is clean when used, is also an essential. A wooden one will be too prone to impurity.
Keeping the mix from getting contaminated is vital. For this reason you will also need a sanitizing agent, a clean white towel and a rubber band. The first cleans the beer container, the latter two keep anything from settling on the mix. Finally, you will need bags for the hops and the grains you use, and equipment to allow you to transfer beer to bottles as well as the bottles themselves and some capping equipment. It all sounds like a lot, but if you are serious about brewing it turns out to be worth the cost and effort.