If you are going to make beer at home you need these three components. The first is the right kit and or equipment. The second is a good recipe or process to follow. The final thing required is the commitment to succeed. This is actually in the normal order of importance. If you don’t have the right home brewing equipment there is no way your going to make good beer.
A Basic Kit
As with all recipes, there are a base set of things that are needed to be included in your initial purchase of home brewing equipment. The most important objects are the mixing (or brewing) vessel and the fermentation vessel. The fermentation vessel is often called a fermentor and features air tight seals to keep brewing gasses in and air out.
All of the pieces of unique equipment you that will be required can all be found in brewing stores that sell more home brewing equipment you can imagine. Much of the equipment you will need may also be found in a good kitchen store. They typically draw the line at the special fermentation traps and other more sophisticated equipment you need to seal the vessels with. When you arrive at this point you will need to return to your favorite home brewing supply store.
You might also have a little trouble in locating the device to measure the specific gravity of the beer. You normally determine when a beer is ready to stop fermenting and complete clearing when the specific gravity has dropped to the predicted level. This level is determined by the specific ingredients in the beer and the amount of yeast used. The hydrometer, as it is called, is similar to checking your car battery acid for specific gravity or your anti-freeze specific gravity. This device should not be confused with a hygrometer which is used to measure humidity.
There are a few other types of components that are required before you can begin the brewing process. The first of these is the bottling equipment. Home brewing equipment must include bottles, bottle cleaners and washers, equipment to cap the bottles with and finally some means such as tubing to get the beer to the bottle. Bottling is a time consuming process requiring great patience and care, as you try not to siphon the remnants of the fermentation into the bottles with the clear beer. Of course if you decide to use barrels, then your home brewing equipment list expands.
The second type and the final items on the list are the recipe and the ingredients themselves. The ingredients are a special and sometimes secret, but they are perhaps the most important part of your home brewing equipment. You now have your home brewing equipment ready, the next step is to mix the brew, age it and enjoy your beer.