Basic homebrewing kit

From the December 13, 2012 edition

Here’s a minimal example of the equipment needed to start brewing at home. Try homebrewing at the simplest level first, and make sure you enjoy it, before moving on to more advanced methods, ingredients and equipment. Using this equipment with the four ingredients—water, malt, yeast, hops—and any number of recipes will result in beer.

Malted grains

The grains will need to be milled, or broken up, and mashed with a specific amount of water at a specific temperature — depending on the recipe — to create a wort for brewing. The grains will also need to be separated from the sugars and the wort in a process called sparging. Beginners may prefer a malt extract to cut out this process for an all grain brew.

Hops

Hops are integral to the flavor profile of the brew. The type, amount and at which stages they are added will depend on the recipe.

Brew kettle

Something as simple as a large stainless steel pot — more than five gallons, preferably eight or 10 gallons — will work. Use for boiling your wort and hops to create a flavor profile.

Syphon hose

This will be used for transferring liquid to fermentation containers or when bottling the finished product.

Fermenting container

Once you’ve boiled the wort, it needs to be quickly cooled and then added to the fermentation container. Glass carboys are preferred by most homebrewers, but start with the bucket.

Yeast

The yeast, working with the oxygen aerated into the fermentation container, will create beer. Methods for adding (or “pitching” as it’s called) the yeast will vary.