Before you get started brewing beer, you’ll need to acquire some basic homebrew equipment. Here’s what you need.

  • Stock pot
  • Fermenter
  • Bottling bucket
  • Bottle filler
  • Bottles
  • Bottle Caps
  • Bottle Capper
  • Sanitizer

To boil your wort (that’s what the beer is called before it’s fermented), you’ll need a stock pot that can handle at least 2.5 gallons of liquid. Note that you’ll need a bigger stock pot for larger batches or all-grain brewing.

For the fermentation homebrew equipment, you’ll need a container that can hold 2.5 gallons and accepts an airlock of some sort. While many people make fun of them, I’ve found that the Mr. Beer mini keg is the perfect vessel for this. You can buy one new, but I’ve found them on craigslist and at thrift stores for a few bucks.

I recently discovered the Fermonster line of fermenters and really like this 3-gallon Fermonster . It has the features I like about the Mr. Beer Keg, like a large mouth opening. At $25, it’s a bit more expensive than Mr. Beer, but I think it’s worth it.

You can also use 3-gallon glass carboy or plastic buckets. If you use a carboy or bucket, you’ll also need an airlock. Both of these are available online or at your local homebrew store.

Check out my review of the Brew Demon Small Batch Conical Fermenter.

Once the beer has fermented, you’ll need some homebrew equipment for bottling. You’ll need a bottling bucket, which is a simply a bucket with a spigot at the bottom. A bottle filler with a plastic spring tip makes filling bottles a breeze.

There are two types of bottles and they generally come in two sizes. You can reuse any non-screw top beer bottle, but you’ll need to purchase bottle caps and a special bottle capper tool. The other kind of bottle, is sometimes referred to as Grolsch-style, and features a swing top closure. You don’t need caps for these, although you may need to occasionally replace the rubber o-ring seal.

You can also use plastic bottles with screw lids. these are handy as you can actually tell when the beer is fermented as the pressure inside the bottle makes the bottle hard to squeeze.

Bottles typically come in 12 or 22 ounce sizes. Either size will work. For a 2-gallon batch you’ll need about 15 12-ounce bottles or 8 22-ounce bottles.

I prefer the standard bottle with a cap, as I can remove the labels, wash and sanitize them after drinking a commercial beer.

One of the most import parts of brewing is keeping things sanitary. The easiest way to do this is to use a tried and true sanitizer like StarSan.

After you’ve gathered all the homebrew equipment, check out some recipes and get brewing!

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