Brewing your own beer at home can be an inexpensive hobby that requires only a few essential items. Most home brew supply shops carry reasonably priced kits containing most of these specialized tools.
Brew pot – Brewing beer is not possible without a home brew pot. A brew pot is necessary to boil the water, malt extract, and hops to create the unfermented beer. Many recipes usually make approximately 5 gallons of beer; the brew pot should be somewhat larger than 5 gallons to avoid the beer boiling over. A stainless steel pot is the best choice for a brew pot. Large enameled canning pots are another option if you are looking for a less expensive brew pot.
Fermentation bucket – A fermentation bucket needs a lid that can be sealed tightly. It will need to be large enough to house a 5 gallon batch of beer and have a lid with a hole to fit a fermentation lock. Fermentation locks are available in several different styles, but they all serve the same purpose of venting excess carbon dioxide out of the bucket, and not allowing air to enter back into the bucket.
Bottling bucket – Bottling can be done straight from the fermentation bucket, but a bottling bucket is a good addition to a home brew equipment set that enhances the quality of the final creation. When bottling you must add priming sugar to the fermented beer before the bottles can be capped and sealed. The simplest way to do this is to transfer the beer to a clean bucket before mixing the priming sugar into the beer. It is crucial to mix the priming sugar into the fermentation bucket so that you will not disturb the yeast cake and other unpleasant sediment that may end up in the final beer bottles. A bottling bucket can be any 5 gallon bucket that is clean and sterilized after each use.
Bottles and caps – Bottles are the best choice for storing and carbonating home brewed beer. They can be bought from home brew supply shops, or they can be reused bottles that are clean and sanitized. It is best if you use bottles that require a bottle opener, and not the bottles with a twist off cap. Brown bottles are the best option, as they won’t allow the ultraviolet rays that can cause bad flavors in beer. You will also need to purchase a bottle capper that will seal the caps onto the bottles. You will need about 48 bottles for your 5 gallon batch of homebrewed beer and the best part is that you can reuse the bottles over and over.