Assemble Your Own Beer Making Starter Kit: Product Checklist

A checklist of supplies to make your own beer at home. Checklist includes tips for sanitizing and ensuring that beer comes out flavorful.

Making your own beer is a fairly easy process, though there are quite a few tools that are a must to get it right. The good news is, once you acquire these supplies, you can put together a beginner kit that will allow anyone to make their own home brew! You may have some of these items at home, but whatever you don't have can easily be found at your local brew supply shop or online at the many do-it-yourself brewing sites. To make a basic starter kit, you will need the following:

1. 6.5 gallon fermenting bucket with tight-fitting lid

2. 6. 5 gallon pouring bucket with tight-fitting spigot on top

3. 5 gallon aluminum pot (any other type might affect the taste of your beer)

4. No-rinse sanitizer- They key to great beer is making sure everything is sanitized. Using a sanitizer that does not require rinsing is essential because any water used to rinse another type might leave a taste behind that will affect your beer. Brewing supply stores should stock it, if not look for it at the cleaning isle of your local grocer or mass-merchandiser.

5. Siphon unit (also known as a racking unit)- This often comes as a package and needs to include sanitary plastic siphoning hose (4 feet is best), a racking cane and a bottle filler.

6. Airlock that fits in the spigot on the top (this usually comes in a 3-piece set at supply stores).

7. Thermometer- Some people like the floating type, but again, this could affect the taste of your beer. A well-sanitized cooking thermometer will do just as well.

8. Hydrometer- Will help you determine when your beer is ready to be enjoyed, preventing guesswork and ensuring that even a rookie brewer can get a good, satisfying beer from their first batch.

9. Bottle capper

10. Bottles and caps- Amount needed depends on how much you brew. You can use recycled bottles, as long as they are washed out and you can firmly fit a cap on them to ensure that the carbonation is not lost.

In order to properly sanitize the beer bottles, you will need scrubbing brushes. A baby bottle brush does very well because it can get into the smaller areas of the bottles. It is also inexpensive and can be found at any grocery store.

Now, obviously you need the food ingredients to make your beer. All brew supply stores will carry a large variety of barley, hops, grains and the like. How much and which ones you use is completely dependant upon your recipe. There are so many choices of brews, from ales to stouts and everything in between. The amount and type of grains you will need will be listed in your recipe, since no two are exactly alike.

If you don't have a recipe, they are easy to find! Any book store or supply store will have a large selection of books, since the home brewing market has blossomed. If you don't have time to browse the shelves or don't want to spend the extra money, there are literally dozens of websites with individual recipes and ingredient lists that you can print out before you go shopping.

With this checklist of supplies, you will have everything you need to make a basic brewing kit. There are other items for more advanced users. Once you make a couple of batches, you can experiment and see what other types and flavors you want, and if any other equipment will be needed. The possibilities are almost endless. Good luck with your batches!

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