So, you want to make beer at home but everywhere you read you get the endless list of items to make the perfect home brewing setup? I personally find those lists daunting, so I worked very hard to simplify my initial setup for extract brewing. No long and complicated lists but truly the simplest home brewing setup. So, in order to get everyone the chance to just go make beer this weekend, the shortest list for making beer. The premise is making 2 gallons of beer from liquid malt extract.
- A big, stainless steel, pot (8-12 quarts), if not buy one in Amazon
- A basic sieve, can be plastic or metal, around 9 inches diameter (can also be a muslin)
- A big spoon (make it plastic or metal)
- A measuring container with graduated scales
- 2 gallon fermenting bucket and an airlock
- A case of 12 swing top bottles
There is a very good chance that you have at least some of the tools above, mainly the pot, sieve and measuring tools. The bottles will be the most expensive item and expect $25-30 on them, but they are reusable.
With ingredients, you can head over to Amazon in find them or to a local brewing supplies store. It is very hard to know what will be cheaper (for tools Amazon wins), but it is a nice experience heading to a local store and getting ingredients.
- Sterilising powder
- Malt extract – your choice of grain, but you can go safe and use my recipe, so a Coopers Dark Extract will work
- Yeast – again, open choice, but I’ve been using the Nottingham Gluten Free Ale Yeast
- Hops – the possibilities are endless, but let’s stick to what we know – Fuggles hops
- Water – use what you usually drink, that is the best way
That is all you need to buy: about $100 of tools and ingredients to make 2 gallons of home made premium craft beer using my Black ale recipe the coming weekend (it does require time!) and enjoy it in 4 weeks. Start here and only than go for the more complicated things, remember that beer is for fun, so don’t let intimidating lists and chemistry keep you away from a delicious home brew. This simple home brewing setup is easy to get or improvise while giving you a chance to bail out easily if it is not for you. I do suggest sticking to it for 3-4 batches as there is a good chance you might mix things up in one of them. Last: don’t forget that keeping things clean is the brewers most important job.