Homebrew Gadgets to Make Brewing Easier

As described elsewhere on this site, it only takes a few things to get started with the process of home brewing. You will need a fermenting container, some pots for brewing and steeping grain, either glass or plastic bottles and caps, a bottle capper if you intend to use glass bottles, and ingredients. Some of the things you may want to pick up along the way to make the whole process easier is a hydrometer for measuring the sugar-density and alcohol content of your wort, and some boxes to store your bottled beer in for carbonating and conditioning. These will keep them cool, dry, and out of the sunlight. Measuring spoons and gaskets are some additional equipment that can help. If you use the traditional method of brewing in a five gallon barrel, a gasket will be essential to complete the fermentation process inside the fermenting container. Measuring spoons make adding ingredients, such as spices in small amounts, easier and more precise. You need a copper cooling coil, a thermometer, a siphon hose and a bottling bucket. These will all make the process of brewing your favorite recipes easier, more precise, and more enjoyable. If it’s very important to you that you get the recipe right the first time, then you definitely will want to spend the extra money and invest in all of this equipment. Starter kits often do not provide adequate equipment with which to measure your ingredients and keep an eye on the progress of your wort, slowing down the process of fermenting and bottling. Just to give you an idea of the amount of preparation that can sometimes be involved in preparing a 6.5 gallon batch of beer, it requires you to grind the grain if this has not already been done for you, then steep it. This is the process of soaking the grain until it sprouts, making it useful for converting the sugars into alcohol. Then the ingredients which will go into the wort must be boiled for several minutes to an hour, and it’s important not to burn the wort in the process.

After these steps have been taken and all the necessary ingredients added, it’s time to pitch the yeast. If it’s dry yeast, it will need time to activate and adjust to the temperature and environment of the wort which it will feed on. As you can see, all of this requires some equipment for storage and processing, and all of the equipment must be kept sanitized. As stated elsewhere on this site, one of the most important gadgets you can add to your home brewing equipment kit is a hydrometer, or more than one if you make your batches in bulk. A hydrometer takes all the guesswork out of keeping your wort in the fermenting container, so you do not leave it in too long or bottle it too early, which would result in a flat and sweet beer, or beer with no real carbonation or alcohol content. Also, without the proper fermentation time, the yeast does not have time to settle, resulting in sediment and yeast particles getting into the finished product. These gadgets are relatively inexpensive to buy, and are available at all home brewing stores and outlets. Complete kits can be purchased with all of these extras, but it is sometimes cheaper to buy them separately. Check for great deals online, or consult this web site for the best place to buy your equipment and additional gadgets and items. You may also want to buy a bottle filler, something like a funnel, to make bottling your beer that much easier. Some people opt to use these instead of the siphon hose and cane that come with some kits. One of the best aspects of this hobby is that there are no hard and fast rules, meaning you can change and adapt the way you do things as you see fit. These gadgets can greatly reduce the amount of frustration you experience as you feel your way along in this exciting hobby.