In recent years, beer making has become popular with many people. They have found that home brewing is an exciting and fun hobby. As a result of this, manufacturers have developed equipment that can be used to make beer at home. This equipment can range from high end, expensive and complicated to simple machines that don’t cost as much. Below is a brief list of some equipment that is essential for successful beer brewing at home.
A sanitizer does what the name implies; it sanitizes the equipment. Bacteria can build up especially after several batches of beer have been brewed. A good sanitizer keeps the equipment clean from these bacteria. It also ensures that every batch of beer will taste fresh, even after several brews. Sanitizers can be made with ammonia or iodine as well as other cleansers. A good sanitizer will extend the life of brewing equipment and keep beer tasting great.
The brew kettle is where the brewing actually happens. It is usually a sixteen quart container, which will prevent most overflows. They can be made of either stainless steel or aluminum. Although the stainless steel costs a little more, it is also more durable.
A fermentor is a container where the beer ferments. Fermenters have a airtight seal and a rubber stopper to make sure air is not let in or out. Fermenting is an integral part of the beer making process and manufacturers make them expressly for the purpose of making beer. They usually have a seven gallon capacity and is made of high grade plastic or glass.
A hydrometer is used for measuring gravity. This measurement indicated the amount of sugar that has been changed to alcohol. The hydrometer can take these measurements either before or after the fermentation process. The amount of sugar that has been changed to alcohol will help determine the beer’s alcohol content.
This is a simple, yet very important piece of equipment. Simply put, it makes it easy to transfer the beer from the brew kettle and into the fermenter. A good funnel will prevent spilling and make this part of the process easy.
Once the beer is brewed, the next step it to put it in bottles. Bottles can be found in either twelve or twenty-two ounce sizes. For a five gallon batch of beer, about sixty twelve ounce bottles will be needed. Thirty-two bottles will be needed if the twenty-two ounce bottles are used. It is recommended that the bottles be returnable grade glass bottles. This will help them stand up to the pressure build up and cleaning process.
A bottle capper is a tool that affixes the cap to the bottle. It is a machine that crimps the cap so it’s secure on the bottle. Most bottle cappers are manual, and require two hands. However, there are a few models that are mounted on a table. Some of these can be operated with one hand.
It may seem obvious, but many people overlook this simple thing. Bottle caps are necessary to seal the bottles once the beer has been poured. A good rule of thumb is to have more bottle caps on hand than is needed. Some bottle caps will get lost, and some will get damaged in the crimping process, so it’s a good idea to have extras on hand.
A bottle washer is a device that can be attached to a faucet and sprays a hard spray of water into the bottle. This intense spray cleans out the bottle, even the deposits that can accumulate in bottles that are notoriously hard to clean. A good bottle washer will help keep bottle clean so they can be used more than once.
Making beer at home has become not only a hobby, but also an obsession for some people. There are a few pieces of equipment that home brewers swear by and claim are essential for successful brewing. Many of these can be found online or in local specialty shops. A little research will help find the equipment that suits an individual’s brewing needs.