Anyone who enjoys a good beer or lager knows how relaxing it can be, especially after a long day and shared with friends or loved ones. Microbreweries are popping up all over the country for this very reason, and while they make a fun evening or afternoon out, there’s no substitute for enjoying the same thing at home. Given all the research indicating how moderate alcohol consumption can do wonders for anything from stress and blood pressure to longevity, it can even be a healthy undertaking.
If you do want to do homebrewing, there are specific tools that you need. Keep reading to learn 10 of the most essential tools you need for brewing beer in your own home:
1) Wort chillers: The immersion coil is the most common shape, but many homebrewers find countercurrent chillers if they’re doing 80 to 100 pints. Just remember to keep your countercurrent chillers as clean as you can, and as soon after your transfer of the wort into the fermenter as you can. Sterilization is also necessary.
2) Fermenters: These are available in a number of styles. Traditional plastic buckets are likely the most common. Carboys and glass demijohns are sometimes hard to clean. If you want a good suggestion, do what the professional brewers do and use stainless steel options. They cost the most, but they’re durable and simple to keep clean. Some even have dish or conical bottoms that have raised outlets, which let trub and yeast settle under the racking-off faucet.
3) A robust stainless steel pot: Look for the very things you might if you were looking for a cooking pot. Even heat transfer can prevent scorching during the boiling. Strong handles are essential, and an enamel pot doesn’t wear down or stain very fast. Keep in mind that you’re going to need a minimum of 30-percent head space.
4) High-caliber digital thermometer: You can use a glass model, but something with a distinct waterproof probe is safer and has more accuracy. If you can insert a probe towards the bottom of the inside of your mash tun, then you can notice any temperature differential between the bottom and top. Heating supply stores have good ones that run around sixty bucks.
5) Sparge arm: This needs to be made well and also supported. It sprinkles water over your grain bed for the lautering. Good choices include something stainless steel with holes that are fine and evenly spaced for a light yet effective spray pattern. Check for freely spinning bearings.
6) Reliable pH meter: This should be digital given the additional benefits you get over analog variants. You can use pH test strips, but their accuracy isn’t quite right all the time. A digital unit isn’t going to be easy on your wallet, but their effectiveness over test strips is considerable. Garden supply stores carry them, but they’re not designed for brewing, so avoid them. Also, calibrate your probe with regularity and buy the right buffer solutions.
7) A lauter/mash tun: This vessel is the place you infuse grains, and it needs to be well-insulated. Temperature maintenance is essential, so any tun that will drop temperature more than three and a half degrees Fahrenheit each hour isn’t good enough.
8) Handheld refractometers: Choose one to start with, as a single one is often enough for home use. These give you solid gravity readings in general cases. They’re also not very high in price, although you can splurge for a higher-end digital one if you want. Spending at least fifty bucks is often enough.
9) H.L.T.: Your hot liquor tank is going to hold any hot water that will soon be your bear. Aim for one twice the size of your largest brew length. Also look for thermal control and good insulation.
10) Measuring equipment: It’s critical that both solids and liquids get measured accurately. A combination of weighing scales, test cylinder, and calibrated jugs give you the power of precisely measured quantities. Anything with glass does need to be kept clear of actual brewing, in the event of breakage. Also, digital scales ought to read things in single-gram increments, be large enough, and robust enough to handle up to 6 pounds at once.
Now that you know the 10 most essential tools for homebrewing, you can get going with this fun and fulfilling activity in your own residence 🙂