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First Timer Checklist

An Equipment List for Beginning Brewers

“What do I need to get started?” Start-up costs will depend on what you already have and how elaborate you want to get.

airlock

Airlock

Allows CO2 to escape from your primary and secondary fermenter. Several styles are available. They are filled halfway with water to prevent contamination from the outside atmosphere.


boiling-pot

Boiling Pot

Must be able to comfortably hold a minimum of 3 gallons; bigger is better.


bottle

Bottles

You will need 48 12oz bottles for a typical 5 gallon batch. 30 of the larger 22oz bottles may be used to reduce capping time. Grolsch, growler and 1 gallon jugs are also available.


bottle-capperbottle-capper-2

Bottle Capper

Two styles are available: hand cappers and bench cappers. Bench cappers are more versatile and are needed for the champagne bottles, but are more expensive.


bottle-caps

Bottle Caps

Oxygen absorbing crown caps are available in various colors.


bottle-brush

Bottle Brush

A long handled nylon bristle brush is necessary for the first, hard-core cleaning of used bottles.


fermenter

Fermenter

The 6 gallon food-grade plastic pail is recommended for beginners. These are very easy to work with. Glass and plastic carboys are also available, in 3, 5, 6 and 6.5 gallon sizes.


measuringcup

Measuring Cup

The quart-size or larger measuring cup will quickly become one of your most invaluable tools for brewing.


siphon

Siphon

Available in several configurations, usually consisting of clear plastic tubing with a racking cane and optional bottle filler.


bottlefilter

Bottle Filler

Rigid plastic tube with a spring loaded valve at the tip for filling bottles. (Spigots are also available for use with bottling buckets – see optional equipment list.)


stirpaddle

Stirring Paddle

Food grade plastic paddle or spoon for stirring the wort during boiling.


thermometer

Thermometer

Obtain a thermometer that can be safely immersed in the wort and has a range of at least 40°F to 180°F.


easyclean

Easy Clean

This oxygen-based cleaner is safe to use on all equipment. Mix 1 tablespoon in 1 gallon of warm water.


 

 Optional but Highly Recommended

 

secondaryfermetnerSecondary Fermenter

A 5 gallon glass or PET carboy used for secondary fermentation. Allows for clearer beer with less sediment in the bottle. Required for many ingredient kits. (Requires use of an bung or stopper)


bottlingbucketbottlingbucket_2

Bottling Bucket

A 6 gallon food-grade plastic pail with attached spigot and fill-tube. The finished beer is racked into this for priming prior to bottling. Racking into the bottling bucket allows clearer beer with less sediment in the bottle. The spigot is used instead of the bottle filler, allowing greater control of the fill level and no hassles with a siphon during bottling.


hydrometer

Hydrometer

A hydrometer measures the relative specific gravity between pure water and water with sugar dissolved in it by how high it floats when immersed. The hydrometer is used to gauge the fermentation progress by measuring one aspect of it, attenuation. Hydrometers are necessary when making beer from scratch (all-grain brewing) or when designing recipes. The first-time brewer using known quantities of extracts usually does not need one, but it can be a useful tool.


dualscale_thermometer

Dual Scale Liquid Crystal Thermometer

A thin, black strip with adhesive backing. Affix the thermometer onto the outside of your primary fermenter to monitor fermentation temperatures

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