Brewing beer at home can seem a little daunting but with the proper equipment for homebrewing beer, some passion and patience you too can make terrific homebrew. There are many approaches you can take to get started and I will outline two popular beginner approaches. I will not go into the specific steps of brewing the beer because most beginner recipe kits come with a step by step instruction sheet, just follow the instructions and you’ll be fine.
The 1 Gallon Kit
There are many companies now offering an all-in-one homebrewing one gallon kit. They give you almost everything you need to brew in one package at an affordable price. Buying one of these kits is a great way to test the waters and see if this is a hobby you’d be interested in for the long haul. Here are some companies that offer the small homebrew kits: Mr.Beer, Craft A Brew, Brooklyn Brew Shop and countless others.
Most of these kits are under $50 and provide a great place to dabble into the hobby without making a huge commitment. However these kits provide the bare bones equipment and keep in mind, a 1 gallon recipe, only produces about a six pack of beer. For a quick demonstration of a one gallon kit, watch my video on brewing a Craft a Brew kit.
The 5 Gallon Kit
The five gallon starter kit is the most popular approach for beginner homebrewers. It gives you the flexibility to take the equipment you buy here and continue using it for years and years, even after you’ve moved into more advanced homebrewing. This is where I started and eight years later I’m still using some of the original equipment that I got in my original five gallon starter kit.
This is a piece of equipment that does not come with most beer kits but can be easily obtained. This also can be the most expensive part of your investment, so for a beginner, I recommend not going with the fancy stainless steel kettle with a ball valve and opting instead for an inexpensive 8 gallon (32qt) aluminum stock pot. I have my original 5 gallon (20qt) aluminum stock pot that I “borrowed” from my grandmother and I now use it to heat up sparge (water used to rinse grain) water.
If you purchase a one gallon kit, there’s no need to buy a special kettle just use the biggest pot you have. When I brew a one gallon batch I use my 10qt Pressure Cooker pot and it works just fine.