What you’ll need

If you are lucky enough to live in the US, look no further than the absolutely perfect Brooklyn Beer Making Kit

At $40 it can’t be beat, especially when you consider how difficult it is to gather the right items separately
It also includes your first beer mix, once again, best bang for your buck

Brooklyn Beer Making Kit

The kit is also available in Canada and the UK, but costs about twice as much
And in Continental Europe it’s not available at all

You may consider gathering the elements yourself and take the opportunity to get better equipment for the same price
I went through this fairly complex process, so, if you want to save the headache, here is a selection of what you need and where to get it from

By the way, in case you are looking for alternatives to the Brooklyn Brew Kit, Christian Lavender from homebrewing.com carried out an awesome test of 10 small batch brewing kits

Gathering the kit yourself

1 gallon / 5 liters glass fermenter US|CAN|UK

Gallon glass fermenter

26/32mm rubber stopper with 9mm hole US|CAN|UK

Rubber stopper with hole

2ft of 9mm clear silicone tubing from your local DIY store $2

Clear silicone tubing

Mini auto-siphon US|CAN|UK
Highly recommended. You don’t want to transfer beer with a racking cane, it’s a mess

Auto-siphon

Bottle filler US|CAN|UK
To prevent oxygenation when bottling. More info here

Beer bottle filler

Cooking thermometer US|CAN|UK
Avoid glass thermometers that can easily break and ruin your batch

Beer making thermometer

For a few more bucks, a cooking thermometer with probe is a much more comfortable and accurate option that allows you to monitor your mash temperature without having to lift the lid US|CAN|UK

Cooking Thermometer Probe

 

No-rinse sanitizer US|CAN|UK
Makes 16 batches

No-rinse sanitizer

That’s a total of about $60
As you can see, not cheaper than buying the kit and that doesn’t even include the mix, but in Europe that’s the only option
The good thing is that all these elements are top quality and include an auto-siphon + bottle filler which are major upgrades

You will also need

Whether you decide to buy a kit or gather the elements yourself, you will still need:

8qt (10L) stainless pot US|CAN|UK
If you don’t have one yet, this model is perfect
It’s relatively tall, which reduces evaporation and allows the 9″/23 cm strainer (see below) to sit above the wort without dipping in it
Note: make sure you don’t cover the pot during the boil, more info here

8qt stainless pot

A second pot, at least 6qt, will be necessary
This IKEA pot is perfect and cheap for this

IKEA stock pot

 

9″/23 cm double mesh strainer US|CAN|UK
This model is awesome, very sturdy and perfectly holds a typical gallon mash. It also exactly fits the 24 cm, 8qt (10L) pot above

9 inch double mesh strainer

Note: if you brew 5 liters (instead of 1 gallon), the mash may exceed this 9″/23 cm strainer capacity. Just sparge in two steps or consider getting the 10″/25 cm version US|CAN|UK

9″/21 cm plastic funnel with screen US|CAN|UK

9 inch plastic funnel
21 cm plastic funnel

5-10 ice cube trays and/or camping ice packs to cool down the wort
IKEA is probably your best bet for those

Ice cube tray
Ice packIce pack soft

You can also use plastic bottles filled with ice

Cool stuff you may want too

Large spoon, ideally perforated (super useful) US|CAN|UK
Do not use a wooden spoon, it could host bacterias in cracks

Large stainless perforated spoon

Update: 1 year into brewing, I would say this plastic paddle US|CAN|UK

Homebrew plastic paddle

is way more convenient than the metal perforated spoon above

An electronic kitchen scale with tare (= ignore container weight) US|CAN|UK
This will be one of your most useful pieces of equipment. You will use it literally at every step of the brewing procedure, even more when you will start creating your own beer recipes
Make sure to get one with tare, that allows to ignore the container weight

Electronic kitchen scale

 

High precision scale US|CAN|UK
Fantastic little tool, both for hops additions and to pitch 1/4 yeast pack without wasting any

High precision scale

Any plastic container about 10qt for sanitization
Paint buckets are great for this

Plastic bucket

Sprayer bottle US|CAN|UK
Very handy to quickly and easily sanitize things

Sprayer bottle

Optional stuff

Refractometer US|CAN|UK
A much better choice than the traditional densimeter + test tube to measure alcohol and sugar in your beer
This said, the more I brew, the less I care about gravities. Just design good beer recipes and you’re good to go

Beer brew refractometer

 

Plastic tank $5
Better than your kitchen sink for wort cooling as it contains more water
More info How to chill wort faster

Wort cooling container

 

1qt pyrex measuring cup US|CAN|UK
You don’t actually need one, as a scale is more versatile, but it makes sparging more precise and comfortable

Measuring cup

 

Bottle dryer US|CAN|UK
Very optional, but very cool if you get a bit more serious about brewing

Beer bottle dryer

Bottle rinser for sanitizer US|CAN|UK
This may sound like luxury, but it’s one of the best little upgrades I got
Really effective, comfortable and saves a lot of hassle

Beer blast bottle washer rinser

Ingredients

For your first batch, you will likely rely on a ready mix US|CAN|UK, but after your first brew, you will have figured out the basic principles of all-grain beer brewing and want to get rid of the training wheels and start creating your own recipes

Beer making mix

We have some great hints on How to design small batch beer recipes and you can buy malt, hops and yeast from either your local brew shop or online suppliers

Bottles

Empty bottles are not cheap

Just drink some beers from swing-top bottles while your beer is fermenting, they are by far your best bet to bottle your beer without having to buy caps and a capper

Swing top bottle

Make sure to get brown ones to protect your beer against daylight

Before you start brewing

You may definitely want to read the best book on the subject, at least the first section

How to brew US|CAN|UK

If not, make sure to read our Instructions and hints

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Brewer

Brewer

Passionate about beer brewing, I try a new recipe every other week and share my experiences in the blog section with my faithful readers
Brewer

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2 thoughts on “What you’ll need”

    1. I thought about it, but never tried.
      It would certainly work great, probably even better than the strainer as the grain would remain compact.
      Just place two kitchen tools across the pot to put it and let it drain and you’ll be just fine.
      That’s a good way to save some cash, these large strainers are pretty pricey.

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