Basic Elements of Brewing Equipment
If you are going to get involved in home brewing beyond simply making a kit beer, then, you need to have some specific brewing equipment on hand. Having the right tools and equipment is vital to create the best possible beer. You will find that most equipment is actually pretty affordable and can be found almost anywhere. Here's a rundown of the "must-have" items for your blossoming brewery.
Pot: All good brewers need a large brew pot. This should be large enough to hold four to five gallons (or larger if you make larger batches). Aluminum pots should not be used, however, as they can taint the flavor of your beer. Opt for stainless steel. Pots with enamel coatings can also be used.
Spoon: Every brewer needs a large, solid brewing spoon. It serves multiple purposes and is an indispensable piece of brewing equipment. The spoon should be a minimum of 18 inches in length, and it should be made of stainless steel (or plastic). Wooden spoons look nice, but the wood can absorb flavors and other things from one batch and transfer them to the next. Look for a spoon with a nice long handle.
Fermenter: Your fermenter is nothing more than the container in which you let your brew sit while the yeast does its work. This can be as simple as a 5 gallon plastic bucket with a lid and an airlock. It might be something more complex and expensive, such as a glass carboy. You might even opt for a stainless steel fermenter, conical fermenter or some other design. If you're just getting started, simple is best. Opt for a bucket or a glass carboy and leave the expensive stainless steel options for later.
You might also need a secondary fermenter, because many beer recipes require beer to be clarified in a secondary container. If so, you will need another fermenter, as well as racking equipment for bottling, such as a racking cane, siphon hose, etc.
Measuring: You'll need a few other brewing tools. One of these is a hygrometer, which is used to measure the specific gravity of your brew. A thermometer is another good buy, as well. You will also need to make sure you have a storage option for your beer, like bottles or other containers, with the appropriate sealing equipment.
With these basic brewing equipment on hand, you will be well on your way to brewing success.