Go basic, go big, go pro, go geek.

Homebrew Gear

When looking at what gear you need, break down the brew day into component parts, writing down what you have and what you need as you go through the process. Some items (kettle, digital scales, spoon, hydrometer) you’ll need more than once. It’s often useful to draw a quick sketch (perhaps based on the process in this book) to make sure you have everything you need. There’s nothing more disheartening than organising a brew day and realising you have the wrong attachment to the mash tun (yes we are speaking from experience).

Many homebrewers are incredibly resourceful, making mash tuns out of cool boxes, kettles out of tea urns, using demi-johns from boot sales and much else besides. The second-hand market for equipment such as Corny kegs to store your beer is also active. And that’s all part of the fun of homebrewing. You can, of course, start with the best of everything, but it’s wise to work up slowly. Firstly, to make sure you’re going to keep the brewing up (and most of us do – it becomes an obsession), but also to settle into your gear and add where you think the next leap in brew quality will come from.

Several items, however, seem at first like luxuries but we’d argue are essential almost from the get-go. An immersion wort chiller will certainly aid the quality of your beer, but also speed up the brewing process. Similarly, a hydrometer is an important device and not too expensive. And don’t forget about where you’ll be putting your beer once it’s finished either. But maybe the most important item? A notebook or spreadsheet to record your progress.


Some other items you may consider.

- Airlock and bung
- Bottles
- Bottle caps
- Bottle drying tree
- Bottle filler
- Digital scales
- pH meter
- Malt mill
- Muslin grain and hop bags
- Water pumps
(if you’re going really pro)
- Syphon