Getting Started

Getting Started

Brewing your own beer is not scary or hard, nor will it break the bank. Get over your fears and just jump in, you know you want to!

Rule #1

Start with extract brewing but avoid extract recipe kits. Use the web and find your own recipe, ask the folks at your local store for help, whatever you need to do to avoid those terrible kits is fine. Buy the ingredients at to save big time or at your local homebrew shop - nothing wrong with extract to start off with!

Rule #2

Do not bother with the brew gear kits either. Yes, they are easy and have directions but they are marked up, low quality and lazy. There are not many things you need to brew extract beer and I will lay them out for you here, plain and simple. You will absolutely need the following to brew 5 gallons of beer.

6 Gallon or larger
Fermentation Vessel 6 Gallons or larger
Air Lock
6 Feet of Tubing
Racking Cane (Autosiphon is ideal)
Bottles (48, 12 oz or 24, 22 oz)
Caps & Capper

Not so bad, right? The only real financial obstacle is the pot. I recommend buying something on the larger end, you will most likely be hooked and will want a bigger pot later. You don't need a pot with a temperature gauge and valve but it is a nice bonus. You can use anything big enough, even aluminum pots are great.

The best fermentation vessel for your first brew will be a 6-7.5 gallons plastic bucket with a sealing lid, cheaply available in any homebrew store - no need for a glass carboy yet. The bottles can be collected, cleaned and sanitized easily enough - please do not buy empty bottles. I definitely recommend an autosiphon, you will be pleased with the extra six dollar investment over a racking cane, trust me. Caps are cheap, buy the generic ones; no need for fancy caps. A capper is essential, do not forget it or sanitizer and your beer will thank you. When you bottle, you will need to mix the priming sugar and not the yeast, often people buy two fermentation vessels for this reason. I would recommend this but you could also use your pot, if it is big enough.

Although starting off with extract beer is highly recommended, if you really decide to take the plunge, here are some good reasons to brew all grain.

Lastly if you're looking for a more handheld resource than All Grains, I always highly recommend The Joy of Homebrewing to brewers of all skill levels - it really is the best resources out there.

Good luck and remember to check for great deals on your first set of gear!