Craft Beer Brewing Equipment – What You Need
by MiniBrew Team, on May 13, 2020 4:21:46 PM
There is both an art and science to brewing craft beer at home. Precision is everything when it comes to creating a tastier brew, and as you might already expect, using the right equipment goes a long way towards dictating whether your beer is tasty or terrible.
Some brewing equipment can be expensive – it is entirely possible to spend €20,000 on home brewing systems, yet this doesn’t always give better results, especially for those just getting started. As a growing industry, particularly in Europe and North America, a developing interest in both making and tasting craft beer has led to many people wondering whether they can recreate the flavors they’ve tried commercially, at home.
The simple answer to this question is that it is entirely possible to create delicious home brewed craft beer – if you have the right equipment. So what exactly is it that you need?
Choose your approach
The equipment you choose will depend heavily on your preferred approach to the beer brewing process. In essence you have two options as a home brewer; either opting for a full-scale DIY set-up, or instead investing in a complete home beer brewing machine such as the MiniBrew CRAFT. While the latter is still a relatively new concept for experienced home brewers, it has much to recommend it, not least of which is ease of use, consistency of taste, lack of wastage and option to take more control of the process as you become more experienced.
It’s important to look at both options carefully so you can decide which one best suits your individual needs when setting up your system at home.
Basic craft beer brewing equipment
Scale may differ significantly across your domestic beer brewing operation, but the fundamental items you need for a DIY approach remain more-or-less the same. For a truly ‘do it yourself’ style of beer brewing, you can simply use pots and pans which will cost next to nothing and stay far away from the professional home brewing equipment championed by many. A typical home brew set up with an intermediate craft beer system will include:
- Fermenting Bucket
Many domestic brewers decide to get a bucket which will hold a relatively large amount of ingredients – generally between 10-25 liters of beer. This bucket will be the place where your beer begins to transform from a disparate mixture of different ingredients into a flavorsome craft beer!
A Hydrometer is a device designed to measure the density of your mixture, and generally takes the form of a weighted glass bulb. When in use, it is placed within the liquid to check the density of your brew. Sugar content is reflected in density so you need this piece of equipment to calculate the alcohol percentage of your craft beer.
With each batch of beer you brew, it is important to keep your equipment clean and create the optimal environment for the mixture to work its magic. Sanitation plays a much larger role than you may initially imagine. The kind of cleaning materials which you may associate with domestic cleansing are not suitable for this task, as you are going to be consuming liquids which have been in direct contact with the sanitizer you select.
While it is still important to clean your complete home brew kit regularly, a sanitizer will preferably be of the ‘no rinse’ variety and leave your equipment sterile enough to be used yet also safe for humans.
- Heating Device
A boiler or other heating device will be needed as part of your craft bier brewing equipment, to get your beer to the correct temperature at the optimum time. As with so many of the items needed for beer brewing, quality is important from both a durability and safety perspective.
- Large Jug
Required for pouring of mixtures, it should be large and sturdy enough to withstand a fair amount of wear and tear.
- Weighing Scale
This is an important piece of kit for measuring ingredients, so make sure you get one which provides you with an accurate reading for craft beer brewing.
Inaccurate readings can lead to improper quantities being added to your mix, which will ultimately impact on flavor.
- Large Spoons / Stirrer
A cornerstone of great home brewing equipment, a Stirrer allows you to mix ingredients in a DIY system with more accuracy and care. Spoons tend to have a lengthy stalk to ensure they can reach the end of the bucket.
- Bottles or Barrel
If you’re bottling your beer, then you’ll need a few bottles to store it in and keep for tasting or distributing to friends and family. Glass bottles and plastic both work well for this purpose, so you can adapt to your individual budget and circumstances.
Alternatively, a barrel is a great way to store larger quantities of beer for personal use.
- Bottle Tops
Another item which is easy to forget yet vital, bottle tops are a staple for anyone bottling beer. You may want to invest in a gadget which allows you to place tops securely on bottles (particularly if they are metal) but this is not obligatory.
Now, we can move on to a different approach to home brewing. All-in-one home brewing systems such as the MiniBrew CRAFT are a marked contrast to the labor intensive approach required when sourcing and using all of the separate materials traditionally associated with home brewing.
While going completely DIY may be appealing to hobbyists, if you want to achieve consistently great results, for an economical figure and with less waste, going all-in-one is the perfect route.
In contrast to DIY set-ups, the MiniBrew CRAFT is compact and closed, which helps to avoid unnecessary risk of contamination. In addition, the device is self-cleaning and its detachable parts can be popped in a dishwasher to ensure extra standards of cleanliness, removing the need for many of the stages which are required for a more complex methodology. It can be easily stowed away and is a budget-friendly alternative to sourcing and purchasing a wide array of separate items.
If you want to become a #CraftBeerHero, then take a look at our comprehensive guide to brewing delicious craft beer in the comfort of your own home.