The water, yeast and grain are ready, we now need some equipment.
First we need the couple of simple essentials which are easily obtained from the local home brew supplier and nor even Tesco!
- Accurate thermometer
- Hydometer and jar
- Stirring spoons or paddles
- When moving away from the cooker and a kit into the exiting realms of extract brewing and also all-grain then we need some bigger kit.
In order to brew 5 gallons (22.5 litres) you will boilers and fermenters capable of holding at least 7 gallons ( 32 L ) or more. The extra space just makes it all safer.
If you have the money then these are very nice: http://www.homebrewwest.ie/speidel-braumeister-231-c.asp
However for the rest of the simplest set ups consist of separate components:
HLTs and Boiler
For the Hot Liquor tank and or boiler people often start with a plastic boiler from the homebrew shop. Others choose the bucket and fit there own kettle elements. The next upscale is to convert a large stainless keg or piece of industrial kitchen ware by fitting elements, sight glasses, thermo pockets etc
From your local HB shop or Alpack.ie
Stainless Steel Kitchen Ware:
Starting with 2.5 kw kettle elements:
Charlie Shiels: www.charlieshiels.ie/
Or canabalise a kettle !!
For larger projects you need low density flexible elements:
If you brew out of doors then you can use Propane (the best) or Butane (not so powerful as propane). This company have all you need:
Most of us start with picnic cool boxes from the likes of Lidl and Aldi.
These need to be fitted with a tap – often a simple ball valve type tap and a copper manifold – all can be made from some simple copper tubing and some tees and elbows and the ball-valve tap.
Plumbing Bits and Pieces
Check out your local plumbers merchants: www.heatmerchants.ie/
or for twice the price, B&Q or Woodies.
The simplest is a coil of 8 or 10 mm micro bore copper tube.
This is easily obtainable from the above plumbing links.
There is naturally a more intricate option:
The counter flow heat exchanger: This is basically the copper tube fitted into a length of garden hose pipe. Beer flows thought the copper while cold water flows the other way through the hose. It is coiled up to make it neat and compact.
There is also the expensive, shiny, Stainless Plate Heat Exchanger like what the professional use. These are available in the US not sure about .ie , .uk , or even .eu
Local HB shop
Plastic buckets with lids and airlocks
Plastic wide mouth wine fermenters
Most of these are from the good ‘ol Us of A: conical-fermenter.com/
But these had some ss conicals at the RDS: www.thebeerclub.ie/
Air / Oxygen
The use of a stainless steel air stone and a simple aquarium pump can be used to aireate the chilled wort.
A more expensive option is to use pure oxygen – if you can obtain it.
There is a source for disposable bottles but I can’t find it at the moment!!
The beer is ready for fermentation and storage under controlled conditions