We've put together a complete list of essential homebrewing equipment but here are a few extra tips to get you brewing your first batch or a better batch.
1. Get the big kettle.
If you're going to step up to the plate you had better make sure you swing a big bat, right? Don't go down swinging with a small kettle. Go big or go home. Start off big and you'll be glad you did. A larger kettle will pay dividends down the road when you want to get into all-grain brewing or reduce the chance of boil overs. You'll save money and time with a bigger kettle.
2. Get a Wort chiller.
The beer making process begins by mashing malted grain and then boiling hops within that mixture to create a flavorful extract. This is known as wort. The faster you can cool your wort from boiling to yeast-pitching temperature, the better your beer will turn out.
Once the wort has been prepared, it needs to be brought quickly from boiling temperature (212°F) down to approximately 60–75°F. The danger zone is between these two temperature points.
While the wort is still hot or warm, it can harbor dangerous bacteria and yeasts that may infect the beer or give it an unpleasant aroma and/or flavor. A chilling device helps quickly reduce the temperature of the wort to create the appropriate environment for fermentation to take place.
Immersion chillers, plate and counterflow wort chilllers help improve beer clarity and can reduce the chances of off-flavors and contamination.
We have a slough of wort chillers to choose from.
3. Brew a few batches from quality beer-making ingredient kits first.
You may be tempted to start creating your own beers - after all, that is where you eventually want to be, right? But, we recommend learning by first brewing a few batches from tried-and-true beer making kits. We stand by our Label Peelers Originals line of beer ingredient kits. This line of beer ingredient kits is not for the faint of heart. Bold styles of beer with huge body and high ABV content.
4. Use a no-rinse sanitizer.
This may seem like a ridiculous technique for creating better beer, but a no-rinse sanitizer is a no-brainer due to the importance of sanitizing and the ease of using a no-rinse sanitizer. Getting in the habit of sanitizing everything that comes into the contact with the wort/beer after the boil is crucial in ensuring your homebrews don’t become contaminated.
5. Keep a brew journal.
Be honest, your mind is not a memory trap and you probably don't have a photographic memory. Write down your steps, process, ingredients, and boil times. This will ensure that if you do create a phenomenal brew, you'll be able to recreate and, similarly, if your brew turns out tasting like something that's been sitting at the bottom of a shipwreck for a hundred years, you'll know where you went wrong (aside from steering that boat to the bottom of the ocean).