Beginner's Guide To Brewing Beer - By: Brewer Bob Brauer

New to brewing at home? Possibly you made it a goal this year is to begin the process of home brewing? If that's you, this three-part series is going to be just right for you. My articles will take you through all the basics from beginning to completion like what tools you'll need, how to brew & ferment your beer, and how to bottle and age it.

contrary to public opinion, you don't have to spend a lot of money on elaborate, costly gear to brew your own beer.

Here's a checklist of what you'll need:

. Large Pot - would need to hold more than 3 gallons. Go even bigger when possible because a larger sized one will hold more, resulting in a lesser amount of spillage.
. Tubing & Clamp - to siphon beer from one container to another & to bottle your home brewed beer. A 5 foot segment of 5/16-inch ID (inner diameter) food grade tubing will do. The larger the diameter, the more rapidly you can siphon your beer. Ensure the clamps you purchase go with the ID (inner diameter) or OD (outer diameter) of your tubing.
. 5-Gallon Carboy - A carboy is ultimately simply a glass bottle. A 5-gallon airtight bucket will also do, will also do the trick, however I favor a glass carboy with a rubber stopper because the airtight seal on a carboy has never broken on me (I have with plastic buckets).
. An Air Lock and Stopper - designs will differ; it's essential to find one that fits your fermenter (carboy or plastic bucket).
. A Bottle Filler - be sure the tubing & clamps are measured to match the bottler.
. A Thermometer - you'll need a thermometer with a range of 0-100 Celsius or 32-220 Fahrenheit. Floating thermometers may be a good alternative.
. Bottles - 5 gallons of beer will be able to fill up just about 54 12-ounce bottles or 27 24-ounce bottles so plan accordingly. You should not scrimp here, select high-quality bottles that aren't fastened with a plastic twist-off top. You'll want the bottles you actually need a bottle opener to open.
. Bottle Brush - Hygiene is critical! This isn't needed, but I would recommend it and I normally recommend taking every step to be sure your home brewing equipment is as sanitary as possible!
. A Bottle Capper - a hand powered device to cap your bottles
. Bottle Caps - this is quite self-explanatory, but you'll want as many caps as beer bottles. Furthermore, nearly all beer caps will fit the vast majority of beer bottles so if you can't find any measurements on the bottles you buy then they'll more than likely work. You should check to be safe.
. Sanitizing Solution - Beer is really prone to to infection or contamination so I can't emphasize enough how necessary it is to carefully wash before & after brewing. You can use household bleach but you will have to rinse off thoroughly to avoid bleach contamination. I recommend iodophor or starsan. Personally, I use iodophor.

In the rest of Part 1 we'll take you step-by-step through the distinct ingredients you'll need plus take you through a synopsis of the brewing process. Get all your questions answered at our beginner's series In parts 1 & 2, I'll walk you step-by-step through the home brewing process so stay tuned!

New to brewing at home? Maybe even your New Year's resolution is to begin the process of home brewing? If that describes you, our three-part series is going to be just right for you. My articles will take you through your first home brew from beginning to completion such as what gear you'll need, how to brew & ferment your beer, not to mention how to bottle and age it.

If you want to get the complete article on the rest of the brewing process, visit BackYardBeer.com. Visit often as we continue the series in more detail to give you all the info you need to become a successful home brewer!

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