Every home brewer should have
When I started brewing I did not have a decent brew kettle but used an old canning pot. Since then I have upgraded to a proper 8gal pot and have been adding to my equipment below are some of my favorite items that I have built to make brewing much easier.
Wort Chiller – Being able to chill the wort quickly is said to reduce off flavors and gives less time for bugs to grow in the wort before pitching the yeast. My favorite thing about it is cooling time is cut from hours to 20 min.
Carboy transfer – Why spend the time cleaning an auto siphon when you only need the racking cane from it.
Carboy cover – Block light from the beer by using a dark t-shirt. If you need to keep the fermentation temp up use a sweat shirt if you need to reduce the temp use a damp shirt and place a fan blowing on it.
Easy Wort Aeration – To introduce air to the wort as it is being transferred to the carboy poke a hole or two in the transfer tubing close to the source of the wort. I made two holes about 0.25cm apart with a safety pin about 1cm after the hose connection to my brew kettle.
Easy Olive Oil Wort Aeration – This is the method that I primarily use in place of adding oxygen. A dropper will work but my method is to slowly pour a drop in Olive Oil into its cap then pour a drop from the cap into the carboy. I do it that way to make sure that I only add a drop. Every beer I have made this way turned out good and had good head retention.
Bottle filler (From Keg) – If Kegging to carbonate the beer and you want to bottle then you will need a bottle filler. To build one cut the end off a racking cane or bottling wand at an angle, connect some beer line to the other end and slide a stopper over the tube. Now you can connect the tube to the keg tap press the stopper into a bottle and fill. You will need to squeeze or lift the stopper to let out some air. When the bottle is full and foaming cap the bottle, the foam is to displace the oxygen in the bottle.
When buying in bulk you will need to store the hops my method is to vacuum can/seal then freeze. Instead of using more expensive vacuum bags and sealer I use a hand pump and mason jars.
- Ziplock Hand Pump – The starter kit comes with 3 bags but refills are available here.
- FoodSave Jar Sealer – This will allow the use of jars for vacuum storage. Must use a vacuum pump on it such as the one from Ziplock above.
Brew In A Bag, Bag – When moving to all grain I recommend buying a straining bag that is large enough the go over the rim of the brew kettle.
Grain Crusher – A pasta roller can be modified to use as a grain crusher. Use a drill bit to rough up the rollers so they can grab the grain. Build a hopper to hold the grain a water jug will work or use wood/metal to build a hopper to size. The
pasta grain crusher can now be hand cranked or hook a drill to the crank a 3/8 spade bit should fit in the handel well.