Getting Started in Homebrewing

Interested in trying to homebrew? Or maybe giving a unique gift? A little information goes a long way. Below is a list of information and tips on what is needed to start homebrewing.

To start brewing you will need the following:

  • Equipment Kit
  • Recipe Kit
  • Brewing Kettle
  • Bottles
  • A Little Knowledge

Equipment Kit

One of the most important purchases that you meed to make in order to brew at home is your equipment. The most economical way to start is by purchasing a starter kit, which is the most popular item for aspiring brewers. This kit allows a new brewer to make excellent beer from brew one. A basic starter kit will set you up with the essential tools you will need such as fermentors, airlocks, and cleaners (please read the details of each kit for full list of items). Check out the sections on recipe kits and knowledge for more information about the items that will guide you through you first successful brew. To facilitate the brewing process, each kit comes with two fermentation vessels. Primary fermentation is the first step after brewing. This 5-7 day stage of fermentation is where the majority of the sugars are converted to alcohol. Once primary has finished your beer can be conditioned and clarified in the secondary fermentor for an additional 7-21 days. Transferring your beer from primary to secondary allows you to take your beer away from the sediment of primary fermentation, which creates a much clearer beer. Secondary fermentation can vary in time depending on the style and strength of beer you are making. Please note that brewpots and bottles are not included with starter kits.  

You will have to decide whether you want to brew with extract kits or all-grain. Extract brewing is a great way to start out, especially for stove top small batch brewing. All-grain brewing requires more equipment, including a mashtun.

To see our different equipment kits click here.

Recipe Kit

You will need to decide what style of beer you would like make. For beginner brewers we recommend an ale over a lager because it ferments at room temperature. Ales in general also have a shorter fermentation period and so are ready to drink earlier than lagers.

5 Gallon Extract Kits
Extract kits are a great way to start homebrewing. They come with all the ingredients your need to create your beer, an easy to follow guide, and bottle caps. Each 5 gallon batch should yield between  52-55 bottles of beer (355mL)

SF All Grain Recipe Kits
All grain brewing is becoming very popular and is the preferred form of brewing for most active  homebrewers. Our Short Finger 5 gallon recipe kits come with all the ingredients you need to nail styles perfectly.

Brewing Kettle

Whether you choose all grain or extract brewing, you are going to need a kettle (stock pot) to boil it all together. Simple large stock pots are great for new brewers that don't want to spend too much money on equipment. We have a variety of kettles available for all levels of brewers.

Bottles

Once your beer has gone through primary and secondary fermentation you will need clean bottles to carbonate, store and drink your beer in. A 5 gallon batch of beer should yield about 55x355mL bottles. We have different styles of bottles available for homebrewers. Shipping glass it is a risky endeavour, so please keep this in mind when ordering anything glass for delivery. We always recommend local pick up. A lot of homebrewers collect their own bottles. Please remember that you will not be able to use twist off bottles for your homebrew. One of the most popular styles of bottles with homebrewers is the groslch style swing top bottle because no capper is required.

A Little Knowledge

The last point is arguably the most important. Good beer doesn't make itself; you have to know how to make it. We recommend that everyone thoroughly research styles and brewing methods to constantly be improving the beer you make. We have a lot of great books available for everyone from beginner brewers to experts looking for more in-depth technical knowledge. For new brewers a great gift is How To Brew by Palmer. For experienced brewers, we recommend checking out Radical Brewing by Mosher

 

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