The basic homebrewing equipment is not all that expensive; you can probably get everything you need to start for $100-$150.

  • Brewpot: A brewpot is a huge pot made of stainless steel or enamel-coated metal which is of at least 16-quart capacity.

  • Primary fermenter: The primary fermenter is where the wort goes after you've boiled it, and it's where the beer begins to ferment. The primary fermenter must have a minimum capacity of 7 gallons, and a lid that seals airtight and accommodates the airlock and rubber stopper.

  • Brew spoon: It's a big spoon about two feet long, made of stainless steel.

  • Airlock and stopper: The airlock is a handy gadget that allows carbon dioxide to escape from your primary fermenter during fermentation, thus keeping it from exploding, but doesn't allow any of the bad air from outside to enter your beer's hygienic little world. It fits into a rubber stopper which has a hole drilled into it, and the stopper goes in the top of your primary fermenter.

  • Plastic hose: Just ordinary five-foot length of food-grade plastic hose. You need it to transfer beer from place to place, and you need to keep it clean and free of kinks or leaks.

  • Bottling bucket: This is a large, food-grade plastic bucket with a spigot at the bottom. It must be at least as big as your primary fermenter, because you need to pour all the liquid from your primary fermenter into your bottling bucket prior to bottling your beer.

  • Bottles: After primary fermentation, you place the beer in bottles for secondary fermentation and storage. You need enough bottles to hold all the beer you're going to make (a 5-gallon batch of beer is about 640 ounces, so if you're using 16-ounce bottles you'll need 40). The best kind of bottles are solid glass ones with smooth tops (not the twist-off kind) that will accept a cap from a bottle capper. Make sure they are dark-colored, because light damages beer.

  • Bottle brush: This is a thin, curvy brush which you can insert into a bottle in order to clean it out really well.

  • Stick-on thermometer: This is a thermometer that you can apply to the side of your primary fermenter. They look like thin strips of plastic and they are backed with an adhesive. You can purchase them online, from a brewing supplies store, or from a pet store or aquarium store (they are also used for aquaria).

  • Household items: In addition to the above specialized equipment, you will need the following household items: Small bowl, saucepan, rubber spatula, oven mitts/pot handlers, mixing spoon (stainless steel or plastic).

SoYouWanna know more? Check out our full-length article SYW Make Your Own Beer?