There is always an urge when you get started in a great new hobby like home brewing to go out and buy the most expensive equipment and supplies and dive in head first. That instinct may come from watching an “old pro” at home brewing working his or her own elaborate set up to make some great beer. So naturally when you start learning how to brew beer at home yourself, you want to strive for the best which is to make beer as good as the old pros make. But the instinct to over commit should be resisted.
The home brewing industry is a big one and it has gotten much more able to support new recruits to this exciting hobby and passion to get you just what you need when you need it. And if you go out and spend a fortune on equipment that is just not right for you starting out, not only can you get frustrated but if your love of home brewing doesn’t “stick”, you can end up feeling badly about such a huge investment. So, as is true of a lot of hobbies, its best to start out slow, use some very basic “starter equipment” and get a few batches of beer under your belt and grow from there.
That is where getting started with a home brewing kit is a good move. In that way, with one purchase, you can bring home the basic equipment you need, the supplies for your first few batches of beer and, probably most importantly, some instructions on how to get started making beer. You can find a pretty wide variety of beer making kits to choose from just to get started. And because the diversity of the types of starter kits that are out there, its good to know what you want as you start shopping the web sites, catalogs or at the local beer brewing retailer.
As with everything else, you can find low priced options when you are buying a beer brewing kit and other kits that have a lot more accessories and supplies to offer. The things to look for in the way of equipment in your very first kit are sanitizers and bottles as well as containers for fermentation once the brewing process gets underway. Keep in mind that once the beer is in production, you will be moving it from container to container and you will have the opportunity to step in and remove unwanted residue from the last step. So various siphons and strainers can really help you as the master brewer of this batch of beer to purify your brew as it moves from the boiling pot to the fermentation containers.
So don’t just buy the first home brewing kit you see. Take some time and evaluate what each one has to offer to determine if the more expensive ones come with a more in depth assortment of supplies which can keep you from having to run out and supplement the kit fairly early in your beer making career. Those kits might cost a bit more but compared to buying each of those items one by one, it’s usually a very good deal.
In addition to the assortment of brewing tools and accessories, look at the physical size of the equipment you get. The best size for any batch of beer is a minimum of five gallons. Brewing in that quantity gives the wort a sufficient room to brew well. So make sure you read the fine print that the pots and storage containers you are getting with your kit will allow you to make batches that fit your expectations. But also keep in mind storage issues as you don’t want equipment so large, it’s hard to keep it all handy for your next brew.