Homemade Brewing Equipment
Home brewing is a great hobby and as in most hobbies, the more you can do for yourself, the more fun it is. In the case of home brewing of beers, making your own homemade brewing equipment also gives you a better understanding of the brewing process and how it works. And, of course, it can save you a lot of money. Home brewing is not expensive but using homemade brewing equipment can reduce your costs even further and that always adds to the flavor of the brew!
All home brewing equipment is available from specialist stores or on the internet. While there are some specialized pieces of equipment that you will need to buy, a lot of it can be homemade brewing equipment created by converting normal household utensils to brewing applications.
Some Basic Homemade Brewing Equipment You can Make Yourself
The core of any home brewing operation is the brew pot. These are meant for heating the mixture and starting the brewing process. You can use an old stainless steel or enameled steel kettle for this purpose. Keep in mind that the larger the size the better because brewing in small quantities is difficult and can also adversely affect the taste of the beer. Usually a capacity of less than 12 quarts will not work well.
The next piece of homemade brewing equipment that is easily found or fabricated is the fermenter. This is the container where the wort and yeast are kept during the fermentation process. You can use a large bucket made of food grade plastic for this purpose. You will need to ensure that it has a tightly fitting lid with a hole a for fitting the airlock.
It is essential to ensure that only buckets of food grade plastic are used as any other material can cause contamination of the brew. Here also size is important and 6 gallons is the minimum recommended size. A plastic spigot can be attached at the base of the bucket by drilling a hole in it. This will allow the beer to be drained into the bottles for storage.
Another piece of homemade brewing equipment is a length of clean hose pipe that can replace the store bought bottle filling tube. The pipe should fit tightly to the spigot on the fermenter and be long enough to reach the lower platform where the empty bottles are kept. At the other end there should be a plastic nozzle/valve with a simple press mechanism to open and close the valve. This will enable you to stop the flow to the bottle easily and prevent overflowing and wastage.
It is a good idea to have a look at some home brewing kits and see where you can replace components with homemade brewing equipment. Always make sure that the homemade brewing equipment that you fabricate or use should meet all the health and safety specs needed for home brewing.
It is possible to save money by buying used home brewing equipment but this is something that has its dangers as the reliability and quality of the used equipment is always open to question. It is better for beginners to look for homemade brewing equipment as a money saving option. And remember that some equipment like hydrometers etc. cannot be replaced by homemade brewing equipment. These should always be bought from a reputed source.