Preparing for the First Brew Day
What are we doing?
Ben and I decided to finally bite the bullet and buy equipment to start brewing. We’d been talking about it for at least a couple years and I had moved into a relatively usable apartment that allowed us some space (be it a small amount, but space nonetheless) to actually brew and store everything needed. Ladies and gentlemen, yes, you can brew beer in an apartment. This first brew day and many others that followed in the years to come proved this possible. You do need to work well in a cramped space and a gas stove definitely helped out our situation, but all of this is possible. Here was my actual working space:
What do we need?
Well, we need to know how to brew was my first response to that question. Luckily Ben was college buddy’s with a brewer and had sat in on a few brew days and had a gist of how the process went. He explained to me that there isn’t much to the process. The most crucial part is temperature control during certain portions of the day. This has proved itself time and time again. Temperature is really the only part you can screw up. More on this here. [link to actual brew day post]
So I asked him what we needed. Did I need to buy gigantic steel tuns that you see at brewpubs across America and the world? Because I definitely couldn’t fit those in my apartment, let alone afford them.
It turns out, all you really need to brew is a bucket and a pot (preferably a stock pot or something that can hold at least 32 quarts) and, I guess a spoon helps. These concepts go back thousands of years and when you realize that primitive people were brewing some form of beer for all those years, you realize it’s very hard to screw this process up completely.
So I went on Amazon and looked up what was available for home brewing starter kits. There are all sorts of kits available from all different price points. I decided to grab one that came with a bucket and a carboy and some tools for bottling. I mean lets be honest, having your own bottle with your own label on it sounds pretty cool, right? This one right here is what we ended up getting. Home Brew Ohio Complete Beer Equipment Kit (K6) with 6 gal Glass Carboy
I also decided to grab a brew kettle with a built in thermometer, mostly due to my brother’s ranting of the importance of temperature control. We ordered one very similar to this CONCORD Stainless Steel Home Brew Kettle Stock Pot (Weldless Fittings) (40 QT/ 10 Gal).
But, honestly, the built in thermometer was overkill. You could simply buy a stock pot and then one of these guys Home Brew Stuff TH-12HomeBrewStuff 12″ SS Dial Thermometer Homebrewing Brew Kettle Brew Pot which at the current moment is only $8 USD. In fact, we ended up buying one of those thermometers anyway when we realized the probe from the built in thermometer was set too high into the kettle to even read the temperature of the wort at certain times in the process.
And honestly that is all we needed. Well, ingredients… Ingredients are important. But that is where the fun begins. Stay tuned for a posting about the actual brew day.
Thanks for reading and I hope we bring some fun and informational postings here for anyone that stumbles on us.