1. Buy a basic brewing equipment package
The basic brewing equipment kit will provide nearly all of the items needed for brewing your first beer. It can be found at local home brew shops and at online suppliers. Many of these items will be difficult to find other than from these suppliers, so it makes sense to get an equipment package. Some are more elaborate than required for beginning home brewing beer, with additional useful items, but at more cost. They lack some items that are easily borrowed from the home kitchen.
2. Borrow or buy a brewing kettle
This is the vessel in which you will boil your wort. A 3 or 4 gallon kettle is probably the minimum size for making the common 5 gallon batch of extract beer. Stainless steel, aluminum and enamel kettles work well, the last as long as the enamel is not chipped. It is a good idea to borrow a kettle for your first batches until you understand the process of home brewing beer. Then determine the size of kettle that you might wish to purchase.
3. Buy a brewing ingredient kit
An ingredient kit includes the raw materials used for brewing the beer and generally produces 5 gallons. It can be simple, comprised of just one or two cans of pre-hopped liquid malt extract and a packet of dry brewing yeast. Some kits are more elaborate, including liquid and dry malt extract, a variety of specialty steeping grains, a variety of hops, and special strains of dry or liquid yeast. You will supply the water, which can be tap water if good tasting and free of chlorine, bottled spring water or distilled drinking water. The kits are typically designed for home brewing beer of a particular style, so pick one that you are interested in brewing. Ale styles (pale ale, brown ale) are usually easier to brew for beginners.
4. Review a basic brewing procedure guide
There are several excellent books and guides on beer brewing that explain the detailed steps of making extract beers. Frequently the equipment packages include a brief guide with enough information to brew your first batches.
One of the very most important processes in brewing is to follow sanitary procedures. This keeps contamination from bacteria and wild yeast to a minimum, allowing your beer yeast to do its thing in peace and make the beer that you want. The home brewing beer guide should help you with sanitary procedures. Some of these guides may recommend diluted bleach as a sanitizing solution. Although very effective, the bleach residue must be thoroughly rinsed away with hot water to prevent unpleasant flavors in the beer. A number of excellent “no rinse” sanitizers are available that do not impact the flavor of the beer. A good equipment package will often include one of these sanitizers.
These tips are basic guidelines for getting the brewing equipment and materials needed for successfully home brewing beer.