You can start off with the basics — a brewing bucket, a bubbler and a siphon hose.
Homebrewing is hugely popular right now, in part because of how widely available the supplies you need to get started now are. It's also, of course, an enormously fun hobby that could turn into a profession if you get really good.
Before diving in, though, you need to do some research and make sure you know what you're getting into. Here are seven things to know before making your first homebrew.
1. Quality ingredients make a difference
Just like with any food or beverage you might make, you need to start with a good foundation to get a good result. That means buying quality ingredients. You also need to make sure you know how to store your ingredients.
You can store fresh hops in the freezer and liquid yeast in the fridge, for example. You shouldn't store crushed grains, hops or malt for long as oxidation will quickly ruin their flavor.
2. Make sanitation a priority
You should keep sanitation and sterilization in mind throughout the brewing process. Right after you cool your beer is an especially important time regarding sanitation, as the yeast hasn't started fermenting yet, which makes it easier for bacteria to form.
If you're bottling your beer, make sure you sterilize your empty bottles before using them. Essentially, you need to sanitize everything that comes into contact with your wort and beer.
3. It can save you money
Homebrewing requires a bit of an upfront investment, but it can save you money in the long run. Homebrews are usually most similar to craft beers, As compared to these beers, making your own is more cost-effective.
If you compare it to cheap beers, you probably won't save much money, but the quality may be better once you get some practice. Getting started with homebrewing is relatively affordable since you find relatively inexpensive supplies.
4. The right equipment makes the process easier
Next to your ingredients, your equipment is another factor that will influence the quality of the beer you make. You can start off with the basics — a brewing bucket, a bubbler and a siphon hose.
While this doesn't allow for bottling, you can brew your first batch with these supplies if you plan on drinking it soon after it's finished.
As you get further along in your beer brewing journey, you may want to invest in some advanced equipment. This super high-tech Wi-Fi digital hydrometer, for example, allows you to check the temperature and alcohol by volume of your brew as well as other details.
You may want to invest in larger kettles and siphons as you start brewing more too.
5. You don't need a lot of space
You can get started with homebrewing even if you live in a tiny apartment. You can probably fit most of your equipment inside your kettle or brewing bucket, making it easy to store when you're not using it.
When you're brewing the beer, you can easily leave it in a cupboard or a corner of your closet without a problem. As you expand your operation, you might need more room, but for getting started, space shouldn't be an issue.
6. Start with darker beers
Another great tip for your first few brews is to start with darker beers. Because these beers have a stronger flavor, they more easily hide any mistakes you may have made along the way.
This better-tasing outcome will hopefully inspire you to continue experimenting and building your brewing skills.
7. Patience is key
Patience truly is a virtue, especially when it comes to homebrewing. You need to do research before you get started — the process of preparing, making and bottling your brews can be time-consuming.
After all the work is done, you still have to wait for your beer to ferment. Plus, even after all of that, your first few brews might not turn out quite as you expected. The important thing when that happens though is to keep going.
The more batches you brew, the more knowledge you'll gain and the better your brews will turn out.