Home Brewing Supplies – Brewing Supplies You’ll Need By Nicole Rose  |   Submitted On December 29, 2010

In addition to your home brewing equipment you also have to get all of the home brewing supplies or ingredients. Based upon which sort or kind of beer you want to make will determine precisely what home brewing supplies you’ll want. When you are planning to make your own beer for the first time you may want to consider getting a kit with all of the basic supplies.

This is a list of what home brewing supplies a typical kit will contain:

• Malt Extract Syrup
• Specialty Grains (some kits have this)
• Grain Bag
• Hops
• Yeast
• Priming Sugar

Now let’s discuss the home brewing supplies and provide you with a basic concept of how you will be using them.

Malt Extract Syrup:
Using malt extract is one thing that can help make home brewing easier. Malt extract is made of concentrated sugars extracted from malted barley. You’ll find it for sale in either a syrup or powdered form. The syrups are about 20% water, so 4 pounds of dry malt extract (DME) is approximately comparable to 5 pounds of malt extract syrup. In addition, malt extract is supplied in either a hopped or unhopped variety. Munton & Fison, Alexanders, Coopers, Edme and Premier are all very good brands. When choosing malt extracts make sure to read the list of ingredients in order to avoid any kinds with additional refined sugars. These refined sugars are often put into Light Beer-style kits.

When home brewing using unhopped extract you will have to add 1-2 ounces of hops over the course of the boil for bittering and flavor. Hops can even be added to the hopped extract brews towards the end of the boil to provide extra hop character to the finished beer.

Specialty Grains:
Specialty grains are small amounts of some types of malted barley which are used to enhance your extract brewing. Using this method doesn’t require any additional equipment except a grain bag and provides you a whole lot more flexibility in making the wort for the desired kind of beer.

Grain Bag:
The grain bag is used to steep your specialty grains in the wort in your brew kettle.

Hops can be a really involved subject. There are many kinds of hops, but they are usually divided into two primary categories: Bittering and Aroma. Bittering hops are high in Alpha Acids (the main bittering agents), commonly greater than 10%. Aroma hops are lower, around 5%. A number of hop varieties can be in between and can be used for both purposes. Bittering hops are added at the beginning of the boil and normally boiled for an hour. Aroma (or finishing) hops are added closer to the end of the boil and are typically boiled for 15 minutes or less. A mesh bag, known as a hop bag, is often utilized to help retain the hops during the boil to make removing the hops less difficult prior to fermentation. Straining or removing the hops before fermentation is suggested.

Some more advanced brewers add hops in the fermenter for increased hop aroma in the finished beer. This is known as dry hopping, however, it’s usually done while in a secondary fermentation.

The yeast is one of the most crucial home brewing supplies. Without it there’d be no fermentation and therefore no alcohol. It also plays a significant role in determining the flavor in the beer. Different yeast strains will yield different beers when pitched in identical worts. Yeast is available in both liquid and dried forms. For those who are a first-time brewer, dried ale yeast is generally recommended. Some leading and well-performing brands of dry yeast are Yeast Labs, Cooper’s, DanStar, Munton & Fison and Edme. Stay away from any no-name yeast packet which came taped to the top of the can of malt extract. You have no idea what it is and also just how old it really is.

Ale yeasts are known as top-fermenting due to the fact that much of the fermentation activity occurs at the top of the fermenter. Conversely lager yeasts work at a reduced pace and remain toward the bottom part of the fermenter. The fermentation temperature is another significant difference. Ale yeasts prefer higher temperatures, many will go dormant below 55F (12C), on the other hand Lager yeasts will happily work at 40F. Making use of lager yeast at ale temperatures 65-70F (18-20C) will result in a beer with mixed characteristics, a slightly fruity tasting lager, called California Common Beer. Anchor Steam Beer is probably the most popular examples of this particular style.

If this is going to be your very first home brewing attempt you most likely want to use an ale yeast, mainly because it will finish fermenting much faster. An ale yeast usually takes just a couple of weeks in comparison to a lager yeast that could take about 4 to 6 weeks to totally ferment.

Clear Drinking Glass With Beer

Priming Sugar:
Priming sugar will be added to the beer after it is done fermenting. This is done in the bottling bucket before the beer is bottled. This method of introducing a small amount of fermentable sugar prior to bottling gives the beer carbonation following a couple of weeks of conditioning.

Now that you’ve got an idea of what kind of home brewing supplies are required all you’ve got to do is select a style of beer to make. When you have the necessary home brewing equipment and supplies you will be prepared to start making your own beer.

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