The best equipment for making beer, wine, cider and mead at home (2021)


At the beginning The quarantine peak last year was because everyone scrambled to go to the supermarket to stock up flour and yeast for emergencies. Homemade bread, My brother and I had another idea: hoarding malt barley.

For the past eight years, we would hang out with our dog in his shady driveway almost every Saturday, barbecue lunch, and make a batch of fresh beer. We have steadily developed from a novice to a relatively experienced winemaker, and recently we have been exploring fresh local ingredients (recently, Oregon malted barley). However, if we say that we are doing this for a stable supply of soapy water, then we are lying.

Just like barbecue or gardening, making wine at home is more than just a way to get cheap wine. It also directly connects you to the history of human cooking and science.For example, did you know that we may have changed from hunter-gatherers to farmers Because of our love for beer? What about the facts? Louis Pasteur discovers pasteurization When researching spoiled wines–and He hates german beer?

One thing I like is how easy it is to cultivate this hobby. You may be able to make something drinkable the first time you try, but if you put in a little work, you can make something very professional. It mainly requires the ability to read instructions.After you finish, your product can help you relax A long day in the doomsday scroll.

Want to try it? It does not require a lot of cash. The following is the knowledge needed to make beer, wine, cider and mead.

Update July 2021: We have updated links and pricing, and added some tips on buying malt and hops in bulk.

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Key concepts

It is easy to make alcohol. Take a sugary liquid, add sugar yeast, and wait.

When yeast eats sugar, it produces alcohol and carbon dioxide. Wait long enough (a few weeks) and you will get a fully fermented drink that is (probably) safe to drink. For the sake of quality, when fermenting your own wine, please keep the following general tips in mind:

health

Hygiene is the most important part of any fermentation process. You need to make sure that all items that come into contact with the liquid before and after fermentation have been thoroughly disinfected with no-rinse disinfectant (see the section on Star San below). This prevents the entry of unpleasant yeast and other contaminants and ensures shelf stability.

Photo: Parker Hall

Yeast health

There is a proverb in the brewing world that the brewer is actually just the gatekeeper of the beautification: Yeast is what really makes beer. This couldn’t be more real. Keeping your biological friends happy is the most important thing for a good-tasting wine. Make sure to put in the right amount of yeast cells and keep the fermentation within the recommended temperature range for the specific yeast you are using.

Patience, grasshopper

“Relax, don’t worry, have a glass of homemade beer” is the most popular saying in the home fermentation industry, and there is a reason. It takes time to make a good wine, it is important not to rush for it, even if you are very excited!

All the tools needed

There is a good chance that there is a homebrew supply store in your area. I recommend buying as much of this equipment locally as possible, as the specialists in the store are a valuable resource. If you are more remote, we provide a link to buy this equipment online. If you want to buy malt, hops or other raw materials in bulk, buying locally is an excellent way to save shipping costs. Pro tip: In the United States, hops are harvested in August and September, so you will often see good discounts from last year at that time. Fresh hops are on the market in December.

  • $11 thermometer: You need a high-quality and accurate thermometer to check the temperature of various liquids. I like this long one because you won’t steam your hands on a hot water bottle.
  • $33 hydrometer: The hydrometer is a cute small floating thermometer that can measure the density of a liquid instead of its temperature. By measuring the density before and after fermentation, you can know the alcohol content very accurately. When alcohol appears in the solution-a byproduct of yeast sugar-the liquid becomes less dense.
  • Kitchen Scale 20 dollars: A simple kitchen scale like the Etekcity model will help you measure everything from hops to honey.
  • $14 for siphon: Once fermented, you need a way to take the precious drink out of the barrel. The automatic siphon allows you to do this without sucking the hose, which will require you to disinfect everything again.
  • Fermentation tank, now $28: Fermentation tanks range from large glass tanks to exquisite stainless steel tanks, etc., but the best starting point is to use simple food-grade plastic barrels and lids similar to Home Brew Ohio. It is affordable, so you don’t have to worry about breaking the glass when you drop it. Professional Type: When cleaning these, use only the soft side of the sponge. The rough side will cause abrasion in the barrel, and wild yeast and bacteria will adhere to the barrel during cleaning and sanitation.
  • 7 dollar airlock: The air lock is a simple device that is installed on the top of the fermentation tank to discharge carbon dioxide-another major by-product of fermentation in addition to alcohol-while keeping the inside of the barrel isolated from wild yeast and bacteria. This bag can make you five cheaper.

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