According to The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 50.7% of Americans are current alcohol drinkers. It is safe to say Americans love to drink.
Many a beer lover is discovering the joy of brewing their own beer at home. Are you looking to get in on the home brewing trend? Your first order of business is shopping for brew kettles.
In this post, we cover what you need to start brewing at home and what makes for a high-quality brew kettle. Grab a beer, sit back, and keep reading for all you need to know.
Table of Contents
Home Brewing Equipment
You might be surprised to learn that home brewing doesn’t require a lot of equipment to get started. The essentials for a home brewery are:
- Brew kettle
- Fermentation bucket
- Bottling bucket
- No-rinse food-grade sanitizer
- Glass bottles
- Bottle caps
- Bottle capper
There are other items to add to your collection as your hobby develops but the above is all you really need to get started. If you want to know the alcohol content of your beer when it is done brewing you will also need a hydrometer.
Beer Brewing Kettles
The brew kettle is the cornerstone of your operation regardless if you plan to extract or all-grain brew. You don’t want to use just any kettle or pot if you want premium homemade beer. Consider the following attributes before buying your beer kettle.
The size of your kettle will directly determine the amount of beer you can brew in one go. However, there is a minimum size of 3 gallons needed as you will need a certain amount of ingredients to make even a small batch.
You want the kettle to be large enough to boil a good amount of wort. Not enough wort is the most common mistake resulting in low-quality beer. For brewing a 5-gallon batch of homebrew beer we recommend a 7.5-gallon kettle or bigger.
The extra capacity gives you protection against boilovers.
The best metal for your brew kettle is stainless steel. Stainless steel is a non-reactive metal and easy to clean. Stainless steel is expensive but if it is the best quality beer you are after, you want stainless steel.
A cheap yet good alternative is aluminum. Aluminum is lightweight and inexpensive.
However, there will ultimately be trace aluminum toxicity in your beer if you use an aluminum kettle. Keep in mind that aluminum transfers heat better than stainless steel and this fact may affect the boil time needed.
Some brew kettles have additional features that make brewing beer a little easier. Not all, but most, brew kettles have graduated volume markings or a glass sight volume indicator.
Some brew kettles have integrated spigots for draining to the fermentor and thermometers to gauge temperature. You can learn more here about brew kettles before you make a final decision.
High-Quality Brew Kettles
Think of purchasing your brewing equipment as an investment, one you would like to last you for the years of brewing to come. Deciding on high-capacity and high-quality stainless steel brew kettles will cost you a bit more in the beginning but in the end, they will last longer and produce better beer.
Cheers, and thank you for following our blog. Check back with us often for more articles.