How to Homebrew on a small Scale
Homebrewing is a hobby that can be done at any scale. For some it seems like a daunting task, maybe they have a small living space or simply no room for another hobby. Looking on forums to see what others do it can seem like you need to buy a lot of specialised equipment and weird gadgets. But this isn’t true. You can homebrew on a pretty small scale quite easily and most of what you need is standard household equipment. We offer kits that make homebrewing very easy for nearly every type of living space, so let’s delve into what you’ll need.
The most important item you’ll need is a large stock pot. Something that can Take 5-6 litres of water, but not too much bigger as we want to make sure the grain gets submerged. Chances are there will be one lying in the back of your cupboard, maybe even a friend or relative has one they’ve been trying to get rid of for ages. Apart from that what you’ll need is general kitchen equipment. Spoons, cups, measuring jugs, etc. So if you already have all this stuff no more room is being taken up, you’re already most of the way there to being a homebrewer.
So is there any specialist equipment you do need? Yes, but you don’t need industrial equipment. We offer a 9”x7” (22 cm x 18 cm) fermentation bucket that is perfect for small scale homebrewing. It takes 1 gallon of liquid and is pretty easy to store anywhere. You can even keep various homebrewing equipment in there when not in use. While brewing you need to keep the filled bucket in a nice warm area, but the small size means you can easily tuck it away in a corner or storage space. Demijohns are also a popular fermentation vessel. You have to be a bit more careful with them as they are mode of glass. But aesthetically they are great.
Of course you’ll eventually need to bottle your beer, here is where recycling can kick in. Any type of bottle can be used to store your beer if it can be sealed to stop gas getting out, but empty beer bottles are probably the best. Using a capper and some new bottle caps you can easily use and reseal bottles and endlessly. Just make sure they are properly cleaned every time you use them. At first the full bottles should be kept in a warm area to allow secondary fermentation to occur. But afterwards they want to be cooled, allowing all the sediment to drop out of suspension. This can be done by putting the bottles outside, in the fridge or even just a cooler area of your living space.
But what about all this fancy equipment, what is worth having? A hydrometer is the most useful extra tool you can get. It allows you to check the volume of alcohol in your beer. While it is generally interesting to know the percent of alcohol in your beer, this also indicates when primary fermentation is done. Allowing you to bottle your beer at the right time. A food safe thermometer is also a very useful tool while brewing. At many points the process requires certain temperature ranges and you’ll need something to keep track of that. One is included in our homebrew starter set.
Overall you don’t need that much equipment or space to become a homebrewer. If you keep it small scale it can pretty much be done anywhere, while also being pretty easy.