We have a lot of beer enthusiasts on our team, and when we decided we’d start writing The Foodie Press, home brewing was one of our very first ideas for content. We’re so excited to start crafting our own beer (see what we did there?), and since we just picked up everything we need to get started, we figured we’d share that with you.
Here’s what we’re starting with for our home brew:
We recommend picking up water by the gallon because it makes measuring out amounts easier as you brew; just save one of the jugs and refill it with each successive beer you make. It also helps to keep one of the empty gallon jugs full of the easy-clean, no rinse cleaning solution that comes in your Brew Kit. Before you start putting any fermenting ingredients into your buckets, it’s necessary to clean the surface, so we like to have a gallon of solvent on hands at all times. The alcohol swabs are an extra precaution that help with quick cleaning and spot treating certain areas, too.
We’re using Brewer’s Best kits–the Best Equipment and American Amber ingredients kit–since that’s what was stocked (we purchased all of our supplies at Jungle Jim’s International Market, in the Beer and Wine Department). We chose the American Amber to start with because it’s ranked as “Difficulty: Easy” by Brewer’s Best, and we figured it would be a good starting point for anyone starting out with home brewing.
The brew kit is important because it comes with everything that you need to get started, so while it may seem like a pretty big investment, everything that it comes equipped with will be reusable in every successive home brew. You can see what comes in the kit here, but we recommend going into the store to pick one up and talking to an expert; the Beer Department staff at Jungle Jim’s was incredibly helpful when we were putting all of this together.
The ingredients kit comes complete not just with all of the ingredients you’ll need (as the name suggests), but also with directions on how to brew your beer.
You’ll notice that we don’t have a kettle. The shop only had a 12 gallon kettle in stock, and since we’re brewing in 2.5 gallon increments, that was entirely too large for our needs. We wanted a 5 gallon kettle so that there’s plenty of boiling room, and we don’t have any issues with boiling over and making a huge mess. We talked to the staff, and they helped us out by ordering a kettle for us, and it’ll be here in about a week. That’s one of the reasons we recommend going into the store, and particularly shopping at Jungle Jim’s; the staff are great at helping you out and solving problems when they arise!
Now that we have everything we need to get started, all we have to do is brew the beer! Look out for our brewing process in the next couple of weeks.