Getting Started. Your first ever brew.
You've been pondering over brewing your first batch of home brewed beer for a while and now ready to take the plunge. It's time and all that's been mulling around in your head, from brewing equipment, kitchen space, planning, brewing times and what to brew for the very first time is going to be put into action. Naturally, like all first timers you'll want to know when it will it be ready to drink and importantly will it taste good.
Brewing for the first time can be surprisingly easy and cheap providing you don't get carried away and over indulge in buying fancy brewing equipment and ingredients. Follow simple brewing procedure, keep it simple and you'll brew drinkable tasty beer everytime you brew.
If you're not sure beer brewing is for you yet, then you'll do well to utilize what you already have in the kitchen in regards to utensils and even some ingredients. Simply compliment what you haven't got with the bare essentials.
What you need
First of all using stuff from your kitchen will have it's limitations compared to the smitten home brewers setup. That's not necessarily a bad thing and as there are advantages of keeping it small and simple.
Size does matter, smaller is quicker and easier.
Brewing requires boiling and for that we need a vessel, a saucepan or cook-pot. The largest vessel in the average household is probably around 10 litres which is ideal for brewing a small 5-6 litre batch of beer. Boiling is necessary to ensure unwanted bacteria and b-tastes are removed by heat and evaporation. Boiling will typically take from 30-40 minutes to 90 minutes depending on the recipe. The boiling will cause frothing and plenty of headroom in the kitchen saucepan will avoid messy spillover to your stove top.
Unlike the seasoned home brewer who will probably brew 19-23 litres in a specialized 30 litre saucepan or “kettle” as it's called, we're using what we have already and keeping the brew small which has advantages:
It's literally lighter with no struggling lifting heavy equipment and ingredients
Everything is scaled down so it's easier cleaning, disinfecting (sanitizing) and cooling.
No added expense and time for purchasing and maintenance or finding storage space of specialized brewing equipment,
The whole brew day is simply quicker and easier to handle and ideal for the beginner, a quick brew or a new experimental brew.