Extract Brewing Systems
Extract brewing systems can be simple. You may already have a lot of the equipment you will need to brew great beer at home. Or, you can go all-out and purchase an all-in-one setup which will include everything you could possibly need to brew an extract beer recipe.
Most of the actual brewing will take place on your kitchen stove to begin with (with your spouse’s permission of course). As you progress and gather more and more brewing equipment, and begin making more complex beers, you may decide to move outdoors. The main difference will be that you will need a propane burner and propane tank. These are great pieces of equipment to have on hand anyway, for boiling crawfish, shrimp or crabs (I’m so lucky to live in South Louisiana!).
Eventually all homebrewers get kicked out of the kitchen. Relax, it just means that you are growing as a homebrewer. This is the first step, and a peek at what the all grain brewers already know, “outside is good”. It’s easier to clean up your messes, no one bothers you, you can have all your buddies over to talk and drink homebrew, and you won’t monopolize the kitchen for most of the day.
Equipment for Extract Brewing Systems
If you are starting from scratch as a novice homebrewer, here is how to begin brewing with extract ingredients:
First of all you’ll need to buy or gather your extract brewing systems equipment. One great source for all your extract brewing equipment is MoreBeer.com, they will have everything you need and more. These are some of the items you will need:
- Two food grade plastic buckets (at least 5 gallons, preferably 7.5 gallons or larger)
- Lid for one bucket that fits tight (for the fermenter)
- Large kettle (20 quarts is best, either stainless or enameled steel)
- Long handled spoon for stirring
- Digital thermometer
- Racking cane
- 5/16″ ID food grade vinyl hose for siphoning with the racking cane
- Clamp to fit on hose to stop flow
- 48 brown beer bottles (not twist off) with capper and bottle caps
- Small heat-proof measuring cup ie. pyrex
- No-rinse sanitizer such as StarSan
Nice to Have, But Not Mandatory Equipment
Here is some equipment that isn’t mandatory but it makes extract brewing easier and much more enjoyable:
- Spring-loaded bottle filler
- Stainless strainer
- Bottle brush and carboy brush
- Hydrometer and hydrometer cylinder for SG measurements
- Muslin bag for grain and bag for hops
- Glass carboys 5 gallon and/or 6 gallon
- Auto siphon-it’s all done manually in the beginning
- Propane tank and burner if you plan to extract brew outdoors.
Extract Brewing Recipe Ingredients
We’re talking equipment up to now, but once you purchase or gather your extract brewing setup, you will need to order the ingredients. You can buy your ingredients separately, or you can order an extract brewing kit which has everything you need to brew a batch of beer at home.
You will either have to go to your local homebrew supply store or purchase them online. If you don’t have a LHBS close by, MoreBeer.com has you covered with shipping points on both coasts.
A lot of the equuipment here was adapted from John Palmer’s book, How To Brew.