Which homebrew set up is for you?

From a stove top to a 20-litre all-grain brew. Here’s how to get started

There are almost as many different homebrew set-ups as there are homebrewers. And like all good hobbies, it can be started with very little investment, but as you become more experienced, you can begin to improve your gear and get better and better results. Throughout this book, we have used our favourite set up, but much of it can be substituted. Think of it as a modular system where you can upgrade elements when you want to work on bigger batches, go all-grain or make the brew day a little shorter.


The first aspect to consider is the size of the brew. In homebrewing terms, the two most common brew sizes are 3.8 litres (one gallon) and 23 litres (five gallons). All the recipes in this book are for 23 litres but can be easily scaled down. One gallon brews (usually extract) can be made on the stove top with a large stock

Which homebrew set up is for you?

From a stove top to a 20-litre all-grain brew. Here’s how to get started

There are almost as many different homebrew set-ups as there are homebrewers. And like all good hobbies, it can be started with very little investment, but as you become more experienced, you can begin to improve your gear and get better and better results. Throughout this book, we have used our favourite set up, but much of it can be substituted. Think of it as a modular system where you can upgrade elements when you want to work on bigger batches, go all-grain or make the brew day a little shorter.


The first aspect to consider is the size of the brew. In homebrewing terms, the two most common brew sizes are 3.8 litres (one gallon) and 23 litres (five gallons). All the recipes in this book are for 23 litres but can be easily scaled down. One gallon brews (usually extract) can be made on the stove top with a large stock pot and a plastic fermenting bucket. As you jump up to five gallons, it’s unlikely your stove will have enough energy to bring it all to a rolling boil (and your kitchen ceiling will thank you). You’d need to invest in an electric kettle (a converted tea urn basically) or, our preference, a burner and a large pot.


The next consideration is whether you are extract brewing or all-grain brewing. Many homebrewers start with extract but quickly upgrade to all-grain to get more flavour out of their beer. The key addition for all-grain brewing is a mash tun which is usually a converted coolbox.


The final consideration is storing it. You can keep it in a pressurised plastic barrel, bottles or a small keg system. Once you answer those questions, you can be making great beer with very little investment, and add to your gear as you go along.

See all our homebrew kit to fit in with any set up here