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Home brew essentials: kit yourself out to ensure success

Just like good cooks ensure their kitchens are well equipped so every home brewer, whether eager beginner, enthusiastic hobbyist or dedicated expert, should kit themselves out with some basic equipment to ensure successful wine, beer and cider making at home. Before you get started, you will need to invest in a few essentials – a fermenting bucket for beer and cider while wine makers will need a demijohn with airlock and bung or a dedicated wine fermenter, a long-handled plastic spoon to make stirring your brew so much easier and a siphon tube to transfer your wine, beer and cider into bottles. To avoid disappointment, all your equipment should be cleaned with steriliser before you begin and a thermometer and hydrometer are essential aids to ensure the quality of your home brew. And don’t forget bottles to store your tipple until it’s ready to enjoy; to ensure a proper seal, you’ll also need a twin lever corker and corks for wine and a twin lever capper with caps for beer and cider. Alternatively, you may prefer the keg method of storage for beer and cider in which case you will need a pressure barrel. In addition to basic essentials, you may also need more specialised kit such as yeast, brewing sugar, citric acid, campden tablets and stabiliser. By investing in these basic pieces of equipment, you’ll be giving yourself a head start to success in home brewing.