The Demijohn comes in a range of shapes and sizes but is essentially the vessel that fermentation will take place once the wort has been produced and cooled.
They can be bought in both plastic and glass forms.
The Airlock is a device which allows the gasses from fermentation to escape whilst keeping those nasties in the atmosphere from getting in and spoiling the beer.
It works as a one way system to achieve this.
Simply half fill the airlock with sanitised water and job done.
The bung is a rubber stopper which the airlock is pushed into. The Bung is then placed in the top of the demijohn to create a seal for the airlock to work it’s Magic.
The thermometer is an essential piece of kit to ensure each of your brewing stages are at the optimum temperature. Whether it’s ensuring the mash is at a high enough temperature or ensuring the wort is cool enough to add the yeast, It’s invaluable.
It’s also useful for monitoring room storage temperature too.
More specifically, a long handled plastic stirring spoon. Being plastic, it can be cleaned easily and the long handle makes it useful for getting to the bottom of those pans to stir the grain or get the hops mixed in well.
There are very mixed reviews as to whether a more porous wooden spoon is a good idea when trying to keep foreign bodies out of the beer.
In my one Gallon brews, these stock pots are perfect for holding enough quantities of liquid and enough grains to produce a fine quality wort from end to end.
I use two stock pots which hold a maximum of 6 litres and have had a enough space to brew every beer so far.
funnel with sieve:
Once the wort has finished at the boiling stage and has been cooled enough, it needs to be transferred to the demijohn for fermentation.
A funnel with a built in sieve allows you to fill the demijohn whilst catching any left over grains, hops or other ingredients.
This ensures your beer can be as clear and sediment free as possible in the long run.
A large standard sieve is invaluable for holding the grains over the stockpot whilst going through the sparge process. Ensure it is a fine mesh sieve and is as big as possible to hold all those grains.
Overtime, I’ve found that a pair of tights wrapped around the sieve can stop the mesh from clogging.
Better than that, Brewing your beer in a muslin bag makes transferring from pan to sieve and vice versa so much easier.
Keeping all that equipment clean and germ free is vital with brewing beers. This can be bought in the form of a powder or individual tablets.
Soak everything being used in the process for 20 minutes before using and you can ensure that there wont be any spoilage.
The Syphon along with a sediment trap which tends to come with the tubing these days, allows you to transfer your fermented beer from the demijohn into bottles quickly and efficiently.
They also come with clips which allow you to stop the flow when moving from bottle to bottle.
Useful but not essential kit
Bottle cleaning brush:
Once your beer has been bottled, you are usually left with a demijohn which contains leftover sediment and built in scum around the inside.
A long handled bottle cleaning brush allows you to get inside and scrub everything away.
Along with a little soap and warm water, you will be cleaning the demijohn with ease.
The leftover scum can be pretty tough so a little soaking is recommended too.
Bottle Capper & Caps:
A bottle Capper could be essential dependant on how you prefer to bottle your beers. If your using plastic PET bottles then you can rely on screw top caps.
A twin lever bottle capper will allow you to crimp your crown caps onto bottle creating a tight seal.
Caps need to be bought separately and Its not recommended reusing those old caps.
One really useful technique I’ve discovered and used regularly is to fill a small stitched muslin bag with the grains and place this in the stockpot for the mash process.
The muslin bag allows you to keep the grains in one place and transfer from pan to sieve with easy.
It also makes things that much easier when going through the sparge process.