One Pot Brewing consists of 12 items and 2 optional items. Yeah you heard me: 12 items. Buying everything new, it costs about $245 for the equipment and about $20 per batch of beer after that (5 gal). See also cost and process. (note: some of this stuff I got from Craigslist much cheaper than the price shown. I suggest you do the same).
Update: A reader of the blog created a nice Amazon List, for your convenience. Because prices fluctuate, the list comes out closer to $281 total and doesn’t include a barley crusher or fermentation chamber.
We start with a big ass pot:
$50 Pot (Amazon)
The crown jewel of One Pot Brewing, a 52 quart (13 gallon) aluminum tamale steamer. If you get a tiny weak ass pot, you will probably have to sparge like a little bitch (which involves more equipment). This fits a ton of grain and water, allowing bigger beers or batch sizes. The only vessel in the One Pot Brewing system.
Now, something to bottle from:
$16 Spigot (Amazon)
A spigot to bottle from. Believe it or not, this little fucking spigot was the hardest piece of equipment to find. Punch a whole in the pot, about 2 inches from the bottom, so that all the gunk and crap can settle below it, leaving the beer nice and clear. I had a friend punch the hole for me, but it’s not hard. Looks like this installed:
Next a custom made bag (seen above):
$30 Bag (BrewinaBag.com)
It’s strong, durable bag to hold all the barley in; customized to the pot, convenient, and easy to clean. The beauty of using a bag is that, once you soak the barely in hot water, you simply pull the bag out, squeeze it, and throw the grains away.
Speaking of squeezing a super hot sack of barley. Don’t burn yourself. You need gloves for that:
Chemical gloves. You can find them at the grocery store or hardware store.
Next a heat source. Trust me: the kitchen stove takes forever. Get a propane burner:
$50 Burner (Amazon)
For the price, the Bayoo is a good burner. I get to mash temp (155F) in about 15 minutes or so, and get from 155 to a boil even faster. Try Craigslist.
$45 Propane Tank (Lowes, filled)
Refills cost me about $15. Walgreens is around $25. Can’t remember how long they last for, but I want to say 10 batches or so? If propane goes out while brewing (it did once), throw it on the stove.
When you soak the barley in hot water, it should be around 155F. When you ferment, it should be around 70F.
$30 Large Bottles (optional)
You obviously don’t need to buy bottles. Almost all commercial craft brew bottles work (no screw-tops). I use big 22 oz bottles (called ‘bombers’) because they make bottling day faster, take up less space, and require less caps. At my homebrew store, they come in 12 packs for $15. Two cases is roughly a 5 gallon batch, roughly 44 beers. So you can get by with 2 cases. I have 4 cases of them – $60.
$2/box Sugar Cubes
These are nothing more than sugar cubes, cane sugar to be exact. I was so happy to experiment with these little assholes! The cheapest way to carbonate your beer, by far! Just add one cube for a 12 oz bottle, two cubes for a 22 oz bottle (which is what I use), and that’s it. Previously I was using special ‘Carb Drops’ from my homebrew store. They were sort of the Achilles heel of One Pot Brewing; although convenient, very expensive considering the fact they are just….sugar. Carb Drops were costing me about 4 dollars per batch (50 beers). These bad ass Domino Sugar Cubes, on the other hand, cost only 50 cents per batch! In other words, one box will make around 100 22oz bottles, about 3.8 batches of beer. Boo yah!
$6 Hydrometer (Optional, homebrew store)
It’s heresy to say a hydrometer is optional for making beer. But I didn’t use one for 50 batches. So, suck it. However, using a hydrometer is not a bad idea; I actually use one now, just to make sure. It’s the only way to be certain that the beer is done fermenting. If you bottle the beer prematurely, the bottles can explode or be over-carbonated.
~$80 Fermentation Chamber (Optional, Craigslist)
This is highly optional but highly convenient. My thoughts here. It allows you to set any temperature you want, hot or cold: for fermenting, cold crashing, and bottling. Parts: (1) cheap fridge from Craiglist (2) plug and play temperature controller (3) some sort of heating device that plugs in. Requires virtually no mechanical skills. After you get several batches under your belt, I do recommend it. It makes brewing so much simpler.