Starting a home microbrewery is something that more and more people are getting interested in. The question many people have is "How do I get started?". Well, we are here to help. What follows is a basic list of the microbrewery equipment you will need to make your first batch. You can find all of these equipments at your local brew shop or online. Shop around as prices can vary widely.
Brew pot and plastic/metal spoon: You may already have a good pot lying around. The minimum suggested size is 4 gallon but it is highly recommend going with at least a 5 gallon pot or larger to give yourself some room while boiling the wort. You need a nice big spoon to stir the wort. You can use a wooden spoon but plastic or metal spoons are less prone to contamination.
Primary fermenter with airtight lid: A food grade 6.5 to 7.5 gallon bucket with lid is recommended. If you have the funds, you can go with a 6 gallon glass carboy with plenty of head space.
Airlock with fitted rubber stopper: This is a cheap and indispensable piece of equipment. They come in many different designs but work on the same principle. An airlock allows CO2 to escape during fermentation and prevents harmful microbes to enter and spoil the beer.
Hydrometer: Used to calculate the density of your beer and determine alcohol content.
Floating thermometer: Used in conjunction with the hydrometer when taking temperature and specific gravity readings.
Bottling bucket with siphoning tap and hose: Transferring the beer to a bottling bucket prior to bottling will minimize the risk of transferring fermenting sediment or residue to the bottles.
Bottles, bottle capper, and bottling tube: Used bottles are a good cost effective option. You can use screw top but a capper provides for a tighter seal and longer shelf life. A bottling tube has a spring loaded valve that makes bottling much easier than regular siphoning.
This equipment list represents the bulk of the equipment needed to start your own home microbrewery. Experienced brewers may or may not agree that this is an exhaustive list, but it is certainly enough to get you going. As you become more experienced, you will find what you feel is indispensable to your home brewing.
One last thing to consider is that the most costly part of making your own beer is getting all the microbrewery equipment you need. However, once you have all the basic equipment, the overall cost to make additional batches declines dramatically, ultimately making home brewed beer more economical than a store-bought micro-brew.