Homebrewing for Beginners, Part 2: Cooking the Wort


Now that you have your equipment, recipe, and ingredients (Homebrewing for Beginners, Part I: Equipment, Recipe, and Ingredients), it is time to cook the wort (pronounced wert), the liquid that will become your brew. At this stage, grab a notepad and take down every detail. Each recipe differs with how much hops that you add and when, as well as other nuances that dictate the outcome of your brew. Even though you are following a recipe, your notes are of extreme value for future use!

Equipment for cooking the wort and fermentation process.

Equipment List

1 3-4 gallon pot (an enameled or stainless canning pot is best)
1 5-gallon or 6 ½- gallon glass carboy –OR- 1 5-10 gallon new plastic bucket
1 plastic hose clamp to fit 3/8” hose
1 fermentation lock
1 rubber stopper with hole to fit fermentation lock
1 3-foot length of 1 ¼” outside diameter, 1” inside diameter, clear plastic hose
1 large plastic funnel
1 thermometer
1 beer hydrometer
1 bottle Star Stan (for sanitization


If you are using Wyeast liquid packets, make sure that you activate (smack the package) at least 3 hours in advance. Older packets may need up to 1 day to incubate and swell. Plan ahead. 

Please hear this: SANITIZATION IS KEY TO SUCCESSFUL BREWING.  Anything that will be in contact with the wort MUST be sanitized (we use Star San), otherwise the risk of bacteria entering is extremely high. The first step in cooking the wort is sanitizing all equipment: cooking pot, spatula, strainer, funnel, carboy (or brewing bucket), plastic hoses, rubber stopper (or airlock cap), and hydrometer.  A hydrometer is an instrument that measures the density of liquids relative to the density of water.

Adding malt, cooking the wort.

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