There are several explanations why you would want to build your own beer: being a hobby, as an easy way of trying different flavors that you simply aren't able to find with the big brands, or even in an effort to cut costs by trying to reproduce some expensive craft beers.
Whatever the reason, brewing beer your own self is less easy as baking a cake and there's a much more equipment involved. You will need no less than: a stainless-steel brew pot, a fermenter, a spiral immersion chiller, thermometer, hydrometer, airlock, bottles, caps, bottler capper, bottle filler, tubing, sanitation solution. Not to mention the constituents: malt, hops, yeast and optional flavoring ingredients.
By trying to buy everything separately for the first time, you may easily get overwhelmed by the range of both equipments and models available. Along with your odds of success with your first batches are greatly diminished.
The most effective way for aspiring home brewers to get going is to apply a Home Brewing Kit, also called Core kit. These kits have every one of the gear you will have to help make your first batch of beer in addition to the ingredients, usually by means of malt extract, yeast and fresh hops.
Basic homebrew kits have a plastic fermenter and a plastic bottling bucket with a spigot (both usually 6 gallons), thermometer, hydrometer, large stirring spoon, airlock, siphon, sanitizer solution, bottles, caps, bottle capper, ingredients (beer kit with malt extract, brewing sugar, brewing yeast and carbonation drops) plus a step-by-step instruction DVD or book.The brew pot usually is sold separately.
There are different home brewing kits, ranging in price from under $100 to around $400. The main difference the following is in the how big the buckets - which allows for more or less beer in every batch - plus the caliber of the apparatus. Some kits should include kegs, for individuals who don't want to bother with bottles, although bottling can help in beer maturing and it is preferred by people who brew ales. If you are brewing lagers for your hot summer days, then kegging may be a choice. Remember, though, that lager is recognized as more difficult to brew than ale, especially because it requires colder fermenting temperatures. So if you are an absolute beginner, you might want to go with ales.
The fantastic thing about these kits is that they can be used again and again - you only have to refill the constituents since they are consumed. When you gain experience, you may want to replace a number of the equipment inside your basic starter kit with increased advanced items, or bigger ones in order to increase production. By now, you will have greater familiarity with what and where to purchase.
Eventually, you'll switch the core kit your own personal custom one, with your favorite home brewing supplies, an ideal setup to suit your brewing needs and preferences.