Problem. Most people don’t just have a huge barrel for brewing laying about the house, or the shed.. well. maybe in the shed, but that had weed killer or petrol in it beforehand, so it’s a bad idea.
DON’T! just use a random old barrel that you found in the shed. It’ll end in tears.
What you need is a food grade container, of at least 10 litres capacity to make a small batch of beer or cider with. Ideally, it’ll be easy to clean, and have a bung and tap at the bottom.
Specialised home brewing barrels can be expensive- expect to pay in excess of $100 for one.
You used to be able to get brew kits from the local corner store, or supermarket, but they are harder to find nowadays. not enough profit in it I suppose. I had to do a lot of running around to figure out where to get home brewing supplies from, that was not an expensive specialty store.
Of all places I discovered that Dan Murphys, (a bottle shop??, where they sell pre brewed alcohol??) you can buy a kit with all you need for $120.
Big W has a lot of the gear you may need too, including bench cappers and other accessories, though for some products, they aren’t quite as cheap. It pays to shop around.
Dan’s also has a set of 15 bottles that are suitable for brewing. When brewing, its important to have suitable bottles to put your beverages in- Thin glass bottles- they have a tendency to explode. That can really spoil your DIY experience, as your brew could make a huge mess, blow holes in plaster walls, and possibly injure somebody, leading to a potential lawsuit.
Luckily, at the local coles or woolies supermarket, there’s something that almost fits the criteria- a 12 litre plastic water goon cask or brick, which will set you back a princely $4
Empty it out, and cut a hole in the top of the water brick with a decent knife.
Use a stabbing and cutting motion, working from the corners to make a hole large enough to enable you to put your hand in to clean the barrel after use.
You may want to set up the lid with a closable flap so you can keep the dust out of the barrel during storage, but this was a Mark one version, so i just cut a hole. It works. water and ingredients go in, get mixed, and you can set it up off the edge of your bench to fill the bottles with ease.
For your first brew, you may like to take advantage of the sterile, pure and contaminant free water the spring water brick contains, especially if you live in a country area where the tap water doesn’t taste the best.
When you are ready to get serious about your brewing, it;ll be time to buy the proper equipment and get the right advice- if you live in ballarat, try http://ballarathomebrew.com.au