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What You’ll Need



  • 3mL glass vials (choosing size)
  • 100mL glass vials (empty, pre-sterilized & sealed or make your own)
  • Vial caps (make sure right size for vials)
  • Butyl rubber vial stoppers (make sure right size for vials)


  • Pre-sterilized and sealed glass vials (3/5/10mL). Only use these if you’re making 1-2 vials at a time as it must be punctured to fill, thus accelerating expiration. The use of pre-sterilized and sealed vials substantially lowers risk of contamination, assuming the vials are finished within a couple of months of filling. This guide will not touch on this subject further as the focus here is bulk. When you puncture to fill, use a second needle puncture to allow air to escape as you fill the vial. (see step 6 for more details).


  • Large sterile luer lock syringes to use with filtration (10-50mL, larger is more difficult to push because math)
  • Sterile 0.22μm hydrophilic PTFE syringe filters (how to choose)
  • Isopropyl alcohol 70% (IPA) (higher percentage is NOT better, use 70%)
  • Disinfecting hand soap
  • Aluminum foil
  • Distilled water
  • Poured and ready sterile Tryptic Soy Agar (TSA) plates+ (with and without neutralizer, how to make at home)
  • Biological indicators1
  • Autoclave indicator strips+ (more)


  • Autoclave (we use an Instant Pot, though a stove top pressure cooker would likely work too)
  • Milligram scale
  • Glass media containers/beakers for mixing
  • Glass stirring rod
  • Vial crimper (that will fit your vial size, i.e. 13mm or 20mm)
  • Table that can be sanitized to work on (don’t work directly on wood)
  • Oven that reaches 250°C/482°F
    • Oven thermometer to verify temps in your oven
  • Baking sheet/tray/dish
  • Spray bottle for the IPA
  • HEPA Air purifier+
  • Laminar flow hood+ OR a still air box
  • Plastic sheeting for creating a makeshift clean room


  • Face masks
  • Latex or Nitrile gloves, ideally sterile
  • Long sleeve gown with wrist cinches (if unavailable, use freshly laundered item that is put on just before entering the clean room)
  • Shoe covers
  • Hair covers (includes facial hair)

← 1. Getting Started 3. Prepare Work Area →


+Indicates that the use of this item is going above and beyond what people who are brewing for just themselves likely need to engage in. If you are brewing to distribute, either for mutual aid or for sale, we encourage you to follow these extra steps to ensure the safety of those who are receiving your vials. If you’re brewing for yourself and you’re immunocompromised, you may consider investing in these additional items as well. There is no data that says where the line is, so we err towards conservative safety.

  1. Biological indicators are currently out of scope until we can find a way to lower cost. All indicators we can find for sale come in packages of hundreds. Contact us if you know more.