Brewing your own beer by hand is soooo 1992. You can now automate most of the process using an Arduino controller and some source code over at Halfluck.com.
As for materials, you’ll need an Arduino board, an LCD and serial board, two temperature sensors, four push buttons, four solid state relays, one 2400-watt heater element, two perastaltic pumps, and one spit motor.
The system, once assembled, can apparently whip up a pretty consistent batch of beer and can be remotely controlled and monitored. As for the copious scrubbing and disinfecting involved with homebrewing equipment, you’re on your own for that.