Welcome to the forum! Many people start off making, or simply make, one gallon batches. You do what works for you. Then when you find something that is deemed a huge success you can then pump up the volume.
Do you have a local home brew store or any amateur groups in your area? Or will you be sourcing all online?
If you will be working with juice only then the all gallon jug theory is fine; but if you plan to incorporate fruit/fruit puree you should grab a food grade 2-3 gallon bucket with lid. Stop by local grocery store deli/bakery and ask if they happen to have an empty bucket/lid that their frosting/filling came in? They usually give them away for free. Sometimes the whole food stores sell/give away gallon glass jugs, or they sell fresh pressed juice in gallon glass jugs. Just avoid anything which contained a vinegar base.
-Triple scale hydrometer and a back up
-wine thief (dedicated turkey baster)-just make sure it fits opening diameter of gallon jug(s)
-hydrometer sample tube
-Thermometer, cheap digital one is fine or the stick on ones
-If working with actual fruit, grab some cheap uncolored nylon panty hose/thigh highs/knee highs and/or a fine & medium nylon mesh straining bag (or paint strainers)
-potassium metabisulphite granules (do not waste $ on Campden tabs, they can tend to leave residual white specks in wine)
-acid blend, citric acid, malic acid, tartaric acid (acid blend is fine, but a variety is great, as you will learn)
-assorted yeasts like EC-1118 and K1V-1116 since they are killer strains and help out if you get stuck ferments; premier cuvee, cotes de blanc (visit here for yeast overviews and you can pick out what you want http://winemakermag.com/guide/yeast
). If you want to make cider maybe grab Nottingham and Safale US-05.
-yeast energizer and yeast nutrient
-measuring utensils: 1/8-1/4-1/2-1 teaspoon, 1 cup
-digital kitchen/postal scale
-collect a few wine bottles so you can have excess for topping up: 750, 500, 375 ml & their coordinating bungs (heavy grade latex balloons work well in a pinch!)
-racking cane, tubing
-auto-siphon is nice(make sure you get the one for gallon jug)
-large funnel with built in strainer
-powdered brewers wash (optional, but works well for cleaning debris from bottles, soaking labels off)
-bottle & carboy brush
-bungs and *s-shaped airlocks* for all jugs
-corks (typically 9x1 3/4) but will depend on your bottles
-double level corker
-wine whip (manual vs drill powered)
-wine bottles (can find them for free usually)
Things to consider:
-pH meter (this is cheap $11, works fine, eBay: http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item...d=380521533210
- acid test kit (TA)
You will make better wine if you get a grasp on pH/TA from the start
-calcium carbonate (for acid reduction)
-* hand held wine bottle vacuum sealer system, like Vacuvin--you can put vacuum adapter on top of s-shaped airlock & use Vacuvin vacuum thing to degas your gallon batches (can also use the Vacuvin corks to preserve any left over wine)*
- dream about the All in One Vacuum Wine Pump ( just check it out)
-Floor corker, if you hate hand corker
-fining agents: review here- http://www.winemakermag.com/stories/...-fining-agents
I would literally individually price your necessary items and then check online for 1-gallon fruit wine equipment starter kits and then add on any other items to determine best price.
Have fun! Sara (going on year 4 and I still make a variety of 1 gallon batches, along with 3-5-6)