Owing to this admiration and veneration, it is easy to understand why homebrewed beer is so much treasured. However, since brewing beer is a long, delicate and multifaceted process, it can be difficult and daunting for you as an amateur or even a seasoned brewer to make your own brew unless you have the proper equipment. Fortunately, there is no shortage of reputable shortcuts. With beer brewing kits, brewing beer is now within everyone’s reach regardless of whether you are a seasoned brewer or an armature exploring the realm of this magical drink.
Certainly, this much freedom could only mean one thing – you can brew your own beer, according to your tastes and preferences. The problem is, choosing a good home brewing beer kit is not all fun and games. I mean, with the market being flooded with all sorts of kits, anyone’s brain can get shrouded by marketing cliché and fail to seal the real deal. Luckily, that’s where we come in. we understand that making an informed decision can be a daunting and intimidating undertaking. For that reason, we have created an elaborate and comprehensive guide to help you triumphantly navigate the murky waters that are home beer brewing kits. Besides an unbiased review of handpicked and tested kits, this guide also contains virtually anything there is to know about home beer brewing kits and the entire brewing process.
Top 10 Home Beer Brewing Kits
First and foremost, let’s have a look at some of the best and most reputable kits you can find in the market today. And if you’ve previously bought a kit and got disappointed by its mediocre and lousy beer, hold your horses because this list contains the crème dela crème of home beer brewing kits.
If you are looking for an idyllic masculine gift for a beer connoisseur or you are a novice taking the first baby steps in the dominion of brewing, this Brewbarrel starter kit comes with a lot to be desired and admired and this is for several reasons.
First and foremost, everything required to brew beer is included in the package. In other words, you will not need any equipment, bottles, or knowledge in brewing beer to enjoy the unique Brewbarrel Brew house experience!
This Brewbarrel kit can make 5 liters of beer in one week, thanks to its 3 potent ingredients which are a bottle of liquid malt extract, a bottle of natural hop flavor and a bag of hop brewer’s yeast. Moreover, unlike most home beer brewing kits, it comes with basic equipment for fermentation. These include a 5 liter drum (1.32 gallons), a pressure control valve and 3 sub-blocks.
Complete with all the ingredients and accessories necessary to brew beer, this Brewbarrel Kit is a worthy contender that you can use to make your beer at home without additional equipment or ingredients. All you have to do is pour the various ingredients into the cask and wait a week to enjoy a beautiful and delicious lager. All in all, this is undoubtedly one of the most efficient, holistic, and complete home beer kits available and certainly a must for any ardent beer lover.
| Can brew up to five liters of beer approximately 1.32 gallons|
It takes only a week for the beer to be ready
A complete set with everything you need to brew
|Can only be used once|
The DIY Coopers European larger kit exemplifies and epitomizes the true spirit of the finest and smoothest lagers from around the world. The lager is best served chilled in tall narrow glasses so that you or your friends can savor the herbaceous and distinctive hop aroma and crisp finish. But before you can get there, here is what is what it does and how it does it.
This DIY Beer kit by Coopers comes with 2 ingredients which can brew up to 23 liters or approximately 6 gallons of Lager beer. These include a box containing malt extract and a packet of liquid yeast. All you have to do is get the kit cranking and follow the elaborate steps described in the instruction manual. Child’s play, isn’t it?
With hand picked and carefully selected ingredients, this kit allows you to get a great Lager beer without breaking your head during the preparation process. It is an ideal choice for beginners and all beer aficionados who want to brew topnotch homemade beer without caring too much about the entire brewing process.
| Can make an impressive 6 gallons of beer|
Easy to use
Ideal for both beginners and professionals
| Comes with only 2 ingredients|
With the IPA Edition 2 from Mr. Beer, you receive a patented and cutting edge brewing equipment coupled with high quality ingredients that streamline the entire home beer brewing process. This brewing system includes a lightweight and compact fermenter inspired by professional brewing equipment.
These accessories include Elf 25 oz. Reusable and unbreakable bottles specially designed to carbonize beer. There is also a can of beer extract – a concentrated form of barley and natural malt hops – produced in a state-of-the-art facility.
The fermentation chamber is precisely designed to simplify your brewing process. It comes with a large opening for easy cleaning, an integrated airlock, a trunnion collector and a faucet. All these accessories work in tandem to reduce the required equipment and also saves time during preparation and bottling process.
All in all, this kit offers the best ready-to-use brewer experience with a simple step-by-step guide, as well as easy-to-use brewing materials and ingredients. In other words, this home brewing kit comes everything you need to start brewing. Moreover, brewing with hops and malt extracts from Mr. Beer is perfect for all brewers. Regardless of if you are a first timer or a veteran in the art of brewing. It reduces the time, reduces the risk of contamination and ensures a smooth beer every time you conjure.
| Elf 25 oz. Reusable and unbreakable bottles|
A light and compact fermenter
Ideal for both novice and pro brewers
Eligible for refills
|A relatively low capacity of 2 gallons|
This home brewing kit form Northern Brewer is with no doubt an excellent brewery kit that is fit for all. To be precise, it comes with virtually everything you need to make impressive beer, including an IPA Chinook recipe kit. It’s not just a recipe, but a complete set of handpicked ingredients. This perhaps, accounts for the company’s marketing statement “Your first home brew is a guaranteed success”.
And though this home brewing kit is perfect for beginners, it also contains high quality components and accessories that could usefully complement the arsenal of experienced brewers. These include two glass bottles (a 6-gallon primary fermenter and a 5-gallon secondary fermenter), funnels, tubing, bottling bucket and quality faucet.
The only thing missing from this homemade kit that prevents it from being a real “ready to use” homemade system are bottles and of course a kettle. However, none of these omissions is as serious as it may seem, as most home kits don’t come with these items.
| Ideal for any level of brewing experience|
It comes with a manual which contains elaborate instructions
A complete set of homemade ingredients and recipe
|Does not come with bottles and a kettle|
Though most of the previous brewing kits are an excellent choice to start with, the Ohio RL-WKZ2-0IJS Full Gold Beer Kit is not.
This does not mean that it is of inferior quality. Far from there this kit contains high quality accessories and is perhaps one of the most adaptable systems on beer brewing kits market. This is partly because there are few frills here and there. In other words, this home kit is designed to provide exactly what you need to brew and the taste you need to achieve.
To achieve this, it comes with virtually all the equipment needed for brewing with the exception of a kettle and a thermometer. However, the included accessories and components are cutting edge and very easy to use.
For those with intermediate experience, this kit comes with easy-to-follow instructions that provide tips for the entire brewing process. Moreover, there is virtually every accessory and ingredient necessary to brew a respectable mug of beer. For a brewer who wants a kit that works with any brewed beer and is experienced enough to handle the complicated parts of the process, the Ohio RL-WKZ2-0IJS Full Gold Beer Kit is a solid choice.
| Brewing instructions included, easy to read and follow|
High quality glass beer bottles included
Bottle stopper included in the kit
Easy to use
| Beer mug not included|
Thermometer not included
If you are looking for a beer brewing kit that epitomizes the true spirit of beer making, this 3. Coopers DIY Beer Dark Ale Homebrewing kit could be your perfect choice. Unlike other kits, it is one of the few that is fully designed and manufactured by a brewery which is also the largest manufacturer of home beer brewing kits and has been in the beer brewing trade for over 150 years. Coopers have developed this comprehensive set to enable anyone, all the way from novices to veteran brewers make all qualities and styles of beer.
This kit consists of a complete set of ingredients and tools allowing you to produce up 6 gallons. These include a brewing bucket, a fermentation bucket with bubbler, a filling rod, an encapsulator with 100 capsules, and of course cleaning accessories.
Moreover, this kit is one of a kind. It comes with a patented one step fermenter whose deign is inspired by conical fermenter like it is done in breweries but modified for home use. Its Krause collar facilitates for the brew to expand during the fermentation process in a bid to increase capacity and avoid overflow. With this, you don’t have to worry about your had earned beer spilling.
Coopers is also among the few home brewing kits manufacturers who make their own ingredients. From the grain to the glass, the company controls and oversees the whole process to guarantee you high quality and optimal ingredients. In addition to this, the kits comes with other vital brewing kits such as a bottling valve, hydrometer, PET bottles and a reusable oxygen barrier.
With its full range of equipment and a beer kit included, this Coopers kit set is among the best on the market. Thanks to it, you can become a true master brewer at home and amaze your friends.
| An impressive capacity of 6 gallons|
Eligible for refills
Comes with proprietary brewing yeast
A comprehensive kit with all you need to start brewing
|Can only make one type of bear|
How to Choose a Home Beer Brewing Kit
Making beer is a long and complex process, which not only demands you to follow specific steps, but also to have the proper equipment. With these two crucial components, a good beer brewing kit should achieve an impressive in 1-4 weeks. The process typically involves 3 steps. Namely:
- Preparation which includes malting and mashing
- Beer packaging
Even if the process might look daunting from the first glance, there is nothing to worry about. The home beer brewing kits reviewed in this guide will simplify the entire process for you even you have no beer brewing knowledge. Nevertheless, if you want to make beer yourself at home to impress your friends or quench your thirst, the first thing to do is buy a good beer brewing kit. Luckily for you, this section is dedicated to helping you make an informed decision when time to get one of these artistic machines comes.
Types of Beer Brewing Kits
Typically, there are two types of beer brewing kits which include All grain beer brewing kits and Starter beer kits. The difference between these two is the complexity of use and therefore the choice largely depends on the level of expertise of the brewer.
What is the difference between a starter beer kit and all grain kit?
As noted earlier, the major difference between a beer kit and any grain kit is the level of expertise required to use one or the other and in the level of processing of the ingredients. Both kits can be used by beginners but the later demands more attention.
A beer kit, popularly known as concentrated extract of hopped malt is a set of ingredients mixed in a given recipe and is in the form of a syrup or powder. All you have to do is simply pour the mixture into hot water then proceed to fermentation and packaging of the beer after it has matured. This simplicity in the preparation process allows you to brew and to obtain large amounts of beer in a very short period of time. Nevertheless, the fermentation time is the same as that of all grain kits.
NB: Beer kits are usually sold without accessories necessary for brewing. So if you are buying a starter beer kit, you will have to source additional materials to ensure carry on with fermentation and bottling. Some of the necessary materials include a fermentation bucket, a bubbler, a hydrometer, thermometer, bottles, capsules and an encapsulator.
So, which one should you choose?
All Grain Brewing Kits – An Ideal Choice for Wannabe Small Home Brewers
All grain brewing kits are designed for more advanced and brewing enthusiasts. They are usually sold as a complete pack containing all the basic ingredients to make your beer such as malt, hops, yeast, and key accessories such as a fermentation chamber, a thermometer, a bubbler, stoppers and many others. This kit is precisely designed for those who want to be in charge from start to finish in the entire beer brewing process. Even so, this is not say that novices and amateurs can’t use them. As a matter of fact, anyone regardless of if you have prior knowledge in brewing can use them. However, be prepared to engage you brain and bring to life your artistic side.
Starter Beer Kits – Perfect for those Looking for Simplicity and Speed
Starter beer kits are designed for beginners and those who careless about the intricate and delicate stages of brewing beer.
If you’re tempted by the idea of making your own beer at home but do not have enough time to devote to brewing or you simply do not want to break your head with the stages of brewing, all is not lost, starter beer kits were invented to be quick and easy to use. All you have to do to get the beer is pour the contents of the kit in boiling water as described in the user’s manual. Note that beer kits are usually sold without equipment necessary for the production of beer so you might have to buy more.
When to Use a Starter Brewing Kit
As a beginner and for the sake of your first brewing experience, it is strongly recommended that you start with a beer kit, because it not only saves you the many steps in a complete brewing process but also is less tedious plus it also gets you acquainted with the other stages of brewing beer such as fermentation and bottling.
When to Use an All Grain Brewing Kit
Once you have mastered the process of fermentation and bottling it obvious, as an amateur enthusiast, you’ll want to learn more about the art of brewing. And that’s when we recommend that you opt for all grain kits, which will make you a true master brewer at home. The kits offer you more freedom, especially at the time of brewing, allowing you to invent your own beer recipe.
What to Look for in an All Grain Kit
By now you already know that all grain kits are a set of unprocessed ingredients and accessories required to make beer at home. Therefore, when making a purchase, ensure that the package is well loaded with everything you will need to brew a respect drink. Some of the materials you should be on the look out for include a fermentation bucket, a bubbler, a hydrometer, thermometer, bottles, capsules and an encapsulator. However, this implies that you have to take time to properly prepare the ingredients for the brewing process and this could take up to 5 hours.
Take Away Summary
The starter beer kit is for beginners and those who do not want to worry about the articulate steps of preparing beer. It provides large amounts of beer, in a short time of preparation, but requires the acquisition of additional equipment.
The all grain kit is intended for amateur brewers who want to discover in depth brewing. It contains all the ingredients necessary to make your beer. In addition, the kits also include all the equipment you’ll need to brew your beer. However, the amount of beer produced is much lower than that of a beer kit, for a much longer preparation time.
All grain brewing kits, contain all the tool necessary for brewing beer? However, this does not mean that they can’t be supplemented with accessories purchased separately.
What to take into consideration when buying any of these home brewing kits
The End Product you are Looking For
This depends on the brewing kit type you have. If you are buying a starter beer kit, the syrup or powder supplied already contains all the ingredients in given proportions. This means that the recipe for beer is already made up, and you will therefore not need to add anything as an ingredient. With the all grain kit, you have the basic ingredients so you can create your own recipe. It gives you more freedom to add extra ingredients according to your. It is very common to buy beer kits whole grain and then enhance them with your own ingredients such as fruits or other cereals. Therefore, if you are looking for a custom beer with a unique taste, an all grain kit will come in handy. Otherwise, if you don’t care about taste and quality, a starter beer kit will not disappoint you.
Time Necessary to Prepare Ingredients and for the Beer to Mature
On average it takes at least 4 weeks to get your home brew ready for drinking. This time corresponds to the 14 days required for the primary fermentation and 2 weeks required to ensure the fermentation is complete after adding sugar and jam to give your beer a sparkling flavor. Also note that although the necessary preparation time is always less than a day, but this varies greatly depending on the type of brewing kit you use. With a starter beer kit, the preparation time is usually less than an hour, while for an all grain brewing kit, it will take you about 5 hours of preparation time.
How Long the Brewed Beer can be Stored
Normally, this depends on the type of beer and alcohol content. Brown beers have a much longer shelf life than other types of beer such as white, blonde, and red. Moreover, beers with a higher alcohol content can be stored for a longer period of time. Therefore, house beers brewed with wheat like white Belgian beers with less than 10% alcohol content generally can not be stored over 6 months. On the other hand, you can preserve darker beers for more than 15 months.
In any case, note that the most effective way to store your precious beverage as long as possible and without losing its properties is to keep it in a cool, dark place such as a cellar or a refrigerator.
The Number of Liters or Gallons you want to Brew
All depends on the amount of ingredients available and especially the capacity of brewing and fermentation vessels available. So if your kit is equipped with a bucket brewing and fermentation bucket of 20 liters each, which means you can brew up to 20 liters of beer.
How Much it Costs to Brew
It all boils down to the brewing kit you will buy. If you want to make your home beer with a starter beer kit, set aside at least 30 dollars for the purchase of the kit. Even so, considering that starter beer brewing kits are sold without equipment, you will also require about 50 extra dollars for the purchase of other utensils. Basically, to make your homemade beer with a beer kit, you will need to prepare one of at least a 100 dollars budget. All grain kits already containing both the ingredients and basic accessories necessary for making beer. Therefore, buy a good kit and it will be more than enough. A good kit all grain will cost around 80 dollars minimum. And once you master Homebrewing you can reuse brewing tools and only buy refill kits for a few dollars.