Best 10 Home Brewing Kits
As Of July 2022
We did the
Delicious DIY Beer With The Best Home Brewing Kits
Are you a pub regular? Do you love a chilled brew every now and then straight from the keg? No matter which one you like the most, pilsner, Irish, or IPA, nothing beats a great tasting beer on a hot summer day. But going out every day can be proven to be a bit costly. So, how cool would it be if you could brew your beer at home?
Whether you are a complete beginner or an advanced brewer, you can craft your small-batch beers at home without having the fanciest equipment around. Besides, brewing is an easy process. Think of it as cooking, where you use recipes and raw ingredients. You can have the best stainless stock pot in your kitchen cabinet, but that's not all. To add to your brewing experience, you should have the best home brew starter kit with all the necessary equipment to craft a pub-like result.
If all these sound too much, don’t stress! If you are a novice who's just testing the hop-filled waters or a seasoned brewer, our buying guide will help you find all the answers about the best kits you need to know. Use a beer dispenser and call everyone over for a party! Let's help you craft your perfect beer!
What is a Home Brew Starter Kit?
A kit consists of various equipment such as bottling bucket, gallon fermenter, spigot, capper, siphon tubing, stopper, cleaner, bubbler airlock, bottle filler, bottle brush, and stainless steel spoon. This equipment makes it easier to brew and ferment your favourite beer at home. While most kits cater to a broader range of brewers and beer fans, you need to find the best available equipment that will suit your personal needs at home.
Moreover, brewing experts have advised that you can also reach out for help before picking any kit. Keep in mind that some kits need additional equipment to brew your beer as they only have the beer ingredients.
Why do you need a Kit?
With everything in mind about brewing your beer at home, you should have the best kit if you want to craft that perfect pint you keep dreaming about. And, here are the reasons why you need one:
1. Many kits come as an all-in-one solution.
We understand that assembling the different materials for your brewing system can be quite challenging -- you can easily miss out on the necessary things you need for brewing. Instead, you need to collect the required materials in one place for a more straightforward process of brewing.
Most kits from various manufacturers come fully equipped and ready to start brewing. Therefore, it becomes easier for a beginner to begin crafting their own beer. If you are in this category, aim for a kit with it all - both the equipment and the ingredients.
2. They are cost-effective.
If you consider the money you spend to buy beer each time you go out, you’ll notice that it is a significant amount. If you have your own craft beer kit, you save big time! Plus, it is much easier to buy a full kit than to purchase each piece of equipment and ingredient separately. Most kits are highly affordable and come with the essential materials you need for brewing.
3. It is an enjoyable hobby.
Other than always going out to have a few beer bottles, how about you make your light beer and enjoy it at the comfort of your home? Yes, brewing can be a great hobby, to pass your time productively and enjoyably. And, getting yourself the best kit will go a long way in ensuring you consistently brew that perfect pint you keep craving for.
What to look for when buying Home Brewing Kits
Ideally, you want to work with the essential brewing equipment to spruce up things a little in your kitchen. Whether it's a small-batch or electric kit, it should come with the right equipment that will suit every purpose of your brewing procedure. But, how do you know what to look for?
We have talked to several brewing experts, and we have the answers for you. You can be sure this guide will help you understand many factors to consider before buying any home kit. Here is our list:
Different kits offer various features ranging from functionality, ease of use, design, and beer quality. For example, you might want to consider fermenter type as a feature while shopping for your kit. There is a wide variety to choose from, including glass or plastic carboys, conical fermenters, and plastic fermentation buckets.
We highly recommend an easy-to-use kit for beginners because it has the fewest procedures possible. You don't want to be disappointed while homebrewing because you chose complex equipment. On the other hand, experienced homebrewers go for a kit with high-quality materials such as thermometers or hydrometers for accurate brewing.
2. Difficulty Level
Whether you are just venturing into the home brew world or you are a seasoned brewer, you can rest assured that there's a kit for every experience level. For instance, beer-making kits only require essential kitchen equipment and a stovetop for beginners.
With straightforward guidelines, novice-friendly kits can be an appropriate starting point for any person just starting as a homebrewer. These kits usually use extracts and typically involve boiling, mixing, and waiting to come up with your homemade beer.
On the other hand, complex kits are an excellent fit for seasoned professionals. If you want to learn the art and science involved, complex kits will serve you right. With more hands-on work, you can easily customise and create a top-quality product.
3. Beer Type
What type of beer do you want to brew? There are many types of beer you can choose from, such as IPA beers, brown ales, golden ales, wheat beers, stouts, porters, and so on.
Luckily, there is a wide range of ingredient recipe kits that come with homebrewing brands. For example, you'd be surprised that alcoholic beers are not the only fermented drink you can make at home. If you love root beer, then you are also in for a treat. Fermenting and bottling root beer can be a great way to enjoy the activity with your family.
4. Batch Size
It is important to note that different kits are designed to produce different batch sizes. Starting with a smaller batch size like 32 to 40 pints might be ideal for beginners. This is because they are highly affordable and take up less space at the very most.
On the other hand, small-batch sizes can also serve some experienced house brewers. If you want to experiment with more types of beer, then try brewing smaller batches. If experimenting doesn't turn out as you expected, you will not have to waste gallons of beer down the drain.
And, if you are a serious beer drinker who craves an endless supply of your homemade beer, go for a larger batch size. You will only have to create more space in your fridge.
5. Accessories and Equipment
Different kits for home use will vary in terms of equipment and materials you need to use in your kitchen. We have seen some kits come with all the necessary materials, while others require that you provide bottling equipment or essential kitchen appliances.
But, depending on the method you use, a kit should serve the purpose of simplifying the whole process. Also, some high-tech options make the process easier.
A beer needs to have four essential ingredients -- hops, yeast, malt, and water. But, now that brewing your own beer has become a common trend, there are many variations of these ingredients.
While most kits often come with malt extracts, some complex kits also include partial mash, steeping grains, or all-grain ingredients. Besides, if you are looking to add to the flavours and aromas of your final beer, you can try out the different types of hops and yeast strains.
Therefore, you can choose your suitable kit depending on the type of beer you want to craft. Most beer kits provide step-by-step instructions on preparing your recipe, so you’ll have a hassle-free experience. Prepare anything you want, from Jalapeño Saison to German beers with your own beer brewing kit.
What Types of Home Kits are there?
There are both manual and all-in-one automated kits. But, depending on the level of performance, ease of use, functionality, design, and other significant factors, you can find different kit types available in the market. Most of them come with instructions for brewing. These instructions, or recipe kits, vary widely depending on the manufacturer. If you are wondering what types of kits for home use are available in the market for you to choose from, here are some of them.
If you are a brewer with advanced knowledge about the process of brewing, these kits have all the ingredients necessary to create beer. Most all-grain kits have grain and hops. Some also include yeast that pairs perfectly with the style of beer. With all-grain kits, you will get a full set of instructions on beer brewing. What is so unique about these types of kits is the addition of malted grains which have to undergo a mash in order to extract liquid sugar (wort), which is required for zymosis.
Wort is then boiled after extraction with the addition of hop at different stages depending on the style. A brewing session with all-grain kits usually takes between four and six hours (including zymosis).
Malt extract kits
Some kits are equipped with a concentrated malt essence instead of grain. The extract can either be in the form of syrup, liquid or dry. Other advanced kits come with small amounts of milled malted grains. But, they have to first be steeped before they are boiled. To facilitate this process, malt essence kits are equipped with grain bags that help add different characters to the beer. This allows one extract to be used to brew different varieties of beer.
With malt essence kits, you will need to perform a full boil, while adding hops at different types following the style. A normal brewing session using malt essence kits takes about 2 hours, without fermentation.
Pre-hopped malt extract kits
Often referred to as “beer in a can,” these kits have liquid malt extracts that are already boiled with hops for bitterness and flavour. These kits have simplified the process of brewing by eliminating the process of adding hops at different times when boiling the wort. Some advanced kits may not even require boiling. However, this increases the risk of losing flavour due to contamination from bacteria and yeast.
A typical brewing session with pre-hopped brewing kits takes less than an hour, without including the zymosis period.
Brewing in a bag (BIAB)
These are simplified all-grain brewing processes that originated from Australia. The highlight of BIAB is the single brewing vessel, fine mesh bag that holds crushed malt or grain, and one heat source.
Typically, the BIAB brewing process takes 3 hours in home, excluding the zymosis period.
How long does it take to brew your beer?
Different brewing systems provide for distinct periods to brew your beer. Generally, the brewing process could take between four and eight weeks (one or two months), with four weeks as the least amount of time you will have to wait. Depending on your recipe, preparing the ingredients can take a few hours (three, four hours). But, the fermentation of your beer in the kit will have to last up to two weeks or longer. Bottle conditioning will be next in line for about two weeks also.
How much should you spend on a Kit?
Homebrewing kits are priced depending on the type, features, material, and other innovative factors that determine their performance. Whatever the pricing, they can be priced under three categories: affordable, mid-range, and expensive.
Averagely, affordable kits cost under £20. Most kits under this category can make up to 4L of beer. They are, however, easy to use for beginners and also consume less time.
Mid-range options are often priced between £25 and £65. They are more advanced than the affordable options and can make more than one Gallon of beer, mostly up to 23L.
On average, these cost over £70. They are more advanced and ideal for expert brewers. These expensive kits also come with different packs for you to customize your own brewing. Most of them can also make more than 27L of beer.
We have looked at the different types of kits available, factors to look out for when shopping for one, the benefits of owning such a beer kit for your home, and how much you should spend on one.
This guide has all the answers to help you get the perfect kit today and craft the best pint of your dreams. And, if you are a beginner, then our best advice is baby steps with the best home kits in the market! Check out what equipment everyone else is using as their beer brewing kit, and start crafting your own today! Got yours?