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Beer making is a growing hobby, a favorite pastime or a passionate obsession for many people. As a result, the number of home brewing kits available to get a system started – or upgraded – is growing.
There are simple ‘add water’ beer brewing kits that require little user interaction until the... finished product is ready for drinking. At the other end of the spectrum, there are more intricate systems that require mash cooking, siphoning, secondary fermentation and more. For those who are major craft beer enthusiasts and fans of technology, there is a sophisticated brewing machine that acts like your personal microbrewery — and lets you monitor the brewing process from your smartphone. The options are varied but the result is the same – fresh beer made right in your home!
You could buy a 6-pack, but where’s the fun in that? These top 7 home brewing kits will have you mashing, mixing and fermenting your way to a homebrew that is bubbly and delicious.
Mr. Beer homebrewing kits have been in the game of at-home beer making for some time, and they’ve put together an easy, quality kit that earns the spot of best overall.
The Mr. Beer Premium Gold Edition 2 Gallon Homebrewing Craft Beer Making Kit comes with two beer refills (making a total of four gallons of beer), a two-gallon fermenter, plus bottles, carbonation drops, sanitizer and more. The Mr. Beer kit is ideal for someone that wants to experience the process of homebrewing beer but doesn’t want to invest the time or energy into learning the more intricate parts of the process (involving siphons, air locks and hydrometers).
Happy brewers find that the process was easy to understand, and the finished product was satisfactory. Many express the desire to tweak certain parts of the process or experiment with different aspects of fermentation or conditioning — but isn’t that the fun of making your own beer? Overall, most people found the beer to be drinkable and enjoyable.
For a serious beer enthusiast interested in learning the intricacies of beer making and the science behind the process, the Brew. Share. Enjoy. Homebrew Starter Kit from The Northern Brewer is a great choice.
This beer making kit takes things up a notch from some of the more streamlined kits available. It includes a 6.5-gallon fermenter with airlock, bottling bucket with spigot, a bottle filler, 5-gallon stainless brew kettle, a spoon, auto siphon, sanitizer, oxygen wash, bottle capper and more. Another big plus to this kit is the customer service offered by The Northern Brewer. They provide phone, email, and text support in case you have questions during your beer making process.
The kit is designed to provide everything you need out of the box to brew your first five gallons of beer, except that you will need to buy the bottles once you’re done with fermentation. Overall, beer enthusiasts that have more than a passing interest in making their own brew will appreciate the hands-on nature of this kit and the quality of the finished product.
For a smaller version of a beer making kit, check out The Northern Brewer’s 1 Gallon Small-Batch Beer Brewing Starter Kit.
Unlike many of the five-gallon beer making kits on the market, this starter kit is focused on making a small-batch beer. It also saves space compared to the fermentation containers of larger kits, thanks to its 1-gallon Little Big Mouth Bubbler with bung and airlock. It includes the other tools necessary for a hands-on beer brewing experience, including a blowoff hose, auto-siphon, bottle-filler, capper, 12 beer bottles and more. The included ingredients are for the company’s much-awarded Chinook IPA.
Users appreciate the instructive and helpful DVD included with the kit, as well as the support offered by the company’s customer service department. This beer making kit is perfect if you have limited storage space for fermentation, or if you simply want to focus on creating small-batch brews from home.
This kit from Brooklyn Brew Shop sets itself apart as the best buy if you’re looking for an all-grain beer making kit.
While many homebrew kits use malt as a shortcut to the brewing process, the Brooklyn Brew Shop kits use only all-grain ingredients. The result is a fresher tasting beer that many people find to taste better. Included with the kit is the ingredients to brew 1 gallon of beer (available in 6 different recipes), a 1-gallon glass fermenter, glass thermometer, vinyl tubing, airlock, cleanser and more. You’ll need to supply the strainer, funnel, pot and bottles separately.
Users find the ingredients and supplies to be of good quality, and the resulting beer to be enjoyable. However, note that an all-grain beer making kit will require a little more labor in the initial stages since you need to monitor the grain closely during the cooking process.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
If you’re looking for a beer making kit that will make you feel like you have a micro-brewery in your house, opt for a kit that offers a conical fermenter — like this highly-rated version from BrewDemon.
The conical fermenter sets this beer making kit apart from many others since it mimics the shape and function of the conical fermenters typically used in larger breweries. The advantage to a conical fermenter is that it produces clearer beer and allows the trub to settle at the bottom. It also is compact but makes two-gallons of beer (versus the one-gallon production common with many small-batch brew kits)
The BrewDemon beer making kit includes the conical fermenter, recipe and ingredients for your first batch of beer, temperature gauge, venting plug, 12 bottles, caps, and bottle filler and more. Many users report making multiple batches using the equipment included with the original kit and are very happy with the quality of the components and the finished product.
For a beer making kit that takes things to the next level, look for a kit that includes a glass carboy for secondary fermentation — like this version from Home Brew Ohio.
Secondary fermentation in a glass carboy is known to produce a cleaner finished product. It also may challenge the beer making novice who is ready to graduate to the next level of homebrewing. Some users note that the thermometer is not reliable, but many comment on the generously sized fermentation bucket (7.8-gallons compared to only 6.5-gallons in many other kits) and the high-quality carboy.
This kit is a bit on the pricey side, and it doesn’t include the actual ingredients for brewing up a batch of beer. It strictly is for the brewing set-up. However, many beer makers looking for a system with secondary fermentation in a carboy may want to dabble with their own brew recipes anyway, rather than use a pre-packaged version included with an equipment kit. For a more sophisticated beer brewing experience, the Home Brew Ohio Beer Equipment Kit delivers.
If you’re looking for a high-end and high-tech homebrew experience, then look no further than the Pico Model C. This sophisticated take on making beer at home will be a significant investment, but the ability to have a wide variety of craft beer recipes with minimal work is worth it to many beer enthusiasts.
The Pico Model C brews 5 liters of beer (which is enough to fill thirteen 12-ounce bottles) and uses pre-packaged containers called PicoPaks that contain the proper ratio of grains, hops, and yeast. The PicoPaks are available for purchase from the company and feature craft beer recipes from breweries across the world.
The draw of a high-tech brewing machine like the Pico Model C is the ability to enjoy a craft beer from your favorite brewery without needing to spend the time and learn the process to replicate your favorite brews. This is not your typical beer making kit since the machine does the majority of the work for you. But if you’re looking for an easy way to enjoy homebrewed beer, this is the best option on the market.