There's nothing quite like coming home at the end of a long day and taking that first sip of those tasty, fermented bubbles to relax. There are many good beers you can buy, but it tastes even better when you've made it yourself! Want to learn the process of brewing your own beer to share with family and friends? It's easy! All you need is a home brew kit to get you started.
We've looked into the best and most popular home brew kits of 2020 and compiled a list of the top ones for you to choose from. Our top choice is Northern Brewer's kit with Block Party Ale. It's beginner-friendly but will satisfy more experienced brewers too with its complete range of equipment. Not into alcohol? We also looked at kits for root beer and kombucha, so you can continue your brewing journey!
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Table of Contents
Home brewing is a growing hobby. Whether you’ve been home brewing for years or are just starting to get into the practice, having a good brewing kit is vital to getting your new batch off to a great start.
What good are a bunch of ingredients if you don't have the equipment to make your brew happen? Every brewing kit should come with some basic equipment to get you started. Not all of this equipment is required for a successful brew, but it is certainly helpful.
Your primary fermenter is one of the most important parts of your beer brewing kit. It is what allows for the fermentation process. It may come in the form of a bucket or alternative device, but make sure you acquire one if you hope to do any fermenting.
A kit should come with cleanser for cleaning your equipment to ensure a fresh brew every time. The airlock keeps your brew sealed during the fermenting process and ensures that air doesn't compromise the beer. A siphon and bottling equipment are also necessary, especially for the larger kits.
A hydrometer is used to measure the sugar and alcohol content in your wort. Finally, recipes and instructions are probably the most important part of any brew kit!
If you're planning on bottling your beer, bottling equipment will come in handy. A bottle brush will help clean the inside of your bottles before use. A bottle capping device can be finicky, but they are important. Much like the airlock kept air from interfering from your brew in-process, bottle caps keep your beer good for later enjoyment.
As temperature is an important factor in the fermentation process, you'll also want a thermometer to make sure you maintain the temperature of your brew. A bucket clip is a useful little device that attaches to the fermenting bucket to keep the racking tube in place.
Some of the kits might not come with this all of this equipment, which is something you should factor in when choosing a kit. If you already have some equipment or you don't mind supplementing through other sources, a simpler kit might be a better option.
Let's talk about the ingredients of beer so that you have a better idea what each kit should contain.
Hops are the flowers of the of the Humulus lupulus plant and are what make beer bitter. Hops also contribute fragrance and aroma.
The acidity of the flowers varies by plant, region, year, and numerous other factors, so like wine, no beer batch will be exactly the same. However, keeping a careful log of your brews will determine your ability to successfully recreate your favorite brews.
Grains can give your beer some extra flavor and aroma, even if you’re using malt extracts. Crushed or milled grains can be found at any reputable home brew shop or online, and should be used as soon as possible to ensure freshness.
Malt extracts are great for anyone just trying their hand at home brewing. They can simplify the brewing process and make it more enjoyable over all, as well as allow for more consistency with your batches.
Yeast is one of the most important factors of any brew. It’s what allows for the fermentation process.
There are many different kinds of yeast catered to fit all beer types. While dry yeast has a longer shelf life and requires less careful handling, liquid yeast comes in far more variations to fit your brew desires.
Beer is more than 90 percent water. Like with anything, there are ways to adjust the pH levels of the water you use, but terrific beers have also been created with standard tap water. It’s up to you what kind of water you use for your home brew.
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Homebrew Starter Kit｜Essentials, With Block Party
A Great Starter Kit With High Yield for Crowd-Pleasing Craft Beer
Complete Craft Beer Kit
An Easy-to-Use Starter Kit With Fast Acting Ingredients
Home Brew Ohio
A High-Quality Kit With Some More Advanced Tools Included
Brooklyn Brew Shop
Beer Making Kit
Create Seasonal Brews With Natural Ingredients
Craft A Brew
Craft Beer Kit
Easy-to-Use Equipment With Lots of Flavor Options
Monster Brew Home Brewing Supplies
Home Brew Ohio Complete Beer Equipment Kit｜K6
A Deluxe Starter Kit for Home Brews
Brew and Fill Bottles Easily
Mr. Root Beer
Root Beer Kit
Old-Fashioned Root Beer for the Whole Family
This complete starter kit comes with clear instructions and all the equipment for you to start your first brew. It includes a 6.5-gallon fermentor with a spigot, a lid, a bubbler airlock, a bottling bucket, and more. It also has five feet of siphon tubing and cleaning supplies.
Northern Brew has YouTube videos to assist all the first time brewers. One reviewer also raved about the customer service, a trait that seems to be missing with a lot of homebrew starter kit suppliers.
Some beginners said the kit was missing equipment that they needed, so check what's included carefully before purchase. Most reviewers love the clarity of the instructions and continued to use the equipment once they moved on to different brews.
This popular beer making kit couldn't make it any easier to start off your first brewing experience. With its step-by-step instructions and uniquely designed equipment, you'll be on your way in no time. All the equipment is reusable for your next batch, and the flavors even come in refills sold by the manufacturer.
Reviewers love the ease of use of this product and the comprehensive instructions. Some had difficulty with the spigot leaking, and didn't get much help from customer service. But most say this is a great complete kit for beginners and that it makes a wonderful gift.
If you're a beginner with the intention of building up to some more complicated brews, this kit is a great place to start.
It includes a few more advanced beer making tools not necessarily needed for your first brew, like a fermenting bucket with pre-drilled lid, a bottling bucket with spigot, thermometer, bottle filler, auto-siphon, tubing, hydrometer, and cleaning supplies.
Some buyers received two bottling buckets instead of a fermenting bucket. A few more experienced brewmasters took issue with the beginner quality of the equipment. However, the majority of reviewers have dubbed it a "great starter" for anyone looking to get their feet wet in the world of brewing.
Reviewers say the instructions included with the kit are vague, and recommend checking their website for more details if you're a beginner. Some mention other equipment it's helpful to have on hand, but most are pleased with the taste of the finished beer. It makes a great gift, too.
This is a great all-around beginner's guide to crafting brews. It comes with almost all the equipment you need, as well as a dozen different flavors to choose from. This kit includes a one-gallon glass carboy, funnel, racking cane, rubber stopper, tubing and clamp, airlock, thermometer, and sanitizer.
Reviewers love the simplicity of the instructions, as well as the helpful videos supplied by the manufacturer on YouTube. As the carboy is glass, there were reports of breakage during shipping, so check yours before the return window closes.
Reviewers also mention that you might need to fill in some gaps equipment-wise, but it's well worth the extra effort as the final product was a success.
This kit is a step up from its simpler cousin listed earlier but not quite a full advanced brewers' kit. This kit includes a 7.8-gallon bucket and a six-gallon glass carboy instead of two buckets. Also included are a three-piece airlock, thermometer, siphon with tubing, bottle filler, spigot, hydrometer, capper, and cleaning supplies.
Reviewers were happy with the equipment function overall, but some disliked the bottle capper. They suggested purchasing a more advanced capper if you're planning on high bottle production. There were also a lot of complaints about shattered glass from poor protection during shipping.
However, with the quantity of equipment in the kit, reviewers agree that it was worth the investment for those looking to build up an assemblage of brewing equipment.
Reviewers love how easy it is to use and that it comes with everything they needed. Set-up and sterilization was a breeze. They love the compactness and are also pleased with the taste of the resulting pilsner!
Who says beer is the only thing you can brew at home? If you want to try your hand at homemade root beer, this kit is a fun way to experiment, and even kids can enjoy the results! This kit includes a packet of cleanser, four one-liter bottles with caps and labels, a funnel, and root beer mix.
Reviewers found this kit particularly easy to use and fun to share with family. Most agree the instructions were clear and the ingredients were high quality. Some said the finished product was too yeasty, and there are a lot of tips in the reviews for getting the perfect flavor and carbonation level.
Several reviewers made special note that the final product tasted so great, it took them back to the good ol' days of old-fashioned root beer.
Beer's not the only thing you can brew to perfection in the comfort of your own home. Check out these other great articles!
No. 1: Northern Brewer｜Homebrew Starter Kit｜Essentials, With Block Party
No. 2: Mr. Beer｜Complete Craft Beer Kit
No. 3: Home Brew Ohio｜Maestro Kit
No. 4: Brooklyn Brew Shop｜Beer Making Kit
No. 5: Craft A Brew｜Craft Beer Kit
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