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If you’ve finally given up on sourdough starter and are looking for your next yeast-related hobby, you may be interested in learning how to brew your own beer. You don’t need to start entirely from scratch to start making your own brews either, as there are plenty of user-friendly beer-making kits for beginners available on the market to help you get started. Ready to bring the brewery home? Here’s everything you need to know.
What Are the Best Beer-Making Kits?
While it can seem like a bit of a daunting task to brew your own beer at first, most home brewing kits make it easier than you might think to get started and simplify the process thanks to online tutorials and instructions. When you’re trying to choose the best beer-making kit, look closely at the equipment included in the kit, the quantity the recipe makes, and, of course, your beer varietal of choice.
Clear Instructions: If you’re at the very start of your brewmaster career, stick to basic recipes and clear instructions that explain it to you in straightforward terms. All the home brewing kits on this list include instructions that walk you through the process of brewing your beer.
Equipment Included: Not all kits come with all of the equipment you’ll actually need. Check to see if the recipe requires additional pots, strainers, funnels or bottles, but the kits in this guide have most of what you need to brew your starter batch.
Quantities: Many beginner kits include enough ingredients to make about a gallon of beer, but others can produce as much as five gallons at once. You may want to make large quantities to get more bang for your buck, make enough to serve to friends at a future party or to keep on hand in your beer fridge. Don’t sweat it if your first batch of beer isn’t something that rivals your favorite local brewery. You can always easily start fresh and experiment with new recipes.
Recipes and Varieties: For every beer varietal that exists, there is a kit that teaches you how to make it yourself. Many of our favorite kits include several recipe options to choose from, including ales, IPAs and more.
1. Northern Brewer HomeBrewing Starter Set
This is one of the most popular beer-making kits, with a recipe for five-gallon batches — enough for 50 12-ounce bottles — one of the largest we’ve found.
It comes highly recommended by reviewers for beginners, as it comes with all the tools and equipment you need to get started making the Hank’s Hefeweizen recipe right away, including a brewing kettle, testing equipment, a bottle filler, as well as a clear instruction manual and accompanying tutorials available to stream. (Expect a “hazy, deep golden ale,” according the brand’s description.)
The company also sells IPA starter kits, along with the testing equipment. We love Northern Brewer’s HomeBrewing Start Set for giving you all the basic equipment you’ll need to make the largest amount of brew possible.
2. BeerDroid Fully Automated Beer Brewing System
BEST SMART BREWING SYSTEM
BrewArt’s BeerDroid is the world’s first fully automated personal brewer, crafting 2.6 gallons of premium quality beer with the push of a button.
You can use the LCD screen to check the status of your brew, control the temperature and customize the beer. It comes with a built-in, patented end-of-fermentation (EOF) technology, which automatically detects when the beer is done brewing and ready.
This BeerDroid can connect via WiFi, so you can monitor and control the brewing process through the BrewArt app. You can also receive push notifications of brewing milestones through the app, as well as update your firmware and shop through the many available starter recipes and accessories. The “BrewPrints” are BeerDroid’s pre-programmed guides, designed by master brewers — this kit comes with the North West Pale Ale BrewPrint. All the ingredients are 100 percent natural and free from additives and preservatives.
3. Mr. Beer Complete Beer Making 2 Gallon Starter Kit
FASTEST BREWING TIME
With a 4.4-star rating (out of 5 stars) and thousands of reviews, this kit is also great for novice brewmasters, with an emphasis on straightforward instructions and a quick, 30-minute brewing time rather than hours.
The kit forgoes using pots or any complicated equipment, and your bottles are ready to pour within three-to-four weeks. Simply combine the extract with water and your yeast to get brewing. The included fermenter is also designed to allow you to dispense the finished product directly into bottles without any extra equipment.
Mr. Beer’s kit is designed with first-time brewers in mind who want to keep the process as simple and easy as possible.
4. Brooklyn Brew Shop Bruxelles Blonde Beer Making Kit
This kit is a great place to start if you’re hoping to get serious about brewing and want to learn the fundamentals.
While still designed for beginners, the Brooklyn Brew House beer-making kit includes seasonal ingredients and essential gear you’ll need to make a super drinkable, crisp gallon of 6 percent ABV beer. Brewers can choose between the Everyday IPA kit or this Bruxelles Blonde kit.
We like this kit’s stylish glass equipment, including a fermenter, which can be reused again for future beer experiments once you get going.
5. Grainfather Connect Complete All-In-One System
BEST HIGH-END SYSTEM
For the more experienced home brewer, Grainfather is the only system you’ll need, with all the tools to brew custom batch after batch. This system is made with high-quality, 304-grade stainless steel and can hold up to 8 gallons of brew at a time, producing 6 gallons of beer from each brew.
Bluetooth connectivity allows the Grainfather to be controlled remotely, so you can check in on your beer. Step way to multitask or relax while brewing and then be alerted when to return to your next step of the process. You can hook this system up to the Connect App, create recipes and share them, and get beer-making tips with the online Grainfather brewing community.