Enjoy delicious cold beer you make yourself with a convenient kit
If you enjoy having a cold brew on a hot summer day, you probably have International Beer Day on Aug. 6 circled on your calendar. But if you really want to get in the spirit this year, it may be time to give home brewing a try.
With a home brewing kit, you usually get everything you need to make a batch of beer. Most kits contain a mix of ingredients and supplies, though you can find some that focus solely on ingredients and others centered on the equipment you need for home brewing.
If you want to start home brewing this International Beer Day, there are some great home brewing kits for beginners and experienced brewmasters.
What do you need to brew beer?
Home brewing kits usually contain the equipment and ingredients you need to brew a batch of beer. However, some kits only offer the ingredients, so you’ll have to buy your equipment separately or use items you already have around the house. That’s why it’s crucial to understand exactly what you need to make your own home brew.
To make a batch of beer, you need a 5-gallon stainless steel stockpot with a lid. You can use one you already have at home, and a smaller pot can even work if you’re brewing a small batch. You also need a plastic or glass bucket of a similar size for the fermentation process and a plastic bucket with a spigot at the bottom for bottling.
In addition, you’ll need a long metal spoon to stir the ingredients as they boil, an auto-siphon to siphon the beer from the fermenting bucket into the bottling bucket and a waterproof thermometer. You’ll also want a bottle-cleaning brush, bottle filler and capper and bottles and caps to hold your finished product.
Beer requires four essential ingredients, and home brewing kits typically contain all but one. Kits will include malt extract in either dry or liquid form, which serves as your beer’s base. They also provide yeast to help convert sugars in the mixture to alcohol. Some kits have dry yeast, while others include a liquid form. A home brew kit also provides hops to give your beer its flavor and aroma. Hops are available in many varieties and determine the type of beer you brew.
Finally, you need water to make a batch of beer. Filtered water generally works best, but you can also use tap water.
Best home brewing kits
For $50 and under
This kit is excellent for beginners, offering step-by-step instructions and helpful videos to guide you through the brewing process. It contains seasonally-inspired ingredients, a gallon reusable fermenter, a thermometer, a racking cane and a chambered airlock. Sold by Amazon
This home brew kit makes a gallon of a crisp pale ale with a light malt flavor. It includes dry malt extract, hops, grains, yeast, sanitizer for your equipment, a gallon fermenting bucket, a funnel, tubing and other essential equipment. Sold by Amazon and Wayfair
This kit is designed for beginners, so it’s perfect if you’re new to making your own brew. It takes just half an hour to brew a batch and three to four weeks for the fermentation process to finish. It also has a lightweight fermenter and 11 reusable, shatterproof bottles for your finished product. Sold by Amazon
If you already have brewing equipment at home, this kit contains all the ingredients you need to brew German-inspired beer. It creates a medium-bodied, malty brew with a distinct hop flavor. The included yeast also ferments well at ale temperatures. Sold by Amazon
This kit includes everything you need to brew your own beer at home, including a fermentation bucket. The included ingredients make a tasty Belgian ale with a slightly spiced flavor and strong foam head. The process doesn’t require boiling, so it’s easier to use than other kits, too. Sold by Amazon
A perfect kit for beginners, this equipment set includes a fermenting bucket, a bottling bucket, a thermometer and even an auto-siphon. It also comes with a sanitizer to sterilize your equipment, so you can start brewing immediately. Sold by Amazon
If you’re looking for variety, this home brew kit contains recipes for a pilsner, a stout and a pale ale. It takes as little as 30 minutes to brew the beers on your stove and features a conical fermenter that lets the sediment settle below the filing valve. You can even make hard cider with this kit. Sold by Amazon
Another equipment-based kit, this home brewing set includes all the basics for starting home brewing. In addition to the 7.8-gallon fermenting bucket with a lid and a 5-gallon bottling bucket, it also contains a fermentation thermometer, a bottling spigot and more. The included sanitizer makes it easier to prepare the equipment, too. Sold by Amazon
For $100 and up
With all the equipment, supplies and ingredients you need, this kit is ideal for beginners who want to start brewing immediately. It includes a conical fermenter with a wide mouth and base, so it’s easy to clean. Its ingredients are 100% natural, and the kit even provides bottles for your finished brew. Sold by Amazon
This brewing equipment kit has all the essentials for making beer at home. It also includes a 27-page instruction booklet to make the process as easy as possible. The large bottling bucket and glass carboy allow you to make large batches, too. Sold by Amazon
This is one of the highest-rated brewing sets on the market because it’s excellent for beginners. Its premium ingredients create a delicious deep golden ale with many subtle flavor notes. It also offers a printed instruction booklet and online videos to walk you through the brewing process. Sold by Amazon
If you want a top-of-the-line home brew experience, this is the kit for you. It offers all the necessary equipment, including a stainless steel brewing kettle, a fermenter and a bottling bucket. It also comes with a recipe kit for an American pale ale, so you can start brewing as soon as you get it. Sold by Amazon
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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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