presenting a guide to beer making kits for beginners

THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BEER MAKING KITS FOR BEGINNERS

CONGRATULATIONS! YOU HAVE DECIDED TO START BREWING BEER

Brewing for the first time can be a little intimidating. It’s a mysterious process, with lots of variables and techniques to understand, yet it feels exciting and fun too.

You will reward yourself with the satisfaction of CREATING the beer you like.

You will be ENJOYING THE FRESHEST BEER possible, for the same price or less than commercial beer.

You will SHARE your homemade beer with your friends and relative

Above all, you will probably do it and do it again because you ENJOY THE PROCESS

So you’re wondering how to get started to have the best possible experience, and what kit is right for you. This guide on beer making kits for beginners will help you decide.  For detailed descriptions of the featured products, click on the links.

WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS TO GET STARTED? 

Arrows pointing to different choices of beer making kits

 

You essentially have 3 types of equipment to choose from.

‘REGULAR BEER BREWING KITS”

Beer making kits are still by far the most popular way to start home brewing. They are economical and allow you to brew beer on your kitchen stove. You will have to choose between a ONE GALLON KIT and a FIVE GALLON KIT. With a kit, you will learn how to perform the basic steps of brewing beer – making wort, boiling, fermenting, and bottling with a hands-on approach to home brewing. Either the one gallon or the five-gallon kits are very good options to get started, especially with malt extract.

“AUTOMATED ELECTRIC BREWING SYSTEMS”

These are another option available to you. More sophisticated equipment, these systems are designed to automate the mashing process. They are particularly efficient for all-grain brewing. You will be able to directly start at that more technical level of brewing with easy and precise mashing temperature management and to save lots of time. You will mash and boil in the same vessel. Some systems include a pump to recirculate the wort during mashing, Some include a chiller.

“COUNTERTOP, PUSH-BUTTON BREWING MACHINES”

High-tech, some being controlled by an app on your phone, almost fully automated systems that will allow you to produce high-quality beer without spending the time to learn the process. Just follow the instructions, and let the machine brew for you. You will consistently enjoy a homemade beer without having to deal with the messy and complicated manual, artisan brewing techniques.

Let’s look at the specific characteristics and pros/ cons of each of the three types of equipment kits, and determine for yourself which one is for you.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A REGULAR STARTER KIT?

Here, I’ll compare the ONE GALLON to the FIVE GALLON KIT. Both sizes are perfect to learn hands-on all the steps of the brewing process. They include many pieces of equipment that you will still be able to use if you decide to upgrade your system. Favor clear fermenters, preferably made of glass, since it’s easier to sanitize. A regular beer brewing starter kit is a great value.

THE ONE GALLON KITthe one gallon option among the beer making kits for beginners

The pros:

  • Its price tag. It’s the most affordable starter kit available to you
  • If you already own a 1.5 Gallon stock pot: you don’t need a kettle
  • Storage space: a very compact kit, will fit easily into your kitchen cupboard
  • All the equipment you need to learn about all the steps of hands-on brewing
  • Allows you to experiment with small batches
  • You’ll be able to keep most pieces of your equipment even if you upgrade your brewing system
  • Designed to brew on your kitchen stove
  • The Morebeer! kits come with beer ingredients

The cons:

  • The same amount of time needed to brew one or five gallons.
  • One-gallon ingredients kit are proportionally more expensive than five-gallon ingredient kits

Additional equipment needed:

  • 1.5 Gallon Kettle
  • Empty bottles

You can read the full review on the one-gallon Morebeer! kit here.

THE FIVE GALLON KITthe five gallon option among the beer making kits for beginners

The pros:

  • Its price, most Five Gallon kits are great values
  • Standard home brewing size, most recipes are written for 5 Gallons
  • Flexible system: a very large number of pieces of common equipment available that will work for that size
  • You’ll be able to keep most pieces of your equipment even if you upgrade your brewing system
  • Will allow you to produce a decent amount of beer for your time invested
  • Designed to brew on your kitchen stove or with propane tank

The cons:

  • You need a 5 to 8 Gallon Kettle
  • Takes up more room, especially if you decide to use a mash tun

Additional equipment needed:

  • Optional, but recommended – a propane burner
  • A wort chiller, if not already included in the kit
  • Empty bottles or kegging equipment

Best Values on the market

Morebeer! one-gallon kit starts at $49.99

Morebeer! Premium Five-gallon kit with wort-chiller at $239.99

WHEN SHOULD YOU CONSIDER BUYING AN AUTOMATED ELECTRIC BREWING SYSTEM?brewzilla electric brewing one of the recommended beer making kits for beginners

This is the right system for you if you don’t want to use gas energy. You can brew in any room or location that has an electric outlet. Another reason why you would like to start with this equipment is that it possesses both the ease of control that makes it user-friendly enough for a beginner and at the same time, technical enough to brew great beers. The most professional of home brewing kits, yet it is programmable

The pros:

  • Easier process – Mashing and Boiling all in one
  • More consistent results with precise temperature control, perfect to brew lagers
  • Jump to all-grain brewing directly
  • No propane gas required
  • Compact
  • Can be set up anywhere in your house
  • Some units include a recirculating pump for mashing
  • Some units include a chiller

The cons:Anvil maked quality electric beer making kits

  • A Less artisanal, less hands-on process
  • Not a flexible, scalable system
  • Much more expensive systems

Additional equipment needed:

  • Fermenter with airlock
  • Empty bottles and filling tube or kegging equipment
  • Hydrometer
  • Sanitizer

Best values on the market –

Robobrew Brewzilla – All Grain Brewing with Pump 9.25 Gal $449.99

Anvil Brewing – System with Pump 6.25 Gal $374.99

Brewart Beerdroids are fully automated beer making kits
The Brewart Beerdroid

DOES A COUNTERTOP BREWING MACHINE FIT YOUR LIFESTYLE?

If you would like to brew your own beer, but don’t have half a day, or you want to brew often and without the hassle, then you should consider this type of home brewing solution.

The pros:

  • Very easy and convenient process – fully automated, high tech style, with WiFi controls
  • Compact and countertop device
  • Consistent quality
  • Saves lots of time. 2 hours as opposed to 3 to 4 hours for the traditional brewing process
  • Easy cleaning
Picobrew one of the high tech beer making kits
The Picobrew C beer making kit

The cons:

  • Won’t really teach you how to become a brewer
  • Less flexible systemin term of volume of beer produced and some brands are limited to the beer kits they offer

Additional equipment needed

  • Empty bottles and filling tube or kegging equipment, if not included

Best values on the market

The Brewart Beerdroid – between $473 and $799 with the dispensing system on eBay

PicoBrew – the basic model is available at $399

FINAL THOUGHTS

The best way to make a decision on beer making kits for beginners is ultimately to determine which one will offer you the most enjoyable experience?

If your interest is to learn beer chemistry as much the as possible by doing all the steps of the process yourself, my recommendation to you is, start with a regular kit, go with a one-gallon kit if you want to start small and invest the least amount, or go with a five-gallon kit, if you are willing to make a little more space at home in your kitchen or garage, and feel that you need to produce more beer at a time to make it worth your while. You know you will have to devote 4 to 6 hours on brew day, but it’s not an issue, because you are the type of person who likes to work manually and you are a hands-on beginner. You want to master the whole process. Most of the equipment you need will be included.

For a larger financial investment, you will get a more technical system, an electric brewing system, that you can set up anywhere in your house, especially nice to use indoors. The system is compact and will also save you the time and effort of doing a manual mash. It comes with accessories like a wort recirculating pump, a wort chiller, integrated thermometer and electronic, remote-controlled mashing and boiling programs. With this technology, you will be able to focus on creating the exact style of beer you like, without worrying about messing up your production. A great system to brew more technical beers such as lagers, requiring more precise temperatures. You will still need to spend a few more dollars and purchase separately your fermenting, bottling equipment, sanitizing and ingredients.

You want to brew at home, but your time is limited. The solution is to go with an automated brewing machine. It’s very compact and will do all or most of the work for you. Not quite as simple as brewing coffee with a programmable coffee maker, but close to it. It won’t take much space at all on your kitchen counter. Your brewing machine will be very high tech and will brew depending on the brand and model between 1.5 to 3 Gallons at the push of a button. It’s relatively pricey compared to a regular beer making kit, but it’s user-friendly and reliable, making for you flawless, fresh beer. It will let you tweak the recipe if you like to experiment too, or you can brew The kit includes everything you need, even a mini keg, and sleek, high tech taps can be bought separately.

I hope this will give you enough information to make your decision. Whatever beer making kit you decide to buy, I wish you lots of fun and lots of brewing!

Please leave your comments or questions below, and I will be happy to get back to you.

To our health, cheers!

 

Vincent

 

4 thoughts on “THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BEER MAKING KITS FOR BEGINNERS”

  1. Hey there,

    I previously had no idea what the process was like to make my own beer, I had heard of some of my small town friends trying to make some for themselves and decided to look into it myself. I was gifted one of these products a few Christmas’s ago as a prank and never thought I’d actually use it! Here on this website, the content and instructions are very informative, thought out and clear. I decided to follow this websites instructions and I was successful in making my own! The product here on this website DOES work and honestly turned out pretty great. 

    I would recommend this to anyone who has questioned it like I did!

    Reply
    • Hi Rebecca,

      Thank you for your comments.  I am glad you tried to brew at home, out of curiosity, what system did you use? You can definitely make great beer at home, I’m presenting here 3 types of systems made by the best brands on the market – your choice will depend on your lifestyle.

      Cheers,

      Vincent

      Reply
  2. I am yet to make up my mind, but I am leaning towards the automated kit. I will have to save up to pay the extra but I think it is the best way to get some consistency. I have heard a number of stories from friends about using cheaper, ‘standard’ brewing kits and for a variety of reasons batches have gone wrong and the resulting beer is not really drinkable. As a result there seems to be a lot of waste and disappointment. I understand that following instructions well and paying attention increases the chances of success, but I have a feeling I would fall into the same trap, particularly if I get busy. Great article, it has really helped with this tricky decision!

    Reply
    • Hello Ian,

      Automated kits make great beer and I would recommend that type of beer brewing system for anybody with a busy lifestyle – that would be most of us, these days – the benefits are definitely consistency and peace of mind. I am glad you found this post useful.  Thanks for reading. Cheers,

      Vincent

      Reply

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