HOME BREWING beer is a pastime that’s on the rise, as people realise making your own beer at home is actually pretty straightforward and enjoyable – provided you have the right kit, that is.
The best beer home brewing kits also produce beer that tastes delicious, whether you’re using a beer-in-a-bag kit or experimenting with your own home beer brewing system.
Even if you want to start small, with a beer-making kit in a box, from the likes of craft beer maker BrewDog, for example, you’ll still need a few key pieces of kit to brew your own tasty beer at home.
A beer barrel or fermenter (you can use a plastic pail with air lock), siphon and brewing spoon are the basics to get you started. Glass carboys (5 gallon size) are also a good investment, as are glass bottles to store the beer once it’s fermented.
You can also invest in something more substantial, like a stainless steel mash tun or an all-in-one beer brewing system like the MiniBrew.
Another advantage of brewing beer at home that people are loving? It can save you cash.
It can also make you feel rather entrepreneurial for anyone who’s ever fancied making their own commercial beer… start by giving a few bottles to friends and see how you get on.
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1. Best beer home brewing kit for beginners: Muntons Craft Beer in a Bag
- (AD) Muntons Craft Beer in a Bag, £37 from Amazon – buy here
It doesn’t get much simpler for home brewers than this beer-in-a-bag kit from Muntons, which only requires water to make 25 pints of tasty beer in just a month.
The brewing bag becomes a beer dispenser, and the Golden Ale is a nice balance of hoppy and sweet flavours.
‘This made amazing beer, clear and not at all yeasty like many home brews once it had settled properly. At £30+ it’s quite an expensive way of home brewing but doesn’t need any equipment so you could factor that in.
‘Better than many craft beers from a bottle’, writes a happy customer.
2. Best beer home brewing starter kit with bucket: Balliihoo® Basic Homebrew Starter Equipment Kit
Whether you know home brewing beer will be a pastime you enjoy regularly, or you just want to try a one-off beer making kit, you’re likely to need a few key items, like a fermentation bucket with lid and airlock and a syphon tube with U-bend.
This kit includes those essentials as well as a temperature indicator, hydrometer, 100g steriliser, plastic spoon, pint glass and instruction sheet – it has the tools, but not the ingredients to make your home brew beer.
After about a week your brew will need to be transferred to glass bottles, once it’s fermented (these are not included).
Reviewers describe it as a ‘great kit’ and a ‘good introduction to home brew’.
3. Best beer home brewing mash tun: oneConcept Hopfengott Mash Kettle
- (AD) oneConcept Hopfengott Mash Kettle, £219.99 from Amazon – buy here
This value-for-money stainless steel mash kettle is a 15 litre model with a range of features and accessories so you can brew a variety of homemade beers, and experiment with different flavours and styles – it’s suitable for all-grain brewing.
There’s a control panel to set temperature, cooking time and power, and accessories include a sieve insert, glass lid and grain container handle.
It also looks good on the kitchen side.
‘Overall I’m very impressed with what you get for the money. Much cheaper than the well known alternative but has most of the same features.
‘Easy to use, feels well made and really has made brewing easier’, writes a reviewer.
4. Best beer home brewing craft beer gift set: BrewDog Punk IPA Beer Making Kit
BrewDog Punk IPA Beer Making Kit, £39.99 from Firebox – buy here
Home brewing is at the heart of craft beer favourite BrewDog – the team started out brewing their own beers in their kitchens and selling them out of a van.
The brand’s teamed up with Brooklyn Brew Shop for this at-home beer brewing kit, which makes just shy of two six-packs of Punk IPA.
The kit contains the recipe and ingredients (malted barley, hops) and some tools (fermenter, airlock, tubing, stopper) you’ll need to make your own Punk IPA brew – you’ll just need to supply the pot, funnel, strainer, bottle capper and empty bottles.
It makes a great gift for the BrewDog lover – or anyone who wants to try home brewing.
This beer is a flavourful choice with citrus and tropical fruit mingled with caramel.
5. Best beer home brewing machine: MiniBrew Craft beer machine
- MiniBrew Craft beer machine, €1199 from MiniBrew – buy here
Upgrade your beer-making game with a smart-looking gadget that’s an all-in-one brewing machine that works using an app – it couldn’t be easier to make your own beers in the kitchen.
The closed-system machine works with a large selection of brew pack recipes so you can choose a flavour you’ll love (if you’re a pro you can brew your own custom recipes), and the app guides you through the brewing process, explaining what needs to happen, when.
Even better? It’s self-cleaning.
‘The MiniBrew really is a complete package and not like any other system out there…
‘For beginners, I think the biggest improvement in their beers is controlled fermentation. Both the temperature itself but also having a stable temperature without fluctuations makes a huge impact on the final result’, writes a fan.
6. Best beer home brewing kit: Brooklyn Brew Shop Stillwater Gose Gone Wild Beer Making Kit
- (AD) Brooklyn Brew Shop Stillwater Gose Gone Wild Beer Making Kit, £51.95 from Amazon – buy here
Brooklyn Brew Shop is undoubtedly the go-to brand when it comes to delicious craft beer kits for home, and the kits also include essential brewing tools like a glass fermenter, thermometer, airlock and stopper, as well as the ingredients for Gose Gone Wild, a sour wheat ale with a bold depth of flavour.
The kit also includes lactobacillus – lacto for short – which gives the beer its sour taste.
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