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10 Best Home Brewing Kits Reviewed and Compared

last updated Oct 10, 2019
If you like to enjoy an ice-cold beer and want to start brewing your own, then you’ve come to the right place! Here we review the top 10 best home brew kits, so you can get to brewing the perfect beer from the comfort of your own home.

Brewing your own beer is not an easy thing to do. It takes time and patience to get it right, which is why you need to make sure you get a home brewing kit that works for you—and if you’re a beginner, don’t worry, there are great options to start with!

All in all, there are quite a bit of home brewing kits to choose from, which is why narrowing the best can be a difficult feat. We made sure to do all of the hard work for you, so you don’t have to—check out our top picks below!

In a Hurry? The test winner after 10 hrs of research

icon
Mr. Beer Premium Gold Edition
95.8/100 our score
Ease of Use
98
Materials
95
Potency
93
Size
96
Value
97
Mr. Beer Premium Gold Edition
Why is it better?
  • Great for beginners who don’t want to fumble with lots of equipment
  • Easy to use
  • Lots of beer flavors available and produces good tasting beer
  • Affordable price
In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Mr. Beer Premium Gold Edition
Test Winner: Mr. Beer Premium Gold Edition
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
7
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1.2K
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
10
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
15
Products Evaluated
Sorting Options
Ease of Use Materials Potency Size Value By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.8
Ease of Use
98 %
Materials
95 %
Potency
93 %
Size
96 %
Value
97 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (14.10.19)
Amazon Link
$49.99
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.4
Ease of Use
97 %
Materials
96 %
Potency
98 %
Size
96 %
Value
80 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (14.10.19)
Amazon Link
$199.95
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.6
Ease of Use
93 %
Materials
95 %
Potency
85 %
Size
95 %
Value
85 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (14.10.19)
Amazon Link
$99.00
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88
Ease of Use
95 %
Materials
85 %
Potency
95 %
Size
95 %
Value
70 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (14.10.19)
Amazon Link
$42.60
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.4
Ease of Use
75 %
Materials
95 %
Potency
97 %
Size
90 %
Value
75 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (14.10.19)
Amazon Link
$96.99
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84
Ease of Use
95 %
Materials
90 %
Potency
75 %
Size
85 %
Value
75 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (14.10.19)
Amazon Link
$39.99
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.8
Ease of Use
65 %
Materials
90 %
Potency
89 %
Size
85 %
Value
85 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (14.10.19)
Amazon Link
$69.99
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79
Ease of Use
70 %
Materials
85 %
Potency
70 %
Size
85 %
Value
85 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (14.10.19)
Amazon Link
$59.99
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
75
Ease of Use
95 %
Materials
95 %
Potency
5 %
Size
85 %
Value
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (14.10.19)
Amazon Link
$19.99
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
72
Ease of Use
80 %
Materials
20 %
Potency
90 %
Size
95 %
Value
75 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (14.10.19)
Amazon Link
$25.98

Top 10 Home Brewing Kits

1. Mr. Beer Premium Gold Edition

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.8
Mr. Beer Premium Gold Edition
Mr. Beer Premium Gold Edition
Mr. Beer Premium Gold Edition
Mr. Beer Premium Gold Edition
Mr. Beer Premium Gold Edition
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
98
Materials
95
Potency
93
Size
96
Value
97
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$49.99
Pros:
  • Great for beginners who don’t want to fumble with lots of equipment
  • Easy to use
  • Lots of beer flavors available and produces good tasting beer
  • Affordable price
Cons:
  • Need to buy more for cleanser for multiple batches
  • Users will out grow the kit when looking to match larger batches

Great for beginners, this kit has all the basics needed for people looking to start making their own beer at home. Developed by master brewers at Coopers Brewery, the ingredients are high quality and yield tasty results. The kit includes a one-step fermenter so that no transferring is necessary. It also has shatterproof bottles, and two refills for a variety of beer types including a delicious Oktoberfest.

Read more

Ease of Use

This is the best kit for everyone looking to get their feet wet at home brewing as well as those who have done it before because of how easy it is to make the beer. The kit includes detailed instructions that are also available on the company’s website. The directions are available in English, Spanish, and French.

There are also videos available. The instructions are broken down by each step including assembly, cleaning, brewing, bottling, and carbonating. For each step, the company details by number what needs to be done. These directions are clear and straightforward.

Materials

Great for those looking for a complete kit, Mr. Beer’s kit includes a 2-gallon fermenter with lid, spigot, and features simple washer and nut assembly. It also comes with an American Lager brewing extract, yeast, booster pouch, no-rinse cleanser, and carbonation drops.

Potency

What’s great about this kit is that consumers can make two different beers. The Aztec Cerveza is a popular brew. It has a good amount of carbonation, tastes great, and is milder and muskier in flavor that other Cervezas. Expect smooth and bold tasting beer, with the number of hops depending on how much is added. The taste of the beer does improve if the consumer waits four to five weeks before drinking.

Size

It is easy to clean, reusable, and produces one case of beer at a time, or the equivalent of 8 liters. It’s perfect for those brewing for the first time since all the necessary main ingredients and equipment is included without including extra gear that might be helpful, but may also be overwhelming for beginners.

Keep in mind that the kit doesn’t include things like a stirring spoon, large mixing bowl, and 3-quart pot and that there is only one packet of cleanser.

Value

The Mr. Beer Premium Gold edition is one of the most affordable brewing kits available for you to choose from. If you are on a budget and want to try out brewing from home, this is definitely a great way to go.

2. Northern Brewer Brewery in a Box Deluxe

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.4
Northern Brewer Brewery in a Box Deluxe
Northern Brewer Brewery in a Box Deluxe
Northern Brewer Brewery in a Box Deluxe
Northern Brewer Brewery in a Box Deluxe
Northern Brewer Brewery in a Box Deluxe
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
97
Materials
96
Potency
98
Size
96
Value
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$199.95
Pros:
  • Comprehensive kit that includes most items needed to home-brew
  • Easy to follow instructions
  • Choice of beer type
  • Great tasting beer
Cons:
  • Missing bottles and stainless steel kettle
  • Very expensive

This is a complete brewing kit that is tailored to the beer-loving consumer who is looking for an all-inclusive option that has everything they need to kick their brewing skills up a notch. With easy directions to follow for beginners via a DVD, it makes up to five gallons of beer in three days. It includes thermometers, glasses, and cleaning supplies, as well as a Chinook IPA recipe kit. The only downside here is that it costs more than others, but it is a premium kit that won’t disappoint.

Read more

Ease of Use

This is one of the easier kits to use, being called “foolproof.” This makes it a great option for beginners or for those looking to make large batches. It comes with instructions, a DVD and a recipe kit. The instructions are also available via the company’s website in case it is lost. The directions are easy to follow, every step clearly described, along with what gear is needed for that particular step.

Materials

This deluxe kit has just about everything needed to homebrew. This includes a 6-gallon glass carboy to use used as the primary fermentor, bung, and airlock. It also emcees with a 5-gallon glass carboy as a secondary fermentor, with bung and airlock. Also included are a blowoff hose, funnel, a siphon, and tubing, bottling bucket and spigot, bottle filler and caps, carboy brush and bottle cleaning brush, as well as a brewery cleaner and carboy dryer.

Potency

The taste of the beer varies based on flavor kit is purchased. The Chinook IPA is popular among brewers. It is an American IPA that is very hoppy. The Irish Red Ale is a best seller because of its medium-bodied taste. It has a rich copper color and doesn’t take long to age. The Caribou Slobber Brown Ale is for those who enjoy dark beer. It has a slight bit of bitterness at the end of each sip.

Size

Consumers have the option to choose their starter kit flavor that comes with all the ingredients to make the beer. This includes a Caribou Slobber Brown Ale, Irish Red ale, and Chinook IPA. Consumers still need to have a 4 to 5-gallon kettle and 12 oz. beer bottle to store the beer.

Value

This home brewing kit is one of the pricier options, so make sure you want to make the investment and time commitment that comes with making your beer at home.

3. BrewDemon Signature Kit

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.6
BrewDemon Signature Kit
BrewDemon Signature Kit
BrewDemon Signature Kit
BrewDemon Signature Kit
BrewDemon Signature Kit
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
93
Materials
95
Potency
85
Size
95
Value
85
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$99.00
Pros:
  • Easy to make beer that is ready in 14 days
  • Reusable and versatile, to make any kind of beer
  • Great looks and high quality
Cons:
  • More expensive than other options

Channel your inner brewing demon with this kit that creates two gallons of fresh beer in 14 days. Although this might take a few more days longer than other kits, it’s worth the wait because of the great tasting beer. This option includes a small batch conical fermenter, signature recipe and other equipment needed. It’s reusable with amber liter bottles with caps and labels, and best of all is easy to clean.

Read more

Ease of Use

This kit comes with brewing instructions that are also available on the company’s website. The instructions are broken down into easy-to-follow steps that start with the sanitizing process, then the actual fermentation process, followed by carbonating the beer. It also lets the consumer know what to look out for to know when the beer is ready for the fridge.

Materials

It comes with its patent-pending small batch conical fermenter that helps to brew multiple great-tasting batches. It also includes a fermenter base, adjustable flow tap assembly, airlock, lid gasket, drilled rubber stopper, temperature gauge that sticks-on, yeast, no-rinse cleanser, plastic 1-liter bottles, and reusable caps, bottle labels, bottle filler and hose, and a plastic mixing spoon. The spoon may seem like a small addition, but many kits don’t include this needed item, so that’s an added bonus.

Potency

As long as the consumer follows the instructions, they will come out with great tasting malt beer. The beer has a golden color and a decent amount of hops. It takes just 14 days for the beer to be ready. Any other flavor beer can be made using the equipment, including hard cider and even gin.

Size

This is the ultimate beer making kit for those who love the art of brewing at home. The products included are of high quality, and look great, too. It makes 2-gallons of beer with the company Signature Series recipes.

Value

Although this home brewing kit is a little pricey, it certainly not the most expensive selection on our list of reviews. It offers a ton of features and comes with everything you need to get started though, so it is definitely worth the investment.

4. Brooklyn Brew Shop Everyday IPA

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88
Brooklyn Brew Shop Everyday IPA
Brooklyn Brew Shop Everyday IPA
Brooklyn Brew Shop Everyday IPA
Brooklyn Brew Shop Everyday IPA
Brooklyn Brew Shop Everyday IPA
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
95
Materials
85
Potency
95
Size
95
Value
70
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$42.60
Pros:
  • Great tasting IPA
  • Kit is reusable and there are other flavors available for purchase
  • Easy to use
  • Great for beginners
Cons:
  • Still need some items like a stainer and bottles
  • Smaller 1-gallon batches made

This is a great kit for beginners because of the easy-to-follow instructions. In true Brooklyn hipster fashion, it includes only seasonally-inspired ingredients that make really delicious tasting beer. The kit is available in different flavorings like the Everyday IPA, which comes with the grain, hops and yeast, a 1-gallon fermenter and other items needed to make the beer. it does require buying a strainer and funnel, but IPA lovers will enjoy this option.

Read more

Ease of Use

This is one of the best kits because of how easy it is for beginners to make their homebrews. The kit is reusable (just buy refill kits), and following the online instructions for videos that are available in English, Spanish and French. The directions are easy to follow and broken up based on steps such as the pre-brew stage, the “Mash,” “Sparge,” boil, and bottling phase. It takes four weeks from brewing to be able to enjoy the beer.

Materials

Beginners and those more experienced brewers will be pleased that this Beer Making Kit has (almost) everything needed to make IPAs at home. It includes all the ingredients for the beer including the all-grain ingredient mix and yeast. It also comes with a gallon glass fermenter, a glass spirit-filled thermometer, vinyl tubing, racking cane and tip, chambered airlock, cleanser, and screw-cap stopper.

The consumer needs to buy the bottles and both caps, and a bottle capper. However, Brooklyn Brew Shop also sells many of the extras needed for a separate price. Other recommended equipment not includes is a stockpot, strainer, and funnel.

Potency

Hops lovers need to buy this kit. It produces a great tasting IPA that is a good combination of having citrus flavoring with a bit of bitterness. It is a hoppy option, with a light amber color and 6.8 percent ABV.

Size

When it comes to size, this is one of the smaller brewing kits out there. It is perfect for those of you who have limited space to work with or if you are just starting out and want to start out with smaller batches.

Value

Here we have another really affordable home brewing kit. If you are on a budget or are unsure if you will continue to brew long term, this is an excellent option to consider.

5. Home Brew Ohio

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.4
Home Brew Ohio
Home Brew Ohio
Home Brew Ohio
Home Brew Ohio
Home Brew Ohio
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
75
Materials
95
Potency
97
Size
90
Value
75
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$96.99
Pros:
  • High equality, durable equipment
  • Almost everything needed to brew besides ingredients and a few extra items
  • Easy to make, even for beginners
Cons:
  • Consumers still need to buy ingredients
  • Expensive

This is a great option for those who have brewed before and know what to expect. It includes all the main items needed for home brewing including a fermenting bucket, true brew rack and fill kit, 5-gallon glass carboy, and fermentation thermometer. Just keep in mind that it is just the equipment, and the actual ingredients have to be purchased separately.

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Ease of Use

This kit comes come with kit instructions and a useful brew handbook. As long as the directions are followed, the consumer shouldn’t run into any problems. This is true even for beginners, making it great for all skill levels. The kit comes with a siphoning hose to carefully pour the beer into the bottle without problems.

Materials

Keep in mind that the consumer still needs some other supplies including a stirring spoon, bottles, bottle caps, and most importantly, the beer ingredients.

Potency

The good thing about this kit is any flavor of beer or hard cider can be made since the consumer is responsible for purchasing the ingredients. The instruction manual has a recipe list that consumers can get ideas from. Homebrewers rave about the brown ale, tasting similar to a Newcastle with fewer hops. The mead beer in the recipe list is also a popular beer to make.

Size

This Gold Kit from Home Brew Ohio is targeted for those looking to make a large batch of beer. It comes with a 7.8-gallon fermenting bucket, Fermometer fermentation thermometer, a true brew rack and fill kit a lid drilled and grommet, a 5-gallon glass carboy for secondary fermentation, small buon vino drilled stopper, 3 piece airlock, bottle Brush, hydrometer, bottling spigot, double Lever capper, and C-brite sanitizer that comes in an 8-pack.

Value

Definitely on the pricier side--especially since you have to purchase additional materials separately--this is definitely a brewing kit for someone who is invested in long term brewing.

6. Brooklyn Brew Shop Hard Cider Kit

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84
Brooklyn Brew Shop Hard Cider Kit
Brooklyn Brew Shop Hard Cider Kit
Brooklyn Brew Shop Hard Cider Kit
Brooklyn Brew Shop Hard Cider Kit
Brooklyn Brew Shop Hard Cider Kit
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
95
Materials
90
Potency
75
Size
85
Value
75
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$39.99
Pros:
  • Fun and easy to use kit
  • Ready in just 4 weeks
  • How-to videos available on company website
  • Affordable
Cons:
  • Taste can vary
  • Need own apple cider and honey

This is an easy-to-use kit made for hard cider lovers. It allows consumers to make three batches of hard cider, featuring all the ingredients and equipment needed besides the apple cider. Great for fall and summer sipping, this is a great kit for those who are looking for homemade bubbly and tart tasting apple cider with a bit of a kick.

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Ease of Use

This Brooklyn Brew Shop kit comes with instructions (in English, but also Spanish and French) that breaks down each step. This includes the pre-brew stage, how to make its cider, the fermenting process, and what it does after. It takes two weeks to bottle the cider and two weeks to be able to sip and enjoy.

Materials

The kit uncles 1-gallon reusable glass fermenter, the year, vinyl tubing and clamp, racking cane and tip, chambered airlock, cleanser and screw-cap stopper. The only thing the consumer needs apple cider or apple juice.

Potency

The hard cider has 7% ABV per volume and is tart and bubbly. It might get cloudy during fermentation, but will clear up and comes a nice golden color. The taste varies based on the kind of apples or apple cider used.

Size

There is nothing better than a hard cider on a hot day in the sun or the crisp fall. And now freshly made hard cider can easily be made at home with their great kit. It is designed by master brewers, making three batches of about 9 12-oz bottles of hard cider.

Value

If you are on a budget and love cider, this is a great option to consider. It is easy to use and makes delicious cider--so you will definitely get your money's worth.

7. Mr. Beer Premium Craft BrewMax

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.8
Mr. Beer Premium Craft BrewMax
Mr. Beer Premium Craft BrewMax
Mr. Beer Premium Craft BrewMax
Mr. Beer Premium Craft BrewMax
Mr. Beer Premium Craft BrewMax
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
65
Materials
90
Potency
89
Size
85
Value
85
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$69.99
Pros:
  • Easy to dispense beer into bottles
  • Dishwasher safe, reusable kit
  • Instructional DVD
  • Krausen Kollar has the space needed for larger brews
Cons:
  • Some reviewers were missing 1-gallon container, 3-quart pot and spoon/whisk in their order
  • Comes with two of the same kinds of beer to make

Ideal for intermediate and more advanced brewers, this is a complete kit for those who are obsessed with craft beers. Homebrewers can make one case of beer at a time, the equivalent of two gallons. It comes with the fermenter and lid, long neck bottles, bottle caps, beer ingredients and clear instructions.

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Ease of Use

This kit comes with printed instructions that detail the steps in an organized fashion to make it easy to follow. It also comes with a "How-to" DVD that comes in English, Spanish and French.

Materials

Cleaning up is easy since the equipment is dishwasher safe. It is also reusable, BPA-free and UV-resistant, so the system won’t mess with the taste.

Potency

This Mr. Beer kit makes Diablo IPA, an American IPA that is amber and has lots of hops. It has a floral and spicy taste, but expect a bitter aftertaste as well.

Size

This kit is craft beer making at its finest. It produces one case of beer (8 liters or 2 gallons) at a time. It comes with a 2 gallon, UV-resistant fermenter, and lid, along with 24 glass long neck bottles, metal bottle caps, hand bottle capper, Krause Kollar with clips, spigot assembly and bottling wand. It also has the ingredients needed, which include the yeast, coronation drops, and no-rinse cleanser for afterward.

Value

This home brewing kit is averagely priced and perfect for those of you who are on a little bit of a budget but want the most bang for your buck when it comes to everything you get with your purchase.

8. Beer. Simply Beer.

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79
Beer. Simply Beer.
Beer. Simply Beer.
Beer. Simply Beer.
Beer. Simply Beer.
Beer. Simply Beer.
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
70
Materials
85
Potency
70
Size
85
Value
85
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$59.99
Pros:
  • Good tasting beer
  • Has all the main pieces of gear needed to home-brew
  • Affordable price
Cons:
  • Fermenting bucket lid doesn’t fit snuggly and can cause issues
  • Racking cane makes for harder bottling
  • Low-quality capper

This kit has everything needed and more to start brewing at home. This includes a pale ale recipe kit, spigot, fermenting bucket, and hydrometer, along with cleaner. It is sold at an affordable price, making it a great option to get starting in the home brewing game.

Read more

Ease of Use

This kit comes with instructions to lead the consumer through the brewing process that takes about 15 days to start drinking after bottling.

Materials

This makes it a comprehensive kit, made for those looking to take their brewing skills up to the next level. This is for the more serious and intermediate to the advanced consumer who is looking to make big batches. However, newbies might want to check it out since it has every item needed to make the beer beside the bottle and caps, a 4-gallon kettle.

Potency

This brewing kit makes a light amber colored beer that tastes good going down but has a slightly bitter kick and after-taste. The beer is slightly carbonated but overall is delicious. Some consumers have problems with the fermenting lid staying airtight, which can cause problems with the final product.

Size

This kit makes 5 gallons of home-brewed beer. It includes the Pale Ale recipe kit, bottle filler, grommeted lid, airlock, 6.5 gallon bottling bucket, a 6.5 fermenting bucket, bottling spigot, bottling tubing, FermagraF° adhesive fermentation thermometer, siphon tubing, siphon, test jar, triple scale hydrometer, beer bottle brush, bottle capper, and cleaner/ sanitizer.

Value

Available at a great price, this home brewing kit is the perfect option for those of you looking for something that fits your budget but that also come with everything you need.

9. Mr. Root Beer

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
75
Mr. Root Beer
Mr. Root Beer
Mr. Root Beer
Mr. Root Beer
Mr. Root Beer
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
95
Materials
95
Potency
5
Size
85
Value
95
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$19.99
Pros:
  • Great activity project for a family
  • Tastes just like brand name root beer
  • Affordable
  • Easy to make and is ready in a short amount of time
Cons:
  • Must use company’s caps and gaskets; other options will cause glass bottles to shatter from the pressure
  • Slight trace of alcohol

Looking to brew at home, but don’t drink alcohol? Then this is the perfect kit for root beer lovers. Consumers can brew two gallons of old-fashioned root beer in just three days. It has natural carbonation that means less fizz and is nice and creamy.

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Ease of Use

The kit is reusable, all that is needed is a refill kit. It takes less time to make compared to brewing beer. Keep in mind that the mix is made so that the carbonation process takes place in the bottle. This means there is a 1 percent trace of alcohol in the drink.

Materials

This is a complete kit, coming with everything needed to make root beer beverages at home. This includes the root beer mix, flavor crystals, yeast, 4 plastic 1-liter bottles, bottle caps and gaskets, a funnel, bottle labels and no-rinse cleanser for easy cleanup.

Potency

To consumer's delight, this root beer kit makes the beverage that tastes just as good as the big-name root beer options. Some report it tasting too much of yeast, so make sure to follow the directions correctly. It works very nicely in a root beer float.

Size

This Mr. Root Beer kit comes with easy to follow instructions that result in 2 gallons of root beer.

Value

This brewing kit is the most affordable--but it is also non-alcoholic. If you have kiddos who want to join in on the fun--or if you just love root beer--this is a great option to consider getting.

10. Brewer's Best American Amber Kit

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
72
Brewer's Best American Amber Kit
Brewer's Best American Amber Kit
Brewer's Best American Amber Kit
Brewer's Best American Amber Kit
Brewer's Best American Amber Kit
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
80
Materials
20
Potency
90
Size
95
Value
75
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$25.98
Pros:
  • Great kit for intermediate brewers looking for a new flavor
  • Ingredients already measured
  • Makes large batch
Cons:
  • Doesn’t come with any equipment besides bottle caps
  • ABC estimates are a bit off
  • Must wait about 3 weeks to drink for best taste

This kit is great for those looking to brew pale ale at home. It is just an ingredient kit, so bottles, fermenter, and other equipment need to be purchased separately. However, it does include the yeast, amber and hops making it ideal for those who have brewed before and just need the essentials.

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Ease of Use

This is a great kit because of how easy it is to use. The grains are already cracked, and all ingredients are measured. It comes with directions that are fairly easy to follow, with the materials clearly labeled.

Materials

This option does not include any equipment needed to brew at home. It is designed for those who already have the equipment or those who are looking for a refill ingredient pack to make an American Amber Ale. It includes amber dried malt, hops pellets, priming sugar and specialty grains. It also comes with grain bags and bottle caps.

Potency

This brewing kit makes a pale to light amber colored beer with moderate hops. It’s better to wait to drink this beer, it being the best tasting between 2 to 4 weeks after bottling.

Size

This is a great medium-sized brewing kit, which is perfect for those of you with limited space or just starting out.

Value

Although it is smaller, this home brewing kit is also really affordable--so if you are on a budget, you will love this one!

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Ease of Use

How easy the brewing kit is to use is incredibly important, especially for those of you just starting out. However, regardless of your skill level, you really need to make sure you get something that works for you and your needs specifically.

The best home brewing kits must be easy to use, with concise and clear directions that are suitable for beginners. It should be reusable so that the core equipment can be cleaned and used time and time again. Of course, the result is that it makes good tasting beer. What is the point of doing all the hard work if the beer isn’t drinkable?

With that said, the quality of the final product depends on the consumer carefully following the instructions. While ranking and assigning ease of use scores to these products, we looked at the following things:

  • How easy it to brew the beer with this kit? Are the instructions details and easy to follow?
  • Is the equipment confusing or easy to set up and use?
  • Are the ingredients and brewing vessels of high quality?
  • Is it easy to sanitize and clean the equipment?

This last item, ease of cleaning, is highly important because using dirty vessels for brewing can result in your batch not turning outright because of microorganisms contaminating your brew. So be sure that whatever kit you buy, whether it's one on or list or something different, be sure that it is designed to be easy to clean.

There are all different kinds of home brewing kits available that include both equipment and ingredients, or just the core equipment. Some are better suited for beginners and some are for more advanced brewers. We ranked each kit on our list according to how easy it was to use so you can find the one that's right for you.

Whether you've been brewing for years or even if this will be your first batch, you'll find something on our list that suits your needs, and your taste buds. Just make sure to stick to your needs and preferences--this way you can be sure you invest in something you know you can easily get accustomed to using so you can focus on your brewing.

Materials

Before we choose each of the brewing kits on our list, we made sure to take a look at all of the materials you will need to brew with it. We also considered whether or not the brewing kit will come with everything you need or if you have to go out and purchase additional materials.

To make beer, it takes just four main ingredients: water, malt extract (also called specialty grains), hops, and yeast. The low number of ingredients means that the quality and freshness of each one are of the utmost importance, and like any other food or beverage, the ingredients used to brew beer are the main determining factor in how good, or poorly, your brew will turn out.

Most of the kits on this list include at least one ingredient kit to get you started, and because of the exploding popularity of homebrewing its become pretty easy to source ingredients on your own whether it's by shopping online or by supporting your local home brewing store which seems to be popping up in every city and town these days.

It might be better for some people to buy a kit that includes the beer ingredients like hops, yeast and carbonation drops. However, others who have brewed before might want to make a different type of beer and don’t need the ingredients. Keep in mind that even the most complete kits are often missing other items needed in the beer-making process like a stirring spoon and large quart pot.

We only included kits on our list that come with good quality ingredients and brewing paraphernalia, but of course, they still vary a bit in what they come with so we assigned a score to each product according to the quality of the brewing ingredients it comes with to help you find the best one for you.

Potency

When it comes to potency, we are talking about alcohol content and how well the flavors you add steep through. Not all brewing kits are the same and every brew will be different until you get your technique down, so potency is an important factor to look into before making your purchase. This way you have an idea of what the brewing kit will produce.

For this criterion, we looked at the potency of each beer that made our list. Beers are rated by their ABV, or Alcohol By Volume content. A typical mass-produced light lager such as Bud Light will usually have an ABV content of 3.2%, meaning 3.2% of it is alcohol. Conversely, a craft-brewed IPA may come in at 7% or higher in some cases.

The higher the ABV number, the more potent the brew, so it's pretty easy to figure out how strong beer is and how many you can have before you start feeling tipsy. Another part of the potency criterion we looked at was how the beer tastes. It's no good to go through the whole rigamarole of selecting and buying a kit.

Then having to wait excitedly for it to arrive at your house, reading the instructions, setting it up, brewing the beer, and then waiting 2-4 weeks for it to be ready, only have it taste.......meh. We only selected kits that people have rated as producing good tasting beers. We care about your fitness, and yes, we care about your taste buds, your recreation, and your social life. So cheers!

Size

Before you invest in a brewing kit, you need to take a look at the space you are working with. Some brewing kits are larger than others, so if you don't have the space for the larger kits then you won't be able to use one of those.

As mentioned earlier, even the most complete kits are lacking for key items. A large spoon for stirring is rarely included and neither is a large stainless steel stockpot used to boil the ingredients. The main pieces of equipment included are the stockpot, glass bucket, known as a carboy for fermenting, a bucket with a spigot, an auto-siphon or a racking crane to her the beer out of the bucket, and waterproof thermometer.

Bottles and caps, bottle fillers, and cappers are also required. Most of these items are included in the best home-brew kits. All of these items take up space, and because you're brewing at home and not in a big production facility with all the room in the world it's important that a kit be appropriately sized and not be overly bulky and take up all your extra space--not to mention having to find room to store it all.

So before you buy, be sure to think about how much space you have available for brewing and select a kit that's appropriate for you. If you are unsure, or if you think you are cutting it close, take the time to measure the space you will be working with and compare it to the specs of the home brewing kits you are considering for purchase.

Value

Before you buy, take a look at everything the home brewing kit has to offer and compare it to the price it will cost you initially. Once this is established, you can determine the overall value of the kit and decide whether or not it will work for you.

These kits are more expensive than going out and buying a case of beer. However, once you start making your second and third batch you'll start saving money. Once you've made and enjoyed a couple of batches you'll have remade your investment in the kit, and from there on out you'll be saving tons of money with each batch because all you'll have to buy is ingredients--which are pretty affordable.

We looked at each kit and its ingredients, the amount and quality of the brewing equipment that comes with it, and how much you'll have to spend on buying additional items to make a batch. Then we assigned each product a value score so that you can quickly do your research in this important area and quick wasting time and start brewing and enjoying your very own homebrews.

Your friends are going to be seriously impressed--so get excited. Brewing your beer is going to be fun, so feel free to share the experience with your family and friends. Make sure to do your due diligence to ensure you get the perfect brewing kit from the get-go. The last thing you want is to end up right back where you started--figuring out which kit will work best for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Is it hard to brew beer at home?

a:

All of the kits on this list include instructions, and some even have websites and hotlines you can call to get help. As long as the steps are followed properly, it will be easy to learn how to homebrew, and it gets easier over time. However, keep in mind that it takes time and patience to get it right. If you are beginner make sure to put in the time needed to get it right.

q: Does homemade beer taste the same as the beer I buy at the store?

a:

Many options taste similar to many brand name beers. Some also taste better because they have more flavor, although some people can notice the yeast taste in their brews. It really is a matter of carefully following the instructions, and if you do you should have a great tasting beer no problem.

q: How long does it take to brew beer at home?

a:

It only takes a few hours to sanitize the equipment and start the brewing process. However, it takes two weeks or longer for the beer to ferment to be ready for bottling. It then takes a minimum of two additional weeks to drink. The longer the wait the better, about 4-5 weeks from bottling.

q: What temperature is best for brewing beer?

a:

The fermentation temperature should range from 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. For some people, it will be easy to find a place in their home with this temperature range. A lot of home brewers stash their creations in a closet while it ferments, others put them on top of the fridge as that can be a nice cozy place.

If you're unsure of your home's temperature you might want to think about investing in a thermometer to measure it. If the temperature drops below 68 degrees F your fermentation may stall, which means it will take a lot longer to brew your beer than the normal 2-4 weeks, and it may develop unintended flavors.

q: How much does it cost to make your own beer?

a:

The initial cost varies based on the price of the home brew kit. Refill ingredient kits also need to be purchased for additional batches. However, most people end up saving money opposed to always buying beer in stores or at a bar, especially if they reuse their kits over and over. Once you get to your fourth or fifth batch you'll be drinking almost free beer. Sounds refreshing doesn't it?

q: How long will a home brew kit last?

a:

Many of the best home brew kits include reusable equipment. Some also include more than one kit for multiple batches. Regardless of what the kit contains, as long as you purchase something that has high-quality equipment, and are diligent about taking care of it and cleaning it between batches, your kit will last many years before equipment needs to be replaced.

And in the case of equipment such as a good glass fermentation carboy, those suckers will last forever!

Sources

  1. Jim Galligan, 5 reasons you should brew your own beer, News Website
  2. Bryan , Top 10 Reasons to Brew Your Own Beer, Beer Website
  3. David Bardallis, How to Make Your Own Beer, Homebrewing Website
  4. Jeff Flowers , Homebrew Kits: How to Choose the Right Kit for You, Beer Website
  5. HomeBrew Talk, Taste difference: home brew vs commercial, Beer Forum
  6. Dave Carpenter , How to Choose a Homebrew Starter Kit , Beer Magazine Website
  7. Jon Stika, Controlling Fermentation Temperature, Brewing Website