10 Best Home Brewing Kits Reviewed and Compared
There are times when nothing tastes better than an ice cold beer— just ask any runner after completing a race. But having a freshly brewed beer at home is even better for those who have an equal passion for beer as they do fitness. Those looking to master the art should invest in a home brewing kit. The best home brewing kits make learning how to brew easy, even for the first time.
A trendy skill to have, using homebrewing kits is more economical than going to a bar frequently. Homebrewing kits also are a great way to gain knowledge about beer. And it is just plain out fun to do at home. It is a creative outlet that results in always have brewskis on hand to enjoy alone or with others. It makes the brewer feel proud that they made the batch, great for sipping on after a good workout.
The best home brewing kits have the basics needed to have homemade beer ready in as little as four weeks.
- Mr. Beer Premium Gold Edition
- Great for Beginners
- Northern Brewer Deluxe
- Choice of Beer Type
- BrewDemon Signature Kit
- Easy to Use
10 Best Home Brewing Kits
Great for those looking for a complete kit, Mr. Beer’s kit includes a 2-gallon fermenter with lid, spigot, washer and nut assembly, American Lager brewing extract, yeast, booster ouch, no-rinse cleanser, and carbonation drops.
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 also overwhelming for beginners. Keep in mind that this doesn’t include things like a stirring spoon, large mixing bowl, and 3-quart pot and there is only one packet of cleanser.
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 down. These directions are clear and straightforward.
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, milder and muskier in flavor that other Cervezas. Expect smooth and bold tasting beer, with the amount 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.
- Great for beginners who don’t want to fumble with lots of equipment
- Easy to use
- Lots of beer flavors available; produces good tasting beer
- Affordable price
- Need to buy for cleanser for multiple batches
- Will out grow the kit when looking to match larger batches
Northern Brewer Brewery in a Box Deluxe
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 is a blowoff hose, funnel, and FermagraF, 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.
Consumers have the option to choose their starter kit flavor that comes with all the ingredients to actually 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.
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 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.
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 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.
- Comprehensive kit that includes most items needed to home-brew
- Easy to follow instructions
- Choice of beer type
- Great tasting beer
- Missing bottles and stainless steel kettle
- More expensive than other options
BrewDemon Signature Kit
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. 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.
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.
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.
- Easy to make that is ready in 14 days
- Reusable and versatile, to make any kind of beer
- Great look; high quality
- Slightly pricer than other options
Brooklyn Brew Shop Everyday IPA
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, 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 stock pot, strainer, and funnel.
Ease of Use
This is one of the best kits because of how easy it is for beginners to make their own 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.
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.
- Great tasting IPA
- Kit is reusable and there are other flavors available for purchase
- Easy to use
- Great for beginners
- Still need some items like a stainer and bottles
- Smaller 1-gallon batches made
Home Brew Ohio
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, a lid drilled and grommet, a true brew rack and fill kit, a 5-gallon glass carboy for secondary fermentation, Fermometer fermentation thermometer, small buon vino drilled stopper, hydrometer, bottling spigot, double Lever capper, 3 piece airlock, bottle Brush, C-brite sanitizer that comes in an 8-pack.
Keep in mind that the consumer still needs some other supplies including a stirring spoon, bottles, bottle caps, and most importantly, the beer ingredients.
Ease of Use
This kit comes come with kit instructions and a brew handbook that is useful. 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 with a problem.
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.
- High equality equipment that is durable
- Almost everything needed to brew besides ingredients and a few extra items
- Easy to make, even for beginners
- Consumers still need to buy ingredients
- On the more pricey side
Brooklyn Brew Shop Hard Cider Kit
There is nothing better than a hard cider on a hot day in the sun or in 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.
The kit uncles 1-gallon glass fermenter that is reusable, the year, vinyl tubing and clamp, racking cane and tip, chambered airlock, cleanser and screw-cap stopper. The only thing the consumer needs to the apple cider or apple juice.
Ease of Use
This Brooklyn Brew Shop kit comes with instructions (in English, but also in Spanish and French) that breaks down each step clearly. This includes the pre-brew stage, how to make own cider, the fermenting process, and what it do after. It takes two weeks to bottle the cider and two weeks to be able to sip and enjoy.
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.
- Fun and easy to use kit
- Ready in just 4 weeks
- How-to videos available on company website
- Taste can vary
- Need own cider and honey
This kit is craft beer making at its finest. It produces one case of beer (8 liters of 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 need, which includes the yeast, coronation drops, and no-rinse cleanser for afterward.
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.
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.
This Mr. Beer kit makes Diablo IPA, an American IPA that is amber and has lots of hops. It has a floral and spice taste, but expect a bitter aftertaste as well.
- Easy to dispense beer into bottles
- Dishwasher safe, reusable kit
- Instructional DVD
- Krausen Kollar has the space needed for larger brews
- Missing 1-gallon container, 3-quart pot and spoon/whisk
- Comes with two of the same kind of beer to make
Beer. Simply Beer.
This kit makes 5 gallons of home brewed beer. It includes the Pale Ale recipe kit, a 6.5 fermenting bucket, grommeted lid, airlock, 6.5 gallon bottling bucket, bottling spigot, bottle filler, bottling tubing, siphon, siphon tubing, FermagraF°, adhesive fermentation thermometer, triple scale hydrometer, test jar, beer bottle brush, bottle capper, and cleaner/ sanitizer.
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 besides the bottle and caps, a 4-gallon kettle.
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.
This brewing kit makes a light amber colored beer that tastes good going down but has a slight 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.
- Good tasting beer
- Has all the main pieces of gear needed to home-brew
- Affordable price
- Fermenting bucket lid doesn’t fit snuggly and can cause issues
- Racking cane makes for harder bottling
- Might not use the capper
Mr. Root Beer
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 an easy cleanup.
Ease of Use
This Mr. Root Beer kit comes with easy to follow instructions that result in 2 gallons of root beer. 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.
To consumers delight, this root beer kit makes the beverage that tastes just as room as the big name root beer options. Some report it tasting too much of like yeast, so make sure to follow the directions correctly. It works very nicely in a root beer float.
- Great activity project for a family
- Tastes just like brand name root beer
- Easy to make and is ready in a short amount of time
- Must use company’s caps and gaskets; other options will cause glass bottles to shatter from the pressure
- Slight trace of alcohol
Brewer's Best American Amber Kit
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.
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.
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.
- Great kit for intermediate brewers looking for a new flavor
- Ingredients already measured
- Makes large batch
- 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
The Criteria We Used for Our Evaluation
It’s important that the best home brewing kits are easy to handle, 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 end 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, this depends on if the consumer carefully follows the instructions.
There are all different home brewing kits available that include both equipment and the beer ingredients, or just the core equipment. Some are better suited for beginners and some are for more advanced brewers.
In order to determine which home brewing kit is the best, we used a set list of criteria that are detailed below.
Contents: What exactly does this kit include? It might be better for some that the kit 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.
Usability: How easy it to brew the beer with this kit? Are the instructions details and easy to follow? Is the equipment too confusing to use? Are the items of high quality? Is it easy to sanitize and clean the equipment?
Taste: How well does the beer taste when ready? How does it compare to brand name beers sold in stores?
Other Factors to Consider
Learning how to home-brew can take more than one batch for some. Others master it after one batch. Be patient, and be open to trying different kinds of beer.
What You Need to Brew
As mentioned earlier, even the most complete kits are lacking for key items. A large spoon for stirring is almost never included. Neither is a large stainless steel stock pot used to boil the ingredients.
The main pieces of equipment included are the stock pot, glass bucket, known as a carboy for fermenting, a bucket with a spigot, an auto-siphon or racking crane to her the beer out of the bucket, and waterproof thermometer. Bottles and caps are also required as well as a bottle filler and capper. Most of these items are included in the best home-brew kits.
Of course, the actual ingredients are the most important. Luckily, most of the kits on this list include at least one ingredient kit. To make beer, it takes four main ingredients: water, malt extract (also called specialty grains), hops, and yeast.
The Importance Of Cleaning
Many kits also some with cleaner or a sanitizer. This is crucial to the beer making process because the equipment needs to be cleaned before and after a batch is made. A good rule of thumb is clean gear makes good tasting beer. Clean the equipment immediately after use with unscented soap or the cleanser provides. Never use wire brushes, sponges or pads because it can leave scratches on the equipment and typically have bacteria that can affect the taste.
Q: Is it hard to brew beer at home?
A: All of the kits on this list include instructions. As long as the steps are followed properly, it will be easy to learn how to homebrew. It gets easier over time.
Q: Does homemade beer taste the same as store beer?
A: Many options taste similar to many brand named beers. Some also taste better because it has more flavor, although some can notice the yeast taste in their brews.
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.
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, many end up saving money opposed to always buying beer in stores or at a bar.
Q: How long will a home brew kit last?
A: Many home brew kits include reusable equipment thatch be used over and over again. Some also include more than one kit for multiple batches.
- 5 reasons you should brew your own beer, News Website, Jul 19, 2012 ,
- Top 10 Reasons to Brew Your Own Beer, Beer Website, Jan 14, 2016 ,
- How to Make Your Own Beer, Homebrewing Website, ,
- Homebrew Kits: How to Choose the Right Kit for You, Beer Website, Jul 23, 2014 ,
- Taste difference: home brew vs commercial, Beer Forum, Dec 19, 2009 ,
- How to Choose a Homebrew Starter Kit , Beer Magazine Website, Jul 18, 2018 ,
- Controlling Fermentation Temperature, Brewing Website, ,