Ask somebody how to homebrew and they’ll probably say, “Get a kit.” If only it were that easy. After a quick Google search you’ll soon be asking yourself a dozen questions:
“Where’s the best place to buy from? Why are these kits all different prices? Which ones will make the best beer?”
The homebrewing market is flooded with all different types of kits from hundreds of companies. You just want to make great beer – not wade though confusing kit descriptions, crossing your fingers in hopes that you picked the right one.
Top Pick – The Homebrew Academy and Midwest Supplies Kit
In February 2013 Midwest Supplies released this homebrewing kit with me as the co-creator. I hand selected every piece of gear that comes with the kit.
So for obvious reasons, this is now the #1 kit I recommend. I pieced it together based on my 10 years of homebrewing experience and feedback from the thousands of brewers I have taught. I really think it’s the best kit out there for new homebrewers.
Here is a video where I walk through what’s in the kit:
But to be as unbiased as possible I want to show you your other kit options. In the table below, I give a list of 5 of the most popular homebrew supply companies and links to their starter kits.
|Vendor||Not Included||Fermentor||Shipping||Kit Price|
|Midwest Supplies||Kettle, Bottles, Ingredients||6 gallon Better Bottle Plastic Carboy||Variable||$149.99|
|MoreBeer||Kettle, Bottles, Ingredients||6 gal Plastic Carboy||Free over $59||$109|
|Northern Brewer||Kettle, Bottles, Ingredients||6 gal & 5 gal Plastic Carboys||Variable||$179.99|
|Austin Homebrew||Kettle, Bottles, Ingredients||7.9 gal bucket + 5 gal glass carboy||Variable||$138.99|
How do you use the kit?
To be blunt, the instructions that come with kits usually stink. The vendors specialize in equipment, not in teaching homebrewing.
After my own rocky start to homebrewing and seeing other new brewers struggle, I decided to start this website, The Homebrew Academy, to teach new homebrewers exactly how to brew with step-by-step videos.
Our free crash course is perfect for brewers who are just starting out with a kit but don’t know how to use it. You can learn more right here.
The other item that you will need is an ingredient kit. As a beginner, you should start with a malt extract kit with specialty grains. Here are the links to that type of ingredient kit from the vendors above:
As mentioned in the table, the equipment kits do not come with a kettle or beer bottles. Commercial beer bottles can be reused for homebrewing, so it is best to start saving them if you plan on homebrewing soon. Make sure they are the pop off type ( not screw off), and wash them thoroughly after consumption. Finally, you may already have a suitable pot or can pick one up locally at a kitchen supply store or Wal-Mart. A 5 gallon (20 quart) or larger pot will work fine as a kettle.