8 Best Home Brewing Kits (May 2020 Updated Review)
There’s something deeply satisfying about brewing your own ale, much in the same way as baking your own bread. I don’t know if it’s down to something primal recorded in our DNA or simply that having beer and bread ‘on tap’ for low cost is something that can’t be sniffed at. Beer, and wine, brewing has been a part of human culture for 7000 years, starting with the most ancient cultures of Sumer, Egypt and China. Sumerian beer was more of a thick porridge like substance, so it’s the Egyptians, who adapted and improved upon the Sumerian recipe, who are regarded by many as being the first ‘beer’ brewers.
Here is my list of best brewing kits
In modern times, home brewing has never been easier. Home brewing kits are a plenty, and are improving all the time. Most contain everything you need to brew your own ales and include detailed instructions on how to do so for the best results. Of course, there are numerous forums and videos on the internet offering tips and advice for both beginner and experienced home brewers alike and what could be better than being sat on the patio on a long Summer evening with the dim glow of the garden solar lights and listening to the wildlife and gentle trickle of the pond water pump running giving us the relaxing sound of running water.
For a first timer though, we would suggest buying a good home brewing kit and following the instructions to the letter. After you’ve successfully created a batch or two and feel you’ve come to grips with it, then you can start to adapt the recipes to your tastes and combine them with the perfect food, a barbecue or smoker come to mind here.
Here are the best home brewing kits reviewed for you. Enjoy.
1. Youngs Premium Ale Kit
Youngs Premium Ale Kit is our first review. This 5 star rated product is pleasing customers worldwide. Priced at £26.95, it includes Yeast, sugar, priming sugar, hopped liquid malt, and hops. Youngs are proud to announce that this kit includes twice the amount of raw materials that a standard kit does and will produce 40 pints. All that’s needed from you is to add water, follow the Instructions and wait a few weeks. At the end, you’ll have more than enough of the light and malty, 5.6% ABV ale to keep you and your friends busy for a while.
While no brewing equipment is included in the kit (we have reviewed equipment kits for you below) the ingredients are pre-weighed out for you so as to save time and guess work.
The ingredients are top notch, especially the malt which is well balanced, and the ale produced has a lovely hoppy aroma. Word of warning, don’t be fooled by the light and zesty taste, as this ale packs a punch and is stronger than you think.
- Excellent customer feedback
- Twice as much dry ingredients as a standard kit, produces 40 pints
- Light, malty and hoppy taste with a touch of zest
- At 5.6% it is deceptively strong despite the light taste
- Pre-weighed ingredients make things so much easier
- Ingredients only kit. No equipment included
2. Brooklyn Brew Beer Making Kit
With easy to follow online instructions, all the dry ingredients, plus all the equipment needed to brew your own beer, this set priced at just over forty quid is great value for money.
The equipment you get includes a glass fermenter, thermometer, tubing, a racking cane & tip, airlock, cleanser, and a screw-cap stopper. What is not included, but you will definitely need is a very large cooking pot of at least 6 litres in capacity and of course a large strainer. This is an American product, so the amount of beer produced is an American gallon, which is less than our imperial gallon, but still a decent amount of beer.
This particular kit brews up a strong everyday IPA at 6.8% ABV, but if you click on the link we have provided you will see that there are other versions that will produce other types of beer or ale. Brewing takes about a month and leaves you with a decent tasting beer, but not as hoppy as the Youngs Premium Ale above. This is a great set for a beginner and will teach you the process of how to make beer from scratch. The equipment is all reusable but I would probably replace a couple of the components such as the thermometer for better quality ones if you’re planning on using it often, at the end of every batch I just take it into the back garden and hose it all down, the nutrients then go back into the soil too which is handy.
- Good value for money
- Includes all dry ingredients needed to brew an IPA
- Includes glass fermenter, thermometer, tubing, a racking cane & tip, airlock, cleanser, and a screw-cap stopper
- Clear and easy to follow online instructions. Good set for a first time brewer
- Produces a good tasting yet strong beer at 6.8 ABV
- Equipment can be reused
3. Balliihoo® Complete Homebrew Beer Making Equipment Starter Set
Our next home brewing kit review is for this equipment only kit from Ballihoo available for £76.99. This kit doesn’t come with any brewing ingredients of its own but can be used to brew pretty much any natural materials, allowing you to use it with an ingredients kit like the Youngs Premium Ale kit, or a kit from Ballyhoo themselves for brewing beer or your own cider.
Included in the pack are a 5 gallon bucket for your first stage fermentation, this has a lid and an LCD thermometer strip for easy monitoring. The lid also has a grommet pre-fitted and an airlock to keep things sealed.
For transferring your brew, Ballihoo have given you a syphon tube and racking cane, a hydrometer to determine the volume, some sterilising powder and cleaner for sanitary reasons, and a 5 gallon pressure barrel (also with temperature strip) for your final fermentation stage. Also included are a jug and funnel set, mixing spoon, cloths and a pint glass for when the time comes for a taste test. All the equipment is good quality and should have you brewing up beers, wines, ciders or whatever you like for a long time to come.
- Full equipment kit for home brewing beer, wine, cider, etc.
- 5 gallon bucket and lid with pre-fitted grommet, air-lock and temperature reader
- Hydrometer for measuring the strength of your brew
- Includes everything you need for keeping your brewing sanitary
- 5 gallon pressure barrel for second stage fermentation
- Good customer service should any problems arise
4. 40 Pint (5 Gallon) Cider Making Starter Kit - Brewmaker Cider Deluxe
I’ve got to admit to being a bit too much of a cider lover. Especially in summer when the sun is shining, you just can’t beat an ice cold glass of cider. This kit has been specially designed with first time cider brewers in mind, and is a great starting point for beginners to get their feet (and taste buds) wet, before moving on to more complicated processes. The kit has full, detailed instructions, again aimed at beginners, to guide you all the way through setting up the equipment, to tasting your first glass of homemade cider.
All the equipment you need is here including a 25 litre fermenting bin with lid that seals really airtight and a 6 chamber airlock for you to monitor the bubbles. There is also a syphon with a U-bend and tap, a hydrometer, measuring cylinder, cleaning materials and a brewing spoon.
The kit also includes 1kg of brewing sugar, a pack of cider yeast, and a selection of cider concentrates. I personally found the cider a bit weak so I would recommend less watering down than the instructions say. Either that, or purchase some other brand cider concentrate. Other than that, this is a great starter kit for cider lovers.
- Designed specifically for cider brewing
- Made with beginners in mind with detailed instructions
- Contains all the equipment needed to start you brewing
- Fermenting bin lid seals airtight
- 1kg of brewing sugar, a pack of cider yeast, and a selection of cider concentrates
5. MICRO BREWERY 40 PINT BEER MAKING KIT HOME BREW BITTER
MICRO BREWERY 40 PINT BEER MAKING KIT HOME BREW BITTER
If you’re more of a bitter lover than cider or ale, we’ve got you covered with this kit from Woodfordes. It contains all the ingredients you need to create 40 pints worth of ‘pub style’ bitter and also all of the equipment to get you started.
The kit includes a 25 litre fermentation bin with lid that seals well, hydrometer, syphon, paddle, 40 pint barrel and CO2 injector. The equipment is all decent quality and should keep you happily brewing for a while. One thing I will say though, is that the instructions say to brew for 4-6 days, but to really get a decent ale, you should be brewing for at least 2 weeks in the bucket and another 2-3 in the barrel.
- Made for ‘pub bitter’ lovers
- Includes ‘woodward wherry real ale kit’
- 25 litre fermentation bucket with good sealing lid
- 40 pint barrel
- CO2 injector
- Good quality at a reasonable price
6. BJ #3 PET Kit - Winemaking Set
The next best home brewing kit we are reviewing is for all you wine lovers who’d like to have a crack at making your own.
This equipment set is meant to be used in conjunction with any 6 bottle winemaking ingredients kits, and doesn’t include any ingredients of its own. However, being the kind fellows we are, we have included a review for a wine kit for you below.
This kit includes the usual equipment- 5 litre fermenting bin, syphon with U-bend and tap, bubbler airlock, hydrometer, cleanse and steriliser, and brewing spoon. There is also a 5 litre plastic demi-john, plastic jug and funnel, all made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) to prevent any flavours or odours from contaminating your brew.
- Cheap price of only £23.99
- To be used with 6 bottle winemaking kits
- 5 litre demi-john is made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) to prevent any unwanted flavours or odours
- 5 litre fermenting bin
- Bubbler airlock
7. Hedgerow Wine Kit
Here’s the ideal kit to be used with the wine making equipment set above. Priced at only £6.99, it includes recipes for a wide range of fruit wines, everything from apple and strawberry to rose petal, rhubarb and parsnip, all together over 30 different types.
The kit has finings such as yeast, pectin enzyme and citric acid to help you clear and improve your wine. All of the ingredients come in separate packages that are clearly labelled to avoid any confusion, and the instructions provided are clear and easy to follow.
Combining this kit with the set above will having you creating a lovely selection of wines in no time at all.
- Low price
- Includes recipes for a huge variety of fruit wines
- All ingredients are packaged separately and clearly labelled
- Clear and easy to follow instructions
- Includes finings such as citric acid, yeast and others to clear the wine
- Perfect for newcomers to wine making
8. Home Brew Online Standard Beer Starter Equipment Pack With Bottles
Our final review for the best home brewing kits comes from home brew online, and can be yours for £43.00.
This is an equipment only kit, so you’ll have to purchase the type of beer ingredients you want separately.
The fermentation bin will brew about 22 litres comfortably and has been bored so as to fit the little bottler that is also included in this kit. The little bottler will make it easier to transfer the beer from the fermentation bin to the brown plastic bottles, of which there are 40, all with screw tops.
A thermometer and hydrometer are provided for monitoring your home brew’s alcohol percentage and temperature, and steriliser to keep things from getting contaminated.
This kit comes with easy to follow instructions with first time brewers in mind.
- Priced under fifty pounds
- 23 litre fermentation bin is bored to fit little bottler
- Little bottler makes filling the bottles easier
- 40 brown plastic bottles included
- Thermometer and hydrometer to measure and monitor temperature and volume
Well, there you go – the best home brewing kits reviewed for you complete with bullet points highlighting the best features. We hope this article was of some use to you and has helped guide you towards a more informed purchase. We have only reviewed products that should be easily affordable for most people, and tried to focus on brewing kits that good for complete beginners.