There are almost as many ways to brew beer as there are people who brew it. Homebrewing includes everything from making one gallon extract batches on a kitchen stove to massive three-vessel electric brewing systems that wouldn’t look out of place in a small brewery.
Because of the differences in brewing approaches, equipment, and processes, it can be intimidating for new homebrewers to decide what equipment is needed to get started. Luckily, several starter kits for homebrewing are available on the market. They all claim to have everything you need, but they are all a bit different. So, how do you know which one to buy? Here are our picks for the best homebrewing starter kits available now and what each one is best for!
First we’ll talk about some of our favorite one gallon starter kits with ingredients for brand new brewers, and then we’ll review a few of our favorite five gallon homebrewing starter kits with all of the equipment needed to start brewing five gallon batches.
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The Best One Gallon Homebrewing Starter Kits with Ingredients
If you are planning on brewing your very first batch of beer ever, and you aren’t sure that this is the hobby for you, we recommend starting with a one gallon recipe kit. This will give you an idea of the overall process, the basic equipment you need, and the ingredients to brew your favorite style of beer. Many homebrewers, myself included, started with one of these kits. Here are our favorite ones!
MoreBeer’s One Gallon Starter Kits are a great way to get started with homebrewing. They include a wide-mouth one gallon fermenter jar, an airlock, a mini autosiphon, tubing, a bottling wand, a capper, and sanitizer. Additionally, you have the option of three recipe kits (Irish Red Ale, American IPA, or Summer Wheat) for your first brew. Once you’re done, you can still use the equipment to brew more one gallon recipes. Our favorite thing about this kit is the wide-mouth fermenter, which is much easier to clean than a standard carboy.
Like the MoreBeer kit, Brooklyn Brew Shop’s One Gallon Beer Kit comes with all of the equipment and ingredients you need to brew your first gallon of homebrew. It includes a fermenter (this one uses a standard glass carboy), a thermometer, a racking cane, transfer tubing, and an airlock. What makes the Brooklyn Brew Shop kits stand out is the variety of recipes to choose from. While the MoreBeer kit has three options, the Brooklyn Brew Shop Beer Making Kit gives you a choice from almost 30 recipes, including some popular recipes like Black is Beautiful and BrewDog Elvis Juice. When you’ve finished your first batch, you can brew additional beers using Brooklyn Brew Shop’s Beer Mix Kits, which provide all of the ingredients you need for another one gallon batch of beer at a substantially reduced price from the full kit.
The Best Five Gallon Homebrewing Starter Kits
When choosing a five gallon homebrewing starter kit, consider if you’re planning to brew with extract, all-grain using the brew-in-a-bag (BIAB) method, all-grain using a 3-vessel system, or all-grain using an electric all-in-one system (here’s a list of our favorites). We have included our top three choices for the best homebrewing starter kits in the chart below and corresponding descriptions. Each of these kits contain a different set of equipment that makes it best for one of the primary brewing methods.
|Hombrewing Starter Kit||MoreBeer Premium Home Brewing Kit||AIH Beginning Homebrew All Grain Kit Upgrade #6||Northern Brewer - Premium Craft Brewery in a Box Beer Making Starter Kit (Fresh Squished)|
|Kettle||8.5 Gallon Stainless Steel Brew Kettle w/ thermometer port, stainless ball valve, internal volume markers, Silicone handle grips||10 Gallon Boil Kettle with 2 1/2" NPT Threaded Ports||8 Gallon Megapot w/ Ball Valve|
|Mash Tun||Not Included||5 gallon Igloo cooler mash tun (Complete)||Not Included|
|Hot Liquor Tank||Not Included||5 Gallon Pot (sparge water)||Not Included|
|Mesh Grain/Hop Bags||Included||Not Included||Not Included|
|Fermenter||7 Gallon Fermonster fermenter with built in spigot, stopper, and airlock||6.5 Gallon "Ale Pail" Primary Fermenter with Drilled & Grommeted Lid||Siphonless Big Mouth Bubbler - Ported 6.5 Gallon Plastic Fermenter w/ Harness (Primary Fermenter)|
|Wort Chiller||Copper Immersion Wort Chiller||3/8 Copper Immersion Wort Chiller||Immersion Wort Chiller and faucet adapter|
|Spoon/Mash Paddle||Large Stainless Steel Spoon||24" heat resistant plastic mash paddle||21” Stainless Steel Spoon|
|Autosiphon||Not Included||Included||Not Included|
|Bottling Bucket||Not Included||6.5 Gallon "Ale Pail" Bottling Bucket||Translucent Bottling Bucket & Spigot|
|Bottle Caps||Included||Not Included||Included|
|Cleaning Brush||Included||Included||Not Included|
|Recipe Kit||American Pale Ale recipe kit with yeast||Not Included||Fresh Squished IPA Recipe Kit|
If you’re starting from scratch and want to make 5-gallon batches, our number one recommendation for the best homebrewing starter kit is MoreBeer’s Premium Home Brewing Kit. This kit includes a ton of equipment at a relatively low price, and includes everything you need to brew, including a 7 gallon Fermonster fermenter, an 8.5 gallon brew kettle with a thermometer port and built-in ball valve, a wort chiller, a bottling bucket, a thermometer, a hydrometer, transfer tubing, bottling equipment, cleaner, sanitizer, and a recipe kit to brew your first batch. This is our choice for the overall best homebrewing starter kit because it is high-quality and has everything you need to start brewing at a very reasonable price.
If you’re looking to get started but want to jump right into electric all grain brewing, MoreBeer even has a version of their Premium Home Brewing Kit that includes the equipment above PLUS a 9 Gallon DigiBoil Electric Kettle with digital controller and the DigiMash Upgrade Kit stainless steel malt pipe for all grain brewing!
If you’re looking for the best homebrewing starter kit for jumping right into traditional all grain brewing using a separate mash tun, our favorite place to start is with Adventures in Homebrewing’s Beginning Homebrew All Grain Kit Upgrade #6. This awesome kit includes a bucket fermenter, a bottling bucket, a 10 gallon ported brew kettle, a 5-gallon insulated mash tun, a smaller kettle to serve as a hot liquor tank, a wort chiller, hydrometer, and bottling equipment.
With this kit, you will be ready to brew five gallon batches of beer using the traditional 3-vessel all grain brewing method. It even includes a copy of John Palmer’s excellent book How to Brew (if you’re looking for the best homebrewing books to read, check out this list of our favorites!). For anyone looking for a way to jump into 3-vessel all grain brewing, this is our pick for the best homebrewing starter kit!
One of the original homebrewing starter kits is still one of the best! Northern Brewer’s Premium Craft Brewery in a Box Beer Making Starter Kit includes everything needed to get started brewing. This kit includes a ported brew kettle, a wort chiller, a ported Big Mouth Bubbler fermenter, and bottling equipment. It also includes the recipe kit for Northern Brewer’s Fresh Squished IPA, which is one of the best recipe kits we have ever brewed! This is a solid homebrewing starter kit that has everything needed to get started in the hobby!
Thanks for Reading!
Did we miss your favorite starter kit for homebrewing? Have questions or feedback about one of these starter kits? Leave a comment below or post in the BrewTogether forums!
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