Take your love of beer to the next level by learning how to craft your own brew. Home-brewing kits streamline the beer making process so you can brew, ferment, and bottle your own beer. These useful kits bring both beer-making equipment and instructional knowledge to the comfort of your own home.
Home brewing is a hobby that requires special equipment and ingredients. The best home-brewing kit should include straightforward instructions and the materials you need to make the perfect home brew. Find the best home-brewing kit for yourself or a beer enthusiast (or both) with the shopping advice and recommendations collected here.
- BEST OVERALL: Craft a Brew Reusable Make Your Own Beer Kit
- BEST FOR BEGINNERS: Mr. Beer Complete Beer Making 2 Gallon Starter Kit
- BEST FOR ASPIRING PROS: Northern Brewer Brew. Share. Enjoy. HomeBrewing Set
- BEST WITH CONICAL FERMENTER: BrewDemon Craft Beer Brewing Kit Signature Pro
- BEST HIGH-TECH: BrewArt BeerDroid Fully Automated Beer Brewing System
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Home-Brewing Kit
Home-brewing kits usually provide most, or even all, of the equipment you need to start brewing. They are an easy and cost-effective option for most home brewers. Instead of purchasing individual items, a kit ensures you’ll have a streamlined system that works well together.
With some kits, you may need to use your own kitchen basics or purchase bottles separately. Home-brewing kits come in different styles, difficulty levels, sizes, and for all different beer types. Here are some considerations to keep in mind when choosing your best home-brewing kit.
Venturing into the world of home brewing can be overwhelming. Luckily, there’s a kit for every experience level, from beginner to seasoned home brewer. You can find beer making kits that only need a stovetop and basic kitchen equipment, or you can find setups that mimic a professional brewery.
Beginner-friendly kits usually use extracts and have straightforward instructions. They’re a great starting point for those looking to start home brewing. After some boiling, mixing, and waiting, you’ll have homemade beer.
Complex kits usually involve more steps and are great for serious hobbyists. They often incorporate more hands-on work that teaches the art and science behind home brewing. These kits allow for customization and can create a higher-quality finished product.
Home-brewing kits are made to yield different batch sizes. Beginner home brewers may want to start with a smaller batch size, such as a 1-gallon or 2-gallon kit. Smaller kits are a good choice for budding hobbyists because they take up less space and are usually less expensive.
Small batch sizes can be ideal for some experienced home brewers as well. You can experiment with more types of beer when brewing smaller batches. Since experimenting doesn’t always go well, a smaller batch size means you won’t pour gallons of beer down the drain if something goes wrong.
A larger batch size means you don’t need to brew as often. Larger home-brewing kits are great for serious beer drinkers who want a lasting supply of their homemade beer. And, if you have any extra beer, you can always use it around the house. A downside of large-batch kits is that they can take up a fair amount of space.
Humans have been brewing beer for centuries. There are a dizzying number of beer types to choose from. Popular beer types include wheat beers, brown ales, pale lagers, dark lagers, IPAs, stouts, porters, and many more.
Many home-brewing brands offer a wide range of ingredient recipe kits. These ingredient packages are made for use with their home-brewing kits.
Alcoholic beers aren’t the only fermented drink you can make at home. Root beer is another classic drink you can ferment and bottle on your own. Like brewing alcoholic beer, making root beer involves a brewing and fermenting process. Making root beer is a family-friendly way to enjoy home brewing.
There are four basic ingredients in beer: malt, hops, yeast, and water. With the rise of home brewing, you can now find a range of variations of these ingredients.
Malt extracts are often found in home-brewing kits because they are easy to use. For more experienced home brewers, some kits include steeping grains, partial mash, or all-grain ingredients. You can also choose from a wide range of hops and yeast strains to impart different flavors, aromas, and qualities to your finished beer.
Many home-brewing brands sell ingredient recipe kits for use with their home-brewing kits. Most brands carry a wide range of different beer types. Some companies offer these recipes in easy-to-use, pre-measured packets, but, if you choose to branch out on your own, you can also find ingredients individually and in bulk.
There are many features to look for in the best home-brewing kit. Various features can contribute to ease of use, functionality, design, and beer quality.
Fermenter type is one feature to consider in your home-brewing kit. You can choose from plastic fermentation buckets, glass or plastic carboys (a type of fermentation jug), conical fermenters, and more.
If you’re a true beginner, you might look for a kit that is easy to use and has the fewest steps possible. On the other hand, experienced home brewers might look for a kit that has higher-quality materials or includes tools like thermometers and hydrometers for more accurate brewing. There are even all-in-one and fully-automated brewing systems that can elevate the home-brewing process.
Equipment and Accessories
Home brewing requires special equipment. Some home-brewing kits come with all the materials you need, including bottles. Others require you to provide basic kitchen items or bottling equipment. Serious home brewers might look for deluxe home-brewing kits with additional accessories or choose to create their own kits.
The necessary equipment varies depending on the home-brewing method you choose. A home-brewing kit simplifies the process by providing most or all of the materials. As you progress, you can always upgrade your equipment or add new accessories to your kit.
With some high-tech home-brewing kits, you might not even need traditional home-brewing equipment. These appliances can do most of the work for you for a mess-free and easy brew.
Our Top Picks
The best home-brewing kit provides clear instructions and most (or all) of the materials you need to brew your beer. A quality home-brewing kit should be easy and fun for both beginners and experienced brewers. Most importantly, it should result in a tasty beer. The following recommendations have been selected with these criteria in mind.
Craft A Brew’s home-brewing kit is beginner-friendly, affordable, and offers a variety of options. This kit comes with a 1-gallon carboy, funnel, racking cane, rubber stopper, transfer tubing, thumb clamp, airlock, thermometer, sanitizer, and your choice of recipe kit. The included “Guide to Craft Brewing” booklet walks you through the brewing steps. It does not include a brew kettle, bottling equipment, or bottles.
All of the equipment in this kit is reusable. Craft A Brew offers a variety of ingredient recipe kits made with specialty grains, fresh-packed hops, and dry malt extract.
You can also purchase separate recipe kits to experiment with different types of alcohol. If you want to venture into other types of home brewing, the equipment from this kit can be used with Craft A Brew’s beer, wine, hard cider, and hard seltzer recipe kits.
The Mr. Beer Complete Beer Making Kit comes with Mr. Beer’s simplified brewing process, high-quality ingredients, and patented brewing equipment. With their step-by-step instructions, it only takes 30 minutes to brew your beer. Then after a few weeks of fermenting, your beer is ready to bottle.
There are a variety of beer types available for this easy beer kit. Each recipe uses high-quality ingredients made by Coopers Brewery, Australia’s largest craft brewery.
This kit includes the beer ingredients, sanitizer, carbonation drops, a 2-gallon fermenter, and reusable shatter-proof bottles. The 2-gallon fermenter has a wide mouth top and a built-in airlock and spigot. Add some common kitchen basics, and most of the magic happens in this unique fermentor.
The Northern Brewer “Brew. Share. Enjoy.” 5-gallon starter set includes nearly all you need to brew―you’ll just need to provide your own bottles. It includes a recipe kit, a 6.5-gallon fermenter with spigot, a bubbler airlock, a bottling bucket with spigot, and the necessary tubing and sanitizers.
It’s the additional equipment in this kit that takes it to the next level. It also comes with a 5-gallon, stainless steel brew kettle and long-handled, stainless-steel spoon—a dedicated brew kettle and spoon is usually better than using your kitchen tools, which can contaminate beer with bacteria or cooking flavors. And with its additional testing equipment, including a Herculometer Triple Scale Hydrometer, test jar, and lab thermometer, this kit sets you up to brew the perfect beer.
Northern Brewer carries a range of starter-kit upgrades, ingredient recipe kits, and extra accessories to build upon this easy-to-use starting kit.
Conical fermenters are typically used in breweries. Home-brewing kits with conical fermenters attempt to mimic the brewery process to create high-quality beer on a much smaller scale. This kit includes a patented, small-batch conical fermenter that is easy to use. It eliminates the need for siphoning and has a spigot for easy pouring once your beer is ready for bottling. The large mouth opening makes for simple mixing and cleaning.
This kit has the essentials you need to brew. In addition to the 2-gallon conical fermenter with spigot and temperature gauge, it includes recipe ingredients, an airlock, rubber stopper, gasket, mixing spoon, bottle filler, hose, and eight plastic bottles with caps.
BrewDemon uses handcrafted beer recipes from Speight’s brewery, one of New Zealand’s most popular breweries. This kit includes a light and refreshing One Evil Pilsner recipe kit. Their brewing kits brew in as little as 15 minutes on the stove.
Looking for a fresh home-brew with less work? The BeerDroid fully automates the home brewing process. This sleek, countertop unit uses “BrewPrints” (ingredient packs) that are designed by BrewArt masters. These BrewPrints are made from 100 percent natural ingredients and are free from additives and preservatives.
Insert a BrewPrint and, with the click of a button, the BeerDroid starts creating fresh-brewed beer. A backlit LCD screen allows you to check the brew status, control the temperature, and customize your brew on the unit. And the BrewArt app enables you to connect via Wi-Fi to the device to monitor and control the BeerDroid from your smartphone.
There is minimal preparation and cleaning needed with this unit. It is temperature-controlled and you can choose from pre-programmed or customizable settings. This unit includes an American Pale Ale Brewprint.
FAQs About Your New Home-Brewing Kit
Venturing into home brewing can be exciting and overwhelming. There are a wide range of home-brewing methods and products available. A home-brewing kit simplifies the process by including step-by-step instructions to create your own beer. Here are some frequently asked questions about home-brewing kits.
Q. How do you make homemade beer at home?
There are many different ways to make homemade beer, but there are usually four basic steps: prepare, brew, ferment, and bottle. A home-brewing kit streamlines the process and makes beer-making easy.
Q. What is the easiest beer to brew at home?
Many home brewers consider ales to be the easiest beer to brew at home. But home-brewing kits offer an easy and almost foolproof way to make all different types of beer. If you end up with a bad batch, you can always use the beer around the house instead.
Q. Is it cheaper to brew your own beer?
If you plan to use your home-brewing kit often, it is usually cheaper to brew your own beer—and many home brewers would say that the satisfaction of crafting your own beer is priceless.
Q. What equipment do I need for home brewing?
The necessary equipment depends on your home-brewing method, but most methods need a heat source, brewpot or brewing kettle, a fermenting vessel, sanitizers, and bottling equipment.