For those looking for a brewing kit, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with the choices available to you. A quick search on Amazon returns over 4,000 home brewing kit results, which makes it almost impossible to sort through your options.
That’s our purpose with this review; we’ve investigated a lot of different home brewing kits and have narrowed the list down to what we consider to be five of the best choices available. We’ve looked at both the pros and cons of each homebrewing kit while keeping in mind that, just like the kits themselves, not all home brewers are created equal.
As a result of this research, we’ve found that the one standard rule you should remember is that different kits are designed with a wide range of home brewers in mind. These home brew kits span the spectrum from first-time beginners with no experience to those that might have dozens of batches of the best home brewed beer under their belts. We’ve even found kits for brewers who are looking for a second setup or a new method to use.
We also considered what “must have” items each kit should include, along with any “add on” items that make things easier to brew.
It’s time to look at what we consider to be the five best kits available!
In this Guide
- #1 – Deluxe Home Brewing Starter Kit
- #2 – Mr. Beer Premium Gold Edition Home Brewing Craft Beer Kit
- #3 – Beer Brewing Starter Kit (Brewery in a Box)
- #4 – Ohio RL-WKZ2-0IJS Gold Complete Beer Kit
- #5 – Home Brew Ohio K6 Beer Homebrew Kit
- Comparing Brew Making Kits
- Beer Making Kit Essentials (MUST-Have Items)
- Beer Making Kit Add-Ons (Nice-to-Have Items)
- Home Bar Essentials
- What’s The Best Beer Making Kit?
#1 – Deluxe Home Brewing Starter Kit
This offering from Northern Brewer is an outstanding brewing kit. It includes almost everything you need to brew a good beer, including a Chinook IPA recipe kit. This isn’t just a recipe, but a full set of hand-chosen ingredients. Northern Brewer is well known for their marketing statement “Your first homebrew is a guaranteed success,” which is a lofty claim indeed.
One good thing about this kit is that, while it’s very suitable for beginners, it also has high-quality components that would be useful additions to an experienced home brewer’s arsenal. It includes two glass carboys (a 6-gallon primary fermenter and a 5-gallon secondary fermenter), funnels, tubing, a quality bottling bucket and spigot, a bottle capper with caps included, and a complete set of cleaning equipment.
The only things missing from this home brewing kit that prevent it from being a true “out of the box” home brewing system are a kettle, and of course, bottles. Neither of these omissions is as bad as they sound, though, since most home brew kits don’t include these items.
- Good for any experience level
- Foolproof instructions
- A complete set of ingredients and the recipe
- Almost all items needed to brew included
- Promoted as a “guaranteed success” on your first home brew
- No kettle included
- No bottles included
A strong contender for “Best Beer Making Kit of 2019,” the Deluxe is a solid choice for home brewers of any experience level.
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#2 – Mr. Beer Premium Gold Edition Home Brewing Craft Beer Kit
While most of the kits on this list have something to offer almost anyone, the Mr. Beer Premium Gold Edition Home Brewing Craft Beer Kit is a highly-targeted specialty brewing kit designed with completely inexperienced brewers in mind.
Mr. Beer has simplified the process to the point where anyone can brew a good beer their first time out, and every time after that, more quickly and easily than with any other kit. This is due in large part to the fact that you’ll have almost none of the “prep work” to do because it’s already done for you.
This kit uses a “refill” system, and each one is guaranteed to brew a good beer. The refills consist of a pre-made extract that eliminates the process of boiling and cooling wort, mixing mash, and everything else that goes into crafting a home brew beer before the fermentation process begins.
This kit will make beginners wonder why they waited so long to start brewing their own beer. Of course, due to the focus on beginners, this home brewing kit has a small yield, making a maximum of two gallons per batch.
- The most affordable way to try home brewing
- Incredibly simple to use
- Bottles come with the kit
- “Ingredients” are included in the form of refill kits
- Small capacity; only capable of brewing two gallons per batch
- No kettle included
- No thermometer included
The Mr. Beer Premium Gold Edition Home Brewing Craft Beer Kit was a natural choice as the Best Beer Brewing Kit for Beginners for 2019.
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#3 – Beer Brewing Starter Kit (Brewery in a Box)
The Brewery in a Box was a solid contender as the best beginner home brewing kit because it lives up to its name.
This is indeed a brewery in a box, with everything you need to start brewing a batch of beer the same day you open the box. No additional items to find and purchase, no ingredients or recipe to track down, and clear instructions all make this an excellent choice for inexperienced brewers.
The attention to detail is impressive in this kit; they have thought of everything, including a spoon! The standout feature of this kit is one not found in most other kits of its type; along with the primary and secondary fermenters, tubing, bottle capper, and cleaning supplies, this kit also includes a kettle! This is not a standard inclusion in a starter brewing kit, and its presence alone goes a long way to living up to the “Brewery in a Box” name.
As for the recipe and ingredients, they’re all provided as well. Malt extract, grains, and hops are all included to match the recipe. Follow the recipe using the provided instructions, and you’re almost guaranteed a good beer in around a month.
- Kettle included!
- Amber pale ale recipe and all ingredients included
- All cleaning supplies are included
- The secondary fermenter is plastic, not glass
- No thermometer included
The Brewery in a Box was the clear winner of the Best Beer Ingredient Kits of 2019 category.
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#4 – Ohio RL-WKZ2-0IJS Gold Complete Beer Kit
While the previous two brewing kits on our list were excellent choices for beginners, the Ohio RL-WKZ2-0IJS Gold Complete Beer Kit is not.
That doesn’t mean it’s of inferior quality; far from it. This kit features very high-quality components and is one of the most versatile systems on the market. This is due in part to the fact that there are few frills here; this home brew kit is designed to give you exactly what you need to create whatever type of home brew you want to create.
This brewing kit includes almost all of the equipment you need to brew except a thermometer and a kettle. However, the included items are high-quality and very easy to use. There are no arcane, mysterious devices or processes involved in using the Ohio RL-WKZ2-0IJS Gold Complete Beer Kit to brew a batch of good beer.
For those that have intermediate experience, this kit does come with easy-to-follow instructions that give guidance for the entire brewing process.
- Instructions included that are easy to read and follow
- High-quality glass carboy included
- All cleaning supplies included
- Bottle capper included
- Kettle not included
- Thermometer not included
- Bottles not included
- No recipes provided
- No ingredients included
For a home brewer that wants a kit that works with any brew they’re creating and is experienced enough to be able to handle the complicated parts of the process by themselves, the Ohio RL-WKZ2-0IJS Gold Complete Beer Kit is a solid choice.
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#5 – Home Brew Ohio K6 Beer Homebrew Kit
Our final choice as a finalist for the Best Home Brew Kit of 2019 is the Home Brew Ohio K6 Beer Homebrew Kit. This is another kit that’s not suitable for beginners, much like the Ohio RL-WKZ2-OIJS Gold Complete Beer kit, but this brewing kit offers some advantages over the previous entry on our list.
For starters, this contender for the title of best beer kit includes both a primary and secondary fermenting bottle or carboy, both of which are made from high-quality glass. This gives you everything you need to make use of the double-fermentation process that results in a clearer and better-tasting beer.
Another addition to this home brewing kit is the inclusion of a hydrometer, which will allow you to measure the ABV% (Alcohol By Volume Percentage) of your home brew. Many home brewing starter kits don’t include a hydrometer, but as the Home Brew Ohio K6 Beer Homebrew Kit is intended for a more experienced audience, its inclusion is welcome.
Of course, a brewing kit targeted at experienced home brewers doesn’t include ingredients or recipes, nor does this kit come with a kettle or bottles. Again, the absence of a kettle and bottles from a home brewing kit is not unusual, so it shouldn’t be considered a black mark on this kit’s report card.
- Two glass carboys included
- All cleaning supplies included
- Bottle capper provided
- No kettle
- Bottles not included
- No ingredients or recipe provided
The Home Brew Ohio K6 Beer Homebrew Kit is a solid choice for an experienced home brewer.
Comparing Brew Making Kits
Making a good, general-purpose comparison of different home brew kits is almost impossible. What might be the best home brew kit for one person would be a horrible choice for another. This is due to each brewer’s level of experience and expectations.
If you want a simple experience with no hassle and no chance of a failed batch of home brewed beer, there are options designed to give you exactly that.
Others may want to dip their toes into the complete beer brewing experience, in which case the simple, “almost done for you” brewing kits would be inadequate.
More experienced home brewers (and newcomers that subscribe to the theory that “the best way to learn to swim is to jump into the deep end”) will most likely be looking for a complete brewing kit that offers the equipment to allow them to create their brew from start to finish with no assistance.
And, of course, there are home brewers that merely want to upgrade their setup, whether it be adding a few pieces to their existing brewing systems or starting a second system’s worth of equipment.
The perfect beer homebrew kit for you exists, but you’re the only person that can decide which kit that is. Just keep your goals and needs in mind when you start your search and remember one other thing; the only bad kit is the one that’s not right for you.
Beer Making Kit Essentials (MUST-Have Items)
One thing to consider when choosing a new home brewing system is what’s included, and how that list of items matches up with the list of items that are necessary to brew beer at home, no matter what system you’re using.
The one item on this list that is usually not included in the equipment provided by starter beer kits is a kettle. Every setup requires a kettle, but they are seldom included in kits to keep the price at a reasonable level.
Carboys are also a required item. These are the vessels where your brew will ferment. Some systems use a single-fermentation process, but a double-fermentation process usually produces the best results. Almost every kit includes at least one carboy, and many provide both a primary and a secondary one. These can take one of several different forms, from high-quality glass carboys to plastic bottles or even plastic fermentation buckets.
A thermometer is necessary to keep your home brew at the correct temperature, while a siphon and bubbler or airlock are also required for the process to be successful.
For those that have never home brewed a beer before, you may be surprised to learn that bottling your beer happens at roughly the halfway point of the process. This means that both bottles and a bottle capper are essential parts of home brew systems.
You’ll also need a couple of items that aren’t usually included in a starter kit, measuring cups and a spoon. Without measuring cups, you’re guessing as to how much of each ingredient to add to your wort, which is never a good idea, and without the spoon…well, stirring your brew with a stick isn’t going to give you the best result.
Other must-haves for brewing beer at home are the recipe and the ingredients. If you have experience brewing beer, you most likely already have a collection of recipes; if not, there are plenty available online. The ingredients are arguably the most important things to have since there’s no home brewed beer without them no matter how good your kit is. However, most kits don’t include ingredients and those that do only provide enough for one or two batches of beer.
If you have all these things, you’re ready to brew! Of course, there are other items that, although they’re not required, still make your home brewing experience more effective or more manageable.
Beer Making Kit Add-Ons (Nice-to-Have Items)
Any vehicle that can get you from point “A” to your destination is good enough to make the trip, but your journey is a lot easier if your vehicle has some extras, like air conditioning and heating, windshield wipers, and a radio.
While the previous list is everything you need for your home brewing journey, there are other items that no advanced home brewer would want to do without. Just remember, you can take a brew from start to finish without any of these items, but they’ll take your home brew game to the next level.
Out of all the items in this section, most experienced home brewers would say a wort chiller is the first add-on you should get. These devices make the brewing process noticeably shorter and have the additional benefit of reducing the risk of contamination in your wort that could ruin your entire brew and force you to start over. These are inexpensive and are usually one of the first add-ons a home brewer will purchase.
A strong contender for “first add-on to purchase” is a set of cleaning tools. This will make cleanup of your kit much less frustrating and faster, especially when cleaning your carboys. Speaking of carboys, a carboy carrier is another good add-on purchase when you start to expand your brewing system.
One add-on item that might not occur to those brewers just starting is additional tubing. This will reduce the time between brewing since you can have one set of tubing in use while you clean the other set. Also, having a back-up set of tubing is always a good idea, because a problem with your tubing can cause some stress if you don’t already have new tubing on-hand to replace it with.
Other items that fall under the heading of “nice to have” items include a blow off hose, an auto-siphon, a sanitizer bucket, a turkey baster, a funnel, and a hydrometer, which will allow you to check the strength of your brew by calculating the ABV (Alcohol By Volume) percentage of your beer.
None of these items are necessary, but they’ll make a noticeable difference in your home brewing experience if you have some or all of them on hand. And, of course, adding these things to your brewing system is part of the journey from a beginner to a more advanced brewer.
Home Bar Essentials
Before we reveal our choice for the Top Home Brewing Kit of 2019, there’s one final part of the home brewing experience we need to address; namely, once your new creation is finished and ready for “prime time,” you need to complete the experience with a properly-equipped home bar.
No one wants to invite their friends over to enjoy the home brew beer they’ve spent over a month working on, only to have them lean against the wall while they drink it. You’ve put a lot of effort into your creation; it just makes sense to have someplace to enjoy it worthy of the work and time you’ve invested in your home brewing.
The first item on this list is a good idea for almost everyone, quality coasters. You can get a great set of coasters for a minimal cost, and keeping rings of condensation off the furniture gives your spouse one less thing to be aggravated by, no matter how many people you have over to show off your home brewing prowess.
Another thing that’s a good idea is a refrigerator that’s just for your beer. This keeps your home brew ale out of the way of the regular fridge traffic, and some options (like a kegerator) give you the opportunity to put your home brew on tap!
You also might want to invest in a nice set of glasses, because not everyone prefers to drink a beer straight from the bottle, even when it’s a special brew of your creation. If you want to look at an option like a kegerator, good beer glasses will be a necessity!
You can be as simple or fancy as you want, but don’t neglect the enjoyment of your home brew; it’s the most important part of the process.
The Starting list:
What’s The Best Beer Making Kit?
This was a tougher choice than you might expect, mainly because it’s almost impossible to pick one beer making kit for everyone. As we said earlier, every home brewer is unique, as are their needs and preferences. One person’s dream system is another person’s nightmare.
With that disclaimer, our recommendation as the Best Brewing Kit of 2019 is the Deluxe Home Brewing Starter Kit from Northern Brewer.
This kit includes an excellent assortment of tools and equipment, including two glass carboys, cleaning supplies, and other items that will be welcome in a more experienced home brewer’s inventory of equipment. However, this kit is still very newbie-friendly due to the excellent instructional video, recipe, and all ingredients included.
Northern Brewer likes to say that “Your first homebrew is a guaranteed success,” when you use their kits, and they provide the equipment and supplies to back up that claim. The quality of this kit is truly impressive and won’t disappoint any home brewer that purchases it.
Whether you’re brand-new to home brewing beer, or you have lots of experience, the Deluxe Home Brewing Starter Kit from Northern Brewer is our pick for 2019.