Beer Brewing Kit
So, you want to make your own beer at home. If that’s the case, welcome! You’ve probably heard bits and pieces of what this hobby involves, as well as a few specifics, like how a beer making kit can help you quickly learn the ropes. But for every nugget of information you already have, there’s bound to be even more questions, like “How do I find the best beer brewing kit?” and “What does the best 5-gallon home brew kit include?”
Then there’s the matter of cost. How much does it cost to start homebrewing, what ingredients and supplies do you need, and how can you get the most bang for your buck? In this blog, we have the answers to these questions and more!
Is Home Brewing a Good Hobby?
If you enjoy being creative and getting to experience the fruits of your labor, then home brewing could be the perfect hobby for you! Home brewing scratches that creative itch because you get to build your own personalized setup and brew the kind of beer you love to drink. It’s also thirsty work—good thing you’ll have plenty of homemade beverages around to quench that thirst!
Like all hobbies, you want to make sure you’ll enjoy it before you invest your time and money. When thinking about whether or not homebrewing is for you, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you like beer? This goes beyond just enjoying popping a top on Friday nights. Do you love learning about what makes a good beer good? Do you enjoy mixing and matching different flavors to find the perfect combination? Do you find the idea of tinkering with beer-making equipment exciting?
- Do you have space for a homebrewing setup? Brewing equipment can take a little but of space. You’ll need some room in your kitchen on your brew days, plus some extra storage space for your fermenting containers, bottling setup, and finished beers.
- Do you have room in your budget to start brewing your own beer at home? Fortunately, the costs to get started are often less than you’d expect. And once you get started, you could even save money on beer compared to getting your brewskis from the grocery store or a bar or restaurant!
If you’ve checked all these boxes, then homebrewing is the hobby for you! If you’re a beer lover but you’re not sure if you have the space or budget, we’ll go over more specifics in the following sections.
Do You Save Money Brewing Your Own Beer?
In many cases, you can save money by brewing beer on your own instead of buying it. That’s great news in a world where investing in your hobbies can often feel like throwing money away. Of course, pursuing your hobbies is still worth it—according to the mental health benefits published by Fortune Well—but being able to save money as a result makes it easier to justify your favorite activities.
So, how much money can you save by making your own beer? That depends on a few variables. Here’s what you’ll need to calculate your savings from homebrewing:
- How much you typically spend on beer from a store, restaurant, or bar.
- The cost of the ingredients you use in a batch.
- The cost of supplies that you’ll completely use up in a batch (like bottlecaps).
- The cost of supplies you’ll partially use for a batch. Typically, you only use a portion of your supplies, so you can allocate these costs across several batches. For example, you might only use one-fifth of a cleaning product for a batch, so you’d include one-fifth of that product’s cost in your calculation.
- The cost of equipment that you’ll need to brew your own beer. Like with certain homebrewing supplies, you can reuse the same equipment across many batches. As a result, you should only factor in a portion of your equipment costs to determine your savings per batch.
How To Calculate Your Savings By Making Beer at Home from a Beer Making Kit
Now that you have the necessary information plug it into the following equation:
- Savings = (How much you would’ve spent at a store/bar for beer) – (Cost of ingredients) – (Cost of one-use supplies) – (Allocated cost of reusable supplies) – (Allocated cost of equipment)
It’s important to do the math for yourself because each homebrewer will have different costs depending on their setup and chosen ingredients, but it can help to look at case studies for a baseline. For example, the American Homebrewers Association conducted two case studies and found that:
- Homebrewers could save $28 on average per five-gallon batch.
- It costs the average homebrewer $0.96 to fill a 12 oz. bottle of beer. When’s the last time you’ve seen a craft beer that cheap out at a bar?
If saving money is one of your goals when brewing your own beer, then keep track of your expenses to see your results! You can also use beer ingredient kits and homebrew starter kits to get the most value for your dollar.
What Do I Need To Make My Own Beer at Home?
You need beer brewing equipment, ingredients, and a process to brew your own beer at home. Let’s start with equipment first. You’ll need these essentials:
- Brew Pot
- Heat Source
- Cleaning and Sanitizing Supplies
- Stirring Spoon
- Measuring Cup
- Bottling Container with Spigot
Looking to knock a bunch of these items off your list in one shot? Take a look at our selection of homebrew starter kits. There’s an option for every budget, from beginner to advanced tinkerers!
The best home brewing system also needs to make efficient use of ingredients.
Finally, you’ll need to know how to brew beer at home! Fortunately, beer ingredient kits also come with step-by-step instructions to guide you through the specifics of each recipe. Say goodbye to guesswork! At its core, the beer brewing process is as follows:
- Gather the equipment and ingredients you’ll need on your brewing day.
- Clean any gunk, dust, and residue off your equipment.
- Sanitize your equipment before each and every use to keep pesky contaminants away.
- Fill a large pot with water, steep your grains, add malt extract, and bring the mixture to a boil. Continue to stir in additional ingredients, like hops.
- Cool your wort off with an ice bath or with a home brew chiller down to 75-80 degrees. Transfer the mixture to your fermenter, add yeast, then seal your fermenter with an airlock and VOILA!
- Gather the equipment and supplies you’ll need for bottling.
- Clean anything and everything that will come into contact with your beer.
- Sanitize your equipment and supplies thoroughly.
- Add priming sugar to the bottling container to help with carbonation.
- Use a siphon to transfer your beer from the fermenting container to the primed bottling container.
- Fill your bottles using the spigot attached to your bottling container. Hint: use tubing to reduce messes!
- Use a capper to seal each of your bottles of beer tightly.
- Store bottles at room temperature for about two weeks before serving.
What Are the 5 Main Ingredients in Beer?
The five main ingredients in beer are:
- Water to form the base for your mixture.
- Malted grains to add flavor and sweetness, AND the sugar for the yeast.
- Hops to balance sweetness with bitterness.
- Yeast to transform sugars into alcohol.
- Additional flavors to add your personal touch!
Get the bulk of what you need in a single, pre-portioned package with beer ingredient kits from Great Fermentations!
Can You Make Good Beer from a Kit?
Yes, you can make great-tasting beer from a homebrewing kit! Beer ingredient kits provide you with two critical advantages over working from scratch:
- You save time shopping and prepping because these kits come with pre-portioned ingredients.
- You have a greater chance of success the first time because these kits come with detailed step-by-step instructions.
Do Home Brewing Kits Work Well?
In addition to beer ingredient kits, a home brew starter kit can set you up for success by providing you with the essential pieces of equipment. For example, the Basic Brewing Starter Kit comes with:
- 6.5-gallon fermenting container with lid and airlock
- 6.5-gallon bottling bucket complete with a spigot, tubing, and bottle filler
- Thermometer and stick-on bucket thermometer
- Hydrometer with test jar
- Priming sugar
- Instruction manual
- Seven days a week phone support
If you’re new to the hobby, a homebrew starter kit is a great way to check a lot of must-haves off your list.
How Long Do Home Brew Kits Last, and Do Brew Kits Go Bad?
On average, brew kits have a 12 to 18-month shelf life. So what happens if you use a kit that’s gone past its expiration date? Typically, nothing catastrophic. However, you may notice that your beer is a lower quality than you expected due to:
- Reduced yeast activity
- Decreased flavor from hops
- Unexpected colors and smells
- Undesired flavors
To avoid these discouraging results, make sure you double-check the expiration dates on each individual beer kit
Are Beer Brewing Kits Worth It?
Beer brewing kits are worth it for home brewers who value consistency and convenience without sacrificing quality. With a beer brewing kit, you can get straight to the exciting part—actually brewing your beer—instead of hunting down ingredients and trying to figure out basic steps.
But should you go with a premium home brew kit or a home brewing kit from Amazon? Oftentimes, the products will look quite similar. The difference comes with the quality of support. For example, when you purchase a homebrew starter kit from Great Fermentations, you also get access to our customer support team 7 days a week!
What Are the Best Beer Kits?
The best home brewing kit is the one that fits your specific needs. For example, the best home beer brewing kit for beginners will contain essential equipment for getting started. For brewers that already have gear setup, beer ingredient kits offer easy ways to try out a wide variety of recipes. For example, your quest for the best homebrew IPA kit could lead you to try the Hello There West Coast IPA Beer Kit, among many others!
Find the Best Beer Making Kits at Great Fermentations!
Whether you’re looking to jump headfirst into homebrewing with zero equipment or you’re looking to broaden your horizons, Great Fermentations has the homebrewing kits you need. For beginners, get all the must-haves in one package with homebrew starter kits. Once you have the right gear, the next step is to get the ingredients for your first (or second, third, twentieth, and so on) batch. Beer ingredient kits give you the perfect balance of grains and hops for a tasty brew, as well as the instructions to make it happen!