What’s The Best Beer Brewing Kit For Beginners? Our 10 Picks


Great news! You have decided to finally start brewing your own beer as they did in the olden days. That’s fantastic. But you are a complete beginner and from the outside, brewing beer seems complex and it’s not easy to choose a kit without knowing more.

Don’t, worry, I have spent several days chatting with new brewers, just like yourself, and experts alike to find out what the homebrewing community suggests as an ideal starter beer brewing kit for a complete beginner.

This article is all about what they told me from their own experiences and the kits that worked and didn’t work for them.

So, what’s the best beer brewing kit For beginners? For your first beer kit, it is recommended that you choose an extract-based kit or a recipe using the BIAB (Brew In A Bag) method. For total beginners, always choose a kit containing a fermenter and siphon for bottling. You will need to buy some additional equipment for any kit e.g. a hydrometer.

As I said, I spoke with many different people on the forums and social media groups about which kit they would recommend for a total beginner.

Of all the advIce I was given, these following kits kept cropping up. I asked people from different places and so have categorized the kits I was recommended by regions they are available for purchase.

Beer brewing kits recommended by home brewers worldwide

Full kits:

Brew Share Enjoy® Homebrew Starter Kit

Supplier: Northern Brewer

Beer kit type: Extract

Beer Variety: Amber Ale, IPA, Hefeweizen (see details below)

Full kit? YES (optional extra testing kit) note: no bottles included

Brew time (opening box to tasting): 4 -6 weeks

Yield: 5 gallons (50 12 fl oz bottles)

Available in: USA, UK

This brew kit is a real favorite among new brewers because it delivers everything you need to make 5 gallons of beer right to your doorstep (except bottles).

Although it is principally an extract based recipe it does require about 20 minutes of steeping grains for all three recipe types. It’s not difficult and is a good introduction to what you will have to do when tacking an all-grain recipe in the future.

What’s more, this kit will provide you with all the equipment you need to make other batches of beer following other recipes in the future. Many of the brewers I spoke to who bought this kit didn’t feel the need to upgrade the basic material they received.

The kit comes with a 5-gallon steel brew kettle and comes with one of three beer recipe options (Amber Ale, Chinook IPA or Hank’s Hefeweizen). You are also given a fermenter, with bubble airlock, which is translucent so that you can marvel at your fermenting wort as well as a container for bottling the beer later.

To help with the racking (transferring of wort/beer) you are given a 5-foot siphon tube with an auto siphon system, which reduces the risk of bacterial infection in your beer. Check out my article on what causes beer infections and how to avoid it.

For bottling, you are also given a spring tip bottle filler which has a device on it to automatically close and open a valve inside the bottle filler so that you only pour beer when it is in the bottle. Also, because of the density of the filler while beer is flowing around it into the bottle when you remove the long bottle filler device it leaves the perfect amount of headroom in the bottle of beer. This will help reduced exploding bottles during bottle conditioning. Not sure what I mean by that? Check out a full article I wrote on exploding bottles.

The kit also comes with a 21-inch spoon for aerating the wort, a bottle brush to clean the additional bottles you need to provide yourself as well as Northern Brewer’s No-Rinse Cleanser sanitizing solution. This last piece of kit is very important! What is great about this kit is that it also comes with a bottle capper and caps.

Northern Brewer are a great option, especially if living in the US because they offer a 24/7 helpline for customers. They also have plenty of guides and tutorial videos available for people who have bought their product.

Block Party Amber Ale

Specialty Grains: 0.5 lbs Caramel 80L, 0.125 lbs special B, 0.125 lbs light roasted barley.

Extract: 6 lbs gold malt syrup

Hops: 1 oz Willamette (60 mins)

Yeast: DRY YEAST: Muntons Ale Yeast

Total Brew time: 4 weeks.

Recipe

Chinook IPA

Specialty Grains: 0.75 lbs Belgian Cara 8, 0.25 lbs Briess Caramel 120.

Extract: 6 lbs Pilsen malt syrup, 1 lb Pilsen dry malt extract.

Hops: 1 oz Chinook (60 min), 0.5 oz (half a packet) Chinook (10 min), 0.5 oz (half a packet) Chinook (1 min), 1 oz Chinook (dry hop).

Yeast: DRY YEAST: (DEFAULT): Safale US-05 Ale Yeast, LIQUID YEAST OPTION: Wyeast 1056 American Ale (sold separately).

Total Brew time: 6 weeks.

Recipe

Hank’s Hefeweizen

Specialty Grains: Fieldstone Grain Blend: · 0.5 lbs Briess.

Extract: 6 lbs Wheat Malt Syrup, 1 lb Golden Light DME

Hops: 1 oz Willamette (60 mins)

Yeast: Dry Yeast: · Fermentis Safbrew WB-06. (sold separately)Liquid Yeast Options: Imperial Yeast G01 Stefon, Omega Yeast OYL – 021 Hefeweizen Ale I, Wyeast 3068 Weihenstephan Weizen.

Total Brew time: 6 weeks.

Recipe

NOTE: Northern Brewer does have a DELUXE kit available which comes with a secondary fermenter at around $30-50 more, however, the trend nowadays is to forego this extra step. So for a complete beginner, the community agrees that this Northern Brewer product is all you really need.

Home Brewing Kits (Morebeer)

Supplier: MoreBeer

Beer kit type: Extract

Beer Variety: American Pale Ale 

Full kit? Yes (based on Deluxe edition) – no bottles included

Brew time (opening box to tasting): 4 weeks

Yield: 5 gallons (50 12 fl oz bottles)

Available in: Worldwide shipping

Morebeer.com is extremely popular in the USA, and worldwide, as an online home-brewing supplier. The same company is also active in the wine and coffee sectors.

Morebeer offers several starter kits, and each of them is a great deal. However, for a beginner who is planning to make more than one batch of beer, the home-brewing community voted unanimously for the ‘Deluxe home brewing kit’.

Although the more basic kit from this supplier would be great for most beginners, it is generally believed that the extra $50 or so got you a much better kit which would be more versatile for future brews. Besides, the basic kit doesn’t even come with the ingredients included!

Also, the premium more beer home-brewing kit is a great deal but for most new brewers they can upgrade to kegging beer a little later in their brewing careers.

In the kit, you will get everything you need except bottles for bottle conditioning your beer. It comes with steeping mesh bags, a 5-gallon steel kettle, 6-gallon fermenter (Fermonster) which itself has a spigot as well as a stopper and airlock.

Also included in the kit are a plastic bottling bucket (with spigot), transfer tubing, a bottling wand with an automatic shut off valve and capping equipment (caps included). MoreBeer also throws in a host of cleaning products including a bottle cleaning brush, Star Stan sanitize and Crafmeister cleaning tables.

Other equipment includes a thermometer, a hydrometer (essential kit) and a stainless steel spoon you can use for aeration and mixing.

American Pale Ale

Specialty Grains: 1 lb Crystal 15L

Extract: 7 lbs Ultralight Malt Extract

Hops: 1 oz Magnum (60 mins), 1 oz Cascade (5 mins), 1 oz Cascade (1 min).

Addition: Clarifier (5 mins)

recipe (download)

Coopers DIY Beer Kits

Supplier: Coopers

Beer kit type: Extract

Beer Variety: Lager

Full kit? Yes (plastic screw-top bottles included)

Brew time (opening box to tasting): 3-4 weeks

Yield: 6 gallons (62 12 fl oz bottles)

Available in: USA, Australia

This is a very popular first DIY kit among the brewing community because it really makes the process so easy. There’s no steeping required and everything comes from a packet or can. All you do is mix it together and wait for your beer to be fermented.

The kit comes with a lager liquid extract in a can and ‘dry ingredients’ (which is the hops and other adjuncts). You get a 6-gallon container which is used for fermenting and it’s all you really need for this type of kit. The plastic fermenter comes with a spigot and bottling wand which fits directly onto it.

Although a fairly basic set you, the Coopers kit comes with its own branded hydrometer and sample container which really helps you get the beer at the correct density. There’s also a stick-on thermometer for the fermenter so that you can keep the wort within the correct range when mixing and fermenting. They also include a mixing spoon.

For bottling, you are given carbonation tablets and 30 25 fl oz twist-top bottles. In fact, not many kits on the market provide you with bottles, even plastic ones, so it’s a real bonus.

Woodforde’s Real Ale Starter Beer Brewing Kit

Supplier: Woodforde

Beer kit type: Extract

Beer Variety: English Ale

Full kit? Yes (though additional material needed)

Brew time (opening box to tasting): 4 weeks

Yield: 3 gallons (32 12 fl oz bottles)

Available in: UK (international shipping)

This is perhaps the cheapest kit on the list as well as being the most basic with the smallest final yield of beer, only 3 gallons. Still, that’s 20 pints of English Ale for what you might spend on 3 or 4 in the British capital these days. Not too shabby!

This is an extract kit with the mix in a can and a separate yeast packet. The kit comes with an all-in-one fermenter and bottling bucket with a siphon hose. Many people have said that getting the beer into the bottles after fermentation was tricky without some sort of pump, so definitely worth investing in one for this kit. Also, you will want to get yourself a hydrometer as this isn’t included in the kit either.

The kit comes with 23 500 ml (16 fl oz) plastic screw top bottles, so this isn’t something you need to invest in as an extra. It also has some sterilizer power included as standard.

All in all, this is a very straight forward kit and would be an excellent gift for someone just starting out on their brewing adventure. It’s not too demanding and it can actually produce very good beer. Over time you could add a few extras to the original kit and have a very decent set up in which to brew other more complex beers later.

Nano Mash Beginner Brewer Starter Kit

Supplier: Cheeky Peaks Brewery

Beer kit type: Extract

Beer Variety: Pale Ale, Porter, Ginger Beer, Amber Ale, APA, Oatmeal Stout

Full kit? Yes

Brew time (opening box to tasting): 4-6 weeks

Yield: 5 gallons (50 12 fl oz bottles)

Available in: Australia only

Cheeky Peaks Brewery is an independent Australian supplier that provides some really great starter kits and materials if you are living down under.

The kit is pretty straight forward and everything is done in the same container, both fermenting and then bottling. So, the kit comes with a 15-liter fermenter with airlock and grommet. The kit also included 12 750 ml flip-top bottles.

For cleaning, you are given Stellarsan sanitizer and 1 kilo of sodium percarbonate. A bottle cleaning brush is also thrown in for good measure. For the brewing process, this kit comes with a fermenting tap and sediment reducer.

What I like about these basic kits is when they include both a thermometer and hydrometer which are such vital little tools in brewing.

So, if you are reading this from Australia, then look no further than the Nano Mash fresh wort beginner starter kit by Cheeky Peaks Brewery.

Caribou Slobber Brown Ale

Supplier: Northern Brewers

Beer kit type: BIAB

Beer Variety: Brown Ale

Full kit? No, you really need your own fermenter.

Brew time (opening box to tasting): 4 weeks

Yield: 3 gallons (32 12 fl oz bottles)

Available in: Worldwide

Although Caribou Slobber does turn up in a more basic kit in the Northern Brewers’ range, I have included this Brew In A Bag (BIAB) version because of the new challenges it provides.

The beer you will brew is a delicious brown ale, but the fun here is really going to be mastering the subtle brewing techniques need in a BIAB brew day.

This kit comes with all the brewing ingredients you need (yeast and priming sugar included) as well as the equipment for a BIAB brew. Included inside the box will be two large Brewmaster mesh filter bags, a high-temperature digital thermometer, a stainless steel strainer, a long steel spoon (21″) as well as a mash paddle (19″).

If you’ve never attempted a BIAB recipe, then this is a really great kit to cut your teeth on. Not only is the beer delicious, but you’ll also learn to appreciate an entirely new approach to conducting your brew day!

Recipe kits:

These suggestions are great recipe kits but will either mean you need to buy basic brewing equipment (Morebeer home-brewing kit, for example) or build your own DIY kit at home.

Jim Baumanns Milk Stout

Supplier: MoreBeer

Beer kit type: All-Grain

Beer Variety: Stout

Full kit? recipe kit, yeast not included.

Brew time (opening box to tasting): 2-4 weeks

Yield: 5 gallons (50 12 fl oz bottles)

Available in: Worldwide

This is a recipe that was recommended by Steven Hall as a great starter level home-brew. He said that it was fairly straight forward to brew with only one or two brew days under your belt.

Expect a smooth and creamy stout modeled on the traditional Australian stout recipes. You can drink this beer almost immediately after bottling it, but if you age the beer even a little it will come out ever creamier than at its first creation.

This recipe comes with pre-milled malts as standard but does give you the option of ordering unmilled base malts. The kit doesn’t come with yeast and you’d need to order this separately. The recommended yeast strains for this recipe are:

WLP004 – White Labs Irish Ale
WY1084 – Wyeast Irish Ale
IYA10 – Imperial Darkness

All in all, this is an excellent starter stout recipe and I thank Steven for his suggestion.

Hairy wheat Belgian witbier

Supplier: UrabanBrewers

Beer kit type:

Beer Variety: Wheat beer

Full kit? Full recipe kit

Brew time (opening box to tasting): 4 weeks

Yield: 5 gallons (50 12 fl oz bottles)

Available in: USA only

This suggestion came from a conversation on one of the very many and helpful Facebook homebrewing groups and is a bit off the beaten track. I can only find this particular recipe on a small website, but it’s a great find!

Again if you have at least one brew under your belt and have the basic brewing equipment, the Hairy wheat Belgian Witbier is an excellent all-grain challenge.

You’ll be working with a mixture of grains (Pilsner malt, white wheat, flaked oats, and Munich malt) as well as using additives such as coriander and orange peel for the first time. Unlike some of the starter kits mentioned above, you will also be required to work with fresh hops directly and dry/liquid yeast. A really excellent choice for brew no.2 I’d say!

The beer itself will be a perfect beer for summer and will be creamy on the tongue and orangy fresh on the nose. Brew this for your next big family barbecue and you’ll have your friends and family singing your praises all year.

Mangrove Jacks Pink Grapefruit IPA

Supplier: Mangrove Jacks

Beer kit type: Extract (pouch kit)

Beer Variety: IPA

Full kit? Full recipe kit

Brew time (opening box to tasting): 4 weeks

Yield: 6 gallons (62 12 fl oz bottles)

Available in: Worldwide

The Mangrove Jacks pouch kit, and especially the Pink Grapefruit IPA version, are great little starter kits for new brewers with even the most rudimentary of brewing equipment.

The kit comes in three main parts, a yeast packet, hops packet and a liquid malt extract (LME) packet. You simply mix the ingredients as instructed in the hand guidelines provided.

These kits are both reasonably priced and very easy to follow. What’s more, you are going to be able to produce a homemade beer which is almost identical to commercially made versions. Not sure whether or not Pink Grapefruit IPA is for you? Open up a Brewdog Elvis Juice to try that, if you like it, then definitely consider purchasing the Mangrove Jacks kit.

Mangrove Jacks also have several other pouch kits on the market including some really tasty cider recipes. So, if you are looking for an easy refill for your previously bought brewing equipment kit, then this is certainly a contender!

Razorback IPA

Supplier: Festival

Beer kit type: Extract

Beer Variety: IPA

Full kit? Full recipe kit

Brew time (opening box to tasting): 5 -6 weeks

Yield: 6 gallons (62 12 fl oz bottles)

Available in: UK (possible international shipping)

The Festival Razorback IPA kit was raved about when I was polling the online brewing community for their recommendations. It seems that among fellow Brits this is a real favorite.

The kit comes with 2 bags of LME, 650g of Dextrose, Simico, Centennial and summit hop pellets and IPA yeast, and instructions of course.

The brew day is fairly straight forward from the brewers I spoke to and the LME makes it a very beginner-friendly process. The only thing to consider is that fermentation for this particular recipe is going to be longer than other recipes and kits I have covered, 2-3 weeks on average.

The beer itself will be bursting with hoppy goodness with high IBU but a nice nectarine aroma and pine needle notes. If this is your first IPA attempt you’ll find it a very rewarding kit to brew!

Additional equipment you may have to consider buying

Hydrometer

Unless stated, these kits don’t come with a hydrometer included. This is a device for measuring the density of your beer and can be crucial in determining it’s alcoholic content and when it has completed fermentation. Although you can certainly brew beer successfully without this key piece of kit, it will be much harder in the long run.

Check out my full article on whether or not you need a hydrometer and how to use one properly.

Thermometer

Investing in a few good quality thermometers can really help you control both your wort and the environment you are brewing in.

Fermentation needs to occur at certain temperatures (see instructions on your particular recipe for details) otherwise the yeast may not work to its full efficiency. It’s also important to know how hot your wort is before you pitch it, or you may actually kill off much of your active yeast ingredient.

Knowing how hot your brew room is during fermentation is also crucial as this can also affect the quality of your beer. The same can be said of where you store your newly bottled beer. If the storage area is too hot or too cold, again this can affect your bottle conditioning phase.

Bottles

Many of the kits currently available on the market do not come with beer bottles included. Unless you are planning to keg your finished beer, sourcing bottles is a high priority.

You can simply buy beer grade bottles online or at your local brew shop ensuring that they really can handle the pressure. (See my article on what to do if your bottles start exploding.

Another option is to save up beer bottles and recycle them. Make sure that the bottles you save held similar types of beer to what you brew and that you thoroughly sanitize them before use.

Kegs

Although not essential and certainly more expensive to buy and run than simple bottles, a keg give you the option to keep your beer fresher and to serve it in style. Kegs are also a great option if you don’t have a lot of space to store 50-60 bottles of beer (average brew yield).

Refrigerator

If you are planning to brew on a regular basis then it may be a good idea to buy a dedicated refrigerator so that you can prolong the lifetime of the beer you brew. Even a second-hand unit can do the job and it doesn’t have to cost you a lot. I highly recommend this option for people who have a garage or basement large enough to accommodate a good size beer refrigerator, it’s a really great feeling grabbing a cool beer form a fully stocked fridge at the end of the day!

Phil - BeerCreation

Hey, I'm Phil. I'm passionate about all things beer. I love making it, drinking it and best all, learning about it!

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