Beer Kits: Important Information before You Buy

Are you looking to get involved with brewing beer at home? It’s a growing trend. The craft brew scene in the US has skyrocketed, and most of these microbreweries and nano brewers started out right where you are – about to brew their first batch at home. However, before you jump on the bandwagon, you need to answer an important question. Will you start with a kit or buy your ingredients separately?

Kits: The Pros

Beer brewing kits have come a long way from what they once were. Today, you will find kits available for making almost any type of beer you might want. You will also find a variety of things included in different kits – some contain equipment needed, while others are strictly the ingredients only. 

However, most beginner kits come with the ingredients and a 5-gallon plastic bucket for brewing. Many do not come with bottles, caps, the boiling pot, the funnel or other tools that you’ll need, though. If you need a full set of equipment, check with your local home brew store or make sure you buy a kit that has what you need.

Kits are excellent options for beginners, because they eliminate the confusion from brewing. How much hops do you use? Which type of hops should be used? What strain of yeast is best for this beer recipe? These are only some of the questions that have to be answered if you’re going to buy the ingredients separately. 

Kits: The Cons

There are a few drawbacks to using kits, though. For instance, you will certainly find that you are limited to making only what is available. However, this should not be a problem as there are so many varieties available on the market today. You will also find that kits take some of the creativity out of the brewing process, but beginners should really focus more on the basics than on being creative anyway.

Finally, you will find that while kits are relatively affordable for a first-time brewer, you are not going to want (or need) to pay $50 or $100 per batch of beer that you want to brew. It’s cheaper in the long run to buy your ingredients individually, once you have all the equipment on hand.

The Outcome

Kits are great for beginners, offering an affordable way to get started in the world of home brewing. However, you will certainly want to move up once you have “the basics” mastered and start making beer from scratch.

Posted on March 1, 2009 and filed under Brewing.