Best Home Brew Setup

OUR TOP PICK

Mr. Beer Complete Beer Making 2 Gallon Starter Kit, Premium Gold Edition, Brown

To start up our beer-brewing setup list strong, we'll begin with a favorite of brewing beginners across the country.

Mr. Beer has been one of the brand names that have been making this hobby feasible for millions across the United States, and this beginner's kit has been a big part of that.

Each kit contains everything you need to brew the perfect pint, from the best ingredients to the best brewing equipment. Even if you're new to brewing, you can brew a great beer in under an hour with a Mr. Beer kit!

The Mr. Beer kits are completely reusable, meaning that you can reuse the carboys, hop bags, and even the filter cartridges multiple times. This saves you money and keeps your beer fresh.

Once your beer has finished fermenting and has been sitting in the fridge for a couple of weeks, you can bottle it up. We recommend doing this as soon as possible because the longer your beer sits, the better it tastes.

We love how it came with everything a person might need to brew their first batch of beer.

I also really enjoyed that there were no chemicals involved in making the malt extract. We found the directions very well written and easy to follow.

Our only issue is that the instructions come from the Australian version of the recipe. But other than that, we think this is an awesome kit!

Pros

  • A great way to get started in home brewing!
  • The process is incredibly quick, taking less than an hour for you to make a great beer!
  • The kit comes with bottles, so you can store your freshly-brewed beer easily and for several weeks!
  • All non-consumable equipment is reusable too if you love the taste of what you make!

Cons

  • The plastic feel of the kit feels a little cheap to hold and use.
  • The beer can that contains your extract can be a little tricky to open. Have patience when you are opening it.

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EDITORS CHOICE

Foundry 10.5 Gallon All-In-One Brewing System With Pump

For a slightly higher-end model for your home brewing, Anvil brewing has you covered with their All-In-One Brewing System.

The Foundry 10.5 Gallons All-in-one brewing system is designed to brew up to 5 gallons of beer per batch. It features a stainless steel infusion chiller that keeps your mash temperature stable, allowing for better conversion efficiency and faster heating times.

The double-wall insulation maintains your mash temperatures and increases heating speeds while the high flow grain basket virtually eliminates stuck mashes. This allows for greater productivity and less wasted time.

The turbo 500 distillation ready lets you enjoy your beer sooner by making it ready to drink right out of the fermentor. This unit comes complete with hoses, fittings, and everything else you need to start brewing right away.

We love the fact that it has dual voltage capability and that it can handle both 120v and 240v inputs. Also, we love the fact that it is capable of handling 13 amps and that there is no limit on how much power you can put into the unit.

We also like that it is made of stainless steel and that it has double-wall insulation. It does not take long for the mash to get hot enough to start boiling.

The grain basket works great, and it is easy to remove the grains without having to unplug the entire thing. The immersion chiller is solid and easy to use.

All in all, we are happy with our purchase, and we would recommend it to anyone looking for a high-quality brewing system.

Pros

  • Digital controls give a user a great window to control the brewing process with!
  • Multiple voltages for users to choose from.
  • Great value for money when concerning steel-barrel fermentors.

Cons

  • This product does not come with bottling equipment and fermentors as standard. You'll have to find them on your own.
  • It kind of looks like it is made for coffee more than it is for beer-brewing. Then again, that is just its aesthetic quality, not a mark against its function.

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BEST VALUE

Brooklyn Brew Shop Everyday IPA Beer Making Kit, 1 Count (Pack of 1)

If IPA beers are more to your tastes, then Brooklyn Brew Shop might be a better starter set for your home brewing passion. Their Everyday IPA starter kit is exactly what every IPA-lover looking to broaden their horizons should be looking for.

If you're looking for an easy way to learn how to brew beer, then look no further. Brooklyn Brew Shop has created a brewing kit that's perfect for beginners. It comes with everything you need to make a delicious 6.8% ABV beer.

Not only that, but they have created an easy-to-follow video tutorial series that takes you from start to finish. Learn how to prep your equipment, measure out your grain, add water, heat your wort, pitch your yeast, and ferment.

Once fermentation is complete, it's time to bottle.

With this kit, you can easily make up to 9-10 12 oz bottles of delicious beer. It takes less than 2 hours to complete the entire process from beginning to end. And if you have any questions along the way, Brooklyn Brew Shop has got you covered.

With clear instruction videos and step-by-step instructions, you'll be brewing your first ever batch of beer in no time.

We loved testing this Brooklyn Brew Shop product. They make it incredibly easy to brew beer in your home. It is an easy recommendation from us for this product, that's for sure!

Pros

  • Clear instruction makes this an incredibly beginner-friendly experience to use.
  • The low price that this product is generally sold at makes it a perfect starter set or gift to someone else!

Cons

  • You'll only be getting a small yield from this kit. great for newcomers who might not be sure if they want to try this hobby, but you're a brewing aficionado, there are better purpose-built setups for you.

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RUNNER UP

BrewDemon Craft Beer Kits are one of the easiest ways to start making awesome home brews. They come complete with everything you need to create delicious craft beers right out of your kitchen.

Unlike those old-fashioned, time-consuming, messy grain kits, BrewDemon makes it simple to produce consistent results.

We use our pro-style conical fermentation vessel to ensure that all of your ingredients get thoroughly mixed, resulting in a great-tasting beer.

Our unique recipes use only the finest quality ingredients, including premium hops, malt extract, and yeast. All of our recipes are designed to give you the best possible flavor and aroma.

We also include a variety of different styles of beer so that you can experiment with different flavors and tastes.

With BrewDemon, you can easily switch between traditional ales, lagers, stouts, porters, IPAs, etc., without having to buy new equipment.

We are impressed with how flavorful it is. We also love the fact that it does not require any special equipment besides a pot and some ingredients.

You can make it anywhere anytime you want. And, there is no mess to clean up.

It's perfect for parties or entertaining. It's fun to watch everyone drink their beverage. You don't have to worry about someone drinking yours. Everyone gets their flavor.

We recommend this product to anyone looking for a great party idea.

Pros

  • The compact size makes this a great kit for anyone starting on their homebrewing journey.
  • Considering the volume and starter sets you can get, this is a generally reasonably priced first system to buy.
  • Great instruction can be found online.

Cons

  • Although the instructions are clear, it would be nice to have a good video tutorial reference with the kit, which it sadly does not.

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RUNNER UP

Brewer’s Edge Mash and Boil with Pump | All Grain Home Brewing System 7.5 Gallon

The Brewer’s Edge Mash & Boil is one of the simplest ways to make great beer.

With no complicated setup, no messy stovetop burners, and no messy cleanup, it’s perfect for beginners who are looking for a straightforward way to brew their first batch of beer.

Simply place your crushed grains into the Mash & Boil, attach the Mash & Boil to your kitchen sink, fill with water, and plug it in. That’s it!

The Mash & Boil heat itself, and once it reaches the desired temperature, simply shut off the power supply and allow it to keep cooking for an additional hour while you prepare your beer.

The Mash & Boil includes a removable sparging bucket with a specially designed grain basket that allows you to drain out the sweet wort without disturbing the mash bed.

Just pull the sparging bucket out, pour out the wort, and replace the bucket into the Mash & Boil.

With the Brewer’s Edge Mash & Boil, there is no need to buy a fancy mash tun or worry about cleaning burners and pots. All you need is a sink and some water.

Pros

  • For a full all-grain brewing system, this is a great entry point into this new hobby.
  • Allows for a great adjustment to your brewing pH levels.
  • No need to buy any extra gear with this device.

Cons

  • The temperature sensor is placed on the bottom seems like an awkward design choice, as you'll constantly have to bend down to get good readings.

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Best Home Brew Setup Buying Guide

Capacity

If you're looking for home brewing setups, beer capacity is likely going to be one of your highest priorities when it comes to the features you're looking for.

While there are several types of capacities available for home brew systems, two of the more popular ones include 5 gallons (19 liters) or 10 gallons (38 liters).

These sizes are usually enough to get you started for most people who want to try home brewing, though if you plan to brew larger batches you might consider purchasing a bigger system from a manufacturer like Northern Brewer.

For beginners, 5 gallons (19 liters) is perfect because it gives you lots of room to experiment with your recipes while keeping costs low.

For someone who wants to switch to all-grain brewing, then you'll probably need a slightly larger size like 10 gallons (38 liters) since you'll need room for more grains.

best home brew setup

Fermentor Style

Most home brew kits these days come with either a bucket fermentor or a carboy as a primary fermentor.

A bucket fermentor is great because it's easy to clean and move around, making moving between batches easier. It also keeps the equipment relatively inexpensive compared to other options.

However, what sets a bucket fermentor apart from others is that they only hold about 6-8 gallons (23-30 liters) of liquid. You'll find that if you're planning to do full volume ales, you'll run into problems using a bucket fermentor.

On the flip side, carboys hold more than buckets do, typically holding anywhere from 12-20 gallons (46-76 liters)! Carboys are generally recommended for lagers since they tend to require longer fermentation times.

Another option you could look into is getting a swing arm fermentor that allows you to store multiple amounts of liquid in it at once. They can hold up to 40 gallons (154 liters) of liquid, so depending on how many beers you want to brew, you should be able to use them!

Malt Or Allgrain Extract

Home brewers have plenty of options when it comes to extracting their wort to make beer. Malt extracts are commonly used by first-time brewers to save money and start small, but over time you should transition to an all-grain method.

The main reason why you'd want to use an all-grain method is to gain control over the end product. Using a single source of sugar will give you more control over things like gravity, bitterness, color, and alcohol content.

If you've ever brewed a batch of beer before you know that adding extra hops or changing the water profile can change the final flavor of the beer!

This is especially true when it comes to IPAs! With extracts, you won't have the added complexity that comes with adjusting them yourself.

The downside to using malt extract is that it contains a lot of extra sugars that can cause unwanted flavors in your beer. In addition, the hop flavors can sometimes be too strong for some tastes. However, if you're just starting, this may be the easiest way to go.

Level Of Expertise

Something that you should also consider when purchasing a home brew setup is the level of complexity it is designed for. Or rather, how accessible they are for people of different experience levels when it comes to brewing.

A beginner would most likely choose something simple, such as a kit that makes it easy to add yeast and extract directly into a bucket fermentor.

There's no need for any special tools or knowledge required, and there's no worry of ruining your beer due to bad technique.

On the opposite end of complexity, pro brewers will often decide a system that uses a large amount of specialty equipment, like a stainless steel kettle, mash tuns, boil pot, etc.

Not only does this take a bit more time to set up, but you also have to consider cleaning each piece after every use. Even though this type of setup takes a little more work, it usually pays off later on in the process when you're trying to get complex flavor profiles.

Best Home Brew Setup - FAQ's

What Are The Key Ingredients Needed For Brewing?

This will depend on the type of beer or other alcoholic beverage you are preparing. Most recipes will tell you what kinds of malts and hops are needed.

The type of malt will determine how much sweetness you want in your beer, while the type of hops will help with bittering.

Some common examples include:

  • Dextrose – A refined sugarcane-based starch from which dextrins are derived. Dextrose adds body and sweetness to the finished beer.
  • Pale Malted Barley – Pale barley grains are generally grown at higher altitudes than darker malts. They produce beers with less residual sugar, and therefore fewer unfermented starches and less haze. They also contribute a light flavor to beer, contributing more towards citrus and floral notes than roasted ones.
  • Crystal/Caramel Lager Malt – These malty lager grains are grown at lower elevations, where temperatures tend to be cooler during the summer months. As a result, they contain more caramel extracts, giving the beer a sweet taste.

How Long Should I Allow My Wort To Sit Before Pitching?

Depending on your recipe, you should allow anywhere between 2-4 hours. The length of time depends on the temperature of the wort, and it's best to pitch during the lowest point in the cycle.

If you pitch early in the cycle, the yeast will not be active enough to consume oxygen, and the wort will begin to oxidize. This results in less than ideal fermentation conditions which could lead to poor quality beers.

If you wait until right before bottling, the yeast will still be active, but will have consumed oxygen and created CO2. This helps create better carbonation in your bottles.

What Are The Essentials I Should Be Looking For In A Brewing Setup?

The main thing to look for is versatility. If you plan on making multiple batches of beer, then make sure it has room for multiple buckets, pots, and jugs. You may also wish to invest in a couple of extra siphons, airlocks, or keg couplers.

Also, if you plan on using a lot of specialty equipment, ensure it's user-friendly. A basic setup might be fine for first-timers, but for advanced home brewers, it's important that your tools can do everything they need them to without getting stuck.

Do You Need Special Equipment To Brew Beer?

No. While there are plenty of options out there, all of these systems come down to whether or not you prefer to use a traditional stove top method, an electric immersion heater, or a gas burner.

Conclusion

As you can see, there's plenty to think about when it comes to getting your home brewing setup together. However, once you get going, the possibilities are endless. Start small and keep adding as you go!

Hope this helped answer any questions you had about starting up your very own home brewing project!

Robert Kaser
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