Top 10 Best Beer Making Kits for Christmas 2017

beer making kits, beer brewing kit, homebrewing, how to brew beer

Every once in a while, when we as humans get really into something, we start thinking about how we could make it ourselves. After all, if we’re going to spend a lot on a given thing, we can be forgiven for wondering if it wouldn’t just be cheaper and easier to produce it at home. I think about this often with guitar pedals, while my wife went ahead and made her own notebooks. Aside from the potential cost savings, there’s also the satisfaction of a job well done and a more intimate understanding of the thing we love.

One of the best examples of this is beer. While the craft beer revolution has opened many drinkers up to the possibilities, there still isn’t anything quite like brewing your own beer. Sure, it’s not nearly as consistent batch-to-batch, but you can dial in tweaks on your favorite styles by adjusting the ingredients. My brother and his friends make one or two beers a year, just for the sheer joy of hanging out and decoding their favorite brews.

If the beer lover in your life is considering brewing their own, consider the top ten best beer making kits for Christmas to get them started.


1. Mr. Beer Craft Beer Making Kit

Mr. Beer

Among the cheapest options for beer kits on the market, these Mr. Beer craft brewing kits give you everything you need to emulate some of the best-loved styles. This bundle pairs the two gallon homebrewing kit — keg fermenter and 11 shatterproof bottles and caps — with a refill kit in your chosen style. Style options include:

  • American Ale
  • American Lager
  • American Porter
  • Aztec Cerveza
  • Amber Ale
  • Canadian Blonde
  • American Light
  • Czech Pilsner
  • IPA
  • Irish Stout
  • Northwest Pale Ale
  • Nut Brown Ale
  • Oktoberfest Lager

In addition to these, they also have a Bavarian Wheat, Long Play IPA, and a Premium Gold Edition here.

Each of the refill kits include the brewing extract, carbonation drops, and no-rinse cleanser. It takes about 30 minutes to brew two gallons of beer, which is thanks to the Mr. Beer system. That means it’s not exactly the authentic brewing experience, but this is great for beginners or enthusiasts without a lot of spare time.

Need more options? Browse more Mr. Beer products here.

Price: Around $50

Buy the Mr. Beer Craft Beer Making Kit here.



2. Northern Brewer Deluxe Home Brewing Equipment Starter Kit

Northern Brewer

This kit more closely follows the actual process of brewing, which does require several hours of your time. This kit provides (almost) everything you need to make an American IPA with Chinook hops. These hops lend a herbal, acidic hop punch and are often used when dry hopping, according to BeerAdvocate. This kit contains:

  • Chinook IPA recipe kit
  • Six gallon glass carboy for primary fermentation
  • Five gallon glass carboy for secondary fermentation
  • Two bung and airlock sets
  • Blowoff hose
  • Funnel
  • Adhesive thermometers
  • Auto-siphon and tubing
  • Bottling bucket
  • Spigot
  • Bottle filler and tubing
  • Bottle capper with caps
  • Carboy brush
  • Bottle brush
  • Brewery cleaner
  • Carboy dryer
  • Instructional DVD

The only separate items that need to be purchased are glass bottles for use with pry-off caps and a five gallon kettle. The kit will make five gallons of beer, which is enough for 50 12 ounce bottles. Alternatively, the Go Pro Small Batch Beer Brewing Starter Kit from Northern Brewer includes everything you’ll need, but only makes one gallon.

Need more options? Browse more Northern Brewer products here.

Price: $199.95

Buy the Northern Brewer Deluxe Home Brewing Equipment Starter Kit here.



3. Coopers DIY All Inclusive Craft Beer Making Kit

Coopers

Coopers Brewery, the company that prepares the extract for the Mr. Beer offerings above, also offers this all-in-one solution. It overlaps with the Mr. Beer kit somewhat in that the included fermenter is designed to combine both fermentation stages into one step using a collar that expands as needed. This kit includes the extract refill kit for Australian-style lager, but once that’s used, you can choose from 21 other styles here. Otherwise, this kit includes:

  • Fermenter with tap
  • Hydrometer
  • Mixing spoon
  • 30 25 ounce bottles with caps
  • Thermometer
  • Bottling wand
  • Carbonation drops

Cleansers like One Step or Star San are sold separately.

Need more options? Browse more Coopers products here.

Price: $113.99

Buy the Coopers DIY All Inclusive Craft Beer Making Kit here.



4. Midwest Supplies Master Brewer’s Beer Brewing Equipment Starter Kit

Midwest Supplies

While the price of this kit is considerably more than some of the others, the draw here is the inclusion of a five gallon keg and filling system. Not only can the keg then go into an appropriately-sized kegerator, the carbonation time is decreased from weeks to days. One drawback to this kit is that includes none of the hops, malt, nor yeast that actually make up the beer, but a visit to a local homebrew store will quickly get you sorted while allowing you to choose each carefully. Alternatively, you can grab a recipe kit from Midwest Supplies such as Hank’s Hefeweizen, Oatmeal Stout, or Happy Holiday Ale.

Included in this kit:

  • 6.5 gallon plastic Big Mouth Bubbler
  • Five gallon glass carboy
  • CO2 cylinder (ships empty)
  • How To Brew by John Palmer
  • Triple scale hydrometer
  • Test jar
  • 5/16 inch Rack Magic siphon with tubing
  • Royal Crown bottle capper
  • Two FermagraF° adhesive thermometers
  • Big Mouth Bubbler microfiber cleaning cloth
  • Carboy brush
  • Thief sampler
  • 8 ounce One Step cleaner
  • Two airlocks
  • 60 Gold Crown caps
  • The Brew Hauler carboy straps
  • Two carboy bungs
  • Biofine Clear
  • Fermcap S
  • Whirlfloc tablets
  • Draft Brewer five gallon keg
  • CO2PO CO2 regulator
  • Last Straw bottle filler
  • Fully assembled gas line & nylon washers
  • Fully assembled draft line

Need more options? Browse more Midwest Supplies products here.

Price: $529.99

Buy the Midwest Supplies Master Brewer’s Beer Brewing Equipment Starter Kit here.



5. Midwest Supplies Beer. Simply Beer. Brewing Starter Kit

Midwest Supplies

As a far cheaper alternative, consider this other Midwest Supplies offering. This kit includes nearly everything you need to make five gallons of pale ale, this time minus the expensive keg setup and with the addition of the actual beer recipe. The pale ale recipe focuses on Cascade hops, which are the most popular variety used in craft brewing according to YCH Hops. Very balanced, but citrusy and floral, again good for dry hopping. Of course, you can use the rest of the items in this kit with any recipe you like. Included here:

  • Pale ale recipe kit
  • 6.5 gallon fermenting bucket
  • 6.5 gallon bottling bucket
  • Grommeted lid
  • Airlock
  • Bottling spigot
  • Bottle filler
  • Bottling tubing
  • Siphon and tubing
  • FermagraF° adhesive thermometer
  • Triple scale hydrometer
  • Test jar
  • Beer bottle brush
  • Bottle capper
  • Oxygen Wash cleaner/sanitizer

The remaining required items are the five gallon kettle, 50 bottles, and caps.

Need more options? Browse more Midwest Supplies products here.

Price: $69.99

Buy the Midwest Supplies Beer. Simply Beer. Brewing Starter Kit here.



6. Northern Brewer Goose Island Beer Brewing Equipment Starter Kit

Northern Brewer

Though now owned by ABInBev, Goose Island was one of the first niche craft breweries to gain national attention. The small-but-mighty operation yielded several well-reviewed beers, while their tasting room in Chicago offered even more exclusive brews. This kit from Northern Brewer allows you to recreate their 6.6 percent Sweet Porter, which was one of those tasting room only affairs. This kit includes:

  • Goose Island Sweet Porter Brewery Edition recipe kit
  • 6.5 gallon fermentor bucket with bubbler airlock
  • Bottling bucket with spigot
  • Fermenter’s Favorites bottle filler
  • Five gallon stainless brew kettle
  • 21 inch spoon
  • Siphon with five of tubing and tube holder
  • Fermenter’s Favorites Oxygen Wash
  • Bottle brush
  • Royal Crown bottle capper and 60 caps

Once again, you’ll need to buy glass bottles for use with pry-off caps separately.

Need more options? Browse more Northern Brewer products here.

Price: $119.99 (40 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Northern Brewer Goose Island Beer Brewing Equipment Starter Kit here.



7. Pico Pro Craft Beer Brewing Appliance for Homebrewing

Pico

Featuring beer recipes from 180 breweries (and counting), this unit is the beer world’s answer to the Keurig machine. Using specially formulated PicoPaks purchased from the BrewMarketplace, you can make a fresh batch of beer with only two hours labor and a little over a week of fermentation. The Pico Pro comes with two 1.75 gallon kegs, which can use used either in a kegerator or the included tap. A CO2 carbonation system perfectly carbonates every batch, which is equivalent to 13 12-ounce bottles. You can change the ABV and IBU of each beer, as well as create your own custom PicoPak in the BrewMarketplace to invent your own recipes. The Pico Pro comes with:

  • Pico Pro brewing machine
  • Two 1.75G brewing kegs
  • Metal keg lids
  • Red fast fermentation adapters
  • Fermentation temperature decals
  • Keg seal and stopper
  • Keg cozy
  • Ball-lock CO₂ regulator
  • 3/8 inch threaded adapter for 16 gram CO₂ cartridges
  • Party tap
  • Sous vide adapter
  • Transfer tube
  • Two keg wands
  • Dip tube brush
  • Keg brush
  • Cleaning tab
  • Hops Pak Cradle

The cheaper Pico C ($552.99) skips the keg part, but is essentially the same appliance. You’ll need some bottles, a capper, and caps if you want the resulting brew bottled.

Price: $728.99 (9 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Pico Pro Craft Beer Brewing Appliance for Homebrewing here.



8. Brew Naturally IPA One Gallon Homebrew Starter Kit

Brew Naturally

If you prefer to start small and cheap, try this one gallon IPA kit. This is the quintessential homebrewing setup, with just the essentials to let you try your hand at brewing. The resulting IPA is a 6 percent ABV, 45 IBU brew that will fill at least nine 12 ounce bottles. Included here:

  • One gallon glass jug fermentor with cap with hole for airlock
  • Airlock
  • Tubing
  • Cleaner/sanitizer
  • Adhesive thermometer
  • Malt
  • Hops
  • Yeast
  • Priming sugar
  • Caps

The five gallon kettle, bottles, and capper are all sold separately. You may also want a hydrometer and bottle filler.

Need more options? Browse more Brew Naturally products here.

Price: $49.95

Buy the Brew Naturally IPA One Gallon Homebrew Starter Kit here.



9. BrewDemon Signature Beer Kit

BrewDemon

Clearly following in the footsteps of the Mr. Beer fermenter at the top of this list, BrewDemon offers this two gallon conical fermenter meant to emulate the much larger setups of the pros. The all-malt pilsner included here is developed by the brewer at New Zealand’s Speight’s Brewery, while other styles like Dante’s Delight Weizenbier, Hellfire Deep Red Ale, Wild Spirit IPA, and Ye Olde Devil Nut Brown Ale are also available, to name a few. This easy-to-use (and clean) set takes 14 days to ferment and pretty much includes the whole deal (except for, again, the five gallon kettle):

  • Conical fermenter
  • Fermenter base
  • Adjustable flow tap
  • Venting plug
  • Stick-on temperature gauge
  • Beer recipe kit
  • Dry brewing yeast
  • One Step No-Rinse cleanser
  • Eight reusable one liter plastic bottles with caps and labels
  • Bottle filler & hose
  • 18 inch heat tolerant mixing spoon

You could save a few bucks with the Plus version, which skips the bottle filler, hose, and spoon, but you’ll need those, anyway, if you don’t already have them.

Need more options? Browse more BrewDemon products here.

Price: $99

Buy the BrewDemon Signature Beer Kit here.



10. Brooklyn Brew Shop Beer Making Kit

Brooklyn Brew Shop

Available in seven different styles (including Jalapeño Saison; sounds weird, but is amazing), this is another straight-forward beer making option. This set makes one gallon of your chosen style, and their focus on developing exceptional flavors is well noted. Even their hard cider kit is well worth considering. This kit includes:

  • All-grain ingredient mix
  • One gallon glass fermenter
  • Glass spirit-filled thermometer
  • Vinyl tubing
  • Racking cane and tip
  • Chambered airlock
  • Brooklyn Brew Shop cleanser
  • Screw-cap stopper

In addition, you’ll need a five gallon kettle, funnel and strainer, bottles, capper, and caps.

Need more options? Browse more Brooklyn Brew Shop products here..

Price: $32 to $53

Buy the Brooklyn Brew Shop Beer Making Kit here.


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