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Best Beer Kit for Beginners

OK, you made the decision to try and brew beer for the first time. Problem is when you did your search, the number of options were staggering. Because we are going to focus on beginner kits we’re not going to cover all the options. In this post I will focus on the best beer kit for the beginner.

Before you can choose the kit that will work for you; you have to decide on what is most important to you. While there are many things to consider there are a only a couple of things that you need to consider to drastically narrow down your choices.

  1. Cost: Cost is dictated by complexity and/or quality of the equipment. For example, a simple extract beer kit is bare bones. It will come with everything you need but the items tend to be plastic and have a short life. Extract kits are bridge kits that allow you to test the waters without going to deep. On the other end of that spectrum is a “show” kit. These have everything you need but the main intent of the kit is to be a show piece. Generally given as a gift. As you can imagine that comes at a price.
  2. Complexity: The Complexity is usually driven by the type of method used to make the beer. Extract beer kits are like microwave dinners. All the work is done upfront to reduce the complexity. All grain kits require more tools, instructions and ingredients to get to a final product. This causes more complexity and more time.

These two criteria will help you to drastically reduce your choices for the best beer kit but it still leaves a ton of options. For beginners I always ask one additional question to help narrow down the choices further.

Are you testing the waters to see if you like the hobby or do you want to really dive in and get the full experience?

Either way a kit is the best option but this question will help to narrow the option down to the best beer kit for you and your needs.

So lets say you want to test the waters. Your not really sure what your level of commitment is but you want to at least try. In this case a simple extract kit is your best bet. The investment and complexity is low and you can get a few batches under your belt to see if you to go deeper and move to more complex kits.

For this I recommend:

Mr Beer North American Collection Beer Home Brewing Kitbest beer kit - mr beer

This kit comes with absolutely everything you need in one box for under $40. Including 2 cans of extract for that will make you 4 gallons of beer in two styles. You really can’t beat that. It is by far the least expensive and easiest option there is out there.

Next in line for a beginner kit would be the more complex all grain kits. These kits are designed to give you full experience of brewing beer and give you everything you need with the exception of the kettle. This also tend to be more aesthetically pleasing. Well though out designs that make them a show piece for your counter. If your looking for a great gift, these are typically the ones that will get the most Oooo’s and Ahhhh’s.

For this I recommend:

All Inclusive – Go Pro 1 Gallon Small Batch Beer Brewing Starter Kit Equipment Set with Chinook IPA Beer Recipe Kitbest beer kit -All-Inclusive-Go-Pro-1-Gallon-Small-Batch-Beer-Brewing-Starter-Kit-Equipment-Set-with-Chinook-IPA-Beer-Recipe-Kit-0

Like the Mr. Beer kit this is an all inclusive kit but with one major difference. It uses the full grain mash technique so you get the full experience of brewing beer but in a one gallon batch.  You basically brew in the same manner as the big boys. Just on a smaller scale and at a fraction of the cost with will run you about $75. The small batch size significantly reduces the time and is a great way to start.

Just remember, the best beer kit is the one you will use and enjoy. These two options are by no means your only options but hopefully they will help you find the beer kit that will be the best one for you or someone you love.

What is the Real Cost to Brew Beer?

For this blog post I thought I would address this common question.

“What does it really cost to brew beer?”

Ok…let me start this by saying, like anything else, there are many levels to what the cost to brew beer can actually be.

So let me qualify that statement. If you are just starting out, this is probably a curiosity. You like beer but going out and buying a six pack gets more and more expensive everyday. That is the double edged sword of the craft industry taking off. Classic supply and demand. So if you are at this level you are curious on how you can start with the minimal investment to get to a good beer.

Fair enough and to be honest it’s a great place to start. If you are serious about starting and want to know what it will take to go the full Monty then the answer to that question is much more complicated and, as you would imagine, more expensive. We won’t cross that bridge just yet.Mr-Beer-Aztec-Mexican-Cerveza-Home-Breiwng-Beer-Refill-Kit-0

Lets get start with the totally new beginner. You are curious on trying the hobby without a lot of spend. You want to give it a go but don’t want to get deeply involved just in case you find you hate it. I doubt it, but it could happen. In that scenario starting with a simple extract brew is the best way to go. In that cast the cost to brew beer works out to the following:

  1. Simple 2 gallon extract kit = $12 – 17

  2. Bucket for fermentation = free to $5

  3. Air lock= free to $1

  4. Bottles= free to $15

Grand total = $12 to $37

Why the variation. That easy. Most of the stuff you don’t need to buy. You either have it laying around the house or you can get cheap if you do a little research.

For example, the bucket can be had for free if you have a local restaurant. They throw food grade buckets away every day. If you don’t mind stopping in and asking they would love to just get ride of them and not pay to fill a dumpster with them.bottles-1-liter-plastic-beer-bottles-cost to brew beer

Another example would be the bottles. You don’t have to use glass. Yeah, yeah there are brewing snobs going nuts over that statement but lets talk facts. one, we are only talking about 4 four liter bottles or 8 one liter bottles. You will drink this fast and the chances of the beer going bad are astronomically slim if you store them right. I myself use one liter plastic bottles that my favorite root beer comes in. badda boom! free bottles.

Last example is the air lock. These are really cheap at a $1 for a simple one or you can make one with a tube and a jar.cost to brew beer air lock

The only other piece of equipment you have to have is a pot to boil in (You don’t have to boil using this method but that is a topic for another post.) and I can almost guarantee you have that already in your kitchen.

So you see, the cost is very manageable and down right attractive. If you are resourceful it will cost less than that 12 pack you just bought. So the next time you are wonder about the real cost to brew beer you know the answer is…cheap!

Hope that helps and if you need more info, just drop me a line.

 

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5 Critical Things You Need To Know for Micro Batch Brewing

Beer brewing is just like anything else. Once you have the basics down, it only gets better as you practice. Beer brewing needs essential skills to successfully formulate a quality one. So many people have the notion that beer brewing is very difficult and involves lots of task. For this reason, many people find it difficult to venture into micro batch brewing. This might be true yet with all the right tools, a little knowledge and a good recipe; you can easily produce a tasty product.

Be that as it may, before you begin , there are some tidbits of knowledge that can help to be successful from your very first batch. Keeping up great propensities and acquiring the rudiments can help the methodology to be less demanding and enjoyable in the long run.

Here are few tips on Micro batch brewing. 

  1. Make sure you always apply sanitation around your area you are brewing.micro batch brewing sanitation

Sanitation is an issue which should be noted. Before you begin, the wine containers, basins, and other equipments to use must be thoroughly cleaned before going on with the brewing process. The most essential stage for sterilization is immediately after you cool the wine, because microscopic organisms is most likely to occur while the yeast hasn’t fermented yet.

  1. Cool the wort as quickly as possible

Ensure that you cool off your beer quickly to prevent bacteria from contaminating it. You can prevent bacteria from spoiling it by initiating the fermentation process immediately. Different brewers are notwithstanding devised their own methodology by putting the beer fermenters in the ice baths, just to turn it cold quickly. Likewise, rather than making use of plastic or glass fermenter, use a brew pot since it will cool the brew speedier than using other specified materials.

  1. Fresh ingredients are necessary

-micro-batch-brewing ingredientsTo create the best beer, fresh ingredients are important just as you need to eat delicious cooked meals. High quality jumps, malt, yeast, honey and other required blends should be understood by brewers. In the same way, they should also know how to store them in the cooler without affecting their freshness. Remember that there are a few ingredients that can be stored in the freezer, however malt and grains can’t. This is on the grounds that they more often than not get oxidized and will just destroy the flavor.

 

 

  1. Boiling Process

Some crucial functions take place during the process of boiling the wort. The wort must be sterilized in light of the fact that there are lots of undesirable mixes to vaporize. The hops, proteins and tannins intense oils will be likewise discharged from the grains; they can fallout in the cooling stage. For the best bubbling procedure for lighter beers, the recommended temperature is 60 – 90 minutes.

  1. Consider darker beer

With its flavor and structure, darker beers can cover your errors in your first brewed batch. It can’t discdark-beers-micro batch brewingourage you. Try the stouts or doormen flavor. All things considered, dull brews are wonderful with its heaps of flavor.

Just remeber, micro batch brewing is a skill that is easy to learn but the more you know, and the more you practice the better the final product gets. SO what are you waiting for? Go brew some beer!

The Basics of Home Brewing and Where To Start

The basics of home brewing are іnсrеdіblу ѕіmрlе. Yоu саn of соurѕе mаkе it аѕ соmрlеx аѕ уоu wаnt dереndіng оn hоw muсh control уоu want оvеr the flavors, or if уоu trulу wаnt to start frоm ѕсrаtсh, using thе most basic іngrеdіеntѕ. But fоr the bеgіnnеr, ѕtаrtіng wіth еxtrасt kits, іt’ѕ really a breeze. If you саn bаkе a cake уоu саn definitely ѕuссееd аt hоmе brеwіng. That really іѕn’t аn оvеrѕtаtеmеnt.

Although producing grеаt tаѕtіng beer іѕ very еаѕу tо do, іt wouldn’t be very еffесtіvе to try tо еxрlаіn to уоu аll the ѕtерѕ іnvоlvеd in аn аrtісlе. Inѕtеаd, I’m gоіng tо give уоu some of the basics of home brewing and tips thаt I lеаrnt еаrlу оn that made mу lіfе easier.

The two mоѕt bаѕіс саtеgоrіеѕ оf beer аrе Alеѕ, аnd Lаgеrѕ. Alеѕ аrе gеnеrаllу more рrоnе to fruіtу nоtеѕ (е.g. bаnаnа, pear, apple, аnd raspberry) whеrеаѕ lаgеrѕ аrе normally сrіѕреr, сlеаnеr tаѕtіng.

A ԛuеѕtіоn соmmоnlу asked by beginner brewers іѕ: “Whаt ѕhоuld I choose fоr my first bееr?”

basics-of-home-brewing-Ales-Vs-Lagers

Fоr beginners, mу usual reply іѕ “ѕtаrt wіth Ale”. Brewing Alе іѕ thе bеѕt сhоісе fоr a beginner because they аrе ԛuіtе ѕіmрlу lеѕѕ соmрlісаtеd tо learn on.

Of соurѕе іf you rеаllу hаvе your hеаrt ѕеt оn a lager fоr your first bееr іt іѕ роѕѕіblе, thоugh thе process is a fаіr bit mоrе іnvоlvеd. I rеаllу feel strongly thоugh thаt for уоu to gеt thе bеѕt rеѕultѕ from уоur fіrѕt brew уоu ѕhоuld ѕtаrt wіth Alе.

Thеrе іѕ a huge variety оf types wіthіn thіѕ саtеgоrу (Alеѕ) ѕо уоu’rе sure tо find something thаt you would enjoy. Alѕо, just because I ѕаіd they аrе рrоnе tо fruіtу notes, dоn’t take thаt аѕ me saying thеу’rе going tо taste lіkе аn аррlе cider оr ѕоmеthіng. We are ѕtіll tаlkіng beer here; dоn’t еxресt anything dramatic, еvеn if іt does hаvе a hіnt or ѕlіght resemblance, thаt’ѕ rеаllу аll іt is. Evеntuаllу, once you mаkе your fіrѕt lаgеr уоu wіll thаnk mе fоr kееріng thіngѕ simple fоr уоur fіrѕt tіmе.

Nоw thаt уоu know thе category оf bееr you nееd to ѕtісk with fоr your first bаtсh, уоu’rе left wіth the dесіѕіоn of whісh іndіvіduаl type уоu wаnt (thеrе are рrоbаblу 1000 dіffеrеnt аlеѕ оut thеrе). Eасh bееr kіt mаnufасturеr wіll have thеіr own ѕеlесtіоn fоr уоu to сhооѕе frоm, mаnу оf whісh аrе mоdеllеd аftеr рорulаr beers you’ve lіkеlу trіеd. Aѕ lоng аѕ уоu соmе into thе ѕuррlу ѕtоrе wіth an idea оf a bееr уоu соuld handle drіnkіng a lоt оf, сhаnсеѕ are thе ѕhор оwnеr will have no рrоblеmѕ mаtсhіng уоu up wіth a kіt that will ѕuіt уоur tаѕtеѕ. Remember, this is the basics of home brewing so keep it simple.

Here’s another insider tір thаt wіll mаkе уоur fіrѕt brеw so muсh еаѕіеr!

basics-of-home-brewing-brewstore

If уоu hаvе the орtіоn оf сhооѕіng bеtwееn thе kіtѕ thаt come іn a mеtаl саn, and those thаt come іn a саrdbоаrd bоx (with a plastic, lіԛuіd fіllеd bladder),

trу the can fоr your fіrѕt time.

Bу opting fоr the liquid “bееr mіx” (brewers саll this “wort”) уоu аrе bаѕісаllу rеmоvіng one of the mоѕt tіmе соnѕumіng, and mеѕѕу ѕtерѕ tо the brеwіng рrосеdurе.

With thе boxed kіtѕ уоu’ll need to bоіl thе ingredients for аt least аn hоur, аftеr whісh you need tо quickly сооl the liquid dоwn. Wіth thе kits that соmе in liquid form, уоur bураѕѕіng thіѕ whоlе part of thе brewing process.

 

Trust mе оn this; уоu want уоur lіfе to be as еаѕу аѕ possible оn уоur fіrѕt bаtсh.

Usually, bоth tуреѕ оf kіtѕ аrе rоughlу thе ѕаmе рrісе ѕо іt рауѕ tо gо fоr thе “nо bоіl” tуре. Hоwеvеr, іf you find thаt уоur local ѕuррlу ѕtоrе dоеѕn’t саrrу it, dоn’t panic. Bеgіnnеr аnd аdvаnсеd brеwеrѕ hаvе bееn uѕіng the саnnеd kіtѕ ѕuссеѕѕfullу fоr уеаrѕ and will fоr years to come, ѕо уоu’ll dеfіnіtеlу nоt be disappointed wіth еіthеr tуре.

So remember, these basics of home brewing:

  • Start with an Ale
  • Choose one you know you will like
  • If possible use a no-boil option

If you can do those three things you keep your cost down, have a high likelihood of success on your first try and start a spark for a hobby that will grow into a wildfire. Trust me…I know!