Whether you’re looking for yourself or for a friend wanting to get into the hobby of home brewing, you’ve come to the right place. There are a lot of options and while there’s no right or wrong choice, there are definitely options that can suit your specific needs. We’re here to help you decide which brewing starter kit is the best choice for you.
What All of Our Kits Have in Common
No matter which kit you choose, rest assured they all include what you need to get started & make great beer! We offer a variety of starter kits to ensure you find the right one. And while you can do that with an all-grain brewing method, the kits below all start you off with extract brewing - which makes for a quicker and easier introduction to the world of homebrewing. So the first thing to ask yourself is, how much beer do I want to make?
Volume: 1 Gallon vs. 5 Gallon
Homebrewers are fans of making beer anywhere from the kitchen to the garage and even their backyard. For small apartment or kitchen brewing 1-gallon batches are likely best, but if you have the room or plan on brewing outside you may want to consider 5-gallon batches. To put that into perspective; a 1 gallon kit makes about 10ish beers, versus the 5 gallon kit coming in at around 50 beers.
Choose Your Gear
Once you’ve landed on which size kit you’re going with, you can choose what kettle you’ll be brewing your beer in. For brewing a 1 gallon batch, you may already be set with what you have in your kitchen - a large spaghetti pot (about 2 gallons) works great for 1 gallon brewing! If you don’t have a large enough pot, you can add a 2-gallon stainless kettle to your cart. The 5 gallon brewing kits however, give you multiple options for large brew kettles. The Brew Share Enjoy kit comes with a 5 gallon stainless steel kettle (for use with a stovetop or propane burner), the Premium Craft Brewery in a Box kit features the 8 gallon MegaPot 1.2 brew kettle, and our Electric Brew Share Enjoy kit let’s you brew anywhere with the fully portable Gigawort® Electric Brewing Kettle. Or you can always select your own brew kettle with the Deluxe Starter kit!
The fermenter is where your beer will be sitting for a few weeks, turning into alcohol - aka where the magic happens. The first difference here is glass vs. plastic. A glass carboy is durable and great for long-term aging (and fun to watch the fermentation), but the downside is they are heavy and inherently fragile. Plastic fermentation pails are lightweight, easy to handle and clean, won’t break, but will need to be replaced from time to time. The best of both worlds is the siphonless big mouth bubbler, which is easy to handle and clean, allows you to keep an eye on active fermentation and best of all: no siphon transferring.
Each starter kit comes with a recipe kit that includes all of the ingredients you need . This means you’ll get a box with just the right amount of malt extract, specialty grains, hops, and yeast to make the perfect brew. And you’ll receive step-by-step instructions that will walk you through the process from brewday to bottling.
Overview of Each Kit
The glass Little Big Mouth Bubbler fermenter makes for both easy brewing and cleaning. With this kit, you can make and bottle your choice of Caribou Slobber, Kama Citra, American Wheat, or Irish Red.
This kit comes with the same products featured in the 1 gallon kit above, but you’ll also receive 12 bottles, 2 exclusive Northern Brewer pint glasses, and the ingredients to make the highly popular Kama Citra Session IPA.
While 1 gallon brews can be a great intro, especially if you’re tight on space, this 5 gallon kit is an excellent place to start if you want more beer for your buck. The 5 gallon stainless steel brew kettle included in this starter kit can be used on the stove top, or on a burner in your backyard or brewcave. This kit provides the tubing, buckets, brushes and other items you’ll need to brew your choice of Block Party Amber Ale, Chinook IPA, or Hank’s Hefeweizen.
This kit comes with nearly all the same products included as the previous 5 gallon starter kit, with some nice upgrades including the Gigawort electric brewing kettle. This means you can brew your Block Party Amber Ale from pretty much anywhere with an outlet and not rely on propane burners. Another standout feature is the included immersion wort chiller. When you’ve finished brewing a batch of beer it needs to be cooled before it can move to the fermentor, the wort chiller makes chilling your beer quick and easy.
Our best seller and most comprehensive starter kit includes a 5 gallon and 6 gallon glass carboy, bottling bucket, cleaning equipment, auto siphon and all the ingredients to make your choice of Fresh Squished IPA, Irish Red Ale, Caribou Slobber Brown Ale or Bavarian Hefeweizen. We offer several optional upgrades with this Deluxe Starter Kit including: a gravity testing kit, a cleaning kit, an 8 gallon kettle with the option to add a brewing burner and/or a wort chiller (choose all or none, completely up to you!).
This kit is great for someone just starting out or someone who wants to upgrade their gear. The standout features of this kit are the heavy duty 8 Gallon MegaPot 1.2™ with ball valve, the Silver Serpent wort chiller, and the siphonless Big Mouth Bubbler® with harness. You’ll also get the ingredients to make your choice of Fresh Squished IPA or Caribou Slobber Brown Ale. Optional add-ons for this kit are the Single Keg System or the Dark Star Burner 2.0.
Next Steps: Brew, Share & Enjoy
Found the right one for you? Awesome! Still have questions? Of course you do! That was a lot of info you may not be familiar with yet, but luckily for you - we have quite an abundance of helpful blog articles and videos that cover equipment, ingredients, and of course, brewing for the first time. We also have a very knowledgeable team who love helping others on their brewing adventure and you can email us anytime at Brewmaster@NorthernBrewer.com with questions!
For more on homebrew basics:
How to Make Beer - The Four Basic Steps
Brewing Vocabulary - Terms You Should Know
Northern Brewer University - Homebrew Video Courses