I was at a bit of a loss when looking for a beginner’s homebrew kit to buy Mike for Christmas in 2009. There are so many options and I didn’t want to sink a ton of money into it (not knowing if he would even want to pick up the craft) but didn’t want an el cheapo set either. Mr. Beer kits looked like something you’d buy a frat buddy in college. It serves a purpose but not what I wanted.
I ended up sending an email to the folks at Learn To Brew because they seemed to have a decent variety of starter kits. With the help of an excellent employee there, I chose the Superior Brew Kit Plus, currently priced at $212.99. I also threw in a few beer kits for him to start out working with, and the highly recommended book The Complete Joy of Homebrewing by homebrew pioneer and founding president of the American Homebrew Association, Charles Papazian. In my opinion, this is a necessary book on the homebrewer’s bookshelf. Learn To Brew has some other brew kits available, priced higher and lower than what I chose.
- 6-gallon glass carboy for primary fermenting
- 5-gallon glass carboy for secondary fermenting
- Adhesive fermentation thermometer
- 3 Disposable Hop Socks
- 1 Grain Bag
- 7.8-gallon bottling bucket
- Drilled/grommeted lid with inner seal
- Bottling spigot
- Rubber stopper
- 3-pc plastic airlock
- Auto-siphon pump
- Racking cane
- Siphon hose shut-off clamp
- 5/16″ vinyl tubing
- 30″ wire and nylon carboy brush
- Triple scale hydrometer
- Double lever spring loaded bottle capper with magnet
- Bottling filler
- 144. bottle caps
- 15″ wire and nylon bottle brush
The website currently also shows there are some ‘extras’ that will get shipped with the kit. I don’t recall getting these when I ordered ours, but I have been blessed *ahem* with my father’s memory so perhaps I just am forgetting it.
This was a nice kit to begin with. It functions well, is easy to clean and care for, and is very durable compared to some of the inexpensive plastic carboys I saw online. Keep in mind that we only did full extract brewing at first, before moving to a partial-mash and now we’re doing full mash. This kit works perfectly for extract and partial-mash brewing but once you move on to working with full mash brewing you’ll need some more supplies. No fear! We’ll let you know how we made a mash tun and all that is involved with full mash equipment soon.