Homemade prep kits are the perfect gift for the guy who has it all!
We have all been there. The birthday of someone special is just around the corner and our minds go blank when considering a gift. Well here’s a great gift idea that will be easy on the wallet and always result in a very happy ending, a homemade prep kit.
Brewing your own beer at home is not a new concept. People have been brewing beer since America has been a country, and in the 1970s, President Jimmy Carter legalized home brewing. US federal law states that a person can brew up to 100 gallons of their own beer in a year, as long as it is used for personal consumption only.
Like everything else, finding the right home prep kit can be a bit of a challenge. There are so many variations online these days that it can get quite confusing. However, if you consider that you don’t need to overpay for a home brew kit, you will quickly find the right kit at the right price. Homebrew kits look a lot like cars. You can always buy the fanciest model, but be prepared to pay a premium for it. For beginners, buying an expensive home prep kit with all the amenities can be a huge waste of effort and money. Your first car wasn’t a Ferrari, so your first home prep kit doesn’t have to be the top-of-the-line kit, either. An old Ford will get you from point A to point B just as well as a new Ferrari will. The old Ford has a set of tires, wheels, motor, and flywheel. So, just keep in mind that a beginner homebrew kit will produce the exact same beer as one of those expensive fancy kits, only it will cost about half the price. We’ve put together a quick list of must-have kits below when it comes to home-prep kits, so here they are;
1. Food safe buckets, at least two, one with a tight-fitting lid!
(make sure buckets are food grade HDPE)
(a device that keeps oxygen out but CO2 to escape)
(without a thermometer you will not be able to control the temperature of the wort)
4. Siphon system
(an automatic siphon or siphon syringe will work)
(you will need it to test the gravity of your wort)
6. Jar test
(you will need it together with your hydrometer)
7. Racking staff
(used to suck the wort between buckets)
(an important step in home brewing)
9. Muslin or cheesecloth bags
(removes stress from hops and other particles)
That’s! Believe it or not, with this basic kit you can easily brew beer in your kitchen. Now there are a couple of other items that you will need to consider, but they are not typically sold with a home brew kit. Those elements are;
1. A pot or kettle with a capacity of 3 to 8 gallons
(5 gallon batch is standard, so 8 gallon pot is required)
2. An ingredient kit
(sold by the same retailers, this is their recipe)
3. Beer bottles.
(12 oz or 22 oz sizes, you will need 48 12 oz bottles for 5 gallons of beer)
The above auxiliary equipment is not expensive. It is usually purchased from your local beer store as shipping for bottles is expensive and they are always possible to break during shipping.
Now, should you buy your home brew kit at your local beer shop? Well, in short, the answer is “compare prices first”. Local breweries charge a premium for their homebrew kits simply because they have tons of overhead. We have never seen a homebrew kit in a local brewery that was actually a good deal. In fact, most brewery kits are overpriced. Again, there is nothing wrong with overpriced kits, breweries must pay the rent.
There are several sites online that sell prep kits at really good prices. One that comes to mind is TheAmericanHomeBrewer.com, another is NorthernBrewer.com. Unfortunately, Northern Brewer does not sell brew kits in all sizes, while with The American Home Brewer you can purchase a brew kit in 1¼ gallon, 2½ gallon and 5 gallon sizes. Northern Brewer, because it is such a large company, offers a wider selection of ingredient kits or recipe kits; however, for beginning brewers this can be confusing. American Home Brewer has 20-25 different recipe kits and that’s all you need to get started. At Northern Brewer you will find more than 70 recipe kits.
We have compared the prices of most of the major online retailers, such as Midwest, Northern Brewer, Bruhaus, Williams Brewing, E Krauss, and The American Home Brewer. After careful research, we can safely tell you that the best priced brew kits are on The American Home Brewer website. This is an honest opinion that has resulted from many hours of research. We do not work with or for The American Home Brewer, but we buy from them quite frequently.
So there you have it. The next time you’re looking for a special gift and you’re running out of ideas, consider a home-prep kit. It’s a fantastic gift idea for under $ 100 and you will definitely be the most appreciated gift at the party.