You may have already purchased a beer kit, if not your first decision is what beer kit to select.
There can be a bewildering array of beer kits to choose from so here we’ll take a look at some of the most common and popular types so you can make an informed decision when you come to make your purchase.
The simplest, and often the cheapest, beer kits on the market consist of just a single tin of hopped malt extract and a sachet of yeast. The main attraction of such a kit is firstly the price and also the method is usually the simplest too, with the fewest steps to creating your beer.
There are some drawbacks however, as with most things the less you pay the lower the quality. That’s not to say the beer at the end of the process is going to be bad, it’s just not going to be as high quality as a more expensive beer kit. A further disadvantage of these kits is their reliance on the addition of a large amount of sugar to make up most of the fermentable content. Using sugar in the brewing process is fine in itself but the higher the quantity used, the larger the amount of flavour you will be losing. Therefore, adding sugar boosts the alcohol content but adds little in the way of flavour to your beer. The sugar also has to be purchased separately from the kit itself in most instances.
Perfectly drinkable beer is easy to make with these budget style kits and many brewers are perfectly happy using these alone. To get you started I have listed below some of the more popular incarnations of these budget kits. Feel free to have a browse and get an idea of whats available.
One of the most popular styles of beer at the moment, IPA’s showcase hops and have a higher bitterness to alcohol ratio than most other beers. Big citrus flavored hops are the most frequently used varieties and lots of them. The hops are the main drive here maltiness is subtle as are fruit notes from esters created by the yeast. Colour is somewhere between golden and reddish copper.
For those that like Dark beers then a stout fits the bill just right. Stouts tend to come out really well with these budget beer kits because they have bags of flavor and tend to retain more of their body.
But, there are other options- so let’s take a look at other ways to make beer.
All Malt Extract Kits
Moving up the price range you have all malt extract kits. These beer kits contain two tins rather than just the one like the budget kits discussed previously. This means all the ingredients of the beer are coming from the kit and not any additional sugar and because of this you often have a more flavourful beer with better qualities. These kits don’t require any boiling so there is no need for any further equipment here either.
The obvious difference is that these beer kits come at a slightly higher cost than the single can kits. It’s up to you to decide whether the price is worth the difference in quality.
There are also a few of these two can kits that come with hop aroma sachets to add to the beer whilst it’s fermenting to boost the hoppy character of the finished product, these little additions go a long way to improve the flavour of the beer compared to the modestly priced single can versions mentioned previously. Her are a couple of good choices: