So you have decided you want to make yourself some beer. Getting into a pursuit like brewing, or any for that matter can be daunting to begin with but fortunately there are some easy and affordable ways to get started, one of those is purchasing a beer kit.

Brewing a beer kit is most brewers first step into making beer, some will take to the process and, depending on their enjoyment of the finished product, continue to pursue their new hobby others will never move on from their first batch. This doesn’t have to be so though, with a little know how you can make sure every beer you brew is a winner.

The purpose of this guide is to help you ensure you are getting the best out of whatever beer kit you decide to buy and hopefully take the hobby of home brewing on full time.

This guide along with others is available on kindle, if you’d prefer to read this in a book format along with more advanced guides for malt etract and all grain brewing check out the Home Brew Answers book here.

What Is Beer

Now I know this may seem a bit condescending but you may be in a position where you like beer and drink it regularly but you aren’t exactly sure what’s in it and how it is made.

This isn’t going to be an in depth study of all the intricacies of beer and the long history of how it has been made. Instead, I’m going to arm you with key information  so that when someone asks about your  lovingly crafted beer you can tell them with certainty what’s in it, how you brewed it  and the process of packaging it yourself at home.

The Ingredients

All beer or at least the vast majority of beer consists of 4 main ingredients; Barley, Hops, Yeast and Water. That is it. Of course there may be additional ingredients but the vast majority of beers you buy at the shops only contain these 4 key ingredients. These ingredients combine and are fermented to create alcohol which is what makes beer.

  • Barley is a grain just like wheat, before reaching a brewery Barley is processed via malting, enabling the brewer to extract the stored sugars from it.  Malting the barley   changes the flavour and composition of the grain itself which make it perfect for creating beer.
  • Hops are the flowers of hop vines. They are full of resins and acids that balance and season the beer when added during the brewing process.
  • Yeast are the organisms that turn the sweet liquid created from a beer kit  into the beer itself. They consume the sugars  and as a by-product produce alcohol and carbon dioxide, which are vital components of beer.
  • Water is the main ingredient of the beer and any water good enough to drink will be just fine for using with your beer kit.

A beer kit contains all the ingredients you need to make your first beer.  They are specially prepared  in such a way that it makes it extremely easy to go from kit to beer in just a few steps and a very short amount of time.

The next thing we need to do is to start looking at the various beer kits available and which one to buy to suit your needs.