Beer Starter Kits - Colchester Homebrew Supplieslivepages::jquery();?>
Whether you are completely new to brewing, returning after a long absence and looking to replace your equipment, or simply looking for an interesting and "different" Christmas, birthday, anniversary, fathers day or mothers day present, a beer, lager or cider starter kit or a complete brewery kit will generally work out more economical than buying the individual items.
There are lots of available configurations depending on what you like to drink, but in essence you will need, as a minimum, a general Starter Equipment set, which is used for brewing beer, cider or wine and will then need to add a beer kit from the selection available in our “Beer Kits” category, which is broken down by “Beer Style”
Very few commercial brewers license out their recipes so you may not find EXACTLY the beer you usually drink, but you should be able to find a close match to the general style. The majority of the kits make 40 pints and have a shelf life of 12-18 months. The less expensive ones in single cans or pouches generally only have 1.5-1.8kgs of malt, which isn't quite enough to make the beer properly and you have the choice of adding either 1) 1kg of household sugar, 2) 1kg of brewing sugar or 3) 1kg of beer enhancer.
Each of these options is more expensive than the previous one, but each makes the beer better than the previous one would. If you buy the more expensive kits, they contain 3.0-3.6kgs of malt and produce much richer, fuller bodied beers. Several of the better quality kits also include additional brewing sugar and hops to further improve the beer.
Once brewed, you will need something to store it in. If the beer inherently needs to be cold and fizzy (Lager or American style IPAs for example) then it will need to be bottled. This can be in plastic or glass bottles. The plastic ones are less expensive and come with reusable screw on lids, the glass ones are more expensive and require crown caps and a capping device. You can recycle commercial bottles, but there are three different types in general use in the UK market and whilst they all tend to have standard 26mm diameter openings, they have different shaped necks below the "rolltop lip" and these necks determine which of the capping devices will work on them.
If the beer is a bitter, porter or stout, then a barrel can be used for storage if you prefer. These are easier and quicker to fill, but can create their own problems if you run out of naturally created serving pressure and then need to inject additional serving gas.
Our FAQ page, https://www.colchesterhomebrew.co.uk/faqs.html, discusses all of the various options in greater detail.