I want to give homebrewing as a gift, where do I start?

Giving the gift of homebrewing to someone who loves beer is a wonderful thing. Not only will that person be able to make fantastic beer in their kitchen, but they’ll begin to really understand the art of brewing by actually doing it themselves. If you’re not sure where to start putting a gift like that together, we can help! Let’s walk you through getting started so you can feel confident when you come to the store.

An equipment kit

K3 Maestro Beer Equipment Kit with Auto-SiphonThe very first thing you need to get started is an equipment kit ($85.99). There’s nothing too fancy here, and it all fits neatly into the corner of a closet. It contains two buckets, one with a lid, some hose, a bottle capper and other various pieces of gear that you probably don’t already have. This equipment will last for many, many batches (I still use my original equipment set after 6 years). It’s almost everything you need as far as equipment goes, but we’ll get to the rest later.

A recipe kit

Brewer's Best Beer Recipe KitsBefore you can make beer, you need a recipe and ingredients. If you know the kind of beer that your gift recipient enjoys, we probably have a kit to match that style and is easy to make ($35.00 – $60.00). Every recipe kit has a level of difficulty marked on the side, so it’s easy to find the beginner kits. Each recipe kit has all the ingredients you need to make one 5 gallon batch of beer with the kind of equipment kit from above. Each one also has an instruction sheet tailored to that recipe and the included ingredients. It takes all the guess-work out of making any style of beer.

A brew pot (you may already have this)

https://i2.wp.com/www.bullcityhomebrew.com/helpfulstuff/ref_5_gallon_pot.pngYour gift recipient is going to need a pot large enough to brew their beer in. We recommend a 5 gallon (20 quart) brew pot to start. You can either buy one from the store ($49.99), or you may already have one or know someone that you can borrow one from. Aluminum pots are alright, but stainless steel pots are the best.

48 Bottles (you may already have these)

Beer BottlesOnce the beer is brewed and fermented, your gift recipient will need bottles to bottle their beer. Just like the brew pot, you can either buy cases of 24 12oz bottles from the store ($13.99), or you can reuse bottles of commercial beer that you (or others) have already enjoyed. The only requirement is that they have a smooth lip at the top, they must not be twist offs. Each recipe kit already comes with caps for these bottles.

Star San Sanitizer

StarSan SanitizerThe equipment kit comes with a few cleanser samples, but Star San is a sanitizer ($10.99) and is a must-have when brewing beer. Cleaning and sanitizing are both extremely important to getting good tasting beer, and Star San does a great job.

Anything else?

If you don’t have them already, you may also want the following:

  • A thermometer ($12.50): Should be able to read temperatures between 50 degrees and 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • A large stainless steel spoon ($9.00): You can’t stir several gallons of homebrew with a teaspoon… this one is way better than plastic too.

Brew School

Brew School at Bull City HomebrewLast, but not least, there’s one more thing that we highly recommend… Brew School. Your gift recipient will be able to come to our class and go through the whole process of making a batch of beer. They can check out the ingredients, ask questions or try out any or all of the equipment. We even use the same equipment and recipe kits that are listed above. It’s the best way to make sure that their first batch of beer is a complete success. You can buy vouchers to any of our open classes right in the store.

You’re all set!

Phew, did that seem like a lot? It’s not that bad. Remember, we love new homebrewers and we’re here to help! We’re confident that whoever you give this gift to will make a great first batch of beer… and hopefully more batches after that!

Giving the gift of homebrewing… it’s the most thoughtful gift you can give someone who loves beer. Print this out, stop by the store, and pick up the gift they’ll remember forever.

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