With Sydney about to finish its ninth week in lockdown, thanks to the Delta variant of COVID-19 running rampant, it seems safe to say that Sydneysiders are getting pretty bored at home. The rest of New South Wales, as well as the ACT and Victoria, are also currently stuck at home with lockdown restrictions, meaning a lot of Australians are looking for ways to pass the time.
With that being said, if you’re an Aussie beer lover, now is the perfect time to start home brewing; making your own beer from scratch at home! And there are a surprising amount of quality starter kits and recipe kits that include everything you need to home brew and can be delivered right to your front door.
What you’ll need to home brew
Most home brew kits come with everything you need to make beer at home, but it’s important to know exactly what you need before you start brewing, so you don’t realise mid-brew that you’re missing something crucial and you’ve ruined your batch.
To make beer at home you need a fermenter, a hydrometer, an airlock, grain & hop socks/bags, sanitiser, bottles (if you plan on bottling your brew), a syphon, a funnel/filter, hops, grains, yeast, and malt. All of these things usually come with most home brew kits but it’s important to check before you start that the kit you’ve ordered does have all of this included.
You will also need one or two large cooking pots (think a 10-15 litre soup pot) and a cooking thermometer. These things are not usually included with home brew kits but can be crucial to brewing; so, if you don’t already have these at home, you’ll most likely have to order them before you start making your beer (again, this depends on what kit you purchase).
Home brew FAQs
How long does home brewing take?
This depends on how much beer and what type of beer you're making. Generally, home brewing can take a total of four to eight weeks, with four weeks being the absolute minimum. Although, the amount of time you'll actually spend making the beer will only be about three to four hours. Then, the beer just needs to be left alone to ferment for a few weeks before you bottle it and then leave it alone again for another couple of weeks. Most home brew kits will tell you exactly how long to leave your beer to ferment before and after bottling it.
How difficult is home brewing?
Home brewing isn't as hard as you'd think; especially if you purchase a 'beginners' home brewing kit. Making beer at home is not particularly labour-heavy; it just takes time and a little patience. The most difficult part of home brewing is the bottling process, but most starter kits come with gadgets and bottles that make this process as easy as possible.
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Whether you’re a beginner wanting to make a small batch of craft beer or a seasoned brewer wanting to perfect their beer-making skills, these are the best home brewing kit brands to get in Australia; perfect for a fun lockdown activity.
Small Batch Brew Co.
Perfect for both the beginner who has never brewed before or the advanced brewer that wants to scale down and brew more often (making 5 litres at a time, as opposed to larger batches, means you can create a new style of beer every 2 weeks and control the outcome to your liking).
Designed to be used in any kitchen, the Mad Millie Ginger Beer Kit contains everything you need and is perfect for beginner brewers or those who want to experiment and perfect their old fashioned ginger beer brewing.
Craft A Brew
However, this kit is for more intermediate brewers, so if you’re a beginner, the recipe included with this kit may be a bit tough to execute - but not impossible as all the equipment and ingredients, as well as step by step instructions, are included. We say challenge yourself and go for it!
You will need to purchase a fermenter, hydrometer, and bottles separately, as this kit only includes ingredients and smaller equipment (bottle caps, grain bags, etc.) but for this reason Brewer’s Best’s kit is much cheaper than others on this list.