Great 'How to start home brewing' Hunt

MSE_Jenny Posts: 1,312 MSE Staff
First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
edited 28 December 2023 at 11:56AM in Shop but don't drop
If you’re finding the cost of pub beer hard to swallow, home brewing can save you cash. So we want to tap MoneySavers for their top tips on brew it yourself booze.

How do you get started? Which beer kits are the best? Does it taste as good as a pub pint?
How long can you keep it after opening?

Please click reply to share your top tips.



  • I have got a kit from Wilkinsons (Not showing on line but available in store) for £20.

    This included the fermenting bucket and lid,
    Brew Mix

    (not sure if it has some other things as I am in work and have not used the kit yet.

    Paid £20 (Costed instore for about £27)

    Just started to collect my bottles for future use!!

    (also got a wine kit which again has all the required stuff for £20 from Wilkinsons)

    P.S. I have no idea what I am doing>>>>>>>>>>Hope things don't go bang in the night!!
  • We make our own apple and elderberry wine from the trees in our garden - when we've finished we will of used about 4 stone of apples this year.

    We use 2 of the big plastic dustbins from wilko.

    Chop and "Mince" the apples (we just whizz them in the food processor)and add water, sugar, pectolase, crushed campden tablet and yeast nutrient ( I think, hubby does that bit)

    After a week in the airing cupboard we seperate att the apples through a sieve and pour the juice into demijons add the airlock and place on a heatpad - when it's done fermenting, we bottle up and store for about 9 months until ready to drink.

    Costs include
    Pecotlase - 79p from wilkos
    Steralise powder - £1.39 from wilkos
    Campden tablets £2.49 for 100 from wilkos
    Yeast nutrient 69p
    Reusable plastic corks 12 for 99p
    Plastic sieve
    Plastic funnel

    I'm sure i've missed some bits out but I don't have the recipie we use with me........

    We picked up most of our demijons from car boot for 50p ish each.

    We have fun doing this together and also enjoy sharing the finished result with friends
    It's nice to be nutty but's more important to be nice
  • There is a massive thread on home brewing over on the Oldstyle board see here.

    HTH, MrsB.

    It's only a game
    ~*~*~ We're only here to dream ~*~*~
  • Beenie
    Beenie Posts: 1,629 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
    Please don't use plastic dustbins.

    You need food grade plastic for anything to do with home-brewing or any food/drink prep.

    Don't want to be a scaremonger, but the most famous homebrewer in the US (who wrote books and articles) and also used plastic dustbins died of liver cancer..
  • raket
    raket Posts: 14 Forumite
    Home Insurance Hacker!
    Beenie wrote: »
    ...the most famous homebrewer in the US ... died of liver cancer..

    Think there's also another way to get liver damage... dustbins full of alcohol!
  • After trying most beer kits over 40 years, I now get Coopers, an Australian beer. Can make 40 pints (though I make less) for £10, where I live in Doncaster.
    Named after my cat, picture coming shortly
  • N9eav
    N9eav Posts: 4,742 Forumite
    I have made wine and beer over the years and have amased quite a bit of kit. It's fun to make your own drink, but it can become tiresome. Waiting for it to mature or finding it does not taste as good as John Smith's can be a disapointment
    3 cases of beer for £20 in ASDA is often the best way to go.
    NO to pasty tax We won!!!! Just shows that people power works! Don't be apathetic to your cause!
  • BillScarab
    BillScarab Posts: 6,027 Forumite
    I used to make a lot of beer at one time but found miost of the kits were pretty awful. If you just want to get drunk cheap they're OK but if you want something that actually tastes nice they're not so good. I started making my beers from scratch using recipes in a book called "Brewing beers like those you buy" by Dave Lines. It does require more equipment and is more time consuming but the results were far better.
    It's my problem, it's my problem
    If I feel the need to hide
    And it's my problem if I have no friends
    And feel I want to die

  • Track down your local homebrew shop, they are worth thier wieght in gold. I mostly make my own beer from scratch, but if you do get a kit go for a 3kg kit (such as the muntons range), instead of a 1.8Kg or less kit. They cost a bit more, but you get a much better drink as a result.

    Usually any kit less than 3kg that say it makes 40 pints, you need to add sugar to, although sugar get converted to alcohol, it dosen't contribute to flavour. With a 3kg kit, you get 3kg of malt extract, there is no need to add sugar, so you get something you can happily share with friends (if you choose to!).

    If it does all go horribly wrong - you will at least have plenty of liquid that can be used for slug traps in the garden!
  • Go and have a look on this forum lots of helpful members with loads of useful information

    Its cheaper and its good fun

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