Northern Brewer Essential
Brew Share Enjoy Homebrewing
Beer Kit Review
This Essential Brew Share Enjoy Beer Kit From Northern Brewer is the perfect beer brewing kit for the beginner homebrewer.
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Depending on your personal preference and brewing needs, each kit that we recommended in our round-up review of the best homebrewing kits will serve any homebrewer well, but this Northern Brewer Essential Brew Share Enjoy Beer Kit will make 5-gallons of beer, and be more than enough to get you on the road to easily brewing your own craft beer.
Northern Brewer certainly is no stranger when it comes to providing craft beer lovers with all the tools and equipment needed to start brewing beer from their personal home brewery.
Table of Contents
Who Should Get This Brew. Share. Enjoy. Beer Kit?
If you like craft beer and interested in brewing your own, this is the brewing kit you should begin with. Why spend money on a more expensive set-up if you don’t even know if beer brewing is something you will enjoy?
This is a bare-bones brewing kit that won’t cost you a fortune, but an awesome kit to get you started on the path to homebrewing. All you need is a stock pot, which you probably already have in your kitchen.
To make beer, there are basically four steps that need to be taken before you can actually drink and enjoy your finished beer, no matter what style you decide to brew.
- Wort Production (Boiling & Cooling)
- Fermentation (Primary and/or Secondary)
- Bottling: Conditioning & Carbonatiom
Why We Picked This Essential Brew. Share. Enjoy. Kit As The Best Value
The reason why we chose this kit as the best value pick is because of the price. No this beer kit isn’t fancy, and it lacks some advanced brewing equipment that is included in other packages, but that is what makes this particular set-up so popular.
Just because it doesn’t have some of the options of other kits, like glass carboys, this kit is perfectly fine and more than enough for someone who is just getting started in homebrewing.
The Essential Brew. Share. Enjoy Homebrewing Beer Kit includes every thing listed below, and comes ready to brew right from the box.
- Beer Ingredient Recipe Kit
- Detailed Instructions
- 6.5-Gallon Fermenter with Spigot & Lid
- Bubbler Airlock
- Bottling Bucket with Spigot
- 5-Ft of Vinyl Tubing
- Bottle Brush
- 21-inch Stainless Spoon
- Bottle Filler
- Bottle Capper with Bottle Caps (60)
Essential Brew. Share. Enjoy Beer Kit Pros
- Great beer kit for beginners
- Inexpensive brew kit
- Easy to follow instructions
- Large stirring spoon included
Essential Brew. Share. Enjoy Beer Kit Cons
- Limited beer recipe selections
- Ferementer lid doesn’t always seal tight
What's Needed But Not Included
It doesn’t take a whole lot of equipment to brew up a great batch of beer. In every beer kit on the market, there will be equipment that is included, equipment that is needed, and equipment that is optional.
This Essential beer kit only requires only two things that are not included:
5-gallon/20-quart Brewing Kettle
The only thing you need to start brewing as soon as you open the box is a brewing pot. With the included recipe, you will probably be doing a partial boil of only 2 to 3-gallons, so a smaller stock pot will do the job. Many people already have some sort of kettle in their kitchen, so the brew pot is not included.
As you begin brewing more often, a larger brewing kettle with a few more bells and whistles may be what you are looking for. If you need help finding a new pot, check out our review of the best beer brewing kettles and pots.
Many homebrewers have a preference when it comes to drinking their beer. Some like to use 12oz long-neck bottles, some prefer a 16oz or 750ml bottle, while others like to drink from a keg and stay away from the bottles altogether.
With that said, if you are buying this starter kit, we will just assume this will be your first time brewing, and you more than likely will be bottling your beer instead of kegging.
There are smaller batch size brewing kits that include plastic bottles, but it’s rare if you find a 5-gallon complete kit with beer bottles already included.
Fortunately, most beer bottles are relatively inexpensive and can be used over and over before they need to be replaced. Check out the wide selections of beer bottles on Amazon.
Optional But Not Required
There are a few things you might want to have on hand for future brews, like a hydrometer and a thermometer. Again, these two items are totally optional and don’t need them when brewing.
A hydrometer is used to take a gravity reading of the beer, and has two purposes in beer brewing. One is to check to check on the fermentation process, and two, to measure the alcohol by volume (ABV) of the finished beer.
While a hydrometer should probably be used as you become more of serious homebrewer, it definitely is not required when you are just starting your new homebrewing hobby, and not needed at this time.
Another thing that is missing is an accurate thermometer. It’s important that the temperature of the water is in a specific range when steeping the grains. It is also important that the boiling wort is cooled to a temperature range before pitching the yeast.
In the instructions that Northern Brewer provides with this kit, the directions that are given are based off of time instead of an actual temperature reading, so you can do without a thermometer when using this kit.
This kit uses vinyl tubing attached to the fermenter and bottling bucket spigots. While this method can be used to transfer the beer from the fermenter to the bottling bucket, and from the bottling bucket to the beer bottles, you will get a little more sediment and trub going through the tubing.
A much better option would be an auto-syphon. An auto-syphon is easier to control the amount of sediment being transferred, and the bottling wand has a spring-loaded tip to aide in bottle filling.
Beer Ingredient Kit Choices
When you order your beer kit, you get the Block Party Ale beer recipe kit. The Block Party Ale is the standard recipe, but for an additional cost, two other ingredient kits are available.
When you buy the Hefeweizen or IPA recipe, the testing jar, and hydrometer will also be included.
Keeping Your Equipment Clean
No matter if it is a large mega brewery, a smaller microbrewery, or your personal home brewery in your kitchen, cleanliness and sanitation is the most important part of the brewing process.
To avoid off flavors in your next brew, you must keep everything clean and stored properly to avoid bacteria and mold. The parts in this kit are made to be used often, but there will be times when you have to replace pieces that just wear out, or break.
But by taking the time to do these few things after every brew, this Northern Brewer beer kit will last you for many brewing sessions and many years to come.
Other Options To Choose From
If you don’t think you have the space, or just want to start with a smaller 1 or 2-gallon beer batch size instead of 5-gallons, you can check out our beer kit review page for some smaller kits too.
Just keep in mind that if you buy something smaller than a 5-gallon kit, you will need to upgrade later on when you want to brew a larger
quantity of beer.
As you have probably seen in your research, there are many different beer kits that range widely in price. It is up to you to decide what you are looking for in a kit, and how much you are willing to spend.
The reason why we think this Brew. Share. Enjoy Beer Kit from Northern Brewer is the best kit to start with, is because of the price, and the perfect starter kit for a homebrew beginner, and has everything you need to brew your very own craft beer, except a brewing kettle.
The only thing you will need to purchase within the next four weeks will be about 48 glass beer bottles.