Northern Brewer Deluxe Homebrew
Beer Kit Review
This Deluxe Homebrew Starter Beer Kit From Northern Brewer Is The Perfect Beer Kit For Easily Brewing 5-gallons Of Your Very Own Craft Beer At Home.
If you are like so many other people from all over the world who’s interested in learning the art of craft beer brewing. Don’t let the term “starter kit” fool you. This home beer kit is perfect for any skill level of brewing experience, from an advanced brewer to a complete beginner.
Since Northern Brewer began more than 20 years ago, this Deluxe kit is their most popular and best-selling homebrew kits, and includes a few items and upgrades that are usually not found in other “starter” kits.
Detailed Look At Northern Brewer's Deluxe Homebrew Starter Kit
For those wanting to get into homebrewing and looking for a starter kit, this homebrew kit will do the job. This “Deluxe” kit is a step up from Northern Brewers “Essential” kit because there are a few extra things included.
The main two upgrades to this kit are the glass carboys and the auto-syphon.
Two Glass Carboys
One topic of debate between homebrewers is whether you should do a two-stage fermentation, or secondary fermentation or not. Many do and many don’t.
Some beer ingredient kits and recipes will recommend a secondary fermentation. This is when you transfer or “rack” the beer from the primary fermenter to the 2nd carboy after the fermentation has just about completed. Doing a two-step fermentation is to give the beer more time to clear.
However, it is a fact that any time you transfer the beer from one vessel to another, you will always run the risk of oxygenation and contamination.
Glass Carboys Can Be Good
With this kit, you will be doing your primary fermentation in the glass carboy instead of a plastic bucket. Glass certainly has some advantages over plastic fermentation buckets.
The glass won’t scratch like plastic, which can give bacteria a place to hide and then ruin your beer. Also, fermenting in a glass vessel lets you see the fermentation taking place without taking the lid off the bucket, which can introduce bacteria and oxygen.
Glass Carboys Can Be Bad
Glass also comes with some risks too.
So while the glass carboys have some useful purposes, they all have one bad thing in common. They can shatter and cause a big mess and injury if you aren’t careful.
You should always get a carrying strap or carboy handle when using a carboy, especially glass.
Glass carboys are very heavy and can be awkward to handle when they are filled with beer. Do yourself a big favor and get a carboy carrying strap or carboy handle to avoid a disaster!
Since this kit comes with glass carboys, you will need an easy way to transfer the beer from the primary fermenter to the secondary, and then from the secondary fermenter to the bottling bucket.
An auto-siphon uses atmospheric pressure along with gravity to move to liquid from one vessel to another.
What Is Included In The Box?
Besides a stock pot or brewing kettle and a long stirring spoon, everything you need to begin brewing is included when you buy this Northern Brewer Deluxe homebrewing kit.
Included in the box is:
- One recipe kit
- 6-gallon glass carboy (Primary)
- 5-gallon glass carboy (Secondary)
- (2) Bung and airlock
- Vinyl blow-off tube
- Plastic bottling bucket with spigot
- Auto-siphon and tubing
- Bottle filler wand and tubing
- Adhesive thermometers
- Carboy brush
- Bottle brush
- Bottle capper
- Bottle caps
- Glass carboy dryer
- No-rinse oxygen wash cleaner
Beer Ingredient Choices
This beer kit comes with one beer kit, but you get the choice between 4 different ingredient kits. All the ingredients are pre-measured and individually packaged to make the brewing process as simple as possible.
After you finish brewing with the included recipe kit, you will be ready to brew your next batch. There are almost an unlimited amount of different recipe kits for you to try.
Here are the 4 choices you have with this kit:
- Bavarian Hefeweizen
- Caribou Slobber Brown Ale
- Fresh Squished IPA
- Irish Red Ale
What You Need But Not Included
Before you can actually start brewing, you need to make sure you have at least a 20-quart stock pot or brew kettle on hand. Then sometime in the next month or so when the beer is done fermenting, you will have to decide if you want to bottle or keg your beer.
20-Quart Brew Pot
This kit comes with a recipe kit that uses the partial boil method instead of doing a full 5-gallon boil, which would require a much larger pot. All you need is a stock pot that will be able to accommodate about 2-1/2 to 3-gallons.
If you don’t already have a brewing kettle, or you would like to keep your brewing equipment separate from your regular kitchen items, you can check out our reviews on the different brewing kettles and pots for homebrewing.
If you plan on buying a new brew pot, you might want to consider buying an 8 to 10-gallon kettle which would be large enough to handle the full-volume boils if you eventually plan on brewing BIAB or all-grain in the future.
Long Stirring Spoon
You might already have a long spoon in your kitchen, but if you want to keep all your brewing equipment separate, you will need a stirring spoon or brew paddle.
You just want to make sure that it is at least 21 inches long.
Although this kit comes with adhesive thermometers to monitor the temperature of the beer during fermentation, a good and reliable instant read or digital thermometer should be part of your brewing day.
After the wort is finished boiling, your will need to make sure the liquid is in the optimal temperature range for safely pitching the yeast. A brewing thermometer will give you the most accurate reading.
If this is your first homebrewing kit, we assume you probably won’t be kegging your beer just yet, so you will need get the bottles of your choice. You will need about 48 twelve ounce amber glass bottles. Most beer ingredient kits will have the crown bottle caps already included.
Long-neck glass bottles are relatively inexpensive and can be used over and over for many brewing sessions, and are popular among homebrewers, especially newbies.
A hydrometer is a useful piece of brewing equipment, but is certainly not required to brew beer. In fact, there are some homebrewers who never use a hydrometer when they brew.
But, there are a few reasons why a hydrometer can be useful. You cannot always see when fermentation has stopped, and a hydrometer is the only way to know for sure when the beer is finished fermenting.
The other reason is to check the alcohol by volume (ABV) of your finished beer. If all you really care about is what the beer tastes like and not concerned about the ABV at all, then you can skip the hydrometer.
You should be able to get this hydrometer and testing jar kit for less than $15.00.
- Easy to use
- Great for two-stage fermentation
- Choice of 4 beer ingredient kits
- Brew kettle, stirring spoon, and carboy straps not included
- Transfer hoses should be longer
- Spigot on bottling bucket can leak
If you are looking for a beer kit that has a few upgrades not usually found in the more basic kits, this Deluxe Beer Kit from Northern Brewer will definitely get the job done.
It’s the perfect set-up for all skill levels, from a brand-new homebrewer, to the more advanced, and anything in between.
Besides a brew pot and a few additional items, you will be able to use this kit over and over to make just about any beer style you wish.