Thanks in large part to an 18-day beer festival held in Germany, the month of October will forever be linked to the drinking of beer. Last week we tipped you in the direction of the six apps you need to get the most of your own Oktoberfest celebrations. This week we’re taking it a couple steps further by showing you what you need to brew your own beer. Gasp! Chill. It’s not as hard as it may seem. It’s actually quite simple if you use one of these home brewing kits. Ranging from thousand-dollar industrial-grade machines to simple, plastic set ups, we’ve gathered the 5 best in-home beer brewing systems for those looking for something a little more exclusive than what’s for sale at the local bodega.
Beer Machine 2000
Price: $100, brookstone.com
The Beer Machine is great for those just getting into the beer-brewing business. It may not look it, but easy-to-use Beer Machine is a full-fledged brewery with a fermentation-conditioning-carbonation setup all lodged inside. It’s made to be used with special beer mixes, so all you have to do is add water to the proprietary beer mixes, put the Beer Machine in your fridge, and let it ferment. Pull the lever in seven to 10 days to drink your own personal freshly brewed brew.
Coopers DIY Beer Kit
Price: $116, makebeer.net
It may not be as pretty as the other sets on this list, the Coopers DIY Beer Kit is just as capable—maybe even more. Replete with a 30-liter fermenter, measuring flask and beer hydrometer, thermometer, a tap, 30 plastic bottles, and Coopers lager beer concentrate with yeast, carbonation drops, and brew enhancers, it’s pretty much everything you need to get your brew on. To guide you along there’s also an instructional booklet, and, for those who are reading impaired, an instructional DVD.
Synergy Home Beer Brewing System
Price: $1995, synergybrew.com
This may look like something straight out of Breaking Bad, but it’s actually a full-service brewery. This set up is not for the faint of heart. You actually have to know how to brew beer to use this. There’s no nice instructional DVD or booklet or recipe guide—you’re going to have to already know how to do all of that. This is, for all intents and purposes, a professional beer brewing rig that can fit in your house. It has built-in gas burners, gravity siphons, and silicone tubes so the flavor isn’t tainted. If you’re down, head over to the Synergy website to customize your rig for the amount of beer you think you’ll be making. Good luck.
Mr. Beer Deluxe Edition Home Microbrewery System
Price: $100, mrbeer.com
Mr. Beer, similar to The Beer Machine, gives you a simple-to-use plastic beer fermenter that goes into your fridge. It also asks you to simply add water to its proprietary beer mix. However, Mr. Beer goes the extra step by including all the ingredients to brew your first four gallons of beer, recipes and instructions, and even eight plastic one-liter bottles so you can bottle your own creation. Oh, they also give you pint glasses so you can floss at your crib.
WilliamsWarn Personal Brewery
Price: $4,500, williamswarn.com
After you balk at the exorbitant price tag, understand this: The WilliamsWarn Personal Brewery is the closest thing you will get to a professional brewing experience in your home that you will actually figure out how to operate. There’s nothing better. Crafted from high-grade stainless steel, the Personal Brewey handles all of the complicated steps of the brewing process. All you have to do is add the water, wort, and yeast when instructed. Thanks to its fermenting of the beer in a pressurized container, you don’t have to worry about carbonating it later. All you do is follow the instructions, wait seven days, and enjoy.