For years I’ve been drinking & enjoying beer, but never thought about brewing it myself. Perhaps I had the idea it was too complicated or required too much investment. Boy, was I wrong…for a homebrew newbie like me, the key was starting out with an easy-to-follow kit, which includes everything you need plus simple instructions.
Craftabrew reached out and kindly gifted me a 1-gallon brew kit of my choosing. They’ve got a ton of different varieties including stone pale ale, belgian abbey dubbel, amber ale, chocolate milk stout & more. I went with one of my favorites—a Hefeweizen.
The kit includes a beautiful glass 1-gallon carboy with a hops design on the side. You also get everything you need to brew a batch—tubing, a funnel, rubber stopper, air lock, powdered sanitizer, hops, malt, specialty grains, steeping bag, & a thermometer. I must say, all the packaging, especially the box, is such high quality…I’m a sucker for great design.
I was already somewhat knowledgable about the basic process since I’ve gone on many brewery tours. Even so, I was a bit nervous & worried I might do something wrong. The kit’s instructions really simplified things and explained each step well.
One thing I really liked about this kit’s process was the use of a steeping bag for the grains. A lot less messy than other ones I’ve seen. I also highly recommend getting a large stainless steel stockpot with lid for brewing. After adding hops for the 60-minute boil, my house sure smelled like a brewery! I easily made an ice bath in the kitchen sink to cool down the wort before adding the yeast.
After fermenting for 2 weeks, my first batch was ready to bottle. This moment was made even more special as I was using my Grandpa’s old bottle capping machine we found out in the shed. It was rusted but still worked just fine. Made me wish I could have tasted some of the beer he used to make!
The instructions suggested to age the beer in a warm, dark place for 1-2 weeks before drinking. I ended up waiting about 3 weeks to ensure enough time to carbonate. Once it was time to sample, I cracked one open with a satisfying pop—success! The Hefeweizen poured smooth and with a solid foamy head. The flavors were spot-on, one of the best I’ve had to be honest. I was actually a little shocked my first homebrew turned out so well—but with this Craftabrew kit, you can’t really go wrong.
If you’re on the fence about starting your first homebrew, I urge you to try it out! After this, I’m definitely hooked and already bought two more recipe kits to brew next. It’s such a fun experience and truly makes you appreciate the brewing process. There’s nothing like pouring & enjoying a beer you made yourself. Cheers & happy brewing!