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Over the past couple of decades, home brewing kits have provided amateur enthusiasts with the ability to create their favorite alcoholic beverages including beers and wines.
These kits will include a variety of components that will allow you to ferment, mix, and even bottle beer.
Those who are looking to make their first batch of beer may be confused about what will be needed to complete the process.
This review will provide a head to head comparison between the Northern Brewer – Brew Goose Island Beer Starter Kit vs Home brew Ohio Gold Beer Kit to determine which product is best for beginners.
|Product||Brewing Kettle||Fermentor||Bottling Components||Sanitation Components|
|#1. Northern Brewer |
Our Best Pick
|#2. Home Brew |
Beer Making Kits
Both of these kits contain parts for the brewing, fermenting, and bottling phases of beer making.
Your journey into the world of crafting beers begins with brewing a beer recipe. The Northern Brewer Starter Kit lives up to its name by including a five-gallon stainless steel kettle that can be used to boil the beer.
The Home Brew Kit does not include a metal kettle which will need to be acquired separately.
Neither kit includes a burner unit as most first time batches will be boiled on a stove burner.
If you plan on brewing your beer in a backyard building such as a shed, a separate burner will be needed for heating the recipe.
The Goose Island Kit from Northern Brewer includes a 6.5-gallon fermentor and the Ohio Gold from Home Brew has a 7.8-gallon bucket.
Each container has a lid as well as a connection point for an airlock. Both items are made from plastic.
A fermentor is used to house the beer after brewing while it goes through the fermentation process.
Plastic buckets are not 100-percent airtight, but can be used by first-time brewers to hold beer for aging after the one – two-week fermentation process is complete.
Once fermentation has stopped the beer is usually transferred to a carboy for secondary fermentation (a fancy way to say aging). This period is used to remove extra sediment from the beer column as well as to smooth out the taste.
Starter kits, including the Northern Brewer Kit, keep the beer in the fermentation bucket during this process as well.
The Home Brew includes a five-gallon glass carboy that can be used to provide an airtight seal during the aging process when the yeast is no longer generating large amounts of carbon dioxide.
Each kit comes with an airlock that will be used on the fermentor as well as several feet of tubing siphoning the wort (beer) from the fermentor to a secondary carboy.
The Home Brew Kit provides you with a thermometer to accurately measure temperatures during the fermentation process, something that the Northern Brewer setup does not include.
Most beginner setups will not include a hydrometer to measure specific gravity, and neither kit reviewed here is an exception.
Bottles are not provided with most brewing kits and must be purchased separately.
The Goose Island Kit does provide 60 bottle caps, bottle capper, bottle filler, and a 6.5-gallon plastic bucket with a spigot that is used during the bottling process.
A complete rack and fill kit is included with the Ohio Gold Kit, along with a bottle capper and spigot for pouring during the bottling process.
Cleaning is critical in the brewing process, both before and after a batch of beer is made. Both kits include a bottle brush for cleaning inside surfaces of beer bottles. They also include packets of sanitizer designed to clean brewing equipment.
Ingredients, Instructions, And Recipes
Both kits include detailed instructions and recipes that will get a new beer maker started. The Northern Brewer Kit provides you with ingredients for the Goose Island’s Sweet Porter, while the Gold Ohio Kit does not include any ingredients.
It is worth noting here that Northern Brewer provides extra resources for beginners and advanced beer makers alike on their website.
They also have accounts across many social media platforms, including Facebook and YouTube. The company also has representatives that can assist you during business hours.
This level of support is missing with the Home Brew Kit manufacturers, but various levels of customer support can be found through the outlets that carry the kit.
Which Kit Is Best For Beginners?
While the Home brew Ohio Gold Kit offers a glass carboy, we feel that the Northern Brewer – Brew Goose Island Beer Starter Kit offers a more complete option for new beer makers.
A lack of a glass carboy is made up for by this introductory product’s fermentation bucket, which will provide an adequate seal from outside oxygen during your first few batches of beer.
It more than makes up for the lack of a secondary fermentation container by including a stainless steel kettle for brewing.
It provides a secondary bucket with a spigot that is used during the bottling process, along with accessories needed to bottle your beer. This kit also includes the ingredients needed for your first batch.
Finally, detailed instructions and extra support provide you with everything a first-time beer maker needs.