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Beginner's Guide

Information to help you get started in Homebrewing

Thinking about getting started in homebrewing? Considering buying a homebrewing equipment kit as a gift? The following information may help you make your decision.


There are 4 different products needed to brew beer at home.

  1.  Equipment Kit

  2.  Recipe Kit (Ingredients)

  3.  Brewing Kettle (Stock Pot)

  4.  Bottles


Equipment Kits

The most important part of getting started in Homebrewing is choosing an Equipment Kit. All of Midwest’s equipment kits will provide all of the components needed to brew 5-gallon batches of beer. Read each of the descriptions to determine which equipment kit is right for you.


Brewing Basics Equipment Kit: (UEK1001) This equipment kit has everything you need to start brewing beer at home except for bottles, ingredients and a brewing kettle. Our starter kit includes all of the essential equipment needed to start homebrewing and is an economical way to get started. Our starter kit is designed to be expanded as your level of homebrewing progresses. Be sure to check our new upgrade options!

*If you’re on a tight budget, this equipment kit along with a Midwest Recipe Kit will provide the basic components to get started.


Brewing Starter Kit: (UEK1002) This is our most popular brewing equipment kit. This equipment kit provides the essential equipment for the aspiring brewer who wants to make the best beer they can from the start. This is accomplished through two-stage fermentation. Primary fermentation is the first step. During this 5-7 day process, most of the fermentation takes place and by the end of this period most of the particles and solids will settle to the bottom. The second step is transferring the beer in to the secondary fermenter. (7-21 days)  Separating the beer from the sediment will result in clearer beer and improve the characteristics of the beer. Beer can condition and clarify in the secondary fermenter for weeks or months depending on the style and strength of the beer. Transferring the beer in to a 5 gallon glass carboy or better bottle will reduce oxidation of the beer. This kit is highly recommended if you intend to brew any high alcohol or lager beers.

*6 out of 10 customers purchase this equipment kit.


Master Brewer's Equipment Kit with Kegging Setup: (UEK1003) And so the student becomes the master. If you've already caught the brewing bug, or are the type to jump in feet first, then look no further- the Master Brewer's Kit is the most complete homebrew equipment kit out there. It has everything (and then some) you need to master the homebrewing arts.


Click here to browse all Equipment Kits.


Midwest Recipe Kits

Midwest offers a large selection of 5 gallon recipe kits. For first time brewers we recommend brewing an Ale recipe kit. Ales ferment at room temperature and are ready to drink faster than lagers. Some of our more popular recipe kits include: Liberty Cream Ale, Big Ben Pale Ale, Autumn Amber Ale and our most popular recipe kit, the Irish Red Ale. Check out our Light, Amber, Dark and Wheat beer recipe sections. Any of the recipes in these sections will be the perfect addition to our Equipment Kits. ****9 out of 10 gift givers will include a recipe kit with their gift****


Brewing Kettle

The brewing process requires the brewer to mix and boil the ingredients from our recipe kits in a stock pot. Many brewers might already have a stock pot in their kitchen that might work for this process. The pot must be at least 2-3 gallons in size. Stainless steel, Enamel and Silverstone coated pots will work fine. We do not recommend using aluminum pots. They can oxidize the beer. Midwest offers a 4 and 5 gallon stainless steel brewing kettles for homebrewing. Our high quality pots have riveted handles and can be used for other things like boiling pasta or crab legs. Check out of full selection of high quality Brewing Kettles.
***Including a new shiny stainless steel brewing kettle will complement any gift equipment package from Midwest. ***



Five gallons of beer will require 52-56 twelve ounce beer bottles. Roughly two cases of 24 and a six pack. Shipping glass bottles can get expensive due to the shipping weight. Many homebrewers will collect empty 12 ounce as they drink them, rinse them out and use them for their homebrew. IMPORTANT: the bottles can not be screw off bottles. They must be pop top bottles. These are the bottles that are commonly found in the 24 bottle case returnable. The kind of bottle that requires a deposit when purchased. If all of that seems like too much work. Buy one or two cases of bottles when getting started with Homebrewing.

*Most homebrewers who accumulate 10 case of bottles typically will have purchased 5 new cases and cleaned 5 used cases of pop top bottles.

Other homebrewing accessories that complement an equipment kit include: