I picked up the Brooklyn Brew Shop’s Bourbon Dubbel Beer Making Kit for my father for Christmas last year, at the Union Square holiday market. It seemed pretty simple – kit, instructions on the box, go out and pick up a few other extras, and the beer is ready in four weeks, ish.
Is the Brew Making Kit worth it? It really depends on how much you like beer, and how interested you are in the science of making it. Of course, you can easily pick up a six pack of whatever you want at the bodega down the street, but if you want to try your own hand at it, then I say go for it. If you just want your beer now, don’t. There are a number of beers available so you can choose to your liking.
It takes a lot of time – way more than I expected. It also takes a lot of equipment – the kit provides some, but not all, and there’s a lot of prep you need to do before you begin. My two cents: make sure you have a lot of time on your hands. The first day of beer making is the most intense and most time consuming. Stock up on your Grolsch bottles if you don’t want to invest in a bottlecap sealer. Definitely read the online instructions before you start brewing, there are a lot of steps you need to be meticulous about! I would highly advise finding a brew partner at least for the first day of your brewing adventures, because another set of hands might be easier… and why not invite that same buddy along when you crack those brews open?
The final result? Way better than I was expecting! According to Dad, at least – it looked and smelled like real beer, a little sweeter than usual due to the addition of bourbon-soaked wood chips and maple syrup. He thinks that it needs a little more time to ferment, so we’re leaving the rest unopened for a couple more days. Would I choose to do it again? Maybe not, or at least only if I had a lot more time and patience…but I definitely think it’s a good bonding experience. Take your own shot at it and see if you’re a brewmaster yourself!
To pick up your own kit, visit the Brooklyn Brew Shop website.