Are you looking to pick up brewing-related gifts for friends or family (or yourself?) this year? This can be an intimidating process, especially if you’re unfamiliar with homebrewing. I’ve put together a quick list of 10 things that should be on the top of any aspiring homebrewer’s Christmas list.
Of course this is going to be on the top of the list. I think it’s a great, affordable guide to homebrewing that is easy to understand yet provides just enough depth for beginner all-grain homebrewers.
You don’t even need a Kindle to read this: You can access it on a laptop or desktop with the Kindle program, which is actually pretty handy because the book includes a lot of helpful web links. Only $5! This is a great digital stocking stuffer.
2. Starter Kit
A starter kit is the perfect place to start off any aspiring homebrewer. I highly recommend the MoreBeer starter kits. They include everything a brewer needs to get started, and all of them include free shipping.
3. Speidel Fermentor
If your homebrewer has already been brewing for a little while, then maybe they’re ready for an upgraded fermentor. These are high quality plastic fermentors that have wide-mouth access from the top and a spigot on the bottom: These make it super easy to transfer beer and to do things like harvest yeast and dry hop a beer. Highly recommended.
4. A giant container of PBW
PBW is a cleaning powder that’s used to remove crud from carboys and other containers. There’s almost never enough of it, and a big container of it will bring joy to any homebrewer. This is a great stocking stuffer…although the larger containers probably won’t fit in a stocking…and they probably cost a little more than ordinary stocking stuffers. But trust me, if you surprise the homebrewer in your family with an 8lbs container of PBW, they will love you forever and remember the gift.
These are available at local homebrew supply shops, online homebrew stores, and even Amazon.
5. A dedicated 3-quart pot
Are you tired of the homebrewer in your family stealing family cookware for brewing purposes? A dedicated 3-quart kettle is the perfect item to remedy this situation. Brewers can use it to boil up starter wort or priming sugar. This one is available on Overstock.com for a very decent price.
6. The Brew Bag®
7. A giant container of Star-San
Star-San is for sanitizing containers after they’ve been cleaned so that no micro-beasties contaminant fresh wort. This isn’t quite as awesome as a giant container of PBW, but it’s bound to make you or your homebrewer happy. Nothing sucks more than running out of sanitizer right before you are about to brew.
Also available at homebrew stores and on Amazon.
I recently read this book and was impressed at how it was detailed yet easy to understand. This is a must-read for anyone who is interested in serious homebrewing. It provides a detailed lesson on the history of beer styles and an award-winning recipe for every style in the BJCP guidelines.
8. An immersion wort chiller
If your homebrewer doesn’t yet have an immersion wort chiller and you have some cash to burn, then this would be a great gift. It’s going to cut down time on the stovetop (if that’s where your homebrewer is brewing), which could open up kitchen time for the rest of the household.
If you or your homebrewer is toward the advance end of the brewing spectrum, then this is the book to get them. Ray Daniels text is the Bible for people who want to learn about historic beer styles and how to create their own recipes. Highly, highly recommended.