Brewferm Belgian Craft Brew Starter Kits Review, Part 1: Overview and Un-Bucketing

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The Lowdown

Brewferm has developed a system that lets even the most inexperienced brewers brew their own beer at home. It takes several steps, but as the video shows, so long as you follow the instructions properly, even novices can become brewers.

I’m excited to try the beer, but that is weeks away …

Overall
4.5

Pros

  • Kit contains everything you need to brew beer at home
  • Brewferm offers several different types of beer, so there is something for every taste
  • Instructions walk you through step by step

Cons

  • You either need to buy bottles from Brewferm or collect bottles from previously-enjoyed beer and purchase the most expensive starter kit that includes bottle caps and a capping machine
  • Temperature is a huge part of home brewing and trying to make beer when it is over 90 degrees out is a challenge
Brewferm Belgian Craft Brew Starter Kits Review, Part 1: Overview and Un-Bucketing Listen to this article

I wanted to get into home brewing many years ago and received a homebrew kit as a gift; it was a lot more complicated than expected. I was intimidated, and the kit went unused. I was intrigued by the premise behind Brewferm Belgian Craft Brew Starter Kits, however. With their kits, they promise to make home brewing easy.

Brewferm Belgian Craft Brew Kits

As noted, the kit I received years ago was way more complicated than I expected. The process required cooking, straining, measuring, cleaning, and on top of all of that, sterilizing bottles. I read the instructions and was overwhelmed. The kit sat unused and, eventually, I gave it to a friend.

When Brewferm approached Gear Diary with the opportunity to test out one of their Belgian Craft Brew Starter Kits, I was curious but — remembering my past experience — was unsure if it was for me. They sent me one of their starter kits and, it’s true! They have made the process so simple that even I should be able to make a batch of beer using it.

And that’s what we are going to do.

In this post, my wife Raina and I will take a look at what the Brewferm Belgian Craft Brew Starter Kit includes. In the next post and video, we will actually walk through the process of making the beer. In the third installment, we’ll walk through the bottling process, and then, when the beer is ready, we’ll post a final installment to review the flavor and quality of our homebrew and offer some thoughts on the process.

So let’s take a look at what Brewferm offers.

Brewferm

This starter kit is the one we were sent. It does not include the bottle caps or capping device. Thankfully, Brewferm also sells Grolsch-style bottles that don’t need to be capped.

The company offers three kits. Usually priced between $119.99 and $149.99, the kits are cuttingly on sale for $89.99 and $$99.99. We were sent the kit that is usually $119.99, and I’m impressed with what you get. As the company notes,

This is the way to start your brewing tradition. A beautiful, heavy duty fermentation bucket, and all the tools you need to get started brewing your own, custom, homebrew. All you need to add is sugar, water, and bottles.

Each kit comes in a large plastic bucket covered in a decal that makes it look like a wooden barrel. At least that’s how it is supposed to look. In the video, Raina has some observations on the use of the decal. The bucket has a hole at the top for the Airlock. Toward the bottom, there is a large hole for the included PVC Tap. The lid seals tightly and, before bottling, all the action takes place in this bucket.

Inside the Brewferm Buckrider Fermenting Bucket, you’ll find:

  • Brewferm Liquid Crystal Thermometer
  • Brewferm Beerkit Refill (1) Tripel Terror
  • Brewferm Bottling Tube
  • Brewferm Check-it Bottling Hydrometer
  • Airlock
  • Tap PVC w/back nut, including 2 seals
  • Buckrider OXI Cleaning agent
  • Carbonation Drops
  • (24) Brewferm Bottle Labels
  • (6) Brewferm Coasters
Brewferm

This kit includes bottle caps and a capping device.

From what I can tell, the difference between the starter kit I was sent and the more expensive ones is that my kit didn’t come with the Cap’tain 2-Lever Capper and Crown Caps that allow you to bottle your Brewferm beer in your own bottles.

Brewferm Belgian Craft Brew Starter Kits Review, Part 1: Overview and Un-Bucketing

That’s not an issue for me since the company was kind enough to send a collection of 17oz Fliptop Bottles (think Grolsch) and an extra cleaning agent. 24 bottles, enough flip tops for the bottles, and the cleaning agent is an additional $69.95. That might seem expensive, but the idea of having standard bottles for your home brewing and not needing to go through the process of capping them seems reasonable to me.

Brewferm

If you want to go one step further, you can also get the Brewferm Bottle Cleaning Kit for an additional $79.99. It includes a bottle drainer that fits all 27 bottles and allows them to drain thoroughly after cleaning. It also works with most other types and sizes of bottles.

 

The bottle cleaning kit also includes a Brewferm bottle jet washer that lets you clean the bottles with a single push and a bottle of Buckrider Multifunctional Oxi Cleaning Agent to ensure everything is clean and sanitary.

All told, if you purchase the starter kit, bottles, and bottle cleaning kit, you are looking at about $250 to get up and going. That may seem like a lot but, other than the Brewferm mix, it is a one-time purchase. Additionally, if you want to do this on a tight budget, you can always save your beer bottles for a couple of weeks and use them. In that case, however, you will want to purchase one of the more expensive starter kits.

Brewferm

Finally, before jumping into the video Raina and I made of the un-bucketing, it is worth noting that Brewferm offers a variety of Craft Beer refill mixes. Each mix is $29.99, and it makes between 2 1/2 and 4 gallons of beer.

Brewferm Belgian Craft Brew Starter Kits Review, Part 1: Overview and Un-Bucketing

When ready, they range from 6.5% alcohol for the Pious Pilsner to 9.2% for the Triple Terror — that’s the one that came in our starter kit, and I’m pretty excited to try it… in 2 1/2-3 months.

In this first video, my wife Raina and I do a classic “unbucketting” and take a look at what is included in the Brewferm Starter Kit.

And in this video, we walk through the initial steps that will, in a few months, result in some (hopefully) delicious beer with an alcohol content of over 9%. Apologies in advance for the numerous cuts and jumps, but that’s part of the point. Even novices like us can brew our own beer with the Brewferm system. At the same time, it is clear that we will be much more accomplished the next time we make beer.

As you can see, Brewferm has developed a system that lets even the most inexperienced brewers brew their own beer at home. It takes several steps, but as the video shows, so long as you follow the instructions properly, even novices can become brewers.

I’m excited to try the beer, but that is weeks away. In part two of this review, we will walk through the bottling, secondary fermentation and then do a taste test. If you have a bit of free time this summer and want to try something new, why not grab a Brewferm kit and experience home brewing for yourself.

The Brewferm Belgian Craft Brew Starter Kits range in price from $119.99 to $149.99; they are available directly from the manufacturer and Amazon.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: Kit contains everything you need to brew beer at home; Brewferm offers several different types of beer, so there is something for every taste; Instructions walk you through step by step

What Needs Improvement: You either need to buy bottles from Brewferm or collect bottles from previously-enjoyed beer and purchase the most expensive starter kit that includes bottle caps and a capping machine; Temperature is a huge part of home brewing and trying to make beer when it is over 90 degrees out is a challenge

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.