The Beer Machine Home Brewing Kit Review

I’ve never quite seen anything like the Beer Machine Home Brewing Kit. It’s completely self contained and if you use the Beer Machine Ingredients it only ends up costing about 30 cents a glass. This picture is what caught my eye:

The Beer Machine Home Brewing Kit

The Beer Machine Home Brewing Kit

It’s really great that the Beer Machine fits right in the fridge. It’s got a built in tap – it would be nice to have beer on tap in my fridge. It also comes with some really nice features, including an airlock that allows the CO2 to exit during fermentation while prevention air from entering the fermenter. The airlock also allows you to see when fermentation is complete and it is time to brew your beer. It has a built in pressure gauge, which tells you if you have the proper carbonation in your brew (which up until this point I’ve only seen on full scale Home Brewing Keg Systems).

They offer premium beer mixes, and at about 30 cents a glass, it’s cheaper than PBR (you can’t really go wrong with that, right?). Check out out the Beer Machine compares to the other Home Brewing Kits.

The only the better than good beer is good cheap beer –


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Coopers DIY Home Brewing Kit Review

If you are new to home brewing, a home brewing kit is definitely the way to go. One of the most popular Home Brewing Kits is the Coopers DIY Beer Home Brewing Kit. They provide everything you need to start brewing good quality beer.

Coopers DIY Home Brewing Kit

Coopers DIY Home Brewing Kit

The kit comes with the following items:

  • 30 Liter Fermenter to Make 6 Gallon Batches of Beer
  • Durable Beer Hydrometer and Measuring Flask
  • Mixing Spoon
  • “Little Bottler” Tube and Bottling Valve
  • Tap
  • Lid and Krausen Collar
  • Brewers Log and Dry Erase Marker
  • Thermometer
  • 30 740ml PET Bottles and Caps
  • Instruction Booklet
  • Instructional DVD-ROM
  • Cooper’s Lager Beer Kit Package – which includes:
  • 1.7kg Coopers Lager Beer Kit Concentrate with Yeast
  • 1 kg Coopers Brew Enhancer 1
  • Bag of Carbonation Drops

The 30 Liter Fementer makes 6 gallon batches, which makes bout 30 bottles (they’re about 25oz each). Considering a can of beer is 12oz, that amount of beer should last you awhile.

*** I had never used a Krausen Collar before (I honestly didn’t even know what it was), but it may be the best tool in this kit. It fits flush on the inside rim of the fermenter, and it collects all of the crud that forms and the ferementer walls around the surface of your beer. When the beer is done fermenting, you can simply pull out the Krausen Collar (aka the crap collar) out and stick it in your dishwasher. It cuts way down on your clean up time and greatly reduces the chance that you’ll get any large particles in your beer when you bottle – very smart. As far as I know Coopers DIY Beer Home Brewing Kit is the only complete kit that comes with a Krausen Collar.

If you already have a home brewing kit, I would look into some of Coopers Beer Ingredient Packages. Thy come with the extract for the style of beer you want, as well as a brew enhancer and carbonation drops. Brewing Stout Style beer can be difficult, but the Coopers Stout Package was really easy and it turned out great (Nice Chocolaty Finish).

A big plus about this system is it comes with an instructional DVD that walks you through brewing basics. You don’t need to have any previous experience brewing beer, because this will explain everything. Check out how Coopers DIY compares to these other Home Brewing Kits.

Mix, Brew, Bottle, and most importantly – get Tipsy!


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How alcohol is made in Home Brewing Kits

I think it helps to have a basic understanding of how alcohol home brewing kits, so I am including this diagram of the process with an explanation below:

How Alcohol Is Made In Home Brewing Kits

How Alcohol Is Made In Home Brewing Kits

After making the wort, you transfer it to a carboy where fermentation will take place. The carboy for home brewing kits are made out of plastic or glass; I plan on doing an article on the advantages/disadvantages of each at a later date. After transferring your wort, the next step is to pitch the yeast. The yeast feeds on the sugar in the wort, and the byproducts of this process are CO2 and Alcohol.

In this particular example the CO2 is actually released through an airlock at the top of the carboy. The airlock allows the CO2 to be released, while preventing oxygen from entering the carboy and contaminating/oxidizing your brew. The wort stays in the carboy for about 2 weeks or until fermentation is complete (when you stop seeing bubbles coming out of the airlock on a regular basis.

More to follow on this topic, including bottling, kegging, and carbonation. I’ve posted some reviews on Home Brewing Kits if you’re looking to start brewing.


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Mr Beer Home Brewing Kit Review

I started brewing beer after purchasing a home brewing kit. If you’re interested in brewing your own beer, home brewing kits are a great way to start. Trying to piece together the right equipment and ingredients to brew your first batch can be frustrating, and could turn new brewers off to the process altogether. For that reason I want to point out some good quality products that make brewing easy and are a great introduction to the process.

Mr Beer makes a great Home Brewing Kit, it comes with all the equipment and ingredients you need to make your first batch (See Below).

Mr Beer Home Brewing Kit

Mr Beer Home Brewing Kit

Two Gallon Fermenter: I like that it has the built in airlock and tap. (Great features that sometimes cost extra with other brands). The size is perfect for a kitchen counter or even a cupboard.

Ingredients: Mr Beer Brewing Kits include the ingredients to make the beer. It can be difficult to source some of the items on your own (depending on where you live), so it’s nice that they send everything to you. *** They also include sanitizer which is very important.

Bottles: The bottles are plastic, so they’re easy to clean and reuse.

Overall I think this is a great home brewing kit for someone new to brewing. It’s simple, easy to use, and makes good quality beer that you can be proud of. Although this kit is great for people new to brewing, it still has a lot to offer more advanced brewers. This kit is supported with tons of premium beer style ingredients to experiment with, and it’s compact size makes it really easy to store for those who are short on space.

MR.BEER Premium Edition Beer Kit

Mr. Beer Premium Edition Beer Kit

Home Brewing Kit

Thanks for checking out my Mr Beer Home Brewing Kit Review. Check out how Mr Beer compares to these other Home Brewing Kits.



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Types of Beer


There are two basic categories of beer – Ales and Lagers. There are also specialty beers which don’t fall easily into these categories, and I’ll explain why later on. I’ll cover the basic types of beer in this post.

Ales: Ale is a type of beer that is brewed  at warmer temperatures, because the type of yeast used needs the the warmer temperature to ferment properly. The yeast will actually gather at the top of the container (as opposed to the bottom with lagers). Sierra Nevada’s Pale ale is good example of an American Style Ale.

Beer Types (Ales)

Hall, Michael. "Drinking Beer - Beer Types."

Lager: Lager is a type of beer that needs to be stored at cooler temperatures in order to ferment properly. The yeast will actually settle at the bottom of the container (as opposed to the top with ales). Sam Adams Boston Lager is a popular American Pilsner style lager and one of my personal favorites.

Beer Types (Lagers)

Hall, Michael. "Drinking Beer - Beer Types."

Specialty Beers: Specialty beer types are often a hybrid of Ales and Lagers and are difficult to categorize under the two traditional styles. Magic Hat #9 is a good example of a specialty beer.

One thing is for sure whether you’re brewing an Ale or a Lager – they’ll both give you a pretty good buzz!



Szamatulski, Tess, and Mark Szamatulski. Clone brews: recipes for 200 commercial beers. 2nd ed. North Adams: Storey Pub., 2010. Print.

“Guide to Beer Types and the Different Styles..” How To Be A Beverage Snob (Coffee, Tea, Wine and Beer). N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Sept. 2011. <>.

Hall, Michael. “Drinking Beer – Beer Types.” Drinking Beer – Always a good idea. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Sept. 2011. <

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Basic Beer Ingredients

Beer has four basic ingredients: Water, Malt, Yeast, and Hops. There are many other additives and flavorings that you can use to create your own brew, but it is best to use the basic ingredients found in all beer starter kits.



Water is the most abundant beer ingredient. Bottled water is ideal, however I’ve used tap water from my home on almost all of my batches with great results. You can purchase home water test kits to make sure you are consistently getting the same results, but for the average home brewer this is not necessary.


Malted barley is a source of starch in traditionally brewed beers, however it is important to note that barley is not the only grain used in all beer. One of my favorite beers, Goose Island’s 312, has a wheat base. Oats and rye are commonly used grains, and larger breweries sometimes use rice or corn as they are much more affordable. Simple sugars are derived from the the starch in the malt, which ultimately becomes food for the yeast (which I’ll explain later). Dry Malt Extract (DME) is included in some starter kits. This cuts down significantly on the time it takes to brew your beer and makes for very consistent wort (unfinished beer).


Yeast is a common ingredient in baking and can be found in any grocery store, but DO NOT USE THIS YEAST IN YOUR BEER. Great beer is made with yeast that has been cultured specifically for brewing beer. Yeast eats the simple sugars derived from the malt, and the byproducts of the process are alcohol and carbonation. Before yeast is added to your brew, you just have brown tea (it actually tastes like tea – try it sometime before you pitch your yeast).


Hops are the flower cones from species of plants related to hemp. Hops act as a clarifying agent while stabilizing your beer at the same time. Hops also make beer taste great! There are hundreds of varieties and each one can change the flavor and aroma of your beer. I enjoy experimenting with different varieties hops, and you can use hops to give your beer that distinctive taste  people crave.


I’ll be adding more information on each of these basic ingredients in my future posts, including some of the ingredients I find work the best.


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