General - FAQs
1. What Equipment do I need?
The basic equipment needed for brewing 40 pints beer from a kit is:
* 25 Litre Fermenting bin + Lid - this is to initially ferment the beer before you bottle or Keg
* Syphon - This is used to Syphon the beer (also known as racking) from one vessel to another, ie from the fermenting bin to keg. See Barrel or Bottle section for more info.
* Hydrometer - This is used to measure the density of the beer before, during and after fermentation so the amount of sugar that is present can be measured and therefore how much alcohol has been produced. See Measuring strength for more detail.
* Paddle - used to stir the liquid when adding the yeast.
* Sterliser - used to ensure all equipment is free from bacteria which may spoil your brew.
* Bottles or Barrels- see this section for more info.
* You will need additional equipment for brewing recipes, including a large pan and strainer. Further equipment is needed for full mash brewing. See Need to Know - Brewing Beer
* 2 x 25 Litre Fermenters & Lids (or 2 x 5 litre) for 6 bottles
* Syphon - as above
* 2 x airlocks - to provide an escape for CO2 but to prevent air getting in
* Thermometer - to measure the temperture
* Hydrometer & Testing Jar - for measuring the alcohol strength - see measuring strength
* Corking Machine - To put corks into bottles
* Corks - to seal bottles
* Shrinks - seal over bottles
* Steriliser - to ensure all equipment if free from bacteria - see sanitation section.Read more
How much is shipping?
Shipping rates are based on location, basket contents and value. Our rates can be found here - http://www.brewuk.co.uk/need-to-know-deliveryRead more
What is the delivery charge if I order the muntons premium cider kit?
All our delivery charges can be found here.
You can also get a postage quote at the cart area if you enter your postcode/country.Read more
2. How much does it cost
Beer - To make 40 Pints of beer the initial equipment + beer kit will cost you about £59.99. This is for a premium beer kit ie a Woodfordes beer kit. This price can be reduced if you order a more economical kit, saving £5 - £10.
Initial cost - £1.49 perpint
For Subsequent brews you will only need the kit (or ingredients if following a recipe) and depending on what type of kit you use this will cost between £7.99 - £23.
Subsequent cost - 20p - 57p/pint
Wine - To make 30 bottles:
Wine kit £34.49
Total £90.48 (£3.10 per bottle)
Subsequent bottles reusing your equipment
Wine kit £34.49 (£1.15 per bottle)
To make 6 bottles:
Wine Kit £10.99
Total £32.94 (£5.49 per bottle)
Subsequent bottles reusing your equipment
Wine Kit £10.99 (£1.83 per bottle)Read more
How to I use a hydrometer?
Lots info can be found here - http://www.brewuk.co.uk/measuring-volume/?___store=defaultRead more
3. How Long does it take
Beer - it should take approx 2 - 3 weeks for most beer kits to be ready, this will depend on the temperature it ferments at and how quickly it clears. All beers will improve with age if you can resist drinking them. We usually have 2 or 3 on the go at any one time.
Wine - most wine kits will be ready to drink within 28 days, although like beer they will improve with age, this is even more so with wine. Homemade Country wines may take a lot longer and will greatly improve with age.
Cider - Homemade cider from apples will take 10 months or so to mature. Kits take a couple of months.Read more
4. What is Racking?
Racking is the term used by brewers to describe moving the liquid from one vessel to another. Racking is used to get the liquid off the dead yeast sediment which sits at the bottom of the vessel. A syphon is used so not to disturb the yeast and cloud the liquid.Read more
5. What is Priming?
A small amount sugar or Malt extract is added to the fermented liquid when its bottled or barelled. This then ferments which produces CO2. As the liquid is under pressure the CO2 cannot escape and instead carbonates the liquid, making it fizzy. This is known as priming. See Bottle or Barrel section for more informationRead more
6. Do I need additional sugar to a beer or wine kit?
This will really depend on the kit. Most Budget and Midrange kits will require additional sugar or malt extract. The Premium kits do not as they already contain all the required sugar from the malt extract.
Most wine kits do not require additional sugar.
Additional sugar or malt extract will be required when bottling or barrelling any drink which is required to be fizzy.Read more
7. Can I re use old bottles?
Yes old bottles can be used for beer or wine, just ensure that they are cleaned and sterilised before use. Only use bottles that have previously stored fizzy liquid for any fizzy drinks as they will be able to withstand the pressure without exploding. You can use old coke bottles to store beer if you wish although they are not really suited to long term storage. You also need to be careful if using clear bottles as the sunlight will damage the beer or wine, this is why most bottles are green of brown to protect the drink, although white wine is uneffected by light. We favour glass bottles as they last well and look more professional but its personal choice. See Barrel or Bottle section for more information
Tip - Rinse your bottles after drinking the beer to clear the sediment before its dries hard. This makes cleaning a lot easier later on.Read more
Hi. Are your website prices inclusive of VAT, or will that be added at checkout? It's not clear from the site, and it seems the only way of getting to final order review is by going through the entire purchase process, which isn't great.
All our prices include VAT.Read more
I have been given a wine kit which specifies brewing sugar. If I want to use ordinary household sugar how do the quantities compare. I found in an old book a reference which suggests one and a half pounds of brewing sugar requires only one pound ordinary
We would not recommend using ordinary sugar in any quantity in wine or beer making. Brewing sugar will give a much better result.Read more
When bottling real ale from a kit e. g. Woodfords Sundew and bearing in mind real ale should not be fizzy, is it best not to add sugar to the bottles?
Although you may not want a fully carbonated ale, you do want some condition which will help lift the flavours in your mouth so you need to prime bottles with a small amount of sugar otherwise you will get a completely flat and lifeless beer.Read more