Jim Dykstra's picture

Brewferm Buckrider No-Boil Homebrewing Starter Kit Review

Every brewer has a first batch. But with the Brewferm No-Boil Homebrewing Starter Kit, that first batch can be a great one.

The Company
Think of Brewferm as the premier gateway brewing company. Direct from Belgium, they offer top-notch homebrew mixes, brewing outfits and upgrades such as bottle cleaning that make it easy to continue your ascent into brewing stardom. Essentially, they make it possible for anyone to learn the basics of craft brewing and provide everything you need to produce finely made beer from home.

The company is the brainchild of Frans Balis, a pharmacist by trade and homebrew enthusiast in his spare time. Recognizing that beer was the best medicine of all, Balis began selling his own blends of yeasts and brewing recipes in the corner of his pharmacy. Word spread quickly, and after establishing the V.A.W., Belgium's association of traditional vintners, winemakers and beer brewers, he began shipping his kits and recipes throughout the Benelux region. As word got out about his mixes, demand began to increase for vintner and brewing kits, more diverse offerings of recipes and mixes, specialized equipment and guidance in the homebrewing arts.

What began as a hobby in 1972 has become Europe’s leading specialized wholesaler of homebrewing products. More than just a brewing supply company, Brewferm combines the unique character of homebrewing with the unmistakable quality of Belgian brewing and makes it fun and easy. Nearly fifty years later, Brewferm is still a Belgian family-owned business, and now a market leader with an ever-increasing range of high-quality brewing offerings. Simply put, you won’t find a more time-tested, higher-grade homebrew company anywhere. But what about the homebrew kit?

Brewferm


The Product
The Homebrew No-boil Starter Kit has everything you need to start brewing premium Buckrider Belgium beer. You simply need to add water and sugar, and to make sure you have some clean bottles when the time comes. And yes, you read that right -- for your first batch, you don’t even need to worry about boiling the wort. Just soak it in warm water before you pitch the yeast, and you’ll eventually have a delicious 6 percent ABV saison.

Included in the Brew-it Starter Kit:

  • Sacred Saison Craft Brew Mix
  • Brewferm ® Buckrider Brewstash
    • Not the standard hardware store bucket, but a specially designed fermenter made from the highest quality food-grade plastic and equipped with a bottling tap. 20 liter total volume = suitable to ferment up to 15 liter = 4 US Gal. of beer.
  • PVC Tap w/back nut, including 2 seals
  • Brewferm ® Liquid Crystal Thermometer
  • Airlock
  • Brewferm® Bottling Tube
  • Brewferm® Check-it Bottling Hydrometer
  • Buckrider Multifunctional® OXI Cleaning Agent
  • Buckrider Bottleshots #12
  • 24 Brewferm Bottle Labels
  • 6 Brewferm Coasters

At first glance, it’s nice that this package has some character to it, right down to the included labels (with room to name your own brews) and coasters. Ownership of the beer, and the knowledge that it’s something you made, are landmark moments for every brewer, and these touches really highlight that element of the experience. From first unboxing to yeast pitching, the entire process is far more streamlined than the standard brew day jumble of hosing out old brewing gear and hazardous guesswork for times, temperatures and ingredients. If you’ve really got your act together, you could probably tackle the brew day on a lunch break!

Where Brewferm excels is in its ability to make your progression straightforward and enjoyable, by allowing you to naturally ease into different brews with confidence. The directions provided are exact yet not overwhelming, and Brewferm offers additional FAQs online to ensure you’re never lost.

 

 

There is a consistency among its products that you won’t find by simply piecing together your own ingredients from a supplier. Everything here is tested and guaranteed to work together. After all, one of the biggest barriers to entry for brewing is the uncertainty of the process. No one wants to put the hours into sanitizing and brewing, and the weeks spent waiting for fermentation and conditioning, only to find that the entire batch is undrinkable. As any brewer can tell you, consistency is an incredibly important element of brewing good beer – as well as figuring out what went wrong when things don’t come out as planned.

With such an all-inclusive package, and easy-to-use, yet detailed instructions for each brew, Brewferm allows new brewers to sparge ahead with confidence. And to be frank, it also just looks nice. The brewing pail is a significant step up from your standard Home Depot fare -- thicker, shorter, opaque, and designed to look like a barrel, with a fearless Buckrider emblazoned above the Brewferm logo.

In case you were wondering: Buckriders were “the Belgian version of Robin Hood,” folkloric entities known for riding wingless goats through night skies on the quest to take from those of means and give to those in need – all before ending the night at the local watering hole.


Brewferm

The Verdict
This is a prime candidate for a Father’s Day gift. It’s fun, all-inclusive, and perfect for a bored dad stuck at home. With a price point of just under $100, this is the most pain free (and also the most affordable) path to brewing homemade beer.

Brewferm also offers a subscription service, allowing you to brew a new beer every time without worrying about inconsistencies with the products you’re using. By subscribing, you’re getting top-of-the-line ingredients straight out of Belgium – a new beer mix of your choice every three months, and saving 30 percent percent each time. Best of all, there are 11 different styles to choose from.

If you’re a professional brewer, you probably already have the tools and knowledge to forge your own path. But if you’ve screwed up more batches than you’ve bottled, or if you’re simply curious about the magic of popping the top on your very own beer, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better option than Brewferm’s Buckrider kit.

You can shop all of Brewferm’s homebrew kits, mixes and accessories here.


Brewferm