Homebrewing is a great (and economical!) way to make alcoholic drinks and if you’ve always fancied giving it a try yourself, you’ve come to the right place! It can take less than 3 weeks to make 30 bottles of wine or 40 pints of beer (however the longer it’s left, the better it will taste, so don’t rush it!!), meaning there’s still time to get brewing now and have it ready in time for Christmas; whether you want to enjoy it yourself, or give it to friends and family as gifts.
Here’s our homebrewing guide to getting started…
Choose your poison!
It’s not just beer that you can make at home – why not try making your own cider or wine instead? We’ve got a huge range of homebrew kits in-store and online, so it’s up to you to pick your favourite! Here are some suggestions to get you started:
Wilko Hoppy Copper Bitter – £11
Comes highly recommended. A rich, copper coloured bitter. Makes 40 pints, ABV approx 4%
Woodforde’s Wherry real ale – £20
One of our most popular kits, Wherry has been developed in conjunction with the award-winning Woodforde’s Brewery. Makes 40 pints, ABV approx 4.5%
Wilko Sweet Newkie Brown – £12
A delicious dark brown ale with a traditional northern taste. Makes 40 pints, ABV approx 4%
Wilko apple cider kit – £15
A distinctive, medium-dry traditional country cider. Makes 40 pints, ABV approx 5%
Victor’s Strawberry and Lime Cider – £15
This simple kit only requires water and in only 48 hours you’ll be able to enjoy a tasty 20 pints! ABV approx 4.5%
Victor’s Peach and Blood Orange Cider – £15
If you love the idea of homebrewing in only 48 hours give this tasty flavour a try too! ABV approx 4.5%
Note – all our wine kits require sugar, which is sold separately.
Wilko Cabernet Sauvignon – £23
A spicy, rich red wine with toasty aroma and red-fruit flavours. Makes 30 bottles, ABV approx 12%
Wilko elderflower wine – £9.50
A delicious light white wine with an evocative floral aroma – best served chilled. Makes 6 bottles, ABV approx 12%
Wilko medium dry white wine – £20
A crisp Italian-based white wine, with citrus and tropical-fruit highlights. Makes 30 bottles, ABV approx 12%
Get the right equipment
In addition to your chosen homebrewing kit, you’ll also need the following equipment:
- Wilko sterilising agent – £2
- Wilko 23 litre fermentation vessel – £18
- Siphon pack – £3
- Plastic stirrer – £1.30
- Wilko brewing sugar 1kg – £2.50
- Wilko bung and airlock – £3
- Demijohn glass container 4.5 litre – £7
- Wine bottles (6 pack) – £4.50
- Corks/stoppers – £1.50
Then, just follow the instructions on your chosen homebrew kit, and leave to brew for the designated length of time.
Remember, both gravity and temperature will affect the brewing process and may also affect the taste and ABV of your alcohol – this is why we state only the approximate ABV.
Using your own fruit
You can also use fruit from your own garden to make wine – but you’ll need some additional ingredients if you do this. These are all available online at wilko.com:
- Pectolase – £1 – helps to break down the pectins in fruit for a clear wine.
- Citric acid – £1 – helps with fermentation and gives acidic character to the wine.
- Wine yeast – £1 – yeast reacts with sugar to make alcohol. Adding it will give your wine a higher alcohol concentration than supermarket wine.
- Yeast nutrient – £1 – feeds and grows the yeast which helps in the fermentation process.
- Campden tablets – £3 – crush and add to wine. These protect the yeast from infection.
- Wine finings – £1 – added to wine at end of fermentation to give a clear finish.
- Red grape juice concentrate / white grape juice concentrate – £3 – adds body, smoothness and extra acidity.
Want some more homemade gift ideas? Take a look at these: