Category Archives: Reviews

First Looks: Anova Touch Screen Heat Stick and Circulator

Review Anova Sous Vide for Homebrew

First Looks: Anova Touch Screen Heat Stick

Here’s a first look at Anova’s Precision Sous Vide Immersion Circulator.  This Anova Precision Immersion Circulator is 1,000 Watts, heats 4 to 6 gallons of water to 99 deg C (nearly boiling), mounts to the side of your kettle with a built in clamp, has a touch screen control for both temp and time (either F or C) and has a built in recirculating pump for keep consistent temps.  Everything that goes into the water is stainless steel, and it can be disassembled for cleaning.

Brewing uses could include: getting and keeping strike water at temp, direct use (with a filter bag in a mash tun or BIAB mash), maintaining temperature for sour mashes and getting to a boil more quickly (or helping to maintain a boil) for both all grain and extract batches.

Features:

  • 360 degree directional pump for maximum circulation
  • Touch screen display with °C & °F readouts
  • User-Adjustable temperature calibration
  • All stainless steel (wetted parts)
  • Easy disassembly for cleaning

Review Anova Sous Vide for HomebrewA look at that Anova and included manual in the boxReview Anova Sous Vide for HomebrewThe Anova Precision Sous Vide Immersion CirculatorReview Anova Sous Vide for HomebrewSetup and control is easy via the integrated touch screen.  This screen is for setting the option heat time.Review Anova Sous Vide for HomebrewSetting the temperatureReview Anova Sous Vide for HomebrewIt’s worth noting that although there is a time setting, it is not required.

Review Anova Sous Vide for HomebrewInstalled. This has an integrated mounting clamp that secures the heat stick to the side of the kettle.

Review Anova Sous Vide for Homebrew

You can see the water rippling from the flow of the Anova’s integrated circulator

Review Anova Sous Vide for HomebrewI completed a quick heating test with about 5 gallons of water in a 6-ish gallon kettle.  The water started out at 73 deg F.

Review Anova Sous Vide for Homebrew
The 5 gallons gained about 65 degrees in 51 minutes.

Anova Sous Vide Immersion Circulator – 120V Circulator Cooker (Black)

A newer version is also available…
Anova Culinary Precision Cooker/Immersion Circulator (Black)

Anova Sous Vide Immersion Circulator

Heating up Strike Water

from Twitter Follower Danny – “I have successfully heated up to 9.5G of water to 160F in my MT with this. Highly recommend” – photo on right click to enlarge.

Also Consider: The Picobrew Zymatic Automated Electric Brew House

Pinned: NSF Thermometer · Red, White & Brew · IPA Cups · Free Ship Kits · 3D Printing

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Update: Hands On – Spiegelau IPA Glasses

Here’s a Hands on Look at Spiegelau’s IPA glasses.  These glasses have a 19 ounce capacity, they are dishwasher safe and they are designed specifically for the enjoyment of IPA style beers.

Front of the boxSide of the box: “In collaboration with two of the leading IPA brewers in the United States, Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head and Ken Grossman of Sierra Nevada, Spiegelau has created the new standard for IPA beer glassware. Achieved through a series of design and tasting workshops in which hundreds of possible designs were considered, the brewers ultimately and unanimously chose, by secret vote, one glass – ‘number 6’ – from a final lineup of eight custom-made prototypes. Designed to showcase the complex and alluring aromatic profiles of American “hop-forward” IPA beers, preserve a frothy head, enhance taste and mouthfeel, and present a comfortably wide opening for the drinker to savor each beer, Spiegelau’s latest design is the go-to vessel for enjoying IPA. Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada champion US hop farming. The breweries and donating their portion of the proceeds from this collaboration to benefit advances in hop research.”

Other side of the box: Durable, Lightweight, Brilliant with Max. Dishwasher Safety.

Unboxed

Spiegelau logo on the bottom of the glass.  When these first came out there was some discussion about where they laser etched nucleation point was at in these glasses.  I spoke with Spiegelau reps at NHC in 2014 and was told…. it’s the dot in the center of each glass.  This feature aid in slowly releases CO2 bubbles to enhance flavor and aroma.Looking great filled with More Beer’s Pliny the Elder

I’m really happy with these glasses.  They feel really well made and I like the way they look.  These have been my go to IPA glasses since receiving them.

Spiegelau IPA glasses reviewUpdate: 5/2015 – I have used these glasses for close to two years now.  The original two glasses that I purchased continue to look and function great.  They are typically my go-to glass for IPA beers.

Spiegelau 2-Pack Beer Classics IPA Glass, 19-Ounce

This glass is also available in a set that includes one each of Spiegelau’s IPA, Stout and American Wheat Glasses.

Spiegelau Stout Glasses · IPA Glasses · American Wheat Glass · Set


Ken Grossman and Sam Calagione talking about the developement of Spiegelau’s IPA Glass

Pinned: NSF Thermometer · Red, White & Brew · IPA Cups · Free Ship Kits · 3D Printing

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review:spiegelauipa

Hands On: 1000 Watt Heat Stick with Temp Trial

Here’s a hands on look Allied Precision’s 1000 Watt Bucket Heater


Font of the Box


Close up Front Left Side


Close up Front Right Side


The Heat Stick


In all, this is about 17″ Long


The shield portion of the heat stick is right around 8″  This is the portion you are supposed to keep submerged in water while the heat stick is plugged in.  The directions say that the unit cycles itself on and off, for safety, if the water level gets below 6″.  Otherwise, the unit is constantly on.


Close up on the handle end of the heat stick.


Top down view


Installed and working in my Blichmann BoilerMaker Kettle.  Getting ready to brew More Beer’s Citra Pale Ale.

Temperature Trial…


To test this out, I put 5 gallons of cold side tap water into a 6 gallon-ish kettle.


I used my ThermoWorks ChefAlarm Thermometer and Timer (First Looks Post) to track progress.  This thermometer tracks both min and max temps, has a built in timer and has an available waterproof probe.  I also used the alarm feature to let me alert me to notable progress points.  My tap water came in at 66.9 degrees F.


The probe wire going into the kettle


The water hit 80.9 deg F (+14 deg F) in right about 10 minutes.  Average increase: 1.4 deg F per Minute.


The water hit 100.5 deg F (+33.6 deg F) in 22 minutes.  Average increase: 1.53 deg F per Minute.


The water hit 160.5 deg F (+93.6 deg F) in about 1 hour and 10 minutes.  This is notable because, depending on your beer and mash profile, we’re getting close to strike water temperature.  Average increase: 1.33 deg F per Minute.


 The water hit 200.1 deg F (+130.2 deg F) in about 2 hours and 13 minutes.  Average increase: .98 deg F per Minute.

I use this to get a head start on my strike water and mash water.  I can have this setup and have someone else at home plug it in.  I recently brewed More Beer’s Citra Pale Ale.  This heat stick was plugged in about an hour and a half before I knew I would be home.  When I got home my strike water nearly ready to go.  I was mashing in within 10 minutes of arriving home.  That saves propane and it saves time.  After starting the mash I also use this to heat up sparge water.  Sixty minutes isn’t enough time to get there, but it gets me close and I can finish it off with my propane burner.  Similar advantages are available for extract batches.

This saves me time and propane.  It also helps me out in cold weather brewing, because I can leave my garage door closed longer.  Using this, I don’t need to fire up my propane burner until just before sparging.

Safety Caveats Apply:  This is an electrical device that’s being immersed in water.  It does have safety features (a guard and power cycling).  Always read and follow manufacturers instructions.

Allied Precision The Premier Line 742G Bucket Water Heater

Pinned: NSF Thermometer · Red, White & Brew · IPA Cups · Free Ship Kits · 3D Printing

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First Looks: Camco Premium Drinking Water Hose

camco rv drinking water hose review

Amazon is discounting Select RV Fresh Water Accessories by up to 52%.  The selection includes a number of drinking water rated hoses and water filters.

I picked up the 50′ size of Camco’s Premium Drinking Water Hose.  I ordered this on April 20th and received it on the 22nd via 2 Day Prime Shipping.

Here’s a quick first looks.  This is a “first looks” in that I haven’t had a chance to actually use it myself.  The operation of a hose is pretty straightforward.  I am planning to do a full review, however, I don’t expect anything earth shattering in that review.  It’s a high quality hose.  I expect it to work well.

camco rv drinking water hose reviewClose up on the center portion of the packaging.  Premium – 20% Thicker – Machined Fittings – Strain Relief Ends – HD Reinforced

camco rv drinking water hose reviewBottom side of the packaging.  Camco Premium Drinking Water Hose.  5/8″ Internatl Diameter.  50 ft, 15.2 meters.

camco rv drinking water hose reviewClose up on the UPC label.  Made in the USA.

camco rv drinking water hose reviewClose up on the female end

camco rv drinking water hose reviewClose up on the mail end

camco rv drinking water hose reviewSide view

My first impressions are… this is a heavy duty, high quality hose.  It feels much more heavy duty vs the one that I am replacing (recently burst – fortunately I was close by).  I look forward to using it on my next brew day.

img_purchased

This is available in 10, 25, 35 and 50 ft sizes.

Camco 22853 Premium Drinking Water Hose (5/8″ID x 50′)

Camco 22843 Premium Drinking Water Hose (5/8″ID x 35′)

Camco 22833 Premium Drinking Water Hose (5/8″ID x 25′)

Camco 22823 Premium Drinking Water Hose (5/8″ID x 10′)

Pinned: NSF Thermometer · Red, White & Brew · IPA Cups · Free Ship Kits · 3D Printing

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Hands On: 25 Quart Igloo Marine Ultra Cooler

Igloo Marine Ultra Cooler

I picked up Igloo’s 25 Quart Marine Cooler toward the beginning of this year.  I saw someone with one at an event and I really like the size and the looks of it.  I got this primarily for carrying and keeping beer and other items cold.  I’m not suggesting this as a good cooler to use as a mash tun (no drain).  I’m suggesting it’s a good cooler to use as a… cooler.

Igloo Marine Ultra CoolerClose up of the right hand side logo – Igloo Marine Ultra

Igloo Marine Ultra Cooler ReviewThe left hand side label – click to zoom.  UV Inhibitors Guard Against Sun Damage.  Long Lasting Hinges.  Stainless Steel Lid Strap.  Comfort Handles.  Made in the USA.  25 Quarts/23 Liters.  36 Can Capacity.

Igloo Marine Ultra Cooler ReviewThe lid

Igloo Marine Ultra Cooler ReviewHandle close up

Igloo Marine Ultra Cooler ReviewThis holds both larger/taller German Style bottles and 22 oz bottles.

Igloo Marine Ultra Cooler ReviewThe 22 oz bottles come very close to poking up over the top of the cooler, however, the lid has an indentation and closes fine with 22 oz bottles.

Igloo Marine Ultra Cooler ReviewYou can stack two 12 ounce cans, you can also stack a 16 oz can and a 12 oz can.  Two 16 oz cans are too tall.

Igloo Marine Ultra Cooler ReviewOf course standard and standard-ish (like these Anchor Porter) beer bottles work just fine.

Igloo Marine Ultra Cooler ReviewLoading it up

Igloo Marine Ultra Cooler ReviewMore beer

img_img_8393Without a lot of thought while packing… this cooler held all of this beer.

Igloo Cooler ReviewI’ve owned this since early 2015.  I really like it’s build quality and size.  It’s well made.  It’s compact, but can still hold quite a bit including the ability to carry larger 22 oz bottles.

Igloo Marine Ultra Cooler (White, 25-Quart)

Also Consider Lifeline’s Line of Double Wall Insulated Growlers for portable serving

Lifeline 7508 Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Double Wall Barrel Style Growler • Review • Lifeline Growler Carrier • Review • Lifeline 7502 40 Ounce Growler • Review • Lifeline 7512 Silver Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Double Wall Bottle Style Growler – 750ml. Capacity • Review

Pinned: NSF Thermometer · Red, White & Brew · IPA Cups · Free Ship Kits · 3D Printing

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First Looks: ITC-1000 Temperature Controller + PDF Manuals

ITC-1000 Temperature Controller

Here’s a First Look at the ITC-1000.  First, some background… The STC-1000 is a very popular homebrewing temperature controller.  One caveat of the STC-1000 (for some) is that the vast majority (maybe all?) display in Celsius only.  Yes you can do some firmware re-flashing and such things, but as far as off the shelf units, the vast majority read in Celsius.  Some may point to this offering.  It does indeed read in deg F, however, it appears to be the single stage version.

Enter the Inkbird ITC-1000… It’s 110 V, Dual Stage (can control both heating and cooling output), has an alarm to indicate sensor failure or high temperature and… it displays in Fahrenheit… finally!  It’s also said to be more user friendly than the STC-1000.  In addition to the ITC-1000, an ITC-2000 model is available.  That adds the ability to set both high and low temperature alarms.

The STC-1000 was already a great controller, arguably the best value in temperature controllers.  These improvements seem to make a great thing even better.

ITC-1000 Homebrew Temperature Controller BuildThe Inkbird ITC-1000 box

ITC-1000 Homebrew Temperature Controller BuildBox opened.  You get the dual stage controller, temperature probe and manual.

ITC-1000 Homebrew Temperature Controller BuildFront of the ITC-1000

ITC-1000 Homebrew Temperature Controller BuildSide view

ITC-1000 Homebrew Temperature Controller BuildThe top of the controller displays a wiring diagram.

ITC-1000 Homebrew Temperature Controller BuildBack of the controller.  This removable plate partially shields the wire connections.

ITC-1000 Homebrew Temperature Controller BuildTemperature probe.

ITC-1000 Homebrew Temperature Controller BuildFor size comparison next to the Lifeline 7508 Stainless GrowlerReview.

ITC-1000 Temp ControllerFor size comparison next to… a banana.  Yes, I ate this banana.  It was pretty tasty.

Inkbird All-Purpose Digital Temperature Controller Fahrenheit &Centigrade Thermostat w Sensor 2 Relays

Also ConsiderInkbird Relay &Temp Alarm Output Digital Temperature Controller Degree F &C Thermostat w Sensor

PDF Manuals:
Note – These are the current versions, as of this posting, however, software versions and manuals change over time.

Pinned: NSF Thermometer · Red, White & Brew · IPA Cups · Free Ship Kits · 3D Printing

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Hands On: ClosetMaid Shelf Caps (as Keg Lid Feet)

ClosetMaid 75355 24 Large and 60 Small End Caps, White, 84-Pack

I’ve heard for quite a while now, that these shelf caps (model 75355) from ClosetMaid make dandy keg feet replacement.  You get a total of 84 feet – 60 small and 24 large.  The small are the ones said to work as keg lid feet.  If you crunch the numbers on per foot cost, it typically ends up being a pretty big bargain.

I decided to put these to the test.  Do they work well as keg lid feet?  We’ll find out…  I’m sure you’re on the edge of you’re seat now! :)

keg lid feetThe package.  Hey… these are meant to be used as wire rack caps.  You get yourself a shelf, something like this, cut it to size and then use this caps to make it so you don’t cut yourself up when you grab a pair of socks or something.  They probably work great for their intended purpose.

IMG_7571As mentioned previously, you get two sizes of caps.  The small caps are the ones used for keg lid feet.

keg lid feetHere they are installed.  Hmmm.

keg lid feetIf you look closely you’ll see the “foot” pulling away as this closes.

Do these work?  Not really.  The thickness of the cap should help to exert pressure on the lid and help the oring seal.  These aren’t as thick as purpose made feet.  For the cost of the real thing (and considering what’s at stake – CO2… beer!), I would personally rather use purposed designed equipment for this purpose.

In fairness to those who have said these work well… 1. The stock picture looks different from what I received – maybe these have changed and 2. Maybe they do fit well on some feet.  Just not the ones I tried.

ClosetMaid 75355 24 Large and 60 Small End Caps, White, 84-Pack

Keg Lid Feet – $1.39

Related: Bulk Keg Orings and Keg Repair Part Numbers

843339 - Keg Closure Feet (Pair)

Pinned: NSF Thermometer · Red, White & Brew · IPA Cups · Free Ship Kits · 3D Printing

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