Category Archives: Fermentation

Vee Gee Scientific BTX-1 Refractometer – $80.20 + Free Shipping

VEE GEE BTX-1 by Vee Gee Scientific.  0-32 deg Brix and ATC Refractometer from Vee Gee Scientific.  Features automatic temperature compensation (ATC) for immediate and accurate calibration readings, regardless of ambient temperature.  Durable metal body.

Generally speaking, I think that homebrewers use budget-grade refractometers.  Search eBay for some examples.  I’ve used several budget type refractometers with good results.  The fact of the matter is, we aren’t doing commercial lab work lighter duty units usually work just fine.  The Vee Gee BTX-1 is a higher quality model.  It’s more of what I would consider a lab grade unit.

For me, getting a refractometer was one of those upgrades that made a lot of difference.  With a refractometer you need a sample size of two drops.  I figured that this would pay for itself in beer savings alone.  I also had just broken my hydrometer and came to the realization that hydrometers are made of breakable glass that can break! 🙂

Refractometers can be used to measure gravity throughout the brewing process.  You can also estimate the alcohol content of your beer if you forget to take an OG with the use of a refractometer and a hydrometer.  Check out Sean Terrill’s excellent refractometer calculator.

4/26/17 10:15 AM Central: This highly rated refractometer has recently sold for $115.  It has dropped to $80.20.  That’s just 12 cents off the best historical direct from Amazon price I found. Shipping to most US addresses also is free. Price, shipping and availability can change quickly. Check the product page for up to the minute price and availability.

Vee Gee Scientific BTX-1 Handheld Refractometer, with Brix Scale, 0-32%, +/-0.2% Accuracy, 0.2% Resolution, 10 to 30 degree C ATC

Recent Amazon Finds [view more]:

25 mm x 8 mm Stir Bar – $3.29 + Free Add On Shipping

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25 mm (about .98″) by 8 mm Teflon Magnetic Stir Bar.

Use this in combination with an Erlenmeyer Flask and Stir Plate to make a yeast starter.  A stir plate… keeps yeast in constant contact with nutrients, encourages CO2 to off gas and continuously incorporates oxygen all of that means higher cell counts.

4/25/17 4 PM Central: This highly rated stir bar his selling for $3.29. Shipping to most US addresses is also free, with a qualifying order, as part of the Amazon’s Add On promotion. Price, shipping and availability can change quickly. Check the product page for up to the minute price and availability.  See Recent Amazon Finds and our Amazon Fillers Resource Page to help you put together an order that qualifies for free shipping.

Bel-Art F37120-0025 Spinbar Teflon Polygon Magnetic Stirring Bar; 25 x 8mm, White, without Pivot Ring

Also Consider… StirStarter Stir Plate | Yeast Starters and Fermentation Resources

Recent Amazon Finds [view more]:


Inkbird Dual Stage Digital Temp Controller

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Itc-308 Dual Stage, Pre-Wired Digital Temperature Controller by Inkbird

Dual stage means that the Itc-308 can control both a heating and cooling device.  Alternatively, it can control a heating or a cooling device.  This controller displays in Fahrenheit and Centigrade.  Dual Display shows both measured and set temperature.

Use to control fermentation or kegerator temperatures.  I have a similar (although not identical) controller from Inkbird.  The base unit is the same (ITC-308), the temperature sensors are different.  Check out my [Hands on Review] of that unit.

Update: Since this post was published the price, availability or promotion has changed.  Check the product page for up to the minute description, price and availability.

See Our Most Recent Inkbird Find:

Inkbird Aquarium Dual Stage Temperature Controller + NTC Sensor, AC 100V – AC 240V. (ITC-308S + 1.97″ NTC Probe)

Also: Yeast Starters & Fermentation | Kegerator Tips & Gear

Recent Amazon Finds [view more]:


16 Food Grade Silicone Airlock Grommets – $8.95, 56 Cents Each

16 Pack Silicone Airlock Grommets. BPA Free, made from food grade silicone.  Insert into a 9/16″ hole.

Use to add an airlock port to a compatible container of your choosing.  I know of several grommet offerings, most don’t claim to be food grade.  That’s probably not a big deal considering that most of the time this gets little to no contact with your beer.  Having said that, it’s nice to have a food grade option.

4/24/17 7 AM Central: This 16 pack of grommets is selling for $8.95.  Shipping to most US addresses is also free, with a qualifying order, as part of the Amazon’s Add On promotion. Price, shipping and availability can change quickly. Check the product page for up to the minute price and availability.  See Recent Amazon Finds and our Amazon Fillers Resource Page to help you put together an order that qualifies for free shipping.

Masontops True Fit Silicone Grommets For Mason Jar Fermentation Airlock Lids, Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Homebrewing, Wine and Beer Making – 16 Pack

AlsoYeast Starters & Fermentation | StirStarter Stir Plate | Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation

Recent Amazon Finds [view more]:

6 Gallon Glass Carboy – $36.70 + Free Shipping

Kegco KC FP-CB-06 Glass Carboy, 6 gallon, Clear

6 Gallon Glass Carboy Fermenter.  Easy to sanitize, does not scratch easily and will not hold odor.

4/24/17 8 PM Central: This is selling for $36.70.  Shipping to most US addresses also is free. Price, shipping and availability can change quickly. Check the product page for up to the minute price and availability.

Kegco KC FP-CB-06 Glass Carboy, 6 gallon, Clear

AlsoYeast Starters & Fermentation Resource Page | Hands On Review Mark II Keg and Carboy Washer

Recent Amazon Finds [view more]:

speidelSpeidel Fermenters • Hands on Review

7 Stir Bars – $8.99 + Free Prime Ship

7 PTFE Stirs bars ranging from 10mm to 35mm.

Use these in combination with an Erlenmeyer Flask and Stir Plate to make a yeast starter.  A stir plate… keeps yeast in constant contact with nutrients, encourages CO2 to off gas and continuously incorporates oxygen.  All of that means higher cell counts.

4/24/17 1:30 PM Central: These highly rated stir bars are selling for $8.99. Shipping to most US addresses is also free with Prime Membership [Try Prime for Free] or a qualifying order. Price, shipping and availability can change quickly.  Check the product page for up to the minute price and availability.  See Recent Amazon Finds and our Amazon Fillers Resource Page to help you put together an order that qualifies for free shipping.

7pcs PTFE magnetic stirrer mixer stir bar White Color

AlsoYeast Starters & Fermentation Resource Page | StirStarter Stir Plate | Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation

Recent Amazon Finds [view more]:

StirStarter Stir Plate

Inkbird Dual Stage Digital Temp Controller

61gtirtn6ql-_sl1100_

Itc-308 Dual Stage, Pre-Wired Digital Temperature Controller by Inkbird

Dual stage means that the Itc-308 can control both a heating and cooling device.  Alternatively, it can control a heating or a cooling device.  This controller displays in Fahrenheit and Centigrade.  Dual Display shows both measured and set temperature.

Use to control fermentation or kegerator temperatures.  I have a similar (although not identical) controller from Inkbird.  The base unit is the same (ITC-308), the temperature sensors are different.  Check out my [Hands on Review] of that unit.

Update: Since this post was published the price, availability or promotion has changed.  Check the product page for up to the minute description, price and availability.

See Our Most Recent Inkbird Find:

Inkbird Aquarium Dual Stage Temperature Controller + NTC Sensor, AC 100V – AC 240V. (ITC-308S + 1.97″ NTC Probe)

Also: Yeast Starters & Fermentation | Kegerator Tips & Gear

Recent Amazon Finds [view more]: