Category Archives: Brew Hardware

Get Ready for Cooler Temps: Fermentation Heat Wrap – $16 at Brew Hardware + Inkbird Hands on Review

FERMENTATION HEAT WRAP

About via Brew Hardware… “This simple heating wrap has a lot of surface area for nice even heat around any carboy or bucket. Wrap it around and secure with either tape or a large rubberband/bungie cord. This unit does NOT have a built in thermostat so you will need to use a controller of some sort such as the STC-1000, Johnson A419, or the new Inkbird controller that we offer.” [keep reading]

As of this posting, this is marked down to just $16.  Shipping is a Flat $7.99 with a $150 order or free with a $299 order.  Check the product page for current price and availability.

FERMENTATION HEAT WRAP

Also Consider: Inkbird Dual Stage Temp Controller

More: Recent Great Deals


Inkbird ITC-308 – Dual Stage Digital Temperature Controller | Review | Inkbird Deals

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304 Stainless Steel Clip on Trub Guard from Brew Hardware – $10

CLIP-ON TRUB GUARD

CLIP-ON TRUB GUARD via Brew Hardware

From the description: “Keep most of that trub out of your drain without a filter device.

This is a slight reconfiguration of our heat shield assembly that allows clipping to the side of a kettle dip tube to keep your pile of trub away from the exit point. This is especially useful when you whirlpool your boiled wort to make a neat pile in the center of the pot. That pile usually stays put until it becomes exposed to air and then it collapses and falls towards the sidewalls of your pot. This simple clip on guard will stay in place during the whole boil and keep most of the trub out of the pickup at the end of the draining process.

We position the clip for best fit on our truebulkheadelbarb but it will also work with a street elbow threaded into a welded coupling bulkhead that acts as a mini diptube.

The 3″ high x 5″ wide stainless plate should be touching the bottom of the pot for best results. The plate and clip are 304 stainless steel.”

CLIP-ON TRUB GUARD

More: Recent Great Deals

New from Brew Hardware – Camlock Garden Hose Quick Disconnects

I’m a fan!  I’ve used Cam Lock QDs my kettles, mash tun, pumps and tubing for a long time.  They have worked great for me.  I put male connectors kettles, mash tuns and pumps and use female connectors for tubing.  Standardizing on this (or the opposite) means you can use tubing as jumpers and always have the availability to connect your gear.

These are made from Stainless Steel and are available in lots of configurations.  Those are classified by Type and Size.  Type may mean something in “commercial cam lock fitting circles”, but I was initially confused by this.  Types are akin to model numbers.  For example, Type A is Female NPT to Male Cam and Groove.

Garden Hose Compatible QDs now available from Brew Hardware!  Brew Hardware has released a lineup of garden hose compatible Cam Lock QDs.

Camlock Fittings at Brew Hardware | Search for Garden Hose Cam Locks

More: Recent Great Deals

New from Brew Hardware – the Cold Crash Guardian – No Oxygen Cold Crash Blowoff

cold crash guardian

The Cold Crush Guardian via Brew Hardware

From Brew Hardware: “If you ferment in a temp controlled environment and enjoy the benefits of cold crashing, the inevitable problem is that the cooling in the fermenter creates a vacuum. The worst case scenario is that the liquid from your airlock or blowoff container gets sucked back into the beer and some portion of air from within the refrigerator is also drawn in. This has both contamination and oxidation effects on the beer even if you haven’t noticed it yet. If you’ve jumped on the New England IPA craze, even tiny amounts of oxygen will destroy that beer.”

More Info
More Info

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

There are very few discussions being had on this topic and when it is brought up, those concerned are often told not to worry about it or offered solutions that don’t work. Scroll to the bottom to read about some of these misguided solutions.

What you get:
This simple but effective kit includes a 1 gallon expandable bladder connected to a tee. The tee is pressed into a hole in a drilled stopper, grommet or carboy cap (you provide) and the top of the tee connects to an included hose that is dangled into a container of starsan solution (you provide). We include 4 feet of tubing which can be cut as necessary. We also include a hose barb splice fitting that you can insert into the stopper in order to get the tee further away from your fermenter if necessary.

How it works:
As your wort ferments, the CO2 inflates the bag full, then excess pressure is vented through the blowoff tube and bubbles through the starsan in your catch container. If yeast and trub is blown through the assembly, it will collect in the starsan container as with any other blowoff setup. If any debris makes it into the bladder, which is unlikely, it can easy be cleaned out by removing the cap from the bladder.

Once fermentation is over and you set your fermentation temp controller to COLD, the vacuum created in the fermenter will start to draw the CO2 out of the inflated bag as necessary. In most cases, the bag will deflate about a 3rd of the way for 5 gallon batches and half way for 10 gallon batches. No starsan will draw up the tubing. More importantly, only CO2 will be drawn back into the headspace. No oxygen, no starsan, no bacteria.

The barbs on the tee that insert into your fermenter are 3/8″ OD. These will fit typical openings designed for airlocks including bucket lid grommets, the larger nipple on a carboy cap, and drilled rubber stoppers.

Typical solutions offered on brewing forums:

I just plug up my fermenter so that the vacuum cannot draw anything in.
If your fermenter can hold up to the vacuum without damage or sucking your stopper down the hole, the problem is that you will eventually need to unseal it. Once the stopper is removed, oxygen rich air gets drawn in. Also don’t discount how damaging vacuum can be. You can crease PET fermenters this way. You can also implode stainless tanks.

I just use an S-style airlock because it will pass gas both directions without draining starsan back in.
The only problem this prevents is the contamination of beer with whatever liquid you have in the airlock. It does not stop oxygen.

Who cares if Starsan is drawn into the beer, it’s safe enough to drink.
Wow. Most people immediately understand the lapse of judgement here. There are endless safe things you can add to your beer that would make it taste bad.

I never had a problem with contamination or oxidation.
Some beers are more or less susceptible to off flavors/oxidation problems and some people have higher thresholds for detecting those problems. If you are completely happy with your beer despite less than ideal practices, this product is not for you.

I hook up my CO2 tank and set it to less than 1 PSI to push in CO2 when the vacuum is formed.
This is indeed how the pros handle it and of course it works. At a homebrew scale there are a few things to keep in mind. First you do need a CO2 tank, a good regulator that doesn’t drift, and a fermenter that is 100% sealed. If you have even a slow leak in the fermenter seals, kiss that whole tank of CO2 goodbye. If your regulator drifts even a couple PSI (due to being borrowed out of your cold kegerator), you can compromise your fermenters due to overpressurization.

 

COLD CRASH GUARDIAN – NO OXYGEN COLD CRASH BLOWOFF

Related: Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation & Best Sellers in Lab Erlenmeyers – via Amazon | StirStarter Stir Plate | Yeast Starters and Fermentation Resource Page

More: Recent Great Deals

Brew Hardware – the Cold Crash Guardian – No Oxygen Cold Crash Blowoff

cold crash guardian

The Cold Crush Guardian via Brew Hardware

From Brew Hardware: “If you ferment in a temp controlled environment and enjoy the benefits of cold crashing, the inevitable problem is that the cooling in the fermenter creates a vacuum. The worst case scenario is that the liquid from your airlock or blowoff container gets sucked back into the beer and some portion of air from within the refrigerator is also drawn in. This has both contamination and oxidation effects on the beer even if you haven’t noticed it yet. If you’ve jumped on the New England IPA craze, even tiny amounts of oxygen will destroy that beer.”

More Info
More Info

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

There are very few discussions being had on this topic and when it is brought up, those concerned are often told not to worry about it or offered solutions that don’t work. Scroll to the bottom to read about some of these misguided solutions.

What you get:
This simple but effective kit includes a 1 gallon expandable bladder connected to a tee. The tee is pressed into a hole in a drilled stopper, grommet or carboy cap (you provide) and the top of the tee connects to an included hose that is dangled into a container of starsan solution (you provide). We include 4 feet of tubing which can be cut as necessary. We also include a hose barb splice fitting that you can insert into the stopper in order to get the tee further away from your fermenter if necessary.

How it works:
As your wort ferments, the CO2 inflates the bag full, then excess pressure is vented through the blowoff tube and bubbles through the starsan in your catch container. If yeast and trub is blown through the assembly, it will collect in the starsan container as with any other blowoff setup. If any debris makes it into the bladder, which is unlikely, it can easy be cleaned out by removing the cap from the bladder.

Once fermentation is over and you set your fermentation temp controller to COLD, the vacuum created in the fermenter will start to draw the CO2 out of the inflated bag as necessary. In most cases, the bag will deflate about a 3rd of the way for 5 gallon batches and half way for 10 gallon batches. No starsan will draw up the tubing. More importantly, only CO2 will be drawn back into the headspace. No oxygen, no starsan, no bacteria.

The barbs on the tee that insert into your fermenter are 3/8″ OD. These will fit typical openings designed for airlocks including bucket lid grommets, the larger nipple on a carboy cap, and drilled rubber stoppers.

Typical solutions offered on brewing forums:

I just plug up my fermenter so that the vacuum cannot draw anything in.
If your fermenter can hold up to the vacuum without damage or sucking your stopper down the hole, the problem is that you will eventually need to unseal it. Once the stopper is removed, oxygen rich air gets drawn in. Also don’t discount how damaging vacuum can be. You can crease PET fermenters this way. You can also implode stainless tanks.

I just use an S-style airlock because it will pass gas both directions without draining starsan back in.
The only problem this prevents is the contamination of beer with whatever liquid you have in the airlock. It does not stop oxygen.

Who cares if Starsan is drawn into the beer, it’s safe enough to drink.
Wow. Most people immediately understand the lapse of judgement here. There are endless safe things you can add to your beer that would make it taste bad.

I never had a problem with contamination or oxidation.
Some beers are more or less susceptible to off flavors/oxidation problems and some people have higher thresholds for detecting those problems. If you are completely happy with your beer despite less than ideal practices, this product is not for you.

I hook up my CO2 tank and set it to less than 1 PSI to push in CO2 when the vacuum is formed.
This is indeed how the pros handle it and of course it works. At a homebrew scale there are a few things to keep in mind. First you do need a CO2 tank, a good regulator that doesn’t drift, and a fermenter that is 100% sealed. If you have even a slow leak in the fermenter seals, kiss that whole tank of CO2 goodbye. If your regulator drifts even a couple PSI (due to being borrowed out of your cold kegerator), you can compromise your fermenters due to overpressurization.

 

COLD CRASH GUARDIAN – NO OXYGEN COLD CRASH BLOWOFF

Related: Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation & Best Sellers in Lab Erlenmeyers – via Amazon | StirStarter Stir Plate | Yeast Starters and Fermentation Resource Page

More: Recent Great Deals

100 EMD ColorpHast Precision pH Strips – $24.99, w/Comparison & Tip

COLORPHAST PH STRIPS 4-7 - 100 PACK

EMD colorpHast 4 -7 precision pH strips.  These are more accurate and easier to read than most pH test strips.  Use these to check the pH of your mash and of your finished beer.  These offer the same advantages of a pH meter [See: pH tag for past meters] without the cost and maintenance that goes along with a meter.

Tip… Cut these in half the long way.  You’ve saved 50% and they are still easy to read.

As of this posting, these are selling for $24.99 for a 100 pack. Compare: at MoreBeerPrice and availability can change quickly.  Check the product page for up to the minute price and availability.

COLORPHAST PH STRIPS 4-7 – 100 PACK – $24.99 – 12.5 cents per strip when you cut them in half

Also:  All Grain Tips & Gear

More: Recent Great Deals

prod:bhcolorphast

Back In Stock: Brew Hardware Converted 10 Gallon Mash Tun – $144 + Conversion Kit Review

 10 GALLON COOLER MASH TUN WITH FALSE BOTTOM

Considering all you get, this is a great value.  You get a 10 gallon Igloo cooler, Brew Hardware’s awesome Stainless Conversion Kit [Review] along with your choice of fitting (barb or camlock).

As of this posting Brew Hardware has this marked down $144. This has been out of stock for some time, but is available again as of this posting. Price, promotions and availability can change quickly.  Please note that product prices and availability are subject to change. Prices and availability were accurate at the time this this post was published; however, they may differ from those you see when you visit the product page.  Check the product page for current price, description and availabilityor that.  Or, if you’re going to place a large order, shipping is free with a $299 purchase.

10 GALLON COOLER MASH TUN WITH FALSE BOTTOM

Also: All Grain Tips & Gear | 10 Gallon Mash Tun Conversion Kit [Review] | Cereal Killer Grain MIll |  Batch Sparge SpreadsheetBIAB Brew Day Spreadsheet | The Brew Bag – Purpose Made BIAB

More: Recent Great Deals

10 Gallon Cooler to Mash Tun Conversion Kit – $68 + Hands on Review

cooler conversion kit

This Brew Hardware Mash Tun Conversion Kit includes everything you need to convert a 10 gallon Igloo or Home Depot Rubbermaid Cooler to a Mash Tun.  Note that it does not includes a cooler.

This kit includes:

  • 12″ stainless steel domed false bottom with upgraded large ID connection elbow
  • One piece (Brew Hardware custom designed) machined bulkhead with interior barb
  • 2 piece stainless ball valve – can be upgraded to 3 piece
  • Required length of high temp silicone tubing
  • Does not include cooler or barb/camlock.  Barb and camlock fitting options are available under accessories on the right side of the screen.

from Brew Hardware: “What makes our kit different than the competition? Ugh, now we have to brag just a little. The bulkhead we include in this kit is custom machined out of hex bar stock to our exact specifications making it extremely simple to install and leak free from day one. It’s not a bunch of off the shelf parts made with half a roll of teflon tape. We also use a high flow elbow connector at the false bottom which also features a custom made smooth bore retainer. Long story short, we’ve held off on offering cooler false bottom kits for a long time until we had all the high end components described here.” [full product description]

Options are available both for an Igloo 10 gallon cooler and for Home Depot’s 10 gallon cooler.   A complete converted option is also available.  That includes the cooler along with your choice of connection fittings.  In my experience it’s cheaper to grab the conversion kit from Brew Hardware and source the cooler separately.  See some links to compatible coolers below.

This is the conversion kit I use and it’s… awesome.   tn_img_0322-300x225Check out my Hands on Review.

As of this posting, this great conversion kit is selling for $68.  Pricing and, especially, availability can vary.  Check Brew Hardware for current, description, price and availability.

COOLER TO MASH TUN CONVERSION KIT


Related:

Recent Great Deals [view more]:

rp:bhconversion

Vinyl Vessel Decals “WATER, MASH, BOIL” – $5

VINYL VESSEL DECALS "WATER, MASH, BOIL"

Vinyl vessel decals.  From Brew Hardware: “Every time we build a three vessel system for someone here in the shop, we put these vessel labels on the front just as a nice extra touch of class. Until now, it hadn’t occurred to us that a lot of you would also appreciate the ability to DIY.  These labels are made from black 7-year outdoor rated vinyl so they can stand up to the heat and repeated washings.  You have a choice of either the bold or stylish fonts as seen in the picture. The letters are about 1.5″ high.”

These are $5 for the set.  Check Brew Hardware for current price and availability.

.VINYL VESSEL DECALS “WATER, MASH, BOIL”

Also Consider – CARBOY CALIBRATION DECALS | Complete Lineup of Vinyl Decals

More: Recent Great Deals

rp:vesseldecals

TRUE Weldless Bulkheads from Brew Hardware


Here’s a video from Bobby at Brew Hardware talking about their newer line of TRUE Bulkheads.

The bulkhead is available in a number of configurations.  The 5/8″ Barb version is included in the Cooler Conversion kit, that I have.  If you’ve dealt with other weldless kits you’ll know that typically a certain finesse is required when installing.  These are different.  You can actually tighten them down.  See: Hands on Review: Brew Hardware’s Cooler Mash Tun Conversion Kit – Making a Mash Tun

Check it out: Bulkheads | Cooler Conversion Kit

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