Category Archives: Amazon Reviews

Hands On: Stanley Classic Vacuum Insulated Growler! – Includes Temperature Trials


Stanley’s Stainless Steel vacuum insulated growler features vacuum insulated body and foam insulated lid to keep beer cold for 16 hours.  Made of 18/8 stainless steel and BPA free.  The heavy duty handle makes it easy to carry and allows you to pour smoothly with one hand.  Steel inner lid means no plastic is in contact with your beer.

It’s available in Hammertone Green and Hammertone Navy in 64 ounce/2 Quart/Half Gallon capacity as well as in a smaller 32 oz size.  It’s also part of a Gift Pack Set that includes the growler along with stacking pints.  Stanley makes a non-insulated version version as well.  The 64 ounce variant is mentioned in this review, although it comes in 32 ounce as well.

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Hands On: Chapman Brewing SteelTank Fermenter!


Chapman Brewing Equipment’s SteelTank line of stainless steel fermenters are available in 7 and 14 gallon sizes in both ported and unported versions.  The SteelTank features stainless steel construction, gasketed lid, pressed volume markers and an available port option.  The fermenters offer advantages over buckets and glass carboys since they resist breaking and scratching.

Here’s a look at the 7 gallon ported SteelTank fermenter

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Hands On: 5 Stage Reverse Osmosis Water Filter by Reverse Osmosis Revolution


Here’s a hands on look at the Portable Universal 5-stage Reverse Osmosis RO Purification Water System with DI Deionizing Mixed Bed 0PPM postfilter by Reverse Osmosis Revolution

I have long wanted to take my brewing to the next level by using RO water.  When I ran across this unit, it seemed to be exactly what I had been looking for, so I took the plunge.  Using RO (Reverse Osmosis) or DI (Distilled) Water allows you to build your water profile from the ground up, creating exactly the profile you’re looking for.

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Hands on Review: FoodSaver V2244 Vacuum Sealer


Here’s a hands on look at the Model V2244 Vacuum Sealing System by FoodSaver.  Features: Compact Size, Removable dishwasher safe drip tray,  Includes Accessory port and hose.

First, Why would you want a FoodSaver for homebrewing?  Vacuum sealers are indispensable for storing hops [See: 5 Recent Hop Finds].  You can save money by getting in on bulk hop buys.  Use your vacuum sealer to break these up and to preserve freshness.  You can also store specialty grains in vacuum bags or using the mason jar attachment.  Other uses include: storing base grains, partial dry yeast packs and storing and preserving other beer ingredients.

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Hands On Review: Inkbird ITC-308 Dual Stage Temperature Controller


Inkbird’s Itc-308 is a 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.  Maximum output is 1,100 watts at 110 volts.  Dual Display shows both measured and set temperature.

Here’s a hands on look at the ITC-308 temperature controller.

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Hands On: Happybrew Universal Poppets


I use universal poppets exclusively when rebuilding kegs.  So far, they have worked in every one of my kegs.  I, generally, like their cost and also like the fact that I don’t have to figure out and pay for model specific, OEM parts.

Here’s a look at 5 universal keg poppets by Happybrew

cln_img_0436My 5 universal poppets arrived in bags inside of a bag.  Bags!cln_img_0439Here’s a look at a single poppetcln_img_0443Here it is disassembled.  Poppets generally have three pieces  – a spring, a small o-ring and a stainless piece that holds the o-ring.  This stainless piece has a groove to firmly hold the o-ring in place when assembled.cln_img_0445I have been in the process of testing 008 Buna-N O-Rings as replacement universal poppet o-rings.  Here you can see the two side by side.  The top gasket came with these poppets.  You can see OEM o-ring appears to be just a bit larger.  In spite of the differences I have found that the 008 size has worked on all 4 of the universal poppet styles that I have including this one.  Still testing, conclusions wait for… another post on another day.cln_img_0459I usually flip the assembled top part into the keg body and then put the spring in.cln_img_0460Spring installed.  I’ll then flip everything right side up (trying to hold the poppet in with one finger) and put the assmbly on the keg.cln_img_0461Here it is installed.  This picture doesn’t tell the whole tale, but… This is the gas side of a 3 gallon ball lock keg, mostly filled with water (to save CO2).  I sprayed this with Star San to test for leaks.  No leaks.cln_img_0466I used this gas poppet to relieve pressure.  If I were keeping these poppets in this keg, I would trim the spring the fit was a bit tight.  See tip below.cln_img_0472Here’s the spring after being installed and tested.  Hey.. it’s still a spring.universal poppet I completed this review along with preliminary testing on dash 008 o-rings for use as universal poppet replacement o-rings.  Here’s a picture that will probably end up in that post.  Going through my universal poppets, I initially thought I had 3 distinct styles.  Looking more closely, I believe I have 4 distinct styles.  Two types are very, very close, although I think they vary in length just slightly.

Tip: Universal Poppets the vast majority of kegs without issue.  I have had a couple kegs that ended up being a bit too tight with these.  It’s an easy fix.  Use a pair of wire cutters or Nipper Pliers to trim the universal poppet.  I suggest taking off about half of a coil and testing.  You want the QD to slide on easily and for it to reliably hold pressure when the QD is off.  Taking off a half of a coil and testing helps you make sure you don’t end up making the poppet too loose.

5 pieces / lot,Universal Poppet Valve for Cornelius Keg

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