Category Archives: eBay Reviews

First Looks: The Atago PAL-1 Professional Refractometer


I just received my Atago PAL-1 Professional quality, digital refractometer in the mail yesterday!  I look forward to using this on a brew day and doing a more in depth hands on review.  For now, here are a few first look pictures.

This comes in a nice storage case with a protective styrofoam insert.  The box reads: Proudly made in Japan 100%.  Good Design Award.  Tokyo Tech Award.  High Quality.

 

Top view of the storage case.

 

Inside view of the case

 

Bottom of the unit.  The battery cover has a gasket, because… this thing is waterproof.

 

On, calibrated and reading 0 Brix.  This is easy to calibrate, place a few drops of distilled water on the glass, hit start.  If the reading is 0, you’re good to go, if not, hit the zero button.
 
So far… I’m impressed with this refractometer.  I’m looking forward to using it the next time I brew.
 
Atago PAL-1 Professional Grade, Digital Refractometer for $273.99 + $7.50 Shipping.  
 

First Looks: The Atago PAL-1 Professional Refractometer


I just received my Atago PAL-1 Professional quality, digital refractometer in the mail yesterday!  I look forward to using this on a brew day and doing a more in depth hands on review.  For now, here are a few first look pictures.

This comes in a nice storage case with a protective styrofoam insert.  The box reads: Proudly made in Japan 100%.  Good Design Award.  Tokyo Tech Award.  High Quality.

 

Top view of the storage case.

 

Inside view of the case

 

Bottom of the unit.  The battery cover has a gasket, because… this thing is waterproof.

 

On, calibrated and reading 0 Brix.  This is easy to calibrate, place a few drops of distilled water on the glass, hit start.  If the reading is 0, you’re good to go, if not, hit the zero button.
 
So far… I’m impressed with this refractometer.  I’m looking forward to using it the next time I brew.
 
Atago PAL-1 Professional Grade, Digital Refractometer for $273.99 + $7.50 Shipping.  
 
 

First Looks: ATC, Dual Scale Refractometer – $22.88 Shipped

I just received this refractometer today (4/13).  I ordered it on 4/9.  That’s pretty quick delivery.

Side View

Next to the included screwdriver and pippette dropper

Next to the eBay-sourced refractometer that I’ve used for years.  This look and feel very similar.

This dual scale refractometer is selling for $22.88 shipped.  Dual scale means it reads in both degrees brix and gravity units.

Dual scale refractometer (Brix and Specific Gravity)

  • 0-32% Brix Scale / 1.000-1.120 Wort Specific Gravity
  • Accurate to +/- 0.20% Brix / +/- 0.001 Wort Specific GravityScale Divisions: 0.20% / 0.001 Wort Specific Gravity
  • Automatic Temperature Compensation (ATC)
  • Sturdy design, made of lightweight machined Aluminum, not “carbon” plastic
Complete details here

Economic Beer Wort and Wine Refractometer, Dual Scale – Specific Gravity and Brix

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Hands On: Technopack Impulse Sealer – $29.35 Shipped


I’ve wanted an impulse sealer for quite a while.  I recently found one for sale from a reputable ebay seller for under $30 shipped and took the plunge.

What is an impulse sealer?
An impulse sealer uses short bursts of electricity to quickly heat up and seal bags.  This one has a heat setting that you can adjust depending on what type of bag you’re sealing.  I have it set so that it takes just a second or two to make a nice seal on a FoodSaver-type bag.

I wanted an impulse sealer because I frequently experiment with different vacuum bag types and techniques using my FoodSaver.  Mainly with Mylar bags.  Check out the Tips Page for some of those techniques.  I also wanted to use it to assist in the task of repackaging bulk hop buys.  I think that the heat seal is the most likely point of failure when vacuum sealing something.  If any contaminants (hop dust) get on the seal, it may give way.

Two heat seals, one from the FoodSaver one from the Impulse Sealer


I repackaged two pounds of pellet hops last night using my new FoodSaver.  I went back and added a second seal to each bag using this impulse sealer.  At 1 to 2 seconds per bag, adding the second heat seal was fast and easy.

This unit is sturdy and feels like a commercial piece of equipment.  It works well.  I was also happy with the delivery speed and customer service I received from this seller.

You could certainly do the same thing with your FoodSaver.  Just remove the vacuum sealed bag, move the bag down a bit and seal again.  I’m suggesting that the benefit of this machine is speed.  The FoodSaver takes longer to seal and also needs a cool down period between seals.

Here’s a video from the manufacturer


8 inch Bag Sealer Handheld Heat Impulse Sealer Plastic Sealing Machine 300W – $29.35 Shipped

via eBay.  This is a “Buy it Now” item from a Top Rated Plus seller (technopackcorp) with great feedback.  The item and seller qualify for eBay Buyer Protection.
 

Hands On: OntarioBeerKeg’s Growler Filler – $11.99 Shipped


The OntarioBeerKegs growler filler is designed to work with Perlick 525 series faucets.  I’ve also heard that these will work with 575 series faucets, but I’d double check with the seller first on that.


The filler itself is made from stainless steel and looks and feels well built.



This is OntarioBeerKeg’s own design.  You can see OBK labeled right on the filler.  Also notice the double gasket design.


This fits easily on my faucets and came off easily.  


Having never used one of these before, one of my concerns was leaking between the faucet and the filler.  I tested this for leaks by putting the filler on one of my faucets and plugging the tubing by pressing on the end of it with my thumb and then opening the faucet.  Good news and bad news.


Good news: no drips or leaks at all from the filler.  It works great!


Bad news: I was left with a pressurized piece of tubing partially filled with beer.  Not great planning.  Fortunately I was able to direct this into my drip tray.


Bottom line… This is a straightforward and simple tool that is well built and does the job it was intended to do.


via Ebay.  The seller is OntarioBeerKegs, based in Ontario, Canada.  OntarioBeerKegs has a 100% positive rating and shipping is free to the US.


Growler Filler for Perlick 525SS Faucets – $11.99 Shipped


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