A selection of our Top Homebrewing Gear Finds and Shopping Tips.
If you've looked for discounted Blichmann BoilerMaker kettles for very long, you'll soon learn that they... do not exist. Prices on Blichmann gear are standardized. An exception to that is periodic availability of "Slight Cosmetic Damage" BoilerMaker Kettles. These are marked down 10% vs the standard offering.
Blichmann Fermenators and BoilerMaker Kettles - It's my understanding that retailers cannot discount Blichmann items. Adventures in Homebrewing offers free shipping on these items and offers the equivalent of 5% back through their rewards program. This gets you a round about discount . That plus the free shipping makes AIH one of the best places to pick this gear up. Fermenators (here) and BoilerMaker Kettles (here)
This double wall insulated stainless growler is amazing. Check out my hands on review - Here.
Typical dual scale refractometers use a linear 4 x gravity to Brix conversion. That's fine and dandy up until around 1.049. At that point this linear scale starts to become inaccurate. Brix 11 does equal 1.044, but Brix 12 does not equal 1.048. It is 1.049. It's only 1 point off here, but up at Brix 24, it's up to 5 points off. Brix 24 equals 1.101 not 1.096.
From the manufacturer: "This is the only inexpensive Wort SG to be corrected. The only other corrected refrafractometers in existence are the BREWfractometer and the BREWfractometer Extreme."
Refractometers can be used to measure gravity throughout the brewing process. After fermentation begins, you can use a calculator to get your beer's current gravity. Check out Northern Brewer's Refractometer Calculators.
The perfect ball lock keg wrench. 11/16 and 7/8 to work with both of the standard ball lock post sizes. Review
Vacuum sealers are indispensable for storing and preserving hops and other brewing ingredients. 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. Pays for itself in preserved ingredients.
Tare feature and a removable face for easily weighing larger objects like buckets full of grain. Review
A great intro to Homebrewing. Gets you brewing small batch all grain with minimal cost and equipment. This and How to Brew by John Palmer are my top two book recommendations for a new brewer.
If you are on a tight budget this makes a good all around scale. 11 lb capacity. Review
24" 18/8 Stainless Mash Tun Whisk. Use in your mash tun to mix and breakup dough balls, also great for incorporating malt extract. Review
This is March's high flow model. If you're wondering... this has the same footprint as the regular flow versions. Along those lines, it fit's on the TopTier March Pump Mounting Bracket. I've used this pump for years. I use it for vorlaufing/recirculating, transferring from my mash tun to brew kettle, chilling with a recirculating wort chiller and transferring to my fermenter.
I’ve had a Blichmann TopTier Brew Stand for years. I like it very much. I purchased it because it is relatively inexpensive for a brewing system, it doesn’t take up a lot of room, it easily moves around my garage and it’s modular. I have the TopTier setup with a burner at the top, as my HLT, followed by a shelf tier for my mash tun, followed by another burner for my brew kettle. I have the boil kettle burner situated so that the kettle is high enough to drain directly into a fermenter, in case I don’t want to use my pump. Finally a march pump is mounted at the bottom. It has worked great for me.
Adventures in Homebrewing offers free shipping on the TopTier. That includes the stand and any add-ons to the stand configured on the TopTier Base Stand page. Many retailers are charging calculated shipping and some are charging common carrier freight. The TopTier also qualifies for AIH’s Rewards Program. That gets you the equivalent of 5% back in the form of gift certificates good toward a future purchase.
This is the nicest brewing thermometer than I own. It's very fast and very accurate. Review
I use the 1 L Size. These bottles can withstand autoclave temps. I place them in the microwave with the lid sitting loosely on the top (not tightened down!) - be careful - microwave until the water boils and you have a sanitized container that contains sanitized water that can be used for yeast hydration, yeast washing and more. Check out Tip 1 on the Tips page for a full explanation.
Super Fast read times, Digital Readout, Waterproof (dishwasher safe) and only 1/4" of the probe needs to be submerged to take a reading. Min/Max feature for testing highs and lows over time. Sturdy and high quality design from ThermoWorks. Review
Brew in the Cloud with Brewer's Friend Brewing Software. Brewer's Friend offers a generous unlimited duration free trial account.
Store 25 to 30 lbs of grain in this airtight bucket/Gamma Seal Lid combo. Emergency Essentials has an economical tiered shipping structure that tops out at $12, making this one of the best values for buckets and Gamma Seal Lids. Review
This works great for handling condensation in your kegerator! Its also reusable! When the beads turn pink, plug it in. The built in heater drives off collected moisture and it's ready to be used again. Mine has worked great for years. Review
Available in sizes ranging from 5 gallons up to 25 gallons, these kettles are a great value. They are available in both ported (1/2" NPT, both 1 and 2 ports) and unported versions. The ports allow you to add a ball valve and thermometer without having to drill or deal with weldless kits.
I use one of these for easy, hands free control of my March pump while brewing.
All the benefits as the original, with a larger capacity. Check out my hands on review - Here.
Easily holds 50-55 lbs sack of grain. Stackable, Airtight, FDA Approved, Food Safe, BPA Free, Large Easy Access Lid, Space Efficient, Made from high quality impact resistant plastic and pest proof.
210,000 BTU Banjo Style Burner. I like the banjo style burner that's used on the KAB4.
Use to carbonate in a 1 or 2 liter PET soda bottle. Tune in carbonation for competitions and pressurize draft beer in soda bottles for easy transport. Save a bundle vs the other carbonation caps on the market. More Info
Save a bundle on vacuum sealer bags with this 50 foot roll. High quality 3.5 mill, compatible with all home vacuum sealers including FoodSaver.
New Cornelius Cornelius Lids often cost as an entire keg. At $15.99 this is a great deal.
60,000 BTU, Commercial quality cast burner, 24" height allows you to drain directly into your fermenter. This is a great burner!
Adjustable two roller grain mill with hopper and base. Hardened steel rollers, anodized aluminum body. 6 month warranty. Mill your own grain to save money, increase efficiency and drastically increase grain shelf life. $99.99 Shipped
Includes Ball Lock Keg, Regulator, Faucet, Tubing and Disconnects. Pick up a CO2 locally and you're all set.
Airtight and holds a full 50 lb sack of grain.
Membership in the AHA is a great deal. Find out why!
I got my StirStarter back in June of... 2009. It's worked great for me. The constant motion of a stir plate integrates oxygen, puts yeast in constant contact with nutrients, relieves built up CO2 and generally helps yeast to grow more rapidly. That also means smaller starters.
This vacuum sealer has the ability to seal standard (non-channeled) bags. It can also seal... Mylar bags. Review
Used Ball Lock Cornelius Kegs for $59.99. Used kegs are becoming difficult to find. This is one of the most reliable, economical sources of Cornelius kegs that I know of.
Pre-wired Digital Temp Controller. I have two of these and they are great.
Since this is no touch, you can check the temp of yeast washing and yeast rehydration water and your starter wort without the risk of infection. I find mine particularly useful for rehydrating yeast.
I use both 5.3 and 7.9 Gallon Speidel Fermenters. They are available in sizes up to 31.7 gallons. German Made, heavy duty and oxygen resistant HDPE construction, large opening for easy cleaning, easy transfer spout and all connections have gaskets. These are great fermenters.
Edelmetall Brü Burner from Northern Brewer. 72,000 BTU, Adjustable to many kettle sizes, copper clad aluminum body, precise needle valve.
Shopping Tip: Buy Keg O-Rings In Bulk
You can save a bundle by buying keg O-Rings in bulk.
- 100 Dip Tube O-Rings Silicone: 109 Silicone O-Ring, 70A Durometer, Red, 5/16" ID, 1/2" OD, 3/32" Width (Pack of 100)
- 100 Post O-Rings: 111 Buna-N O-Ring, 70A Durometer, Black, 7/16" ID, 5/8" OD, 3/32" Width (Pack of 100)
- 100 Post O-Rings Silicone: 111 Silicone O-Ring, 70A Durometer, Red, 7/16" ID, 5/8" OD, 3/32" Width (Pack of 100)
- 10 Lid O-Rings: 417 Buna-N O-Ring, 70A Durometer, Round, Black, 3-1/2" ID, 4" OD, 1/4" Width (Pack of 10)
Quick read, waterproof and digital. This is a great brewing thermometer! Review
Brand new, NSF Approved, 5 Gallon Ball Lock Keg for $84.99. This is a great deal for a brand new keg.
Sturdy, 1 gallon, pitchers. Great for recirculating wort and other duties around the brewery. For me, Purchasing two gallon pitchers was a small upgrade that made a big difference. I went from a mish-mash of too small plastic pitchers, found around the house, that bent under the weight of wort, dripped and leached who knows what into my beer to two high quality pitchers. What a difference. Alternate: 1 Gallon Aluminum Pitcher. See my hands on review of both pitchers.
Commercial quality kettle.
10 Gallon Ball Lock Kegs are generally difficult to find. I use 10 gallon kegs as fermenters. They work great, allowing me to easily transfer under pressure and carbonate in the fermenter. Also great for kegging large batches.
(6) 5 Gallon Strainer Bags. I use similar bags for small batch BIAB brews.
The STC-1000 is a very popular homebrewing temperature controller. It is a dual stage controller. That means it has the ability to control both a heating and cooling device. Great for a kegerator or a fermentation chamber/deep freeze. 110 volt version, reads in deg C. Check out HBF Reader Greg's STC-1000 Build
Northern Brewer has built a lot of features and value into their most recent revision of the MegaPot line. Available in several sizes and versions - up to 30 gallons. Available with and without ball valve and thermometer.
I use two of these on brew day and I find them invaluable. I keep one below my March Pump setup. That one catches drips and also offers a place to store wet items such as stirring spoons, mash paddles and my equally invaluable 1 gallon pitchers. I reserve the other tub for clean and dry items. Having two of these helps me keep dry/clean and wet/dirty items separate and means less lugging stuff around on brew day.
1/10th of a gram precision. Great for accurately weighing hops. I like two have two scales, a smaller more accurate one like this and a higher capacity scale for weighing grain. Review
A ready made 1000 watt heat stick. Use to get brew mash and sparge water up to temperature more quickly or get your brew kettle to a boil more quickly. Review
Custom Printed, Professional, Reusable Homebrew Labels and More. 10% Discount for Homebrew Finds Readers! Use coupon code HBF.
Tool quality bottle opener with a lifetime warranty.
Holds around 5 lbs of grain or around 4.5 lbs of DME Review
Perlick's follow up to the wildly popular 525SS faucet. Stainless Steel Construction with a forward sealing design. This offering from RiteBrew is one of the most economical sources for picking up the 630SS.
Includes Refurbished Ball Lock Keg, Tubing, Disconnects, Faucet, Regulator and CO2 Tank.
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