A selection of our Top Homebrewing Gear Finds and Shopping Tips.
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.
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’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 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.
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.
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
Airtight and holds a full 50 lb sack of grain.
Stainless Steel, Vacuum Insulated Growler. Review
Brand New 5 Gallon Gallon Ball Lock Kegs. These are... New, ISO 9001 Certified, NSF Certified, Ball Lock 5 Gallon Capacity and Have double rubber handles. Typically double rubber handle kegs cost more compared to single strap handle kegs. Dimensions - 25" tall and 8.5" diameter. These are periodically marked down to $75. At that price, these are one the best values in new ball lock kegs available.
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.
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.
AWS-100 Gram Scale - Great for Hops and Water Salts. Review
An update to the popular and widely used STC-1000, the ITC-1000 is an unwired digital, dual stage temperature controller. One update is the ITC-1000 reads in both deg F and deg C.
Tool quality bottle opener with a lifetime warranty.
60,000 BTU, Commercial quality cast burner, 24" height allows you to drain directly into your fermenter. This is a great burner!
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
Custom Printed, Professional, Reusable Homebrew Labels and More. 10% Discount for Homebrew Finds Readers! Use coupon code HBF2016Q4.
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)
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.
You can save a bundle by buying keg O-Rings in bulk. See: Bulk Keg Orings and Keg Repair Part Numbers
The perfect ball lock keg wrench. 11/16 and 7/8 to work with both of the standard ball lock post sizes. Review
Includes Refurbished Ball Lock Keg, Tubing, Disconnects, Faucet, Regulator and CO2 Tank.
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.
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
(6) 5 Gallon Strainer Bags. I use similar bags for small batch BIAB brews.
East Coast Yeast is… is difficult to find in stock. That’s a testament to ECY’s popularity.
love2brew is one of a very few homebrew shops that stock ECY at all. Their stock is typically scarce. When strains become available they usually don’t last long. This search sorts by availability – Available strains will show up first.
Pre-wired Digital Temp Controller. I have two of these and they are great.
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
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
I use one of these for easy, hands free control of my March pump while brewing.
This is the nicest brewing thermometer than I own. It's very fast and very accurate. 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
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
Omega Labs includes 150 Billion Cells per pack (compared to more typical 100 Billion Cells). The lineup includes some interesting strains - including Vermont Double IPA - most likely the "Conan Strain" used for Alchemy Brewing's Heady Topper
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
210,000 BTU Banjo Style Burner. I like the banjo style burner that's used on the KAB4.
Quick read, waterproof and digital. This is a great brewing thermometer! Review
New Cornelius Cornelius Lids often cost as an entire keg. At $15.99 this is a great deal.
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.
Holds around 5 lbs of grain or around 4.5 lbs of DME Review
Compare this to other pre-wired, digital, dual stage temperature controllers. Considering typical price vs features, I think this controller is a game changer. Use for your kegerator or to aid in dialing in fermentation temps.
Commercial quality kettle.
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. Review
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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.
Includes Ball Lock Keg, Regulator, Faucet, Tubing and Disconnects. Pick up a CO2 locally and you're all set.
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