This review is by Homebrew Finds Contributor Brad Probert. Brad is an engineer, expert homebrewer and experienced reviewer. Grab a link to Brad’s website at the end of this review.
BrewSSSiphon Stainless Steel Auto Siphon
A siphon is a pretty basic piece of homebrew equipment. It comes in every homebrewing starter kit I’ve ever seen. But of course, as with everything in homebrewing, there are upgrade options. If you’re like me, the day you discovered a thing called an auto siphon, you were saying “You’re kidding me. I just pump that inside tube up and down a couple times and I get the beer flowing?” And then you laugh at how ridiculous it was to be filling a length of tubing with water, plugging one end, trying to force it on the hard plastic racking cane with one hand, etc.
One upgrade from the auto siphon is moving from the 3/8” to 1/2″ siphon (another moment of disbelief for me, “Seriously- there was one that flows twice as fast out there all this time!?”). And there’s the sterile siphon starter. This looks even easier than an auto siphon to get beer flowing, but it’s only for those that ferment in carboys.
To this uncrowded field of options for a common brewing tool enters the BrewSSSiphon. Yes, it has that many ‘s’ in its name. With homebrewers’ infatuation of stainless steel, I suppose it was only a matter of time.
Contents of the “Complete Kit”
The siphon comes with a choice of three different levels. The first is if you just want to purchase the siphon on its own. The second level is called the Basic Kit which adds the siphon clip (see more about that below). The third level is called the Complete Kit, which has the siphon, clip, a set of 3 cleaning brushes (long enough to clean the entire length of the tubes), and a length of silicone tubing for your wort transfers. The tubing is right-sized for an air-tight fit on the transfer tube, but thin-walled so it’s easy to slip on and stay put without a clamp.
Get the Gear: The BrewSSSiphon – via BrewSSSential
Hands on Review
When I unpacked it from its box, the first thing I noticed- well OK, after the shine of stainless steel- was its weight. It had some heft to it. Not in a bad way, but in a purposeful way. Your typical auto siphon is made of hard acrylic plastic, which makes it durable. If BrewSSSential was just going for bling, they could’ve still made it out of stainless, but used thinner tubing. Since they didn’t, you can feel the weight of it. You immediately recognize it was designed to last and not be subject to dents and dings after a few brew days of use.
Three lip soft silicone seal
The next thing that caught my eye was the soft silicone seal on the bottom of the inner tube. It has three seal lips to help keep things aligned between inner and outer tube and to ensure you get a good vacuum seal. What’s cool about these seals (and actually the whole siphon) is its temperature resistance. Of course you can clean and sanitize it with all your normal brewing chemicals. But if you want to go the extra step and sterilize it, you can put the whole thing in your oven and cook it at 225F to ensure you kill off any unwanted stowaways.
The beefy SSSpring clip. The clip is made from nickel coated spring steel. Spring steel is durable and effective when it comes to being bent and staying bent
Befitting its bulk, if you go with the kit option, it includes a beefy spring clip. Unlike the typical clips on the plastic auto siphons, this one actually works. That is, it holds the siphon in place even while you’re pumping it up and down to get the flow going. Using this one makes me hate my old siphon clip for its inability to hold the siphon in place, stirring up residue from the bottom of my fermentor in the process of not doing its job… This clip works so well, it even got its own name with lots of ‘s’ in it- SSSpring clip.
The BrewSSSiphon’s Check Valve Disassembled
The last design feature of the BrewSSSiphon that’s worth mentioning is the check valve assembly. Your typical siphon has a plastic check valve that’s glued onto the outer tube. If you get some hop debris or something sucked up into it while transferring, it can be a challenge to get it cleaned up. With the BrewSSSiphon, this valve assembly unscrews from the main body, and you can pop out the silicone o-ring and check ball to easily clean out any debris.
Wort transfer to keg using the BrewSSSiphon. Click to enlarge.
Overall, the BrewSSSiphon is more than just some shiny brewery bling. It definitely does look good, but it has several well thought-out design features built in that make it stand out from your standard auto siphon. It’s easy to clean and seems sturdily built to last. It’s definitely more expensive than your standard plastic auto siphon, but you are getting added features for your extra money.
Get the Gear
The BrewSSSiphon – via BrewSSSential
The long cleaning brushes in action
Silicone Ball and O-Ring in Check Valve
Special Thanks to BrewSSSential for providing the unit used for evaluation in this review.
By Brad Probert. Check out Brad’s website – beersnobby.com