Category Archives: Shopping Tips

5% Off + 5% Back at Adventures in Homebrewing via Newsletter Sign Up and Rewards

5% Off.  Sign up for Adventures in Homebrewing’s Newsletter and you’ll get a one time use 5% off coupon.  This is for new subscriptions only.  Check out the details on the sign up page.

5% Back.  AIH offers the equivalent of about 5% back through their rewards program.  You’ll get the equivalent of 5% back to use toward a future purchase.  Unlike most coupons and sales including the 5% off mentioned above, this works on pretty well everything and gets you a de facto discount on lines that are subject to MAP (minimum advertised pricing) like Blichmann, Grainfather, SS BrewTech and more..

This 5% back also stacks with other sales including items on AIH Sales Page

Newsletter Sign Up | Rewards Program | AIH Sales Items

Free Shipping on Blichmann.  AIH is also offering free shipping on most major Blichmann items including… BoilerMaker G2 KettlesFermenator Conicals, TopTier Brew Stands (includes all configured options),

Also: Check out AIH Sale Items – Selection Changes Regularly

More: Recent AIH Finds

rp:5and5aih

5% Off + 5% Back at Adventures in Homebrewing via Newsletter Sign Up and Rewards

5% Off.  Sign up for Adventures in Homebrewing’s Newsletter and you’ll get a one time use 5% off coupon.  This is for new subscriptions only.  Check out the details on the sign up page.

5% Back.  AIH offers the equivalent of about 5% back through their rewards program.  You’ll get the equivalent of 5% back to use toward a future purchase.  Unlike most coupons and sales including the 5% off mentioned above, this works on pretty well everything and gets you a de facto discount on lines that are subject to MAP (minimum advertised pricing) like Blichmann, Grainfather, SS BrewTech and more..

This 5% back also stacks with other sales including items on AIH Sales Page

Newsletter Sign Up | Rewards Program | AIH Sales Items

Free Shipping on Blichmann.  AIH is also offering free shipping on most major Blichmann items including… BoilerMaker G2 KettlesFermenator Conicals, TopTier Brew Stands (includes all configured options),

Also: Check out AIH Sale Items – Selection Changes Regularly

More: Recent AIH Finds

rp:5and5aih

Shopping Tip: Great Deals on Refractometers from eBay

 Mouse over image to zoom Portable-Beer-Wort-and-Wine-Refractometer-Dual-Scale-Specific-Gravity-and-Brix Portable-Beer-Wort-and-Wine-Refractometer-Dual-Scale-Specific-Gravity-and-Brix Portable-Beer-Wort-and-Wine-Refractometer-Dual-Scale-Specific-Gravity-and-Brix Portable-Beer-Wort-and-Wine-Refractometer-Dual-Scale-Specific-Gravity-and-Brix Portable-Beer-Wort-and-Wine-Refractometer-Dual-Scale-Specific-Gravity-and-Brix Portable-Beer-Wort-and-Wine-Refractometer-Dual-Scale-Specific-Gravity-and-Brix Portable-Beer-Wort-and-Wine-Refractometer-Dual-Scale-Specific-Gravity-and-Brix Have one to sell? Sell now Portable Beer Wort and Wine Refractometer Dual Scale - Specific Gravity and BrixPictured: Portable-Beer-Wort-and-Wine-Refractometer-Dual-Scale-Specific-Gravity-and-Brix

It’s my opinion that most of the economy, non lab grade refractometers are probably manufactured by a handful of makers.  Or at the very least, the manufacturers are producing units of similar quality.  You could easily pay $60 at one retailer and $20 for the same unit via another retailer.

For under $30, do not expect a lab or commercial grade unit.  However, I have purchased three different economy model refractometers and have been happy with each of them.

This is also a nice find for our international readers as it seems that many offerings include free or reasonable shipping to non-US addresses.

For me, getting a refractometer was one of those upgrades that made a lot of difference.  With a refractometer you need a sample size of two drops.  I figured that this would pay for itself in beer savings alone.  I also had just broken my hydrometer and came to the realization that hydrometers are made of breakable glass that can break! 🙂

Refractometers can be used to measure gravity throughout the brewing process.  You can also estimate the alcohol content of your beer if you forget to take an OG with the use of a refractometer and a hydrometer.  Check out Sean Terrill’s excellent refractometer calculator.

eBay is, generally speaking, a good source for low cost refractometers.

Look for… Dual Scale (both brix and gravity), ATC (automatic temperature correction) and a good seller rating.  Carrying cases are also nice, but not 100% necessary.

This search – searches for buy it now, dual scale refractometer that ship for free.  If you find a specific model/seller that works well for you, leave a comment on this post or submit a tip

If you’re looking for a higher quality unit, check out Vee Gee, Milwaukee InstrumentsAtago and Misco – those links are all Amazon searches to get you started.  Verify specs and features.

More: Recent Great Deals

toppost:ebayrefactometers tag:resourceupdates

5% Back at Adventures in Homebrewing via Rewards Program

Adventures in Homebrewing offers the equivalent of 5% back through their rewards program.  You’ll get the equivalent of 5% back to use toward a future purchase.

This is handy for every day purchases on gear and ingredients, but it’s also a nice de facto discount on lines that are subject to MAP (minimum advertised pricing) like Blichmann and others.

This 5% back also stacks with other sales including items on AIH Sales Page

Rewards Program | AIH Sales Items

AIH is also offering free shipping on most major Blichmann items including… BoilerMaker G2 KettlesFermenator Conicals, TopTier Brew Stands (includes all configured options),

Also: Check out AIH Sale Items – Selection Changes Regularly

More: Recent AIH Finds

Tip: Some Thoughts About… Homebrew Shop Sales Timing and Traffic Patterns

When is the best time (price-wise) to buy something?  I would say the answer (generally speaking)… is when you don’t want it.  Winter coats are the cheapest when winter is over because nobody wants them.  Holiday decorations are drastically marked down after the holidays.  Retailers make these decisions because demand is low.

After running Homebrew Finds for years and years, I can tell you that there are some patterns that seem to repeat themselves.  I’m not going to share everything, not that you would want to hear it, but I will share a couple snippets with you.

  1.  Traffic drops a bit toward the end of the week going into the following week…  Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Yet, many homebrew shops run sales during this exact time period.  Why?  I think it’s a mix.  Mostly retailers understand that their sales traffic and sales volume tend to drop off, so to counteract that, they run sales during this slower time.
  2. Summer months are slower than fall, winter and spring.  People aren’t homebrewing as much.  It’s hot in many places and people are taking vacations and enjoying the good weather.

Why does this matter? Some homebrew shops recognize this pattern and basically sit out the summer.  Their thinking is… why fight it?  Others continue to repeat the same things regardless of time of year.  Still others recognize this pattern and offer some of their best offers during the summer time or toward the end of the week.  It’s that reason that I’m telling you about this.  I think you should Connect With Us and read Homebrew Finds on a regular basis.  If you want to maximize savings be prepared to purchase gear and ingredients that you won’t actually use until “brewing season” kicks back up.

There are 8 Ways to Connect with HBF!

If you’re a homebrew shop proprietor reading this… I’m not saying to move all of your sales to the weekend or to the summer.  Don’t do that.  For the reasons I’ve outlined above… numerically speaking, those aren’t the best times to run sales.  Of course, that depends on your goal.  If you’re looking to stir up traffic during a slow time, then, yep, go for it.  My general guidance would be come out to play often – early week, mid week, end of the week and every month of the year.  If you aren’t playing…  someone else is.  If you’d like some specific guidance from me or you’d to just to chat about the homebrew industry… I’d love to talk!  Send me an email.

This is a Top Post! See: All Top Posts

More: Recent Great Deals

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Shopping Tip: 5% Off Blichmann Items + Free Shipping

Boilermaker-15-gallon-G2-web

Blichmann Items are not generally or very rarely discounted beyond a set minimum price.  That’s called MAP (minimum advertised pricing).

Adventures in Homebrewing offers the equivalent of 5% back through their rewards program.  You’ll get the equivalent of 5% back to use toward a future purchase.

AIH is also offering free shipping on most major Blichmann items including… BoilerMaker G2 KettlesFermenator Conicals, TopTier Brew Stands (includes all configured options),

This is a Top Post! See: All Top Posts

Also: Check out AIH Sale Items – Selection Changes Regularly

More: Recent AIH Finds

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Compare Prices: Five Star PBW Homebrew Cleanser + Tips & Buying Guidance!

Part of Our Homebrew Tips and Tricks Series.  Check out the complete list – Homebrewing Tips, Tricks & Shortcuts! This is a Top Post! See: All Top Posts


I love PBW!

Five Star Chemicals PBW – Powder Brewery Wash – is my go-to brewery cleaner. It is a non-hazardous buffered alkaline brewery cleaner and it… works great.

This post used to contain prices, but in the interest of keeping information as up to date as possible, it now contains links to some top sources of PBW along with some thoughts about shipping and suppliers.  Historical pricing has been preserved and can be found toward the end of this post.

PBW Guidelines and Suggestions

  • Why shop around?  Using the Spray Bottle Method for Star San means that I use so little Star San that it’s really not even worth price comparing.  Not so with PBW.  This is something that I go through relatively quickly.  Since we use this in bulk, why not save money and buy it in bulk.  Buy things in bulk that you use in bulk.
  • Never buy the 2 oz size of PBW.  If homebrew dentists existed… this size would be a free giveaway after you went to the homebrewing dental hygienist for your regular whatever-those-people-would-do.  You can easily pay the equivalent of over $20 per lb if you were to purchase PBW in 2 oz increments.  I’m not even sure why they make it.  I guess as a sample.  Along those lines, the 1 lb size should also be skipped.
  • Buy the bigger sizes (4 lb+).  If you’re an avid homebrewer and like PBW, it’s something you’re going to use.  Generally speaking, the larger size you purchase, the less PBW will cost per lb.  Buy the largest size your budget allows for.
  • PBW can make a good filler item if you’re looking to qualify for free shipping at sellers that require a certain order threshold to qualify for free shipping.
  • Retailers that charge calculated shipping have minimum shipping/processing thresholds.  Consider placing a larger order to offset that minimum.  Other items may ship for free or not much more.  Along the same lines, take advantage of sellers free or flat rate shipping offers.  Just get ingredients for your next batch or two.
  • Don’t disregard sellers that charge calculated shipping prices, with regards to cost… It’s the total to your door that matters.
  • PBW can be a good add on item for flat rate shippers or an add on item to reach thresholds for free shipping at other retailers.
  • Shop around.  Prices change, sometimes quickly.  With calculated shipping cost sellers, your cost will vary based on your location in relationship to the retailer.

PBW Sources – Save, Money Compare Prices

PBW Alternatives:

Continue reading

Shopping Tip: Great Deals on Refractometers from eBay

 Mouse over image to zoom Portable-Beer-Wort-and-Wine-Refractometer-Dual-Scale-Specific-Gravity-and-Brix Portable-Beer-Wort-and-Wine-Refractometer-Dual-Scale-Specific-Gravity-and-Brix Portable-Beer-Wort-and-Wine-Refractometer-Dual-Scale-Specific-Gravity-and-Brix Portable-Beer-Wort-and-Wine-Refractometer-Dual-Scale-Specific-Gravity-and-Brix Portable-Beer-Wort-and-Wine-Refractometer-Dual-Scale-Specific-Gravity-and-Brix Portable-Beer-Wort-and-Wine-Refractometer-Dual-Scale-Specific-Gravity-and-Brix Portable-Beer-Wort-and-Wine-Refractometer-Dual-Scale-Specific-Gravity-and-Brix Have one to sell? Sell now Portable Beer Wort and Wine Refractometer Dual Scale - Specific Gravity and BrixPictured: Portable-Beer-Wort-and-Wine-Refractometer-Dual-Scale-Specific-Gravity-and-Brix

It’s my opinion that most of the economy, non lab grade refractometers are probably manufactured by a handful of makers.  Or at the very least, the manufacturers are producing units of similar quality.  You could easily pay $60 at one retailer and $20 for the same unit via another retailer.

For under $30, do not expect a lab or commercial grade unit.  However, I have purchased three different economy model refractometers and have been happy with each of them.

This is also a nice find for our international readers as it seems that many offerings include free or reasonable shipping to non-US addresses.

For me, getting a refractometer was one of those upgrades that made a lot of difference.  With a refractometer you need a sample size of two drops.  I figured that this would pay for itself in beer savings alone.  I also had just broken my hydrometer and came to the realization that hydrometers are made of breakable glass that can break! 🙂

Refractometers can be used to measure gravity throughout the brewing process.  You can also estimate the alcohol content of your beer if you forget to take an OG with the use of a refractometer and a hydrometer.  Check out Sean Terrill’s excellent refractometer calculator.

eBay is, generally speaking, a good source for low cost refractometers.

Look for… Dual Scale (both brix and gravity), ATC (automatic temperature correction) and a good seller rating.  Carrying cases are also nice, but not 100% necessary.

This search – searches for buy it now, dual scale refractometer that ship for free.  If you find a specific model/seller that works well for you, leave a comment on this post or submit a tip

If you’re looking for a higher quality unit, check out Vee Gee, Milwaukee InstrumentsAtago and Misco – those links are all Amazon searches to get you started.  Verify specs and features.

More: Recent Great Deals

toppost:ebayrefactometers

Shopping Tip: Great Deals on Refractometers from eBay

 Mouse over image to zoom Portable-Beer-Wort-and-Wine-Refractometer-Dual-Scale-Specific-Gravity-and-Brix Portable-Beer-Wort-and-Wine-Refractometer-Dual-Scale-Specific-Gravity-and-Brix Portable-Beer-Wort-and-Wine-Refractometer-Dual-Scale-Specific-Gravity-and-Brix Portable-Beer-Wort-and-Wine-Refractometer-Dual-Scale-Specific-Gravity-and-Brix Portable-Beer-Wort-and-Wine-Refractometer-Dual-Scale-Specific-Gravity-and-Brix Portable-Beer-Wort-and-Wine-Refractometer-Dual-Scale-Specific-Gravity-and-Brix Portable-Beer-Wort-and-Wine-Refractometer-Dual-Scale-Specific-Gravity-and-Brix Have one to sell? Sell now Portable Beer Wort and Wine Refractometer Dual Scale - Specific Gravity and BrixPictured: Portable-Beer-Wort-and-Wine-Refractometer-Dual-Scale-Specific-Gravity-and-Brix

It’s my opinion that most of the economy, non lab grade refractometers are probably manufactured by a handful of makers.  Or at the very least, the manufacturers are producing units of similar quality.  You could easily pay $60 at one retailer and $20 for the same unit via another retailer.

For under $30, do not expect a lab or commercial grade unit.  However, I have purchased three different economy model refractometers and have been happy with each of them.

This is also a nice find for our international readers as it seems that many offerings include free or reasonable shipping to non-US addresses.

For me, getting a refractometer was one of those upgrades that made a lot of difference.  With a refractometer you need a sample size of two drops.  I figured that this would pay for itself in beer savings alone.  I also had just broken my hydrometer and came to the realization that hydrometers are made of breakable glass that can break! 🙂

Refractometers can be used to measure gravity throughout the brewing process.  You can also estimate the alcohol content of your beer if you forget to take an OG with the use of a refractometer and a hydrometer.  Check out Sean Terrill’s excellent refractometer calculator.

eBay is, generally speaking, a good source for low cost refractometers.

Look for… Dual Scale (both brix and gravity), ATC (automatic temperature correction) and a good seller rating.  Carrying cases are also nice, but not 100% necessary.

This search – searches for buy it now, dual scale refractometer that ship for free.  If you find a specific model/seller that works well for you, leave a comment on this post or submit a tip

If you’re looking for a higher quality unit, check out Vee Gee, Milwaukee InstrumentsAtago and Misco – those links are all Amazon searches to get you started.  Verify specs and features.

More: Recent Great Deals

toppost:ebayrefactometers

Shopping Tip: Great Deals on Refractometers from eBay

 Mouse over image to zoom Portable-Beer-Wort-and-Wine-Refractometer-Dual-Scale-Specific-Gravity-and-Brix Portable-Beer-Wort-and-Wine-Refractometer-Dual-Scale-Specific-Gravity-and-Brix Portable-Beer-Wort-and-Wine-Refractometer-Dual-Scale-Specific-Gravity-and-Brix Portable-Beer-Wort-and-Wine-Refractometer-Dual-Scale-Specific-Gravity-and-Brix Portable-Beer-Wort-and-Wine-Refractometer-Dual-Scale-Specific-Gravity-and-Brix Portable-Beer-Wort-and-Wine-Refractometer-Dual-Scale-Specific-Gravity-and-Brix Portable-Beer-Wort-and-Wine-Refractometer-Dual-Scale-Specific-Gravity-and-Brix Have one to sell? Sell now Portable Beer Wort and Wine Refractometer Dual Scale - Specific Gravity and BrixPictured: Portable-Beer-Wort-and-Wine-Refractometer-Dual-Scale-Specific-Gravity-and-Brix

It’s my opinion that most of the economy, non lab grade refractometers are probably manufactured by a handful of makers.  Or at the very least, the manufacturers are producing units of similar quality.  You could easily pay $60 at one retailer and $20 for the same unit via another retailer.

For under $30, do not expect a lab or commercial grade unit.  However, I have purchased three different economy model refractometers and have been happy with each of them.

This is also a nice find for our international readers as it seems that many offerings include free or reasonable shipping to non-US addresses.

For me, getting a refractometer was one of those upgrades that made a lot of difference.  With a refractometer you need a sample size of two drops.  I figured that this would pay for itself in beer savings alone.  I also had just broken my hydrometer and came to the realization that hydrometers are made of breakable glass that can break! 🙂

Refractometers can be used to measure gravity throughout the brewing process.  You can also estimate the alcohol content of your beer if you forget to take an OG with the use of a refractometer and a hydrometer.  Check out Sean Terrill’s excellent refractometer calculator.

eBay is, generally speaking, a good source for low cost refractometers.

Look for… Dual Scale (both brix and gravity), ATC (automatic temperature correction) and a good seller rating.  Carrying cases are also nice, but not 100% necessary.

This search – searches for buy it now, dual scale refractometer that ship for free.  If you find a specific model/seller that works well for you, leave a comment on this post or submit a tip

If you’re looking for a higher quality unit, check out Vee Gee, Milwaukee InstrumentsAtago and Misco – those links are all Amazon searches to get you started.  Verify specs and features.

This is a Top Post! See: All Top Posts

More: Recent Great Deals

toppost:ebayrefactometers