Category Archives: Tips

Eva Dry E-500 Dehumidifier [Fix Kegerator Condensation] – $19.97 + Free Prime Ship

New and Improved Eva-dry E-500 Renewable Mini Dehumidifier

Like many homebrewers and craft beer lovers, I use a chest freezer for chilling and serving kegs. Eva Dry Kegerator Condensation The big downside I’ve experienced is with that is… condensation.  Not just beads of water on the sides, I had pooling water in the bottom.  Not a good thing.  This varies by how often I’m in it and the weather, but the fact is, a chest freezer just isn’t designed to deal with condensation like a refrigerator is.

Enter the Eva-Dry E-500.  The Eva-Dry E-500 contains desiccant beads  that absorb moisture.  As this material absorbs moisture it also changes color.  Dark blue means it’s dry and pink means it’s becoming saturated.  The great thing about the Eva-Dry E-500 is that the desiccant material is reusable.  The unit contains a built in heater that drives off built up moisture.  When it becomes saturated, plug it in overnight and it’s ready to go again the next day.  I also use on of these in my fermentation chamber.

See: Damp Kegerator? Fix Kegerator Condensation

10/21/20 12 AM Central: This is selling for $19.97.  That’s 70 cents shy of the best historical direct from Amazon price I found, notwithstanding Lightning Deals or coupons. Shipping is also free to many US addresses with Prime Membership [Try Prime for Free] or a qualifying order. Prices, shipping and availability can change quickly. Please note that product prices and availability are subject to change. Prices and availability were accurate at the time this post was published; however, they may differ from those you see when you visit Amazon. Check the product page for current price, description and availability.

New and Improved Eva-dry E-500 Renewable Mini Dehumidifier


What are other people saying?  Search this product’s Amazon reviews for “kegerator”

Also: Kegerator Tips & Gear | Keg Repair Part #s | Recent Keg Finds

Our Top Draft Resources

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Use a Wallpaper Prep Tray for Cleaning, Sanitizing and Storage of Longer Brewing Items

Pictured: Zinsser 98030 30-Inch Wallpaper Prep Tray – via Amazon

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


More: Our Last Fifty Finds!

Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions.


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Tip: Using Undiluted PBW to Help with Bottle Label Removal

PBW Image Courtesy of MoreBeer.  Search PBW at MoreBeer

Part of Our Homebrew Tips and Tricks Series.  Check out the complete list – Homebrewing Tips, Tricks & Shortcuts!


  • Soaking your bottles in hot PBW is not a new technique.  It works well and I would venture a guess that a lot of homebrewers do this.
  • Here’s the tip… If you have a label or bits of adhesive that are being stubborn,   Put a little bit of PBW right on a label or adhesive that’s giving you problems and scrub.  The grittiness of the PBW combined with it’s full strength application generally dissolves the label and adhesive in short order.
  • PBW can be rough on your hands when diluted.  That’s even more true when it’s undiluted.  I recommend using protective gloves when dealing with PBW.
  • Search Amazon for “elbow length cleaning gloves”
  • Search Amazon for “PBW Cleaner”
  • Search Amazon for “scrub pads”
  • Search MoreBeer for “PBW”
  • Related Categories: BottlingCleaning

More: Our Last Fifty Finds!

Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions.


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Using Polypropylene Lab Bottles to Rehydrate Yeast

Bel-Art Precisionware Wide-Mouth 500ml (16oz) Autoclavable Polypropylene Bottles; Polypropylene Cap, 53mm Closure (Pack of 12) (F10632-0007)Pictured: (12) 500 mL Polypropylene Jars with 53 mm closures by Bel-Art Products – via Amazon

Part of Our Homebrew Tips and Tricks Series.  Check out the complete list – Homebrewing Tips, Tricks & Shortcuts!

  • Note: This tip involves handling hot items.  Always use extreme caution when handling hot items to avoid being scalded.
  • In my opinion, Polypropylene is a good material for this.  It is commonly used in lab bottles and has a higher heat resistance when compared to HDPE and LDPE.
  • The pictured bottle is what I personally use.  There are lots of options out there.  Search Amazon for Polypropylene Lab Bottles to see what else may be available,  Some things to look for – proper temp ratings, use of food safe materials and microwaveable.
  • Consult your yeast manufacturer for specific amounts, temperatures and timing recommendations.

Rehydrating Yeast Step by Step

  • Place the appropriate amount of water in the bottle.  Some manufacturers recommend 10 grams of water per 1 gram of yeast.  Most packets are 11 grams.  That’s 110 grams.
  • Use an accurate gram scale to weigh the water.  For a common measurement like 110 grams, I mark my bottle with a Sharpie so I can easily measure out rehydration water without needing to weigh every time.
  • Place the lid on top of the bottle.  Important: Do not thread or tighten the lid!  It will burst if you do that.  You just want the lid setting loosely on top so that it can be sanitized by the steam.
  • Microwave until the water comes to a full boil.
  • Cooling to Temp, Slow Option: Let the bottle sit with cap loosened until it reaches proper hydration temperature.
  • Cooling to Temp, Quick Option: Very carefully tighten the cap down.  Run cool water over the bottle to reach proper rehydration temp.  This is going to be hot, be very careful!  I use heat resistant gloves for this.  The cooling will most likely cause the container to collapse on itself and could slightly misform it.
  • I use an Infrared thermometer to check temp as cooling commences.  Note that I do not open the bottle to check temp.  Just aim the IR thermometer at the mass of water inside the bottle.  I’m usually aiming for around 95 deg F.
  • Sprinkle the dry yeast in the container and place the lid on back on the bottle.  Let this sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Gently swirl bottle to ensure the yeast is thoroughly mixed.
  • Pitch when you’re ready.
  • This method ensures a sanitary process.  The initial container and water are sanitized and there is no touching of the water with thermometers or stirring devices.
  • You could use a similar method to produce yeast washing water.
  • Search Amazon for “Polypropylene Lab Bottles” – Some things to look for – proper temp ratings, use of food safe materials and microwaveable.
  • Search Amazon for “digital gram scale”
  • Search Amazon for “infrared thermometer”
  • Search Amazon for “heat resistant kitchen gloves”
  • Review: Hands On: American Weigh 100g x 0.01g Digital Scale
  • Related Categories: YeastScales, Infrared Thermometers

Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions.

More: Our Last Fifty Finds!


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Tip: Use an Infrared Thermometer for Select Homebrewing Tasks

Etekcity Lasergrip 774 Non-contact Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun -58℉~ 716℉ (-50℃ ~ 380℃), Yellow and BlackPIctured: Etekcity Lasergrip 774 Non-contact Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun -58℉~ 716℉ (-50℃ ~ 380℃), Yellow and Black – via Amazon

Part of Our Homebrew Tips and Tricks Series.  Check out the complete list – Homebrewing Tips, Tricks & Shortcuts!


  • These (can be) inexpensive and give you a no-touch way to measure the temperature of something.
  • Since these are 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 (See Tip 1).
  • In my opinion, Infrared thermometers should not be considered a direct replacement for your standard thermometer.  A quality IR thermometer will give you a close approximation of surface temperatures.  In my experience steam seems to throw off readings.
  • Potential Uses Include: Contained yeast rehydration water, chilled wort or starter temperature, kegerator, fermenter or fermenation area and beer tasting samples.
  • Shop Around, Search Amazon for “Infrared Thermometer”
  • Related Categories: Thermometers, Infrared Thermometers

More: Our Last Fifty Finds!



Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions.

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Tip: Get a Refractometer – Save Beer & Breakage!

Anpro Brix Refractometer for Homebrew, Beer Wort Refractometer Dual Scale Specific Gravity 1.000-1.120 and Automatic Temperature Compensation 0-32% Replaces Homebrew Hydrometer, MPictured: Anpro Brix Refractometer for Homebrew, Beer Wort Refractometer Dual Scale Specific Gravity 1.000-1.120 and Automatic Temperature Compensation 0-32% via Amazon

Part of Our Homebrew Tips and Tricks Series.  Check out the complete list – Homebrewing Tips, Tricks & Shortcuts!


  • If you haven’t realized it yet… hydrometers are made out of breakable glass that can… break.  They also require a healthy sample size.
  • With a refractometer you need a sample size of just a couple drops.  That’s a lot of saved beer compared to a hydrometer.  So much so that a refractometer may very well pay for itself over time.
  • For me, getting a refractometer was one of those small, inexpensive upgrades that made a huge difference.
  • An quick estimation of unfermented wort gravity is easy to calculate.  OG is around 4 times the Brix reading obtained from your refractometer.  That becomes more and more inaccurate as gravities increase.
  • Refractometers can also be used to measure gravity throughout the fermentation process.  Just plug your numbers into a calculator for correction after fermentation begins.  See: Sean Terrill’s Refractometer Calculator
  • If you have a refractometer AND a hydrometer you can estimate ABV without a starting gravity.  See Tip 10 for more information on that.
  • Some shopping tips… Look for a dual scale (Brix and Gravity) model.  ATC/Automatic Temperature Correction is another important feature.  That automatically accounts for changes due to temperature within a certain range.
  • There are many offerings and they can change quickly.  Shop Around, Search Amazon for “dual scale refractometer” to compare prices and see what models are currently available.
  • If you have a higher budget, consider a digital model.  Generally speaking, those are not available with dual scale capabilities, but you get a digital readout of gravity readings.  That’s a nice feature.  Shop Around, Search Amazon for “digital brix refractometer” to compare prices and see what models are currently available.
  • Related Categories: Fermentation, Refractometers

Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions.


More: Our Last Fifty Finds!

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Vacuum Sealing Mylar Bags Using Traditional Vacuum Sealers

vacuum seal mylar bags

Vacuum sealer bags are great at sealing out oxygen, preventing freezer burn, etc.  FoodSaver bags, vacuum sealers and the like are a great way to store hops, grains, spices and more!

Why Mylar?

Mylar bags block oxygen and are a great way to store hops and other oxygen sensitive materials.  As a testament to this, many hop distributors and sellers distribute hops in Mylar type bags.  Sometimes those are vacuum sealed and sometimes they are nitrogen flushed.

Mylar bags are not generally expensive, so that’s great!  The problem is vacuum sealers that can seal Mylar bags ARE expensive.  Sometimes very expensive.  That’s not great!

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Avery 5410 – 600 x 1″ Round Printable Labels – Great size for labeling beer caps – $6.99, 1.2 cents each + free prime ship

Avery Self-Adhesive Removable Labels, 1-Inch Diameter, White, Pack of 600 (5410)

Avery 1″ Round Multi Use Labels.  600 total labels.


From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • Labels stick, stay and remove cleanly without leaving a residue
  • Ideal for drawers, containers, boxes, shelves and other smooth surfaces
  • Pack of 600 Labels

1″ round labels work really well for labeling beer caps.  Labeling caps works especially well if you’re planning to reuse the bottle.  There is no work involved in removing old labels before next use.

What are others saying?  Search this product’s Amazon reviews for “caps” – may include reviews for other sizes or variations

These are printable labels so you can create some nice looking labels.  Avery offers free templates for popular software including Microsoft Word as well as free online design and print tool.

9/14/20 2 AM Central: These are selling for $6.99.  That figures to about 1.2 cents each.  Shipping is also free to many US addresses with Prime Membership [Try Prime for Free] or a qualifying orderPrices, shipping and availability can change quickly. Please note that product prices and availability are subject to change. Prices and availability were accurate at the time this post was published; however, they may differ from those you see when you visit Amazon. Check the product page for current price, description and availability. Also: Recent Amazon Finds and Amazon Fillers Resource Page 

Avery Self-Adhesive Removable Labels, 1-Inch Diameter, White, Pack of 600 (5410)


Also: GrogTag Deals and Coupons – GrogTag prints your design onto professionally printed, reusable labels

More: Recent Amazon Finds

Tip: Use Deli Containers To Store Your Yeast Cake

Deli Food Storage Containers with Lids, 16 Ounce (48 Count)Pictured: Deli Food Storage Containers with Lids, 16 Ounce – via Amazon

Part of Our Homebrew Tips and Tricks Series.  Check out the complete list – Homebrewing Tips, Tricks & Shortcuts!


  • Note: This tip involves handling hot items.  Always use extreme caution when handling hot items to avoid being scalded.
  • These containers are generally food safe and microwave safe.
  • They also, generally, have tight lids.  Lids are either not quite airtight – That’s perfect for storing a yeast cake for your next batch as, the yeast may need to off-gas – Or airtight – That’s okay too as popping a lid off one of these isn’t usually a huge deal.
  • You can sanitize these by microwaving some water in them.  Place the lid loosely on top so that it can get sanitized by steam.  Be very careful around boiling water and steam, you can get hurt.  Or, santize with your favorite food grade homebrew sanitizer.
  • These type of containers are also handy for general storage, rehydrating yeast, sample collection and lots more.  Non-brewing related bonus… these are great for giving food-stuffs away as they are economical enough that you don’t need to worry about getting your container back.
  • There are many offerings for these types of containers and they can change quickly.  Search Amazon for “pint deli containers” to see what’s out there.  Some things to look for – food safe materials, microwave safe and tight fitting lids.
  • Credit for this tip goes to Denny Conn!
  • Related Categories: Fermentation, Yeast

More: Our Last Fifty Finds!


Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions.

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12 x San Jamar Versa-Mat 12″ x 12″ Interlocking Drying Mats – $50.99, $4.25 each + Not Just for Bars Anymore… Using Interlocking Bar Mats Around Your Home Brewery

San Jamar Versa-Mat Interlocking Sanitary Bar Mats

TWELVE X 12″ by 12″ interlocking bar mat by San Jamar.  These interlocking mats are versatile.  Multiple mats can be joined for larger areas and they are flexible and easy to cut to shape.  Allows for airflow under glassware.

More Info

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • Versatile Service – Mats can be cut to accommodate curves and other contours making it the custom choice for a variety of environments
  • Interlocking Mats – Lightweight design cuts easily to accommodate the perfect fit in any space configuration
  • Superior Airflow – Unique raised design allows for superior airflow under glassware to reduce mold build-up
  • Non-Slip Surface – Prevents mat from sliding around when in use and protects glassware rims
  • Easy Disassembly – Strips disassemble and are dishwasher safe for quick clean up

 

I purchased a number of these (mine are clear) in 2015 and have since found them very handy.  I use them for drying brew day gear and glassware and also underneath my fermenter in my fermentation deep freeze to improve airflow and keep the fermenter out of any condensation that might show up).  I also use this in bottom of my kegerator.  See: Not Just for Bars Anymore… Using Interlocking Bar Mats Around Your Home Brewery!

6/29/20 8 PM Central: These are on sale for $50.99.  That figures to just $4.25 per tile.  Shipping is also free to many US addresses with Prime Membership [Try Prime for Free] or a qualifying order. Prices, shipping and availability can change quickly. Please note that product prices and availability are subject to change. Prices and availability were accurate at the time this post was published; however, they may differ from those you see when you visit Amazon. Check the product page for current price, description and availability. Also: Recent Amazon Finds and Amazon Fillers Resource Page

San Jamar Versa-Mat Interlocking Sanitary Bar Mats  – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

Not Just for Bars Anymore… Using Interlocking Bar Mats Around Your Home Brewery!

More: Recent Amazon Finds