Gear Review

Bottling and my thoughts on the Blichmann Beer Gun

A lot of people hate bottling, I don’t hate it, but it’s not something I enjoy. The actual bottling expierence itself isn’t too bad, and it’s not much more time consuming than kegging. There are extra steps, and you have yeast sentiment at the bottom of your bottle conditioned beer. You also have the additional time from grain to glass. The part I hate the most time is getting bottles clean and ready for bottling. I don’t buy them new, I give away a most of the beer I do bottle, so I have to wash, relabel and reuse commercial beer bottles. I try to do this when I’m drinking, but I still need to take some additional time to scrub before they are ready. It takes a lot of time for me, and I’ve said before time is not something I have a lot of. Continue reading

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Reviewing Homebrew U the Perfect American Pale Ale with Matt Brynildson

I’ve been a big fan of the brewing network since I started brewing, and I’ve been listening to the shows religiously for the past three years. When I heard they’d be making a dvd to share the best way to brew a pale ale I had to have it. I consider pale ale a challenging beer to brew well. It’s a beer of balance, walking the line of hoppy and clean, while avoiding being thin. I’ve said this before, it’s a large percentage of what I drink, and equally large portion of what I brew. The idea of getting tips on how to brew the beer straight from Matt Brynildson was impossible to pass up. So I signed up for the preorder, and paid my $17.99. Continue reading

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Product Review: The original Carboy Cleaner

carboy cleaner

I’m reviewing ‘the Original Carboy Cleaner’ and ‘the Original Keg Cleaner’ as I own both. They have made cleaning up after my brew days easier. Please note no one has paid me to say this or given me the product for review*. I did not however purchase them, as I received them from a family member as a gift.
The product is as easy to use as indicated in the tacky video on their website. Continue reading

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Product Review: Carboy Carrier

I’ll be up front when I receive a product for review, this isn’t one of those times. I bought this product with my own money, because I’d heard good things about it, and because carrying a large glass bottle full of liquid is a dangerous proposition. I’ve heard one too many stories of accidents where a single slip can result in a loss of a batch of beer, and a trip to the ER.
The Brew Hauler is well worth the $10-15 price tag. The primary reason I bought it, is that I brew out on my back patio, and have to carry the full carboy down to the basement where I keep the swamp warmer. It has made that trip a lot easier. It can also make hoisting a carboy into a chest freezer much easier.
I’m hoping to get a few more for my other carboys. It’s a little tricky to attach to the carboy, but once on, it stays put nicely.You can find them here* Brew Hauler Carboy Carrier on amazon.

*I link to amazon using my Associate ID, but encourage you to buy these things from your local home brewshop.

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No longer borrowed or blue. My new brew kettle.

Polarware brew kettle with brewmometer

I’m wary of thinking more expensive gear, will make better beer. Yes, it can make things easier, but does it really make better beer?
With that said, I’ve made some small investments in my equipment with the intention of improving the quality of my beer, and making cleanup easier.
I’ve been very fortunate, I’ve had to purchase very little of my own brewing equipment. I had keen eye on free cycle and snagged a nearly complete home brewing setup. A 5g pot, 2 carboys, fermentor, funnels, capper, blow off valves, wort chiller, etc. So far my primary investments have been ingredients, books, and a turkey burner. Continue reading

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