We are all about brewing better beer and if we can make some processes easier that’s a win. While some tools are more for fun and not totally necessary. Others have a major impact on how we brew.
For more useful advice check our Ten more homebrewing hacks: Tips and Tricks for Beginner Brewers
1. Infrared Thermometer
This thermometer reads infrared heat using a lens on the front. Depending on where you point it the thermometer reads the temperature of the object almost instantly. It works great for surface-level temperatures but no so much for internal temperatures. We use it when we want to quick reading of the water or mash temperature. Just pull the trigger and get a quick reading. It isn’t perfect or exactly precise toll but it gives you a pretty close reading.
2. Kettle quick disconnects
If you’ve ever brewed all grains you know one of the biggest problems with brewing larger batches is moving large amounts of liquid around. having to connect tubing and moving things around can be really annoying. One end of these connects to a port on your kettle and the other connects to the tubing of choice. then all you have to do is connect them to your liking. they come in different sizes and variations so get whatever works for your system.
3. Bottling Wand
This might be one of the most underrated brewing tools. The way it works is that there’s a long tubing and a spring-activated valve at the bottom. As you press down on the valve it opens and allows liquid through. Then as soon as you release the valve it instantly stops. Lastly, as you pull the want out it leaves a perfect amount of headspace in the bottle. It makes bottling easy. Additionally, you can take quick tastings or refractometer samples with it.
4. Hand Twist Hose Clamps
Sometimes it’s the simple things that can make life better. For anyone that kegs you know the importance of a solid hose clamp. With all the pressure for carbonating and pushing your beer around a loose clamp will send beer or even CO2 all over. You can tighten or loosen these hose clamps by hand. No need for a screwdriver or a specialized tool.
5. Floating Dip Tube
Instead of having a stiff tube in your keg that pulls from the bottom where a lot of sediment and yeast fell out. You can use a floating dip tube to pull from the top of your keg. Which means you get a clearer beer faster. Just keep your regular dip tube around in case you want to switch back. A floating dip tube doesn’t make for better beer but it means we can drink the best-looking beer faster.
6. Carbonation Caps
There are a ton of ways to bottle beer from a keg. Carbonation caps are really affordable and they have many uses. Besides just filling up bottles. One downside is that you need to use screw-top bottles with this. You can also use them to dose a keg or pressurized vessel with an extract or a fining agent.
7. Pressurized Growlers
This one is entirely not necessary but we found it to be extremely helpful. Glass growlers are great for days of drinking but they don’t really allow for the beer to last very long. Once opened all that oxygen really shortens its life. But these stainless steel pressurized growlers have changed the game. It’s a great way to bring beer on a long road trip or to a party. For all small-batch brewers that are still bottling this could be a really good jumping-off point to get you into kegging. Without the hassle of a big kegerator.