Equipment Reviews

Homebrew equipment reviews. And other things you should buy or sometimes not buy.

The Grainfather: A bargin or a bust?

Jeremy Short · March 30

After brewing up three batches of beer on my new Grainfather I can now say whether all my pre-purchase research (documented here) was worth it. Quick answer: yes! I am pumped about  this thing and it’s inspired me to get back to brewing. While It’s not perfect it hits everything I was looking for in an electric homebrew system. Let’s dig into this system and find the good and the bad.

First thing I was excited about when the Grainfather arrived was ...

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A year of using my Speidel Plastic Fermenter

Jeremy Short · July 16

I wrote a review for the Speidel Plastic Fermenter just over a year ago. At the time I had used it for just a couple of batches. Now I’ve had the thing for over a year and have fermented at least a  dozen batches in these carboys and I still think they are the best deal out there. Sure, if you are rolling in the dough you could drop a big wad of cash on a stainless steel conical, but I don’t have ...

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The Best Homebrew Control Panel Labels

Chris Jensen · July 2

I've seen a lot of back and forth on the forums out there about the best place to get engraved labels or tags for brewing applications, especially control panels. On his Electric Brewery site, Kal recommends a Canadian firm called Signs Banners Tags. Seems like they do good work, but I emailed them for a quote and never heard back, and shipping from Canada is not going to be as cheap or quick as shipping from the US to my location.

I'd also ...

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Review: The Best Timer for Homebrewing

Chris Jensen · June 18

I never thought much about my timers. When I brewed on the stove I relied on its timer which worked well, and when I moved it outside I primarily relied on my cell phone.

I find the cell phone timer to be awkward, however, as I have to remember to pull it out and start it, and if I’m interrupted with a call or text in the middle I have to navigate back to my timer to figure out where we are in the ...

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Shirron Plate Chiller Review

Jeremy Short · April 2

We’re on a plate chiller writing spree at Pintwell! While Chris is a fan of the Duda Diesel, for the money I think the Shirron Plate Chiller is a solid choice. At a touch less than $100 the Shirron Plate Chiller is cheaper than many immersion chillers you will find out there. And it’s compact and does the job. I can cool down my wort to pitching temps in half the time it takes me with my immersion chiller.

The Good

It’s ...

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Duda Diesel Plate Chiller Review

Chris Jensen · March 26

I've used an immersion chiller since I started brewing regularly 7 years ago. Prior to that I used an ice bath, so at the time thought it was quite an upgrade. The immersion chiller worked well enough for my purposes, especially when I used to do partial boils, so I thought that a CFC or plate chiller was just overkill. When I started doing 10 gallon batches, I added a pond pump and a whirlpool arm to my chiller so to improve my chilling ...

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Is the Blichmann BoilMaker worth all that money?

Jeremy Short · March 14

When you walk into your local brew shop or look through a homebrew website one kettle looks more fancy than the rest: The Blichmann BoilMaker. Much of the equipment used and found in the homebrew world looks like it was built for something other than brewing beer like cooler mash tuns, turkey fryers or converted kegs. The BoilMaker is one of those fews products that looks purpose built for homebrewing. All the features and designs of the BoilMaker have the homebrewer in mind and they ...

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Carboy Cleaner Review

Chris Jensen · February 11

Cleaning a glass carboy is rough. It's one of my least favorite chores in the brewing process because it's awkward, time consuming and slightly dangerous.

In the past, I used a combination of carboy brush and Soul-Train-style ass shaking to clean my carboys. Only after 15 minutes and 1500 calories burned did I feel confident that there wasn't any junk left clinging to the inside of the vessel.

That is, until I got the Carboy Cleaner a year ago. Ever since, I ...

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2013 Homebrew Gift Guide

Pintwell · November 11

Looking for a great holiday gift for your favorite homebrewer? Let us help you find the perfect gift to delight the dabbling, dreaming, or downright obsessed homebrewer in your life.

To make it extra easy on you, we've broken the gift ideas out by cost to help you find the right homebrew gift for your budget. Plus these gifts will work for the homebrewer who is just getting started to the homebrewer who has been making batches of beer for years. 


Affordable options (under ...

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Bottle Your Homebrew the Easy Way

Chris Jensen · April 17

Bottling your beer can be a real pain. On top of all of the cleaning and sanitizing required for the bottles, you also need to manage a lot of gear: buckets, bottling wands, or, if you are lucky, bottling guns. 

But it need not be so complex! About a year ago I discovered a new solution that has revolutionized my bottling procedur,e which costs about $15. It works just as well as any counter-pressure filler and will keep your beer carbed for months. This ...

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Is this the best homebrew carboy? A review of the Speidel Plastic Fermenter

Jeremy Short · April 4

After waiting months for the Speidel Plastic Fermenter to be back in stock at MoreBeer, I was finally able to buy two 20L Speidels this August. Now that I've had a chance to run a few beers through them, what do I think? I sold all of my other carboys and now exclusively use the Speidels. So yeah, I like them.

Since I first started brewing I've always used plastic or glass carboys. There are several problems with both types of carboys: cleaning ...

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