Happy New Year Everyone and welcome back to what we hope will be a better year. To start that train, or get back on it, I am going to share with you a few new toys I got for my homebrew set up. Some are basic and you would think not that cool, but to me they are. Let’s dive in!
The first is a very simple thing but something that I needed to get for a long time. It is a big ole graduated cylinder! That’s right, nothing exciting at all to start us off. But I went full science here. It is a 500ml cylinder that is all glass. I am excited when my brother-in-law comes over to record next to show that off to him because he works with that kind of stuff all the time. With this, I have a much better vessel to use to check my original gravity (OG) and final gravity (FG). As you all may know, that is the one weird thing I don’t do with my beer, and now I have no excuse.
Next I got something I have never used before and will need to try out and test so I don’t hurt myself. My brother and sister in law got me two things that do the same. If you listen to the podcasts Mike said in crafting a recipe and in a typical brew day, that he does close transfers with kegs and never having his beer touch the air (keeps it sanitary). Will I not only have the connector to do keg to keg (I think this is from my Grandfather) but I also can go from a carboy to a keg now. This can be tricky as you can’t use too much pressure since the carboy can’t handle it, so I will need to be safe.
The next thing is a very fancy gadget I got from Plaato that my amazing wife got me. If you read my Tools of the Trade blog a while back, you would remember the bubbler they have that will check your temperature, determine the number of bubbles in a minute, and then estimate your FG and with that your ABV. I usually don’t brew in the winter here in Michigan due to the cold, but I had to make a mead to test this baby. I started it last week and I know the estimated ABV is almost 30% (Needed adjustments but you can do that in the app). I am still going to test the FG (because I have my amazing graduated cylinder) to make sure it is close but this thing is so cool.
The final thing I got was a new tap handle. Doesn’t sound like much, but it was handcrafted by Richard L. Smith here in Michigan as the brand on the back says. My father-in-law made this himself. It has my Wise Old Owls logo and a spot with chalkboard paint so I can write in what is on tap. This is a one of a kind thing that I will hold as long as I can.
I did buy myself a new five gallon keg to help with everything doing the closed transfers but that is something for myself. We all need to get those sometimes. I hope you all had a great holiday and share what new toys and gadgets you got for homebrewing. Cheers!