New Toys

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!

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