You’ve done the basics, learned all the steps to homebrewing, and familiarized yourself with essential home brewing gear. You’ve come a long way since day 1, and now, it’s only natural you’d be looking for an upgrade.
After all, better and upgraded homebrew gear can help you make even better, more flavorful beer. If you could make amazing beer with basic gear & equipment, how much more with an upgrade?
With new flavors and beer profiles within your reach, here are 12 best homebrew gadgets to help you expand your homebrewing game
Brewing Accuracy & Precision
Brewing may not be the same as baking a cake, but precise measurements and even temperature readings are still vital to the overall quality of your beer.
If you’re short by a minute or simply go by rough estimates for testing the amount of sugar present, you could be missing out on sweetness or bitterness that could transform your beer phenomenally.
Timing is all about precision when it comes to boiling your wort to adding the hops and fermentation process. A digital timer is even more useful if you’re adding specialty grains or spices to your wort. One common mistake that could occur is a boil-over.
This plug and play temperature controller is designed with dual LCD display, large power output 1,200W, it's suitable for most applications.The temperature can be controlled more accurately with its function of temperature calibration and temperature hysteresis.
A boil-over would result in froth and wort overflowing the sides of your boil kettle or container. Cleaning up this mess is not pretty.
Why you Need a Digital Timer
Overall, using a digital timer is one of the many ways to streamline your brew day and hit your brewing time target spot-on.
- Precise measurements
- Streamlined brewing
When you first set out to make your own homebrewed beer, the best homebrew equipment you’re likely to start with is a hydrometer. This helps you get the feel of measuring the specific gravity of your wort or the amount of sugar present.
The downside though is it can be a time-consuming process because you have to cool your wort before actually using your hydrometer.
Why you Need a Refractometer
One of the biggest benefits of using a refractometer is being able to track your starch conversion during the mash process. Also, refractometers aren’t affected by hot temperatures, unlike hydrometers.
So, even with the wort boiling in your mash tun or container, a few drops to your refractometer should give you the information you need.
The downside is you don’t get your final specific gravity using a refractometer. You’ll need to insert a few calculations for complete information. Luckily, Beer More is an online calculator tool you can use to do the hard work for you!
- Get an instant reading of your specific gravity
- Has limitations; you don’t get the final specific gravity
It’s all in the yeast. While precision and accuracy are vital elements for homebrewers, yeast is the catalyst to influencing beer character and flavor.
That said, the next homebrew gadgets below are the best home brewing equipment you can use to enhance your brew quality.
Homebrewers know that their responsibility lies in making the wort, but as for the beer, that responsibility falls to yeast. Healthy, good-quality yeast will naturally produce good-quality beer. The better the yeast, the better your beer.
Now, how exactly can you improve yeast quality? By using an oxygenation kit. Aerating the wort before adding the yeast is crucial to homebrewing a beer flavor that will keep you wanting more.
For high-gravity beers, an oxygenation kit is even more important.
Why you Need an Oxygenation Kit
Investing in an oxygenation kit or aeration system will make you a better brewer and allow you to improve your beer quality overall. Even better, this may even lead to one or two new beer recipes.
- Provides healthy conditions for your yeast
- Improves your homebrew quality
- You have to buy a separate O2 tank
If you’re ready to move from pre-crushed malts to making your own malts, then a grain mill is one investment you should start looking into.
Having a grain mill gives you total control over your malts and since they influence the color, sugar, and flavor of your beer, this also opens new doors for you to experiment with. Of course, a grain mill isn’t where your homebrewing journey ends.
Why you Need a Grain Mill
You want to choose your own style of malt and are looking to explore new beer flavors. We suggest going for the Monster Mill MM3 if you want the best features with an optional hopper extension.
- You don’t have to rely on buying pre-crushed malts
- You have the advantage of using your own unique malt
All Grain Brewing System
One of the best home brew equipment to have for all-grain brewing is an all-grain brewing system. It makes shifting from extract brewing to all-grain brewing look easy.
Note though that all-grain brewing takes longer to make a batch compared to extract brewing. You also have to buy additional equipment for all-grain brewing such as a ph meter, iodine, wort chiller, etc.
- Capacity: 8 Gallons / 304 Grade Stainless Steel
- Weight: 37 Pounds
- Programmable step mashing
- Bluetooth connectivity
- 24 month manufacturers warranty
Why you Need an All Grain Brewing System
An All Grain Brewing (like this GrainFather) system gives homebrewers complete total control on how your beer is made, and you spend less for the ingredients.
You can control the aroma, color, flavor, and even mouthfeel with an All Grain Brewing system, giving you quite the advantage in the homebrewing process.
- Complete creative control on how your beer is made
- Longer process time
Water Test Kit
Considering how beer is 90% water, it’s only fair to say that your brewing water can make or break your beer quality. The six water ions to look out for are: magnesium, sulfate, sodium, calcium, chloride, and bicarbonates.
The total alkalinity of your brewing water can affect the mash pH and allow you to make acid adjustments. Although you have the option of testing your water through laboratory means, there’s no telling the water source in you area will remain consistent.
For this reason, a water test kit is more convenient to have when measuring your mash pH.
Why you Need a Water Test Kit
Having a water test kit as one of your gadgets mainly provides convenience to your home brewing process and helps you improve your homebrew quality as well.
Brewing water is without a doubt, an essential component every homebrewer should take note of to improve their homebrewing game.
- Conveniently measure your mash pH
- Refilling the kit means additional costs
Remember how we mentioned how important yeast is to your overall brew quality? Well, a stir plate can help your yeast even more. The purpose of a stir plate is to make your yeast more healthy and have a higher cell count. In effect, this helps the yeast ferment the sugars during the fermentation process.
Once you start brewing high-gravity beers, having a yeast starter prevents the yeast from getting stressed when trying to ferment too much sugar.
Why you Need a Stir Plate
This will generally lead to lesser risk yeast infections, help you brew better homebrew quality, and speeds up the fermentation process.
- Healthier yeast
- Improved brew quality
- Faster fermentation
- Can’t use it in very high temperatures
- Large liquid volumes lead to inaccuracy
Streamlining your homebrewing process is also necessary to produce your final product with much higher quality.
Efficiency is all about cutting down wastes and using your resources to the fullest extent. Well, here are two gadgets to help your brew efficiency game.
Hop spiders are one of the many homebrew gadgets every homebrewer should have. Essentially, a hop spider helps keep the hop matter from clogging your pump system. Not only does it make your brew day easier, but you also don’t have to worry about fishing your brew kettle or mash tun for boiling hops.
Let's get hoppin'
Even better, hop spiders reduce the overall mess, meaning cleaning your equipment is easier and will take less time.
Why you Need a Hop Spider
You get lesser cleaning time and reduced maintenance for your pump system, giving you less of a hassle for your brew day.
- Prevents clogging in your system
- Easier cleaning
- Might affect the taste and aroma of your brew quality
To the untrained eye, an auto-siphon might look ordinary, but for homebrewers, it’s like having gold in your hands. They’re also very easy to use and allow the process of transferring liquids to be barely any hassle at all, while enhancing the quality of your brew.
Finally, auto-siphons reduce the risk of oxygen exposure and help keep bacteria out, unlike a regular siphon which poses a much greater risk.
Why you Need an Auto-Siphon
Auto-siphons prevent any unwanted splashing or wastage to help you produce a higher-quality brew and provide more sanitation overall to the brewing process.
- Minimizes oxygen exposure thus maintaining the brew quality
- Allows you to easily transfer liquids without splashing
- Very fragile
Cleaning homebrew gadgets are just as important to enhancing your brew quality.
Since beers deal with a lot of sensitive ingredients that are easily affected by dirt and oxygen, a sanitary workspace and clean equipment are a must-have for every homebrewer.
Keg & Carboy Washer
Cleaning your brew kettle or mash tun is no easy task. If these aren’t cleaned properly, the result would be undesirable flavors and overall, it would change the quality of your brew. Nowadays, most brew kettles are made of stainless steel. Although stainless steel is highly durable and reliable, they also become harder to clean over time.
One of the most common deposit you’ll see in stainless steel is calcium oxylate. Not only will this affect the beer’s quality, but it will also become a sanitation problem that can be hard to remove.
Aren't you sick of hand washing by now? Reduce the time it takes to clean and sanitize your kegs, carboys, and brewing buckets. Save on cleaning and sanitizing chemicals. The reservoir also contains space to soak small items like airlocks and stoppers.
Having a keg and carboy washer cleans your kegs, buckets, and carboys effectively and reduces your cleaning time compared to hard scrubbing for hours on end.
Why you Need a Keg & Carboy Washer
Cleaning and sanitizing take a huge amount of time in your brew day. Having a keg & carboy washer allows for faster cleaning time, reduces hard work scrubbing on your part, and effectively sanitizes your equipment.
- Efficient and effective cleaning
- Reduces cleaning time thus allowing you to carry other tasks
- Some of its parts are defective or easily break
Bottling beers and keeping them sanitized is just as crucial to keeping your kegs and equipment clean. Typically, most homebrewers will use a brush to individually clean each bottle.
This is time-consuming and can be a hassle for any brew day. Having a bottle washer automates the process and is one of the best gadgets that save time, effort, and energy.
Why you Need a Bottle Washer
Rather than spend an hour jabbing each bottle individually with your cleaning brush, a bottle washer allows you to clean 8 bottles at a time in an instant.
- Saves you a lot of cleaning time
- Automated cleaning adds efficiency to your brew day
- Might be expensive for some
On the road to becoming a better homebrewer, commitment and patience are values to help you improve and grow. That being said, having homebrewing gadgets can boost your growth, experience, and quality overall.
Seeing as how you’ve come this far, you’re already on your way to crafting an amazing brew quality, so if I were you, keep pushing forward.
Lead marketer, brewer, dad, and husband. Pretty much an all-round awesome guy.