Homebrewing has gone through a massive evolution. One need only look at the landscape. Companies like Blichmann Engineering, Polar Ware and SS Brewing Technologies, just to name a few, have helped take homebrewing to the wonderful world that it is today. That world continues to expand even today.
In the first of a continuing series, I would like to take you through a couple of new items we have seen that are on the horizon.
Depending on your arrangements, there are some parts of homebrewing that, frankly, stink. I’ve been blamed for making the whole house smell like bread, and not in a good way. For some people even the sound of a gurgling airlock is enough to make the natives restless.
Introducing a new kind of airlock. This airlock from Sterilock is a very intriguing product. The problem with the traditional airlock is that a liquid component is always needed. Liquids can dry out. When that happens the end result is truly sad, too often resulting in a drain pour.
Sterilock uses a patented nanoseal that lets CO2 escape while keeping the wild yeasts and contaminants in the air out, exactly what you want an airlock to do. However, this is all done without any sort of liquid. There’s nothing to dry out. Ever!
Now, this won’t help with particularly violent fermentations (you’ll still want to use a blowoff tube for that), but if you have the headspace, or want to secondary your homebrew for a while, the Sterilock airlock looks to be a great addition to your arsenal.
We at The Homebrew Academy have been graciously given a demo unit to try out. Look for a full review soon!
Meld Temperature Controller
Whether you brew on a stovetop or on a Brutus 10, boilovers are a messy situation any of us try to avoid. The Meld Knob + Clip hopes to help remedy that. This device looks to take fine tuning to a whole new level.
A device sits in your wort and monitors temperature. This reports back to an app on your phone which in turn controls a cap on your burner control knob. The concept behind it is sound, making micro-adjustments to your heat source, constantly making sure that your wort comes to and stays at a boil, without going so far as to cause a boilover.
This device is not specifically made for homebrewers, but the technology adapts very nicely. I look forward to seeing more of this product as it becomes available.
This product is slated for availability starting Fall 2015.
Back in 2011, there was a product that was announced that sat at “Coming Soon” a little longer than I really wanted. We ended up building our own RIMS system. Lo and behold, the Tower of Power came in 2012 and true to Blichmann tradition, it was clean, well built, and solid. However, you get what you pay for, and you pay for quite a bit on this.
The one issue with the Tower of Power had to do with the footprint. Essentially the Tower of Power is made up of one (or more) PID controllers, perhaps a pump, a sight glass perhaps, you get the idea. So how do you manage all of the pieces? One better, how do you keep it modular without it being a big mess of cables and sensor probes? The Tower of Power LTE Stand is the answer.
What makes the LTE stand so nice is it’s compact design. It can fit inside a boilermaker kettle (or a boil keg in a pinch). Yet, there are placing to put your chiller, the PID, a pump (optional), and the ToP control module. If you are a Blichmann aficionado, go check it out!
That's what's new in homebrewing. See you soon with more gizmos and gadgets!