When it comes to the hobby of brewing beer, the deeper you get into it, the more you will find yourself oogling over the latest home brewing gadgets.
For a beginner, that might not seem like the case. You’ve got all you need to brew great beer, right?
After you get a few batches under your belt, the feelings of being overwhelmed begin to subside. You start to branch out and learn more about beer. More gadgets and equipment begin to stack up. It’s not that you really need them, but they help give you an edge you’ve desperately been looking for.
Oh, and they make your life easier, your beer better, and brew days more efficient!
Can you really argue with that? I didn’t think so…
Cool Home Brewing Gadgets
With so many different brew gadgets on the market, it’s hard to decide what’s worth your money (and what isn’t).
That said, we’ve got a list of 9 brewing gadgets that we think are some of the best in terms of adding efficiency, saving you time, or helping you improve your process to make the best beer possible!
Whether you’re looking to buy a fellow homebrewer a cool gift or looking to advance your own brew game, these 9 home brewing gadgets are sure to make someone happy!
#1 – Ss Brewtech Brew Bucket
While they make a lot of great products, one of their best innovations is their line of Brew Buckets.
More than “just another fermenter”, Brew Buckets are made with 304 stainless steel for durability and easy handling. The stainless steel design is more sanitary than plastic, yet safer than hauling around those pesky glass carboys.
What makes it great: The Brew Bucket has a conical base with a strategically placed spigot that sits between the point where the “bottom” of the bucket end and the cone-shaped base begin.
The result – a clearer beer during transfer to secondary or your bottling bucket!
If that wasn’t attractive enough, these things are much easier to clean and last longer than their plastic or glass counterparts.
And while a Brew Bucket will cost more upfront than a glass carboy or plastic bucket, you won’t need to buy another one for YEARS!
Learn more about it here: Ss Brewtech 8 Gallon Brew Bucket
#2 – Bottle Tree/Drying Rack
And if you need bottles, you’ll need to clean/sanitize them. If you’ve done this before, you know how much of a pain it can be.
Oh yeah, and all that water getting all over the place? Have fun cleaning that up too.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could clean/sanitize your bottles and place them somewhere to dry off hands-free?
That’s where a bottle tree/drying rack comes in handy!
Why it’s useful: A lot of homebrewers will agree that cleaning and drying bottles isn’t the most exciting task. Besides, things can get messy (and slippery) if you’re not careful.
A bottle tree/drying rack helps alleviate the mess by allowing your bottles to dry hands-free. The unique design tips your bottles so all sanitizer solution drips out of the bottle and down to the drip-catching tray.
In the end, you’re left with a nice, clean, and spot-free bottle that’s ready for beer whenever you are!
Read more about it here: 45-Bottle Drying Tree
#3 – Vacuum Sealer
Pretty cool, until you find your favorite hop strain on sale and want to load up.
Think about it – if you’re buying a couple pounds of hops and don’t plan to use them within a reasonable amount of time, you need to store them properly.
Poor storage = bad hops. That’s just a waste of your time AND money.
The goal: long-term storage and minimal exposure to oxygen.
The solution: a vacuum sealer!
Why it’s worth it: Buying hops can get VERY expensive, especially if you’re brewing large batches or hop-heavy IPA’s. Many homebrewers will buy hops in bulk to help minimize their costs.
Of course, buying in bulk requires the need for a long-term storage solution.
A vacuum sealer allows you to store your hops safely while minimizing the chances of any 02 causing damage. Use one and you’ll get the best of both worlds – fresher hops at a lower price point!
We like this one here: Seal-a-Meal Vacuum Sealer
#4 – Refractometer
While a hydrometer can help you do this, there a slightly more efficient tool that can help you obtain gravity readings without much work.
That nifty tool is known as a refractometer.
Why it’s cool: Refractometers use the reflection of light to determine the volume of sugar in your wort. They require a MUCH smaller sample too – just a few drops of wort onto the glass and you’re set.
I’ll admit – they aren’t necessary and you might like your hydrometer as-is, and that’s fine.
But I’d be lying if I didn’t say they are pretty damn slick!
Learn more about it here: Dual Scale Refractometer
#5 – Stir Plate
Making a starter the conventional way isn’t the only option. In fact, it can take more time and leave you with a lower cell count than you need.
A stir plate, on the other hand, has the opposite effect.
Why you might want it: A stir plate will save you time and allow you to generate enough healthy yeast cells to improve your fermentation.
Stir plates help aerate the wort, which generally increases the yeast cell count dramatically.
Even better: your fermentation can go from start to finish much quicker thanks to the boost in active cells.
If you find yourself brewing big beers (high gravity/high ABV), you won’t want to be without one of these!
What we recommend: Maelstrom Stir Plate
#6 – Counterflow Wort Chiller
Rather than rely on wort to cool down on its own (or use the traditional ice bath method, which is usually suitable only for very small batches), many homebrewers use a wort chiller.
Built from copper, this tubing system pushes cold water through its coils internally to cool your wort within a decent time frame (usually 10 to 15 minutes, depending on size).
Of course, there are always bigger, faster, and better ways to do something. Cooling hot wort is no exception.
That’s where a counterflow wort chiller excels beyond anything else!
Why it’s awesome: Counterflow wort chillers have a “tube within a tube” design. Hot wort flows through the inner tube while cold water flows through the outer tube in the opposite direction.
The result – a much more efficient and less wasteful way of cooling hot wort in minutes!
Like many other home brewing gadgets on here, this isn’t something you absolutely need. A regular wort chiller will be fine.
However, if you’re brewing big batches (10+ gallons), adding something like this to your equipment stack will save you a significant amount of time on brew days!
Check it out here: Deluxe 1/2″ Counterflow Wort Chiller
#7 – Ball Lock Kegging System
Now imagine drinking your own homebrew directly from the tap. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?
If you agree, it might be time to ditch bottles and get hitched to a ball lock kegging system!
Why it’s great: Kiss your bottling days goodbye! Kegging means no more slaving over glass bottles and bottle conditioning your beer.
Instead, you’ll be able to enjoy the speed and power of force carbonation. You’ll get more control over carb levels, getting the perfect pour every single time.
Oh, and you’ll be enjoying the fruits of your labor much faster!
What’s not great about that?
What we like the most: Draft Brewer Single Keg System (5 gallon)
#8 – Beer Thief
Unless you’re using a refractometer like I mentioned above in #4, you’re going to need to pull a sample of beer.
The Beer Thief makes this process a breeze.
Why it’s useful: The Beer Thief is a long plastic tube with a spring end that opens when pressure is applied. This allows your wort to fill the plastic tube, making it easy to sample your beer and take a gravity reading.
The way it works is simple:
- Sanitize the Beer Thief inside and out.
- Open the lid to your fermentation bucket.
- Place the Beer Thief inside at an angle and press the bottom against the side of the bucket.
- Slowly slide the Beer Thief down to fill up the plastic tube.
- Place a sanitized hydrometer inside of the tube to take your gravity reading. You can also dispense your beer into a sanitized glass for sampling.
- Once finished, return remaining beer back to the vessel by pressing it gently against the side of the bucket at the top.
Overall, a very cool and handy home brewing gadget to have sitting around! And considering the price, picking one up is almost a no-brainer.
Check it out here: Beer Thief
#9 – Labelnator
I touch more on how to remove labels from beer bottles here. While those steps work great, I came across an interesting gadget that I think would be helpful in the process.
It’s called the Labelnator.
What it’s all about: The Labelnator is a unique product in that it’s designed to scrape labels off of beer and wine bottles.
I haven’t used this personally, but after discovering it recently, I might consider picking one up. According to most of the reviews, a lot of people seem to have great luck using it after their labels had a chance to loosen up after a long soak.
Read more about it here: The Labelnator
Enjoy These Home Brewing Gadgets
Remember – brewing beer is all about having fun! The various products listed above are all helpful pieces of equipment that will help you become a better and more efficient homebrewer.
Like I said before, these gadgets will help you save time and make your process much smoother and efficient. That alone makes it all worth it in the end.
Do you have any unique gadgets or pieces of equipment that helped you become a better brewer? Let us know by commenting below. We’d love to hear from you!