Additional Brew Equipment

A host of other items that make the brewing process a success.

Notable Pieces of Equipment

Malt Muncher 2 Roller Mill

This equipment allows us to buy grain in greater bulk, at less cost, due to the fact that we can store it for much longer if it isn't milled. The mill also lets us crush the grain to the fineness that works best for our mash tun, and allows us to crush the grain at the start of brew day for optimum freshness. Hand grinding, however, is a real pain. Currently, this gets a drill attached and someone tries desparately to maintain a steady reasonable speed for grinding. 

Northern Brewer Maelstrom

This stir plate is combined with a 2L erlenmeyer flask and a stir bar for propogating yeast starters. Really, there are cases where a 2L flask isn't big enough AND you can only actually fit a 1.5L starter in it, MAX. So, there are times where a 1 gallon glass carboy style jug is used for yeast starters. (which it handles with no problems) The maelstrom says it can do up to a 5 gallon starter. I'd love to see that, but it does very well for the average 2 to 3L starter.

OxyWand Aeration Wand

This one has the 2 micron stainless steel carbonation 'stone'. It is used with just a standard air pump, that has a simple inline air filter attached. We found that no matter how hard we stirred the wort in the fermenter, it was very hard to get good O2 levels for pitching the yeast. Plus, the harder you stir, the rougher it is on the stainless fermeter (metal stir spoon). The idea of a flammable O2 tank and associated costs made inline pure oxygenation seem a little outrageous. This pretty simple and inexpensive setup does a good job at aerating. If you visited the counterflow chiller page then you know that we fill the fermenter at about 80F. We then use the cooling coils to drop the temp to where we want to pitch the yeast. We'll start the aeration about 15-20 minutes before we reach pitching temp. No problems so far and it has definitely improved the attenuation in the yeast.

Kegerator and Kegs

We bottled for years. Years. There were good bottles, great bottles, ok bottles, and bad bottles.  That's fine, the problem was that these could all be from the same batch. Bottling always came with a fear when giving bottles to friends because you never knew if it would be good or bad. No amount of blending priming sugar, not even fizz drops, could regulate the bottle carb consistency. Kegging was a big step, but it really changed the quality. The worst kegged beer brewed has probably still been better than the best beer bottled. We have one small kegerator that fits three soda kegs and has 2 taps. The faucets have been upgraded to the Perlick flow control which makes it easier to control the foam level in the pour. It's a big endeavor, but definitely worth it. You can also add a counterpressure bottle filler and bottle beers carbonated in the kegs. This is handy since the downside to kegging is the fact that they have to visit you if they want to have a homebrew (higher quality confidence, harder to share).  


Originally, the refractometer was purchased as a means to avoid using about 4 oz of liquid for each gravity reading. It was not initially clear that once the yeast was introduced to the wort, that the refractometer wasn't very reliable. This thing has still proven to be more than worth the cost just to be able to take very low volume gravity readings throughout brew day. Mash gravity, pre-boil gravity, ending kettle gravity, and og are all easily and precisely measured, using very little liquid. Handy tool.

Brew Cart

Brew. Cart. It's like a regular cart, but does important stuff. When you're brewing, you've got stuff you need. When you're not brewing, you need a place to store stuff. Brew cart is good at storing stuff and following you around the brewery on brew day with stuff. It's a win-win. Full disclosure, when moving the kettle with a large volume of wort, either from the mash tun over to the gas burner, or from the gas burner over to the location of the fermenter, we use a wooden furniture dolly (like from harbor freight). This pot is too heavy to lift onto the brew cart and too cumbersome to try to place on the bottom shelf. But everything else, yes!

Gas Burner

This is an area that has been left pretty much untouched as far as updating/upgrading. This is a bayou classic burner that was purchased in the early spring of 2013. It still works well. It gets used for both 5 gallon and 10 gallon batches, so roughly 7.25 and 13.5 gallon starting volume boils. Weather and temperature are always a factor, but roughly speaking it gets 7.25 gallons of wort to boil in about :30 minutes and 13.5 gallons in about :45 to :50 minutes. Other gas burners, like a camp chef, seem to always leave a black sut residue on the bottom of the kettles. For some reason, this burner does not leave any residue like this on any of the vessels. So, +1 for the mystery clean gas burning. 

Tilt Pro Wireless Hydrometer

This device feels like it needs justification, it feels fancy and unnecessary, but it really is fantastic and provides a whole new layer to the fermentation process. Knowing what is happening during fermentation is a pretty critical component. In a large brewery, taking regular samples and obtaining frequent gravity readings has a negligible impact on finished volume. In a 5 or 10 gallon batch, that sampling can add up fast and impact how full the keg is or how many bottles you end up with. The wireless hydrometer creates the need for zero samples and accurately tracks fermentation. Knowing when the beer is 2 to 5 points from final gravity to introduce heat for diaceytl rest and other yeast cleanup is very easy using this device. It really takes the guesswork out of fermentation.

Ss Brewtech Brewbucket Mini

This is a 3.5 gallon fermenter that has a tapered bottom for yeast and sediment collection. This gets used for the occasional batch of mead, dandy wine, etc. It was originally purchased with the intention of using it for kambucha, but that has yet to be made in the vessel. Let's call it our pilot system where we 'can' test out new ideas before putting them into 'production'. But, until then, let's make some mead! (It usually turns out really well)

Fermentation Chiller

Added in the summer of 2023, the glycol chiller is a major addition to the brewery. An old square picnic cooler, which first served as the mash-lauder tun, and then later served as the fermentation chiller, has finally been retired (for the time being), and replaced with a Penguin Chillers 1/3 hp glycol chiller. It did require a slightly larger pump than when using the cooler since the glycol mix (60% water to 40% glycol) has more viscosity than just water alone. On the first brew, the chiller took 5.5 gallons of wort from 94F to 48F in about 75 minutes. Lagers year round!

Raspberry Pi 'Tilt Pi'

Working directly with the Tilt Pro wireless hydrometer, we have a very small Raspberry Pi Zero W that does several things. It reads the Tilt Pro hydrometer using Bluetooth and provides the ability to store the logged readings. It also uploads the temp and gravity reading, at prescribed intervals, to the Brewer's Friend website where it is stored and graphed. Lastly, it hosts a local website that displays these readings and can be accessed via web or mobile browser on the local network.