When you are looking for a gift for a home brewer there are many ways you can go – basic supplies, equipment upgrades, ingredient kits. Sometimes the person you are shopping for is a true home brewing geek, though. The type of person who wants to know the mineral composition of the water they are using and the Beta acid percentages in their hops. What kind of gifts do you get a home brewing geek like this?
Want to know the alcohol content of your beer and determine whether fermentation has completed using only two or three drops of liquid (rather than a whole test tube full)? A refractometer will do the job, and it will do so with accuracy for only about $30.
Water Testing Kit
Water is super important to beer making – come on, it’s the main ingredient! Having good water is essential to making great beer, but how do you know how great your water is? With a water testing kit! You can find a regular version for about $100 and an even more advanced version, which will additionally test pH electronically, for around $170.
Dissolved oxygen in wort makes yeast much happier, increasing the speed of fermentation and the health of the yeast as well as improving the degree to which the fermentation takes place. An oxygenation kit will get that dissolved oxygen into your fermenting beer and improve the finished product for about $50. An oxygenation kit also requires a disposable oxygen tank from your local hardware store.
The key to designing great beers is to have great command over each ingredient’s characteristics and how it is used in the beer. Altering the type and amount of hops in a beer will change the flavor greatly, so help the home brewer in your life understand hops better with this book by one of the masters of great beer brewing, Stan Hieronymus!
Release a home brewer from his or her dependence on the kitchen stove! A floor burner allows you to brew outside so that the house doesn’t heat up and then smell like wort for three days after brewing. These burners are highly efficient and will speed up the time required to brew beer.