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Warren Boyer’s BC Holiday Gift Guide To Homebrewing
Beer Gifts | Homebrewing

Warren Boyer’s BC Holiday Gift Guide to Homebrewing

Need ideas for a thoughtful gift the homebrewer in your life will use and appreciate? We’re here to help.

As part of our 2019 BC Craft Beer Holiday Gift Guide series, What’s Brewing presents this handy roundup from regular columnist and award-winning home brewer Warren Boyer of Homebrew Happenin’s!

Editor’s Note: many of the links in this article point to Fraser Mills Fermentation Company, a company Warren is involved with. There are also many other great homebrew supply shops around BC; check our BC map for a sample.

BREWING EQUIPMENT

ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4 is a highly accurate digital thermometer that gives a reading in 2 to 3 seconds. The probe folds into the body for protection in storage. I keep mine in the kitchen and use it for cooking as well.

TILT Hydrometer is a free-floating digital hydrometer and thermometer. This device floats in your fermenter for continuous real-time monitoring of the gravity and temperature. It connects via Bluetooth to your tablet or smart phone so you can monitor and track progress without needing to open the fermenter. Cool gadget for homebrewers.

Every homebrewer can appreciate a good pump. The Blichmann Rip Tide Brewing Pump is deluxe option. I have a Chugger Brew Pump that has been great. And don’t forget the fittings to connect the new pump to the hoses that will connect to a mash tun or kettle. The two easiest to use types of fittings are camlock and Tri-Clamp. Preferences vary, so maybe invite the brewer to tell you what they prefer or give a gift card so they can shop on their own.

INGREDIENTS

The one thing every brewer needs. A 25-kilogram bag of Bohemian floor malted pilsner from Weyermann would make a lovely gift for the all-grain brewer.

Good things also come in small packages. For example, packets of dry yeast or one-ounce bags of Cryo Hops can make for stocking stuffers.

Hops are commonly sold in 1-ounce bags. Cryo Hops—a concentrated version of hop pellets— are a new thing your brewer might be delighted to experiment with. Pro tip: Pick a variety that starts with a ‘C’ if you’re not sure.

Dry Yeast Safale S-04 and US-05 are both versatile ale yeasts. The S-04 is more suited to British styles while the US-05 is better for American style ales. Saflager W-34 is a good lager yeast.

CLEANERS AND SANITIZERS

A good brewery cleaner like Powdered Brewery Wash (PBW) makes cleanup more effective. A quality sanitizer such as Star San will make sure the final product is of the highest quality and not tainted by unwanted organisms.

BOOKS

Books are always a good gift, and brewing books are even better.

Brewers looking to improve their scores at homebrew contests could benefit from Brewing Classic Styles: 80 Winning Recipes Anyone Can Brew by John Palmer and Jamil Zainasheff or Designing Great Beers: The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Classic Beer Styles by Ray Daniels.

Dave Miller’s Homebrewing Guide could be useful for a new brewer.

Adventurous brewers might enjoy Radical Brewing: Recipes, Tales and World-Altering Meditations in a Glass by Randy Mosher.

Advanced brewers will love the four-book Brewing Elements series from Brewers Publications:

  • For the Love of Hops: The Practical Guide to Aroma, Bitterness and the Culture of Hops.
  • Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation.
  • Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers.
  • Malt: A Practical Guide from Field to Brewhouse.
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Warren Boyer

Warren Boyer of Fraser Mills Fermentation Company is an award-winning home and commercial brewer, a Certified Beer Judge, Director at Tri-Cities Cask Festival Association, and Past President of CAMRA Vancouver. Warren writes the Homebrew Happenin's column for What's Brewing. Reach Warren at [email protected]


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