What are Campden tablets used for in brewing?

Sunday, February 5, 2023
Campden tablets are used in home winemaking and brewing to help prevent spoilage from bacteria and wild yeast. They contain sodium metabisulfite, which is a salt of sulfur dioxide (SO2), a preservative that kills microorganisms and reduces oxidation.

One tablet is typically dissolved in a small amount of water and added to the fermented beverage before bottling or storage.

Campden tablets are typically added to a fermented beverage (such as wine or cider) just before bottling or storage. To use, dissolve one tablet in a small amount of water (about 20-30 mL) and then stir the solution into the fermented beverage. 

It's important to allow the treated beverage to sit for at least 24 hours after the addition of the Campden tablet solution, as this gives the sulfur dioxide time to fully mix and take effect. 

The science behind using Campden tablets in fermented beverages such as wine or cider involves the use of sulfur dioxide (SO2), which is the active ingredient in the tablets. Sulfur dioxide is a preservative that has antimicrobial properties, meaning it can kill bacteria and wild yeast that can cause spoilage.

When Campden tablets are dissolved in water and added to a fermented beverage, the sulfur dioxide dissolves in the liquid and begins to bind with any available molecules in the beverage. This binding process results in the formation of sulfite compounds, which are highly effective at inhibiting the growth of bacteria and wild yeast. Sulfur dioxide also has antioxidant properties, which help to prevent oxidation and maintain the freshness and flavor of the fermented beverage.

Additionally, sulfur dioxide can also react with other compounds in the fermented beverage to form new, more stable compounds that further preserve the flavor and aroma of the beverage. 

This is why Campden tablets are commonly used in home winemaking and brewing, as they provide a simple and effective way to preserve the quality of fermented beverages.

Here are some additional points about the use of Campden tablets:

  • Dosage: The number of Campden tablets used can vary based on the volume of the fermented beverage being treated, as well as the desired level of sulfite. Generally, one tablet is enough to treat 5 gallons (19 liters) of wine or cider, but it's best to follow the instructions on the product label for the specific brand and type of tablet being used.
  • Limitations: While Campden tablets can be effective in preventing spoilage and oxidation, they are not a cure-all solution. Overuse of sulfites can result in a harsh, sulfurous flavor in the treated beverage, so it's important to use the minimum amount necessary.
  • Alternative options: Campden tablets are not the only way to add sulfites to fermented beverages. Liquid sulfite solutions and powders are also available and may be more convenient or cost-effective for larger batches.
  • Sulfite sensitivity: Some individuals are sensitive to sulfites and may experience symptoms such as headaches, nausea, or rashes after consuming beverages treated with sulfites. For these individuals, it's best to avoid products containing sulfites or seek out sulfite-free fermented beverages.
  • Storage: Campden tablets should be stored in a cool, dry place and kept away from light, as exposure to light and heat can reduce their efficacy. The tablets should be used before their expiration date for best results.

Ginger Beer: Step-by-Step Guide to Making Perfect Ginger Beer

Ginger beer is an alcoholic beverage made from ginger, sugar, water, and sometimes lemon or lime juice. 

It's a great refreshing drink, a merry alternative to home beer!

Here's a comprehensive recipe and guide for making homemade ginger beer:

  1. Fresh ginger root (1 pound)
  2. Granulated sugar (2 cups)
  3. Water (12 cups)
  4. Active dry yeast (2 teaspoons)
  5. Lemon juice (optional, to taste)
  6. Additional sugar (for bottling)
Suggested equipment to use:
  • large pot or kettle
  • Fine mesh strainer
  • Large glass jar or fermenting vessel / drum
  • Bottles or containers for bottling
  • Airtight bottle caps 
ginger root for beer

Instructions for making ginger beer:

  1. Grate the ginger root using a box grater or food processor. You should have about 1 cup of grated ginger.
  2. Combine the grated ginger, 2 cups of sugar, and 12 cups of water in a large pot. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. This will extract the ginger flavor and create a ginger syrup.
  4. Strain the ginger syrup through a fine mesh strainer into a large glass jar or fermenting vessel. Discard the ginger solids.
  5. Let the ginger syrup cool to room temperature.
  6. Once cooled, add 2 teaspoons of active dry yeast to the ginger syrup and stir to combine.
  7. Optional: add lemon juice to taste.
  8. Cover the jar or fermenting vessel with a cloth and secure it with a rubber band. Let the mixture ferment in a warm place for 2-3 days, or until it has reached the desired level of carbonation.
It's now the apt time to bottle your brew. You will have approximately one gallen of beer to bottle based on this recipe.

You can experiment with different spices and flavorings to customize the flavor of your ginger beer. Some popular additions include lemon or lime juice, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves.

It's also important to maintain a consistent temperature during the brewing process to ensure that the yeast ferments correctly. Optimal temperature for yeast fermentation is between 68-72°F (20-22°C). Higher temperatures can cause the yeast to produce off-flavors, while lower temperatures can slow down or stop fermentation entirely. In our experience it's better to allow fermantation to take place in an area that's cooler rather than hotter. 

How to bottle ginger beer

It's a straightforward process, similar to bottling beer.
  • Wash and sterilize the bottles: Thoroughly wash and sterilize the bottles you'll be using to store the ginger beer.
  • Add the sugar: Once the ginger beer has fermented, add additional sugar to each bottle, about 1 teaspoon per 16-ounce bottle. This will create a secondary fermentation in the bottle and add extra carbonation to the ginger beer.
  • Fill bottles: Pour the ginger beer into the bottles, leaving about 1 inch of headspace at the top.
  • Seal the bottles with airtight bottle caps. A bottle capper can be used to crimp the caps onto the bottles, ensuring a tight seal.
  • Store the bottles at room temperature for 2-3 days to allow the secondary fermentation to complete.
  • Chill: Once the secondary fermentation is complete, transfer the bottles to the refrigerator to chill. Your homemade ginger beer is now ready to drink!

How long does the ginger beer take to condition?

The time it takes for ginger beer to condition depends on several factors, including the temperature, the amount of yeast used, and the level of carbonation desired. In general, ginger beer will take 2-3 days to condition at room temperature.

During the conditioning period, yeast consumes the added sugar and produces carbon dioxide, which carbonates ginger beer. The longer you let the ginger beer condition, the more carbonated it will become.

Once the desired level of carbonation has been reached, you should transfer the bottles to the refrigerator to slow down the yeast activity and prevent over-carbonation. This will also chill the ginger beer, making it ready to drink.

It's important to monitor the ginger beer bottles during the conditioning process, as over-carbonation can cause the bottles to burst. Open them slowly and release the pressure gradually to avoid overflowing.

Notice this note: Be careful when opening the bottles as the carbonation may have increased during the secondary fermentation. Open slowly and release the pressure gradually to avoid a fizzy ginger beer gush. Maybe open the first one over the kitchen sink?

What is the best yeast to use when making ginger beer?

The best type of yeast to use for brewing ginger beer is a fast-acting yeast that ferments well at warm temperatures.

A few popular yeast brands that work well for ginger beer brewing include:
  • Safale US-05: The classic brewer's yeast, this is a fast-acting, highly attenuative yeast that ferments well in warm temperatures.
  • Danstar Nottingham Ale Yeast: This is a high-performing yeast that ferments quickly and produces a clean, neutral flavor.
  • Red Star Premier Classique: This yeast is known for its quick fermentation and clean flavor profile, making it a popular choice for ginger beer brewing.
  • Lallemand BRY-97 West Coast Ale Yeast: This yeast is highly flocculent, meaning it settles out of solution quickly, making it easy to bottle the ginger beer without having to filter the yeast out.

What is the ABV content of ginger beer?

The alcohol by volume (ABV) of the ginger beer recipe above should come out to around 4-5%.

This is based on the amount of sugar used in the recipe, the yeast strain used, and the conditions of the brewing process.

It's important to keep in mind that this is just an estimate and the actual ABV may vary depending on a number of factors, including temperature, yeast activity, and the specific brewing conditions.

To get a more accurate measurement, you can use a hydrometer to measure the specific gravity before and after fermentation (final gravity), which will give you a rough estimate of the alcohol content.

The alcohol by volume (ABV) of homemade ginger beer will depend on several factors, including the amount of sugar used, the yeast strain used, and the fermentation time. Typically, the ABV of homemade ginger beer ranges from 2-6%, although it can be higher or lower depending on the specifics of the brewing process.

It's important to note that the higher the sugar content, the higher the potential alcohol content will be. The yeast will consume the sugar and produce alcohol as a byproduct. To control the alcohol content, you can adjust the amount of sugar used in the recipe.

What foods pair well with ginger beer?

Ginger beer is a versatile beverage that pairs well with a variety of foods, both sweet and savory. Some popular food pairings include:
  1. Seafood: Ginger beer's crisp and refreshing flavor makes it a great match for seafood dishes like crab, lobster, or grilled shrimp.
  2. Indian and Asian cuisine: Ginger beer's strong ginger flavor complements the spices and flavors used in Indian and Asian cuisine, making it a popular choice for dishes like chicken tikka masala, pad thai, or stir-fried vegetables.
  3. Spicy foods: The carbonation and sweetness of ginger beer can help to balance the heat from spicy foods, making it a good choice for dishes like buffalo wings, chili, or spicy tacos.
  4. Barbecue: The bold flavor of ginger beer is a good match for barbecue dishes like pulled pork, brisket, or grilled chicken.
  5. Sweets: Ginger beer can also be paired with sweet dishes like dessert, fruit salads, or ice cream for a fun and refreshing treat.
If the ginger beer falls flat, you can always have a go at making prison hooch

Top Ten Tools for preppers wanting to survive the Apocalypse

Tuesday, January 31, 2023
In the video game "The Last of Us", the world at large has been devastated by a fungal pandemic, making it essential for survivors to have a variety of tools to help them navigate the harsh and dangerous environment.

Here are 10 of the most important tools that a doomsday prepper or survivalist should have ready for the apocalypse:
  1. High-Quality Knife: A knife is a versatile tool that can be used for self-defense, cutting through obstacles, and preparing food. Ellie used to get quite stabby stabby so we know these are quite useful for the determined doomsdayer.
  2. Multi-Tool: A multi-tool offers access to multiple tools in one compact package, useful for repairs and other tasks. Joel made use of a multi-tool during their journey.
  3. Firestarter: Fire is a crucial source of light, warmth, and a means of cooking food. Joel and Ellie relied on firestarters to start fires. If only they could warm Joel's heart...
  4. Water Filter: Clean water is essential for survival and a water filter helps purify it from various sources so that you don't get sick from fungus or whatever
  5. A First Aid Kit: Injuries are common in a post-apocalyptic world and having a comprehensive first aid kit is crucial.
  6. Backpack: A sturdy and spacious backpack is important for carrying supplies, food, and water.
  7. A rope can be used for a variety of purposes, including setting up shelter, climbing, and carrying supplies. Holding back your pet zombie maybe.
  8. A compass and map are important for navigation and can help a person avoid danger and find their way. Presumable GPS no longer works so a bit of Scout Skills would be handy
  9. Flashlight: A torch provides light in the dark, which can be important for navigation, searching for resources, and self-defense. Have some back up batteries at the ready.
  10. A personal defence weapon, such as a firearm or a blunt weapon, can be critical for self-defense against threats in a post-apocalyptic world. We prefer to use a base ball batt with some screws and nails tagged into the end.

These five tools are essential for survival in the harsh and unpredictable environment of a post-apocalyptic world, as seen in "The Last of Us." Having these tools ready and accessible can give a prepper or survivalist a better chance of surviving and thriving in uncertain times.

How to start a flooded weedeater engine + trimmer maintenance

Monday, January 30, 2023
Gasoline-based weed eaters can flood when there is an overabundance of fuel in the engine, which prevents it from starting. This can occur when the choke is engaged while trying to start a warm engine, causing more gasoline to enter the combustion chamber than what is needed. The excess fuel can mix with air and cause a rich fuel-to-air ratio, which can flood the engine of your grass trimmer and prevent it from starting.

Flooding in a 'weed whip' can also occur when the primer bulb is pumped excessively, causing too much gasoline to enter the fuel line. This can lead to the same rich fuel-to-air ratio in the combustion chamber, and the engine will not start. 

Excess gasoline can also seep into the spark plug and prevent it from firing, further exacerbating the flooding issue.

To clear the flood, it is necessary to wait until the excess fuel has evaporated, which can take a few minutes. After that, the 'line trimmer' can be restarted and should run normally. If the engine still does not start, it is recommended to check the spark plug for any gasoline residue and clean it if necessary.

Husqvarna 324L 4-Cycle 18" Cutting Path Gas String Trimmer

Step-by-Step Guide to Starting a Flooded Weed Eater:

  1. Wait patiently: Wait a few minutes before attempting to start it. This will allow the excess fuel a chance to evaporate and reduce the risk of further flooding (because you'll simply just add more excessive fuel!).
  2. Remove the spark plug: Take out the spark plug and inspect it for any gasoline residue. If there is any gasoline on the spark plug, clean it with a cloth.
  3. Clear the Fuel Line: Remove the fuel line from the carburettor and drain any excess fuel into a container. This will help to clear the fuel system and prevent further flooding. This one is more of a last desperate measure, you shouldn't generally need to do this.
  4. Prime the engine: Now, you're at the business end of the 'unflooding'. Pump the primer bulb a few times to bring fuel into the carburettor and fuel line. This will help to prime the engine and get it ready to start.
  5. Disengage the Choke: Make sure that the choke is in the off position before attempting to start the engine. Engaging the choke while starting a warm engine can cause it to flood!
  6. Pull the Starter Rope: Pull the starter rope slowly and steadily until the engine starts. If the engine does not start on the first try, wait a few seconds and then try again.
  7. Warm Up the Engine: Once the engine has started, let it run for a few minutes to warm up. This will help to clear any remaining fuel from the combustion chamber and prevent future flooding.

Why do some weedwhacker seem to continually self flood?

Sometimes it's not your fault! 

Garden lawn and edge trimmers can flood repeatedly due to several reasons, including the following:

Carburetor Issues: A clogged or dirty carburetor can cause the engine to flood. A 2-cycle carburettor mixes fuel and air in a specific ratio to provide the engine with the correct fuel mixture. If the carburetor is clogged or dirty, the fuel mixture can become too rich, causing the engine to flood.

Stiff Metering Diaphragm: A stiff metering diaphragm can also cause the engine to flood. The metering diaphragm regulates the amount of fuel that enters the carburetor. If it is stiff, it may not be able to regulate the fuel mixture properly, causing the engine to flood.

Needle Valve: The needle valve is responsible for controlling the flow of fuel into the carburetor. If the needle valve is not adjusted correctly, it can cause the engine to flood.

In order to prevent repeated flooding, it is important to regularly maintain the carburettor and check the metering diaphragm and needle valve for proper function. If the engine continues to flood, it may be necessary to clean or rebuild the carburetor, replace the metering diaphragm, or adjust the needle valve.

Here's a great Youtube lesson on how to remedy such issues.

how to start a flooded weed trimmer

Here are the steps for adjusting the needle valve in a grass trimmer:

  1. Locate the Carburetor: The needle valve is located under the carburettor, so first locate the carburettor on your grass trimmer and remove it and the diaphragm.
  2. Locate the Needle Valve: The needle valve is a small, cylindrical component with a screw that protrudes from the top.
  3. Use a small screwdriver to turn the needle valve screw clockwise to increase the fuel flow or counterclockwise to decrease the fuel flow. In the case of over flooding, you'll want to decrease fuel flow...
  4. Now put it all back together...
  5. Test the Engine: After adjusting the needle valve, start the engine and run it at full throttle for a time. Keenly observe the engine's performance and listen and look for any signs of flooding. You'll know if the flooding problem recurs.
  6. If necessary, repeat the adjustment process until the engine runs smoothly at full throttle.

Here are 7 general tips for maintaining a weed eater:

  • Use Fresh Fuel: Always use fresh fuel and mix it with the recommended oil in the correct ratio to ensure the engine runs smoothly.
  • Clean Air Filter: Regularly check and clean the air filter to prevent clogging and ensure the engine receives enough air.
  • Check Spark Plug: Regularly check the spark plug and replace it if necessary to ensure the engine starts easily and runs smoothly.
  • Lubricate Moving Parts: Regularly lubricate the moving parts to reduce wear and tear and extend the life of the weed eater. We personally use CRC lubricant.
  • Check Fuel Line: Regularly check the fuel line for cracks or leaks and replace if necessary to prevent fuel from spilling. Most garden centres and tool shops carry replacement lines. 
  • Check Fuel Filter: Regularly check the fuel filter for clogging and replace if necessary to ensure the engine receives enough fuel.
  • Store Properly: Store the weed eater properly to prevent damage and extend its life. Clean it after use and store it in a dry place.
  • Check that the spark plug is correctly gapped. You will need to make an adjustment if it is not as your trimmer's engine will perform less efficiently than it could. 
That advice was more related to the engine side of things. 

Your 'brush cutter's trim line needs to be looked after too!

  • Remove the Spool: Locate the spool on the trimmer head and remove it by pressing the release button or turning the spool retainer.
  • Measure the Line: Measure the length of line needed and cut it to size. The length of line needed will depend on the size of the trimmer and the manufacturer's specifications.
  • Load the Line: Load the line onto the spool by winding it around the spool in the direction indicated by the arrow. Leave a small amount of line sticking out from both ends of the spool.
  • Replace the Spool: Replace the spool on the trimmer head and secure it by pressing the release button or turning the spool retainer.
  • Adjust the Tension: Adjust the tension on the trimmer line by turning the adjustment screw on the trimmer head. The line should be tight enough to prevent it from slipping, but not so tight that it is difficult to turn the trimmer.
To maintain the trimmer line, it is important to keep it clean and free of debris. After each use, clean the trimmer head and line to remove any grass clippings or other debris that may have accumulated.

What is the correct fuel and oil mix for a gasoline weed trimmer?

fuel mix bottle
The correct fuel and oil mix for a gasoline weed trimmer depends on the manufacturer's specifications. Generally, a 2-cycle engine requires a mixture of gasoline and oil to lubricate the engine and prevent damage. The ratio of fuel to oil can vary, but a common ratio is 50:1, which means 50 parts gasoline to 1 part oil.

It is important to use a high-quality, unleaded gasoline and a 2-cycle oil specifically designed for air-cooled engines. The oil should be added to the gasoline in a clean container and mixed thoroughly before adding it to the fuel tank.

It is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions for the correct fuel and oil mix. Using the wrong fuel or oil, or not mixing the fuel and oil correctly, can cause damage to the engine.

Here are some general instructions on how to safely use a line trimmer

Always wear safety glasses or goggles, hearing protection, sturdy shoes or boots, and long pants and sleeves to protect your eyes, ears, feet, and skin from debris.

Follow the manufacturer's instructions for starting the trimmer. Start the engine on level ground, away from flammable objects, and with the trimmer head pointed away from you.

 Hold the trimmer with both hands, keeping your arms and legs away from the cutting area. Cut in a sweeping motion, moving the trimmer back and forth to cover the entire area. Avoid cutting too high or too low, which can damage the trimmer or the vegetation.

Be mindful of obstacles such as rocks, roots, or fence posts that can damage the trimmer or cause injury. Stop the trimmer if you encounter an obstacle and check for damage.

Always turn off the engine before setting down the trimmer or making any adjustments. When you need to stop the trimmer, release the throttle and wait for the cutting head to stop rotating before setting it down.

If someone approaches your working space (even your dog!), stop cutting until they have passed away.

Do not remove the 'debris shield' built into your trimmer.

Always cut away from yourself. Don't play any games or cut at odd angles or safe trim whilst at the top of a ladder to trim a tree...

By following these safety instructions, you can reduce the risk of injury and ensure that you use your line trimmer in a safe and effective manner.

Dernord Butterfly Valves: A Durable and Reliable Solution for Beer Brewing

In the holy process of brewing beers, a Dernord trigger style handle butterfly valve can be used to control the flow of liquids, such as wort, beer, or water, through pipelines.

Behold, this gate keeper of liquid wort!

Some specific uses for a butterfly valve in the brewing process may include:
  1. Controlling the flow of wort from the kettle to the fermenter
  2. Regulating the flow of water for temperature control during the brewing process
  3. Diverting the flow of beer between tanks for clarification or carbonation
  4. Controlling the flow of beer from the fermenter to the serving vessel or keg
But you, dear brewer, knew that already, that's why you're here!

Dernord is a well-known brand in the valve industry, specializing in the production of various types of valves, including butterfly valves. They are known for producing high-quality valves that are designed to withstand tough conditions and perform well over time. The brand places a strong emphasis on customer support and satisfaction, ensuring that customers receive the support they need throughout the lifecycle of their valves.

So, if you are in the need of a butterfly valve, the Dernord trigger-style handle may be just what you are looking to add to your brewing operation.

  • Butterfly valves are known for their quick operation and minimal pressure drop, making them suitable for applications that require frequent on/off cycling or a tight shut-off.
  • The trigger handle of Dernord's valves provides a convenient way to manually control the flow, making it ideal for applications where remote control is not required.
Value for money:
  1. The cost of butterfly valves, including Dernord 's, will vary depending on factors such as size, material, and feature set.
  2. Dernord is a trusted brand in the valve industry and is known for producing high-quality products at a reasonable price.

Easy manual operation with trigger handle
Available in a variety of materials and sizes
Trusted brand with a reputation for high-quality products

Some users may find the trigger handle to be less durable than other types of handles

Here's what some reviewers and users of "Dernord butterfly valves" have reported:

"Good Quality for the Price": Many users have reported that the valves are well-made and durable, considering their relatively low cost compared to other valves in the market.

"Easy to Install and Operate": Customers have also noted that Dernord valves are straightforward to install and operate, making them an attractive option for those who are looking for a simple and easy-to-use valve.

"Reliable Performance": Users have praised the performance of Dernord butterfly valves, stating that they work well in various applications and provide consistent results.

"Leakage Issues": Some buyers have reported leakage issues with the butterfly valves, particularly in high-pressure applications. However, this may be due to the valves not being properly installed or maintained.

A buyer of butterfly valves should be aware of the following considerations:
  1. Butterfly valves are available in different materials, including stainless steel, PVC, and brass, among others. It is important for the buyer to select the appropriate material based on their specific needs and application requirements.
  2. Butterfly valves come in different sizes and dimensions, and the buyer should select the correct size based on the flow rate, pipe size, and pressure requirements of their application.
  3. Butterfly valves are available with different connection types, including flange, thread, and clamp, among others. The buyer should select the appropriate connection type based on their application requirements.
  4. Pressure and Temperature Ratings: butterfly valves have specified pressure and temperature ratings, and it is important for the buyer to choose a valve that is suitable for their application's specific pressure and temperature requirements.

Dernord Trigger style handle butterfly valves are a cost-effective solution for applications that require manual control of fluid flow. i.e, when brewing beer with steel kits!

They are well-suited for applications where quick and easy operation is necessary, and are available in a variety of materials and sizes to suit different needs.

In particular, Dernords has a genuinely earned reputation for high-quality products at a reasonable price making them a worthwhile consideration for those in the market for a butterfly valve.

"Cleaning Beer Brewing Equipment with Five Star P.B.W. Cleanser"

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Five Star P.B.W. Cleanser is a highly-rated and well-regarded product for cleaning beer brewing equipment. It is considered one of the best products in the market and has a high rating by beer makers all around the globe.

PBW stands for Phosphate-Based Wash.

PBW review
The Handy Features of PBW:

  • Effective in removing tough grime, beer stone, and mineral buildup
  • Versatile and can be used to clean a wide range of brewing equipment including kettles, fermenters, and carboys
  • Non-toxic and environmentally friendly
  • Can be used hot or cold and with or without agitation
  • Biodegradable, what ever that means these days,


  • Five Star P.B.W. Cleanser is considered one of the best products in the market and is highly effective in cleaning beer brewing equipment.
  • Its versatility and effectiveness make it a great choice for beer brewers
  • It does an excellent job of removing tough grime, beer stone, and mineral buildup, making it a great product for keeping your brewing equipment in top condition.

Value for $Money:

  • Five Star P.B.W. Cleanser is considered to be good value for money due to its high quality and effectiveness.
  • It is not the cheapest product in the market, but it is worth the price for its performance.
  • The cost per use is relatively low, making it a good value in the long run.


  • Highly effective in cleaning brewing equipment + well recommended by users
  • Versatile and can be used on a wide range of equipment, great for beer and cooking equipment
  • Non-toxic and environmentally friendly
  • Biodegradable
  • Good value for money


  • Higher cost than some similar products 
  • Will need to purchase additional equipment, such as a brush or soaking bucket but c'mon, that's the point of this product.

Some users and reviewers of PBW have said:

"PBW is the go-to cleanser for my brewing equipment. It does a great job of removing even the toughest grime and residue, leaving my equipment sparkling clean."

"I've tried other cleansers in the past, but nothing compares to PBW. It's easy to use and a little goes a long way. Plus, it's safe for both my equipment and the environment."

"One of the best things about PBW is that it's versatile. I can use it to clean everything from my kettle to my fermenter and everything in between."

"PBW is a bit on the pricier side, but it's worth it for the results. I save time and effort compared to using other cleansers, and I don't have to worry about any harmful residue leftover."

"I highly recommend PBW to any brewer. It's simple, effective, and eco-friendly. You won't regret making the switch."

To use PBW Cleanser, follow these steps:

  1. Fill a soaking bucket or sink with hot water.
  2. Add the recommended amount of PBW cleaner according to instructions.
  3. Soak the brewing equipment for the recommended time, using a brush if necessary to scrub away grime.
  4. Rinse thoroughly with hot water.
  5. Sanitize before using again.

How does P.B.W. cleaner actually work? What is the science of it?

PBW works by using a combination of alkalinity and solubilizing agents to break down and remove organic residues, proteins, and mineral deposits. 

The main active ingredient in PBW is sodium carbonate, a strong alkaline cleaner that is able to dissolve proteins and break down other organic materials. Additionally, PBW contains chelating agents, which help to dissolve mineral deposits and prevent them from redepositing on the equipment.

Dishwasher soaps work on the same principle.

The science behind PBW is based on the principles of chemical cleaning. The alkaline cleaning agents in PBW react with the organic and inorganic materials on the equipment, breaking them down and making them easier to rinse away. The chelating agents help to prevent mineral deposits from redepositing and interfering with the effectiveness of the cleaning process.

Here are some things that users of PBW should be aware of:

Compatibility: PBW is not recommended for use on aluminium equipment, as it can cause corrosion.

Check the manufacturer's instructions or contact the manufacturer to ensure that PBW is suitable for your brewing equipment. As we understand it, the reality is that most brewing equipment is not made of aluminium and brewing kettles, for example, are made of steel.

Dilution: It's important to follow the manufacturer's instructions and dilution ratios, as over-use can lead to damage to your brewing equipment. It's like rain on your wedding day or something...

Rinsing: After using PBW, it's important to thoroughly rinse the equipment to remove all traces of the cleaner. If there is any residual PBW on the equipment, it can impact the taste and quality of the beer.

Personal safety: PBW is a strong alkaline cleaner and can cause skin and eye irritation. Truth is, it hurts like a bitch. So you should always wear gloves and eye protection when using PBW and follow the manufacturer's safety instructions. Which is bloody wise advice we say...

In conclusion, Five Star P.B.W. Cleanser is a highly-regarded and highly effective product for cleaning beer brewing equipment. It is considered good value for money and is a great choice for beer brewers who want to keep their equipment in top condition.

"Discover the Benefits of the Inkbird ITC-308 Digital Temperature Controller: A Reliable Solution for Temperature Control"

A digital temperature controller can be useful for homebrewing beer because it provides precise temperature control during the fermentation process. This helps to ensure consistent and reliable results for the homebrewer. 

The following are some of the benefits of using a digital temperature controller for homebrewing:

Precision: A digital temperature controller can maintain the temperature of the fermentation vessel to within a few tenths of a degree, which is essential for consistent and reliable fermentation results.

Consistency: By maintaining a consistent temperature, a digital temperature controller helps to produce consistent results from batch to batch.

Ease of Use: A digital temperature controller is typically easy to use, with clear and straightforward displays and controls. This makes it simple for homebrewers to monitor and control the temperature of their fermentation vessel.

Versatility: Many digital temperature controllers are compatible with both heating and cooling systems, allowing homebrewers to ferment in a wide range of environments and conditions.

Convenience: With features such as remote control and alarms, a digital temperature controller can help to simplify the fermentation process and provide peace of mind to the homebrewer.

Overall, using a digital temperature controller can help homebrewers achieve consistent, reliable, and high-quality results for their beer.

The Inkbird WiFi ITC-308 Digital Temperature Controller is just the device to provide all of the above reasons. It's a feature-rich thermostat that offers good value for money for a keen home brewer:

inkbird digital temperature controller


  • WiFi connectivity allows remote control and monitoring from a smartphone
  • Dual display shows the temperature readings of the thermostat and the sensor
  • Compatible with heating and cooling systems
  • Supports preset temperature range from -40°F to 212°F (-40°C to 100°C)
  • Calibration function and high/low temperature alarms
  • Can be programmed for specific heating and cooling cycles
  • Can be powered by an AC outlet or a USB port

Performance review of the Inkbird temperature controller

Here are a few quotes from reviews and users of the Inkbird ITC-308 Digital Temperature Controller:

"I've been using this for a few months now for fermentation control and it works great. The dual display is nice, as well as being able to control it from my phone."

"I purchased this temperature controller for a kegerator build and I'm very happy with it so far. It was easy to set up and has been maintaining the temperature within a degree or two."

"I've had this for about a year now and it's been working great. The WiFi connectivity is convenient and the dual display is helpful for keeping an eye on the temperature."

"The Inkbird ITC-308 has been a great addition to my home brewery setup. It was easy to set up and has been consistently maintaining the temperature within my desired range."

"I use this for sous vide cooking and it's been working perfectly. The remote control via the app is convenient and the dual display is easy to read."

These quotes suggest that the Inkbird ITC-308 Digital Temperature Controller is a reliable and user-friendly device that provides consistent temperature control. Many users appreciate the dual display and WiFi connectivity, and find it easy to use and set up.

With all this in mind, what are the pros and cons of the Inkbird?


  • Accurate temperature control (which is kind of key point right?)
  • Dual display for easy monitoring
  • WiFi connectivity for remote control
  • Affordable price - it's not low rent but it wont break the bank either


  • May require additional accessories, such as a temperature probe, for full functionality
  • Some users report difficulty setting up the WiFi connection

Additional accessories:

  • Temperature probe
  • AC power adapter
  • USB cable

The Inkbird ITC-308 Digital Temperature Controller can be used in a variety of applications and scenarios, including:
  1. Homebrewing: The ITC-308 is commonly used by homebrewers to control the temperature of the fermentation vessel and ensure consistent and reliable results.
  2. Sous Vide Cooking: The ITC-308 can be used to control the temperature of a sous vide water bath for precise and consistent cooking results.
  3. Kegerator: The ITC-308 can be used to control the temperature of a kegerator for beer dispensing, ensuring that the beer is stored at the correct temperature.
  4. Reptile Terrariums: The ITC-308 can be used to control the temperature in reptile terrariums, providing a stable environment for reptiles and snakes.
  5. Incubators: The ITC-308 can be used to control the temperature of incubators for hatching eggs.
  6. Greenhouses: The ITC-308 can be used to control the temperature in greenhouses, ensuring that plants receive the optimal growing conditions.
  7. Aquariums: The ITC-308 can be used to control the temperature of aquariums, providing a stable environment for fish and other aquatic life.
A potential buyer of the Inkbird ITC-308 Digital Temperature Controller should be aware of the following:

  • Compatibility: The ITC-308 is designed for use with heating and cooling systems, but it may not be compatible with all types of equipment. Be sure to check the specifications of your system before purchasing to ensure compatibility.
  • Additional Accessories: The ITC-308 may require additional accessories, such as a temperature probe, in order to function properly. These accessories are typically not included with the device and may need to be purchased separately.
  • Wifi Setup: Some users have reported difficulties setting up the WiFi connectivity for the ITC-308. Be prepared to invest some time and effort into the setup process, or consider hiring a professional for assistance.
  • Support: If you encounter any problems with the ITC-308, it's important to know that support is available from the manufacturer. However, some users have reported difficulty getting a response from the manufacturer in a timely manner.
  • Accuracy: The accuracy of the ITC-308 may be affected by the type of temperature probe used and the environment in which it is used. Make sure to calibrate the device regularly to ensure accurate temperature readings.

By keeping these factors in mind, a potential buyer can make an informed decision about whether the Inkbird ITC-308 Digital Temperature Controller is the right device for their needs.

This controller is a suitable purchase for individuals looking for a cost-effective and feature-rich temperature controller. It would be ideal for home brewing, fermentation, reptile keeping, or any other temperature control applications.


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