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The selfish gift guide for homebrewer’s wives.

disclaimer - not all brewers need to be men, and not all gift-givers need to be married. I just titled it that way to sound catchy :) If you are looking for homebrewer gifts for your significant other (who happens to be a woman) BUY HER EVERYTHING ON THIS LIST. You are in a relationship with a talented woman and you need to do everything you can to encourage her to continue being awesome!) Now, back to the list

So, you’re married to / dating a homebrewer?!

First off: you have my condolences. Sticky floors, steamy kitchens, and closet after closet of bubbling concoctions are a plague that many significant others have to deal with. This list is a sneaky thing, because it is entirely designed to show you how each “home brewing gift” specifically can give you back your kitchen, reduce their total brewing time, or get rid of those piles and piles of bottles. There are also a few general gift ideas thrown in at the end, just in case your little home brewer has been very, very good this year.

Making less mess

The single biggest complaint about homebrewers is making a mess in the kitchen. Brewing can be messy, and sometimes it’s better to focus on safety over spotlessness. The single easiest way to keep the kitten clean is to move the brew operation out of the kitchen! It will also give them more horsepower to get the temp up to boiling faster (and therefore cut down on total brew time.)

Here is a Blichmann outdoor propane burner – You could go with one of those cheaper turkey fryer ones, but you could also probably walk to work, right?



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P.S.A. Beer in Freezer? Set a timer!

photo 1

On most brew days, Chris or I will pull out a beer or two and stick them in the freezer in order to chill them down quickly. Last time we seem to have forgotten about it for a bit too long, and it froze! I’ve seen 12 oz bottles freeze and start to leak from the cap a tiny bit, but this 22 absolutely BLEW UP.

So this is a friendly reminder to myself and others. If you’re going to freeze it – put a reminder timer on. I think this one exploded in less than 40 minutes. Such a sad day, and such a pain to clean!

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Compact Brewing


When you live in a small apartment in the city, brewing on a space-budget is key.  And by space-budget I mean keeping things small, not NASA funding.  Here is our main brewery…all 44 square feet of it.

Chris kitchen

With counter space at a premium, the toaster oven and coffee maker are relegated to the basement to make way for a two-slice and French press.  On brew day, both get the heave-ho to the cabinet.

While you can dedicate entire garages, basements or standalone structures to homebrewing setups, it’s also possible to make beer in a teeny tiny kitchen.  When it comes down to it, you really need little more than a stove top and a sink.  Doing a partial boil can help to keep things smaller, though we also sometimes do a fully.  Brew-in-a-bag is a way to try all-grain brewing with a lot less equipment.  Otherwise, just keeping things tidy and organized helps.  That’s not to say we always follow that advice.  Sometimes the only good spot for the bottling bucket is on top of the fridge, and I’ve ducked under wort chiller tubing while holding a funnel more than once.  But, hey, that’s why it’s homebrewing.

Sure we can dream of the perfect homebrew setup: vast expanses of counter top; a conical fermenter; a hose that’s always handy; power-washable stainless steel as far as the eye can see.  But, when you think about it, that sounds an awful lot like a commercial brewery, and that’s not what we do…..yet(?)  So in the meantime, we just make due (and beer) with the space we have.

Homebrewers gift guide 2014

Homebrewers are easy to buy for, right?

Wrench Bottle Openermagnetic cap catcher and bottle openerbench capperbike 6 pack holderdual tap kegerator amazon

All we want is brewing gear! Well, that’s not so easy for someone who lives with/loves/is married to a brewer, but isn’t a brewer themselves. Also, some people have pretty bad cases of gear acquisition syndrome, and they shouldn’t really be given any more stainless steel tanks or kegerators. This list has lots of small things and big things, cheap things and expensive things. Regardless of if it is a birthday, christmas, or “just because,” these gifts will be sure to put a smile on your homebrewers face.

The list is roughly arranged in increasing value. Click on the headline type or the photo to link to the product.

Wrench bottle opener

Men love steel. I think most women homebrewers do as well. It’s practically required! Either way this is a fun and functional way to open up a bottle of beer.
Wrench Bottle Opener

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MultiOpener v0.5

In my spare time I code little things. This one I think may be useful for more people. So here it goes.

Introducing MultiOpener!

Multiopener is a simple mac app that allows you to quickly perform searches on any craigslist site in the world. It allows you to search for multiple terms on multiple sites, too. By default it opens all of the searches in tabs in Chrome. It’s pretty simple, but it makes things easier.

Pick your cities.
Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 8.13.54 PM

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