This is a new
section & so the “ratings” are liable to change until we
finally decide on a system we are both happy with. But, for the present, here
are the price ratings:-
£= £3 or less, ££ = £3-6, £££ = £6-9, ££££ = £9-12 & £££££ = £12 or more.
For the other ratings assume * to be the worst possible rating, *** to be average/O. K. & ***** to be excellent.
(SB) denotes a review by Stefhan, (PL) is by Peter.
Weighing Scales - Kenex Professional Digital Pocket Scale, model KX-500FT (PL 2008)
Ease of use *****
Usefulness ***** (has lots of uses outside brewing.)
Comments:- After years of weighing hops on home made weighing scales (constructed from bits of scrap wood, two beetroot jar lids, two screws & a few nails, various combinations of coins were jiggled for use as weights – see the YoBrew Beer Calculators) I finally decided to purchase some decent scales. Searching the internet, I came across what I believed to be the most economical scales, with a good selection of products available in the £6 to £12 range I finally settled for the KX-500FT model. At 120 x 80 x 20mm & a 62mm sq platform it is very pocketable. Suitable for weights up to a maximum of 500g it has a resolution/accuracy of 0.1g on a back-lit LCD readout; the figures are 10mm high. Metric, Imperial (ounce & ounce Troy) & “Pennyweight” options are available; just choose your favourite system. As the scales are auto-calibrating no additional weights need buying. One very useful feature is the “Tare” weight option, if for example, I wanted to weigh out say 55g of hops, the operation is simplified by placing a suitably sized plastic container on the scale, the “Tare” setting sets the read-out to zero & I can now add/remove hops until I have my required quantity, removing the container from the scales during this process is not a problem as the “power off” feature does not operate unless the scales have been static for a minute. They also make a lovely toy!
BrewBelt (PL 2008)
Ease of use ***
Comments:- This 240V, 15W flexible heating belt is suitable for heating one or two demijohns or a 15 or 23 litre brew bin. It can be quite fiddly to use as it tends to slip down easily. As no thermostat is fitted it is very difficult to control, moving the belt towards the bottom of the heated vessel(s) increased the temperature of the contents. Better heat control can be gained by employing a plug-in time switch & running it for 15mins every hour, I always wrap my vessels with clean, unused carpet/underfelt to retain the heat & reduce any temperature fluctuations. I have also used diodes to effectively reduce the power by 50%. I eventually built an electronic thermostat that controls the temperature within a fraction of a degree. Despite these criticisms & the fairly high price it is a good thing to have.
Electrim 75 Immersion Heater (PL 2008)
Ease of use ***
Comments:- Basically a 240V, 75W fish tank heater that I found completely unsuitable for brewing & winemaking. Not as versatile as the BrewBelt, even more fiddly, it needed more cleaning & was very fragile, worst of all was the poor temperature control, the temperature range of the heated liquid was far too great & so mine went straight back as “unfit for it’s intended purpose”. This was a few years ago, they may have changed now.
Comments:- I use one of these for wine brewing and have been very pleased with it. I avoided a brewing belt as I felt this was not thermostatic therefore if your day and nigh temperature fluctuates so does the temperature of the brew. Having read the above review on heating belts maybe they are not so bad. I use my Immersion heater for both demi-johns and for my brew bucket. I did have to cut a specific hole in the lid for it. I rate this overall 4 out of five. It would be 5 out of five except they are very expensive.
Thanks to our reviewers for their time and effort.
Note: The method of reviewing used here is not intended to be scientific instead it is fellow home brewer’s write-ups on their own kits. Therefore these reviews should not be taken as fact, but simply a record of the writer's observations of their own kits.
All text on this site is purely the contributing author's personal views and should not
be taken as fact.
No responsibility is assumed or implied for anything that happens as a result of reading these views.
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