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My Review of the Brewjacket

Posted by toklas on 8/12/2015 at 08:45:53 PM

As mentioned in my initial post, I figured my blog posts would include things I’ve spent money on, whether I’ve regretted it or not. Everybody has their own brewing style, and everybody has certain areas of brewing that they enjoy more than others, so a product that works for me (or a product that I didn’t like) may not present the same experience for others. 

 There are definitely pro’s and cons, but such is life.



The first fermentation chamber I built was a Frankenstein-like contraption involving a used mini-fridge I found for $25, that pink Styrofoam insulation stuff, and a whole bunch of glue and duct tape. Oh, and Velcro. I am not handy, what can I say. I bought a 2-stage controller because in the winter I actually do need to heat my beer (basement gets to about 10ºC). This guy lasted for several years, and then my little 25-dollar monster died. So, off I went pricing out more mini fridges when I came across the brewjacket. It was on Kickstarter at the time, so I figured, why not? It’s a really smart idea, and I wanted to see it actually come to market. When you buy the brewjacket system, you get a jacket that would make any Canadian jealous, and the immersion unit. Let’s start with the immersion unit.


Immersion Unit


The control box of the unit is incredibly lightweight. The pole is heavier, so you have to be careful how you hold it when you screw the pole onto the control unit. You must not use Starsan on the pole, but they send you a bottle of iodophor with the jacket. Here’s where things get strange though: because the pole is heavier than the control box, you can’t hold it sideways with just the control box alone (like in the picture above), so you have to touch the pole while you’re waiting for the iodophor to do its thing. This is such a minor issue, I mean, just clean your hands and admire the simplicity of the product while you’re holding it. 

The control box couldn’t be simpler to use - I figured it out without help and I know zero about this kind of thing. There are two buttons: up and down. Plug in the thermometer and power, and set your target temperature. That’s it. Now I know some of you guys like to program your own PID controllers and all that fancy stuff, and it’s really cool what some guys are doing with temperature logging, but for folks like me where that stuff is just way over our heads, this is a dream come true. 

Does it work? 32ºC outside, about 28ºC in my house, and here is my wheat beer at 18ºC:


Because the chiller takes up the top of the carboy, you have a drill a hole in the neck of the carboy to put your blow-off tube in. They give you an elbow as well if you are using an airlock. Because I’m not remotely handy, I of course stuffed this part up (I drilled the hole a smidge too large), resulting in a very small leak that doesn’t really worry me. If you’re even less handy than I am (which is unlikely), you can buy a pre-drilled carboy from the company.


The Jacket

The jacket. What can I say? It is filled with some kind of insulation and lots of air. It’s got more air than an air mattress has in the morning. I know that this winter I’m going to give that jacket evil looks just because of its insulative properties: it’s even better than my “holy crap it’s right cold out, eh?” coat for those -40ºC days. Anyone reading this who lives in a cold place knows exactly the coat I’m talking about. You have one. I know.


Now, because it’s so filled with air, getting a carboy in and out is such a pain. I have to recruit the help of my husband – it’s like pulling something new out of tight box with that Styrofoam in it where you have to have somebody hold the box while another person pulls the object out. I’m going to buy a brewhauler just to help with this, but I’m seriously considering sewing a zipper along the side of it. But the jacket does its job.



- it works 
- it’s so incredibly simple
- small footprint 
- quiet 

- iodophor (really, such a minor, minor con)
- it’s difficult to insert and remove a full carboy 

 That's it! I'm putting this one under the "purchases I'm happy with" category. Here's the link again just in case you missed it at the beginning:

Disclaimer: Some of these images are from the brewjacket website. Brewjacket didn’t ask me to write this. They don’t even know I’m writing it! I’m just a customer who bought something and is now writing about it. Hooray!

Tags for this post: brewjacket, homebrewing, homebrew, fermentation, temperature, control

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thank you for sharing! It seems like such an innovative product and a huge space-saver.

posted by drewsk on 8/14/2015 at 01:45:02 PM

Well written toklas! I don't know if I missed it but where abouts in Canada are you? Toronto here!

posted by ercousin on 8/14/2015 at 03:07:28 PM