Holiday Gift Ideas for the Beer, Wine, and Cheesemaker
Warning. Gratuitous product promotion ahead…..
During the last couple weeks, the staff at Great Fermentations have talked amongst ourselves, and came up with a list of great gift ideas and cool stocking stuffers for that brewer, winemaker, or cheesemaker in your life. We’ve got a variety of gift ideas in a range of prices, and have some great options for those hard to shop for friends and family. If you are the gift receiver in this equation, after reading, we encourage you to print this post out, circle the things that really strike your fancy (we suggest a bright red Sharpie), and leave it in a conspicuous place for your loved ones to stumble across. Might we suggest the steering wheel….they’ll be sure to pick up the subtle hint.
It’s a well known fact that brewers have an insatiable love affair with stainless steel, so why not treat someone to an upgraded stainless steel brew pot? We have a variety of sizes to choose from. Our 20 qt (5 gallons) pot is perfect for smaller batches or partial boils. The next size up is a 30 qt (7.5 gallons) pot, which is a great upgrade for that novice brewer who is tired of doing partial boils. A full sized boil is one of the easiest improvements a brewer can make to their process. Want to go big or go home? Ok, then – in that case we’ve got a 15 gallon Blichmann Boilermaker. This baby is an exceptional first brew pot for the budding all-grain brewer, giving them the option to make 5 or 10 gallon batches.
You’ll need something to heat up that shiny new kettle, and we have a variety of options to choose from. Bayou Classic’s High Pressure Burner is a great starter propane burner, and the Banjo Burner is a great high power option for larger boil sizes. The Cadillac of our burner selections is of course the Blichmann Floor Burner, a super high powered, gas sipping, quiet burner, that will leave you wondering how you ever lived without it.
Useful for cooling down beer quickly post boil, immersion chillers can be used for batches up to around 10 gallons. This is by far one of the best (and one of the least expensive at that) upgrades a beginning brewer can get to help their brew day go quicker and reduce the chances of spoiled beer. The ultimate option though is either our very own Chillzilla Counterflow Chiller or a Blichmann Therminator Plate Chiller. If your gift receiver (or you) have a pump, these can be used to very quickly chill the beer down to pitching temperature, helping to prevent infection and funky off flavors.
Brewers can all agree that bottling is by the far worst part of the brewing process, so why not surprise the brewer in your life with a Kegging System, because let’s face it, everyone needs draft beer at home. We have a variety of different kegging setups, and our talented staff would be happy to help you figure out just what equipment you need to get going. If your lover-of-all-things-home-brew needs a way to keep their fridge or freezer at the perfect temperature, the Johnson Controller will be a great gift as well.
The Mark II Keg Washer is a handy gadget that will make carboy cleaning a snap, and can also be used to clean Corny kegs that homebrewers use.
PH Meters and Refractometers are both useful gadgets for both brewers and winemakers, making it much easier to get precise, accurate measurements, and they’re even small enough to fit in a stocking.
Gifts for Winemakers
Floor corkers are a great upgrade for the winemaker in your life, and are much easier to use than the double lever style. We’ve got two different kinds, the standard Portuguese style, as well as the ultimate Italian floor corker with metal jaws for a lifetime of use. If you have any doubt of how much easier these make the bottling process, come on in and we’ll let you test drive a couple models out.
The Buon Vino Mini Jet filter is a compact, efficient plate filter, perfectly sized for winemakers making kits of 6 gallon batches. Not only will wine be brilliantly clear, it can also help to increase early drinkability.
For those of you who like to open a bottle of wine but can’t always finish it off, the Air Cork is a nifty gadget that inflates a balloon inside a partially empty wine bottle, making an airtight seal to help preserve wine until the following day. Better yet, how about one of Oprah’s “Favorite Things” of 2012, the Corkcicle. Use this to keep your chilled wines at the right temperature pour after pour without having to hassle with an ice bucket. Both of these items would make great stocking stuffers.
Gifts for the Cheesmaker (or Wannabe Cheesemaker)
We’ve got several great starting cheesmaking kits, and most of the Great Fermentations staff got their start with the Farmer’s Cheese Kit. A Curd Knife will make the cheesemaking process a whole lot easier as well as a Cheese Kettle.
Books and Other Ideas
We have a large selection of books available for brewers, winemakers, and cheesemakers. Some of our favorites are How To Brew, Brewing Better Beer, The Complete Joy of Homebrewing, Techniques in Home Winemaking, and Making Artisan Cheese.
Gift giving is one of a few things in this world where there is a fool-proof plan B that will never steer you wrong. If you can’t make up your mind on what to get that special someone, check out our Gift Certificates. Always produces a win/win situation.
Still can’t make up your mind?
As the Godfather of home brew Charlie Papazian said: “Relax. Don’t worry. Have a home brew.” Just stop on in at the store, drop us a note on our online contact page, or give us a call at 888-HME-BREW, and we’d be glad to help you out. We’re open 7 days a week!