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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: bigfatjoey on March 18, 2010, 07:59:19 pm

Title: Brew Balls?
Post by: bigfatjoey on March 18, 2010, 07:59:19 pm
Any one out there have Brew Balls?

http://www.brewballstore.com/

Worth it?
Title: Re: Brew Balls?
Post by: tygo on March 18, 2010, 08:45:13 pm
I saw that advertisement in Zymurgy the issue before this last one and looked them up.  One they seem pricey for what they do.  Two, they're giving a pretty broad range of gravity's (assuming they're accurate).  And three, do you really need that information?  It's pretty obvious roughly where you are in the fermentation process just by looking at the fermentor, the airlock, etc.
Title: Re: Brew Balls?
Post by: akr71 on March 19, 2010, 06:18:47 am
They claim that their product is less risky toward contamination.  I would be more concerned about contamination from putting my dirty balls in the beer  ;D than popping the airlock off for a gravity sample.
Title: Re: Brew Balls?
Post by: MrNate on March 19, 2010, 07:00:09 am
It's pretty obvious roughly where you are in the fermentation process just by looking at the fermentor, the airlock, etc.

I use apathy. Very low risk of contamination from that.
Title: Re: Brew Balls?
Post by: glitterbug on March 19, 2010, 08:54:46 am
These things look pretty cool
Title: Re: Brew Balls?
Post by: denny on March 19, 2010, 09:20:38 am
They claim that their product is less risky toward contamination.  I would be more concerned about contamination from putting my dirty balls in the beer  ;D than popping the airlock off for a gravity sample.

This is where I get to say "If you can't take a gravity reading without contaminating your beer, perhaps you should consider taking up knitting for a hobby"!
Title: Re: Brew Balls?
Post by: glitterbug on March 19, 2010, 09:28:24 am
They claim that their product is less risky toward contamination.  I would be more concerned about contamination from putting my dirty balls in the beer  ;D than popping the airlock off for a gravity sample.

This is where I get to say "If you can't take a gravity reading without contaminating your beer, perhaps you should consider taking up knitting for a hobby"!

They should be marketing the laziness enabling aspect of this product. You can get a good estimate of the gravity in a few seconds without the ''hassle" of taking a sample and using a hydrometer or counting airlock bubbles  ;D
Title: Re: Brew Balls?
Post by: majorvices on March 19, 2010, 09:32:50 am
I think it is a really interesting idea. Someone needs to buy a set and see how well they work. ;)
Title: Re: Brew Balls?
Post by: rabid_dingo on March 19, 2010, 10:13:58 am
They are customizable, so the broad range can be narrowed down, but if one really wanted to monitor
without opening the fermenter, wouldn't the hydrometer itself be just as effective in there. Crud aside it
would probably just "Center" itself in the carboy because of the neck.
Title: Re: Brew Balls?
Post by: Beertracker on March 19, 2010, 10:29:20 am
"...I've got big balls
They're such big balls
And they're dirty big balls
And he's got big balls
And she's got big balls
But we've got the biggest balls of them all!"

AC/DC

Maybe BrewBalls should use AC/DC's song as their jingle?  ;D
Title: Re: Brew Balls?
Post by: Kaiser on March 19, 2010, 11:33:31 am
This is where I get to say "If you can't take a gravity reading without contaminating your beer, perhaps you should consider taking up knitting for a hobby"!

I love that one.

I cannot see them work well and reliably. When you put then in your beer, most of them will actually fall to the bottom during fermentation since the CO2 that is bubbling out of solution lowers their buoyancy significantly. You can see that when you are trying to gravity reading from a carbonated sample. If that is not happening then they may float more than they should b/c of the CO2 bubbles attached to them.

Based on that, they can’t be used to monitor gravity during fermentation. Once the beer is still you may have crud on them which changes their weight. And In addition to that, you can only use them in beers that are clear enough for you to see them. Try using them in a RIS.

IMHO, it’s a neat but rather useless idea for brewing.

Kai


Title: Re: Brew Balls?
Post by: euge on March 19, 2010, 11:56:43 am
Not worth it. For reasons stated above. These probably will be bought by new brewers, who will abandon them after several uses.

Title: Re: Brew Balls?
Post by: Kaiser on March 19, 2010, 12:03:54 pm
And In addition to that, you can only use them in beers that are clear enough for you to see them. Try using them in a RIS.

Let me correct that. I think they are designed such that the colored marking will always float up. This means that you could see them floating at the surface given that there is no residual Kraeusen.

Kai
Title: Re: Brew Balls?
Post by: denny on March 19, 2010, 12:13:00 pm
Not worth it. For reasons stated above. These probably will be bought by new brewers, who will abandon them after several uses.



So, you're saying these will be the next "Fermentap"? ;)
Title: Re: Brew Balls?
Post by: euge on March 19, 2010, 12:16:24 pm
Not worth it. For reasons stated above. These probably will be bought by new brewers, who will abandon them after several uses.



So, you're saying these will be the next "Fermentap"? ;)

Quite likely, but there'll always be someone who swears by them. ;D
Title: Re: Brew Balls?
Post by: zee on March 19, 2010, 12:38:24 pm
though i don't do it, i know people that just toss in a hydrometer when the ferment. they can pretty much watch it slowly sink over the course of fermentation. what i don't know is what happens when your krausen gets all over it so a. you can't read it, b. its sitting lower in the beer than it should due to the added weight of the beer stone and c. how you get it out without breaking it so you can clean it thoroughly. always seemed like too much of a pita to me. i pretty much just wait a week or two after fermentation appears done to make sure its as low as it's gonna go.
Title: Re: Brew Balls?
Post by: Kaiser on March 19, 2010, 01:15:35 pm
i pretty much just wait a week or two after fermentation appears done to make sure its as low as it's gonna go.

Which is what you have to do with these balls as well since you need to be able to see which ones are still floating on top.

Maybe Zymurgy could have a "best and worst brewing gadget of the Month" colum.

Kai
Title: Re: Brew Balls?
Post by: euge on March 19, 2010, 01:38:51 pm
Quote
Maybe Zymurgy could have a "best and worst brewing gadget of the Month" colum.

How about a Sticky in the Equipment section?
Title: Re: Brew Balls?
Post by: BrewingRover on March 19, 2010, 02:57:04 pm
i pretty much just wait a week or two after fermentation appears done to make sure its as low as it's gonna go.

Which is what you have to do with these balls as well since you need to be able to see which ones are still floating on top.

Maybe Zymurgy could have a "best and worst brewing gadget of the Month" colum.

Kai
Were I to waste $20 on these, I would only add those that were close to my target gravity, usually the 10 and 20. The higher gravities don't seem useful, other than showing that fermentation is occurring but there are plenty of other clues for that.
Title: Re: Brew Balls?
Post by: bruck on March 19, 2010, 04:41:29 pm
I'd put my own balls in my beer before I wasted that kind of money on such a useless product. Good thing for me and my friends I'm not into wasting money.
Title: Re: Brew Balls?
Post by: narcout on March 19, 2010, 05:54:11 pm
I actually think they are kind of cool.

I ferment in 10 gallon cornies so I either have to reach my hairy arm way in there with a wine thief or use CO2 pressure to push a sample out through the liquid QD. I can do both, but it'd definitely be easier to just shine a flashlight in there and check which balls are still floating.

I agree that the default range is pretty useless. I wouldn't mind having a set calibrated at 1.016, 1.014, 1.012, 1.010, and 1.008.  Not that I'm actually going to spend the money on them, but I could definitely see them being useful - provided they actually work of course.
Title: Re: Brew Balls?
Post by: tygo on March 19, 2010, 07:43:43 pm
provided they actually work of course.

I think that therein may lie the problem.  No experience with them of course but I'm going to guess based on both gut feeling and some of the previous posts that these may not be too accurate.  Also, I'd rather just grab a sample with the turkey baster than try to peer through the fermentation mess and figure out which balls are still floating.

Title: Re: Brew Balls?
Post by: jwatkins56550 on March 19, 2010, 07:44:47 pm
I like the idea...but I would never use them.  At first, I didn't know what this post was about...I was thinking something like blue balls...like your wife or girlfriend made you stop your brewing mid brewday and you got some serious brew balls from it.   :D
Title: Re: Brew Balls?
Post by: maxieboy on March 20, 2010, 01:34:42 pm
A fool and his money... ;)