My attention was drawn to the BrewBalls display, which at first I thought it was a gimmick until closer inspection when my thoughts were confirmed. Tom Merline, the representative for BrewBalls was on hand to deflect my suspicions and tried earnestly to stifle my laughter and finger pointing. He's a nice guy and very sincere about the value of his product but still, it was difficult not to tease him.
The idea behind BrewBalls is that as the beer ferments in your carboy, the different density balls sink as the malt sugars are converted to alcohol. This gives you clear evidence that the beer is fermenting properly as you peer through the carboy and observe the sinking balls. Each ball is labeled to indicate the sugar gravity without you having to take a hydrometer sample. The benefit? According to Tom, primarily the prevention of any airborne vectors slipping into the top of your carboy while the stopper is removed, (possibly contaminating the batch) while taking samples for instance. Additionally, it's just plain fun to watch. Based on a survey I did here recently, this makes sense. The survey questioned why as a brewer you use a glass carboy. The largest percentage of responses was "the ability to watch the fermentation process". So, I guess BrewBalls would satisfy many brewers that enjoy that aspect of brewing beer at home.
Would you utilize BrewBalls? Leave a comment.