The item you see on the left is what’s known as a heatstick. There are two different ways to heat up a mash (the mixture of water and grain) One is by infusions of hot water. The problem with this method is let’s say your mash tun can only hold a total of 10 gallons. You have 7 gallons of mash in the tun, but to bring your temperature up 10 degrees it may require 4 gallons of water. A big mess is what you have. The other method of heating your mash is directly applying heat to it via flame or in this case a heatstick.
Basically, this is nothing more than an electric hot water heater coil, a couple of pipes, and a hell of a lot of silicone to keep the electricity away from the water. I gave this it’s maiden voyage while making a Saison last Saturday. I’m happy to say, not only did I not die, but it worked pretty damned well.
The other item is used after the beer has been finished. It’s basically the homebrewer’s version of a Randal the Enamel Animal. If you love hops, then this is your dream device. It’s basically a water filler that you fill with fresh whole hops that the beer passes by on the way to your glass. From what I’ve been told it really helps to give the beer a real final shot of fresh hop aroma that can’t be beat. If you want to see a picture of something like this in action, head over to the Maltose Falcoln’s website or if you’re interested in building one of these yourself, click here.