For some people, creating their own homebrew is just something fun that they can do with their friends.
Others, however, take it a lot more seriously. I just have to look around the office here, and all I hear is talk about the latest brewing equipment that the team is testing.
While our own garages probably look a lot more like an actual brewery, you don’t actually have to fill every corner with beer making devices.
But if you like making a regular batch at weekends, then one of the first major upgrades from a starter kit would have to be an electric home brew kettle.
Northern Brewer has an excellent 4.4-gallon device that is compact and portable. This means you might actually be able to sneak it into your garage without your better half finding out about it.
So, if you’re ready to invest in some upgrades to your home beer brewing equipment, then keep reading to find out why this should be your next investment.
Gigawort Electric Brewing Kettle: Highlights
Northern Brewer is one of those companies that really get things right. They make it extremely easy to get set up right from the get-go with simple beginners’ kits.
Adding to your setup is made very easy as well because you can simply choose additional gear from their large selection available.
While they do offer some very advanced electric brewing systems (30-gallon plus), the Gigawort is what we recommend for homebrewing amateurs that make at least one batch a month.
The first advantage is that once you have all your recipe ingredients (hops, grain, water) you simply mix up your mash in the homebrewing electric boil kettle and you’re pretty much ready to go.
You set the temperature and time for the steeping phase. And once you’re ready, you can bring it all to the boil. This beats constantly standing over a stove and checking that the temperature isn’t too high or low.
As far as amateur electric brewing systems go, this is as set-and-forget as you will find.
While it has a 4.4-gallon max capacity, you can make smaller batches. Yes, I know, why would you possibly want to do that?
I just thought I’d mention that these brew kettles will automatically adjust the temperature to the volume.
What we particularly like is that Northern Brewer has added a little feature from their more professional beer brewers equipment to help extract the wort. Once you’ve boiled up your mash, you can easily extract the wort through a patent-pending bulkhead valve.
This means you won’t have to siphon it off into a fermenter anymore since it’s just such a slow and painful process.
Homebrewing your own beer will definitely be a lot easier and less time-consuming.
You’ll also avoid burning the mash. If this hasn’t happened to you, then believe me that it doesn’t make a nice beer.
- 4.4-gallon capacity
- Ideal for steeping and boiling ingredients in one place
- Bulkhead valve puts an end to slow siphoning to extract the wort
- Digital temperature control provides more accuracy
- Double wall construction gives it great insulation
“The boil was quite simple. You set the controller to 218 ºF with the 1600W element turned on. This will take you from mash temp to a boil in about 20 or so minutes.”
– Steve, Brewers Anonymous
Are There Any Downsides?
As with all home beer brewing equipment, there are a few downsides. Keep in mind though that we are talking about an amateur brewers’ equipment and not a semi-commercial set-up.
- First of all, I personally find the 4.4-gallon size to be a bit on the small side. Once you account for the volume of the mash that will be made up of the ingredients, you won’t end up with that much beer.
- Secondly, switching from steeping to boiling is a bit fiddly, and some people have seen this resulting in an error. The only solution is to hit the reset button. Unfortunately, this button is underneath the device.
These are not game-changing faults by any stretch, but we wanted to make sure you’re aware of them before you decide to buy.
Check out our other favorite all-in-one brewing systems, or for a more hands-on approach in brewing, you may want to check our other favorite brew kettles.
- Not suitable for making larger than 4-gallon batches
- The reset button is on the underside
After understanding the pros and cons of this equipment, you can watch this unboxing video to supplement our Gigawort electric brew kettle review.
Gigawort Electric Brew Kettle: The Bottom Line
Of all the amateur products available, we definitely think that the first one you should upgrade is your brew kettle.
The Gigawort has a couple of minor flaws, but its compact size and easy to use set up is ideal.
The highlight is definitely the valve that makes it easy to extract the wort from the mash; it’s a huge time saver.
If you want to make your own beer more regularly, then this is going to be a great investment.