The Brewjacket Immersion was released a few years ago and it provided a big leap in homebrewing technology when it came to temperature control. It allowed you to control ale fermentation temperatures and even lager a beer without the need for a fermentation chamber. The technology involved two key components working together to achieve the cooling result without the big footprint of a fermentation chamber. A Cooling rod controlled by a temperature monitor, and an insulated jacket that would help keep the fermenting beer cool without the system having to work as hard. Now the makers of the original BrewJacket have released a newer model with more features. The BrewJacket Immersion Pro.
Who is the BrewJacket Immersion For?
The Immersion is a pretty powerful device. For some homebrewers, it might be the device they've been searching for their entire life. It allowed you to control fermentation temperature without using a swamp cooler or a full fermentation chamber. A big win for apartment dwellers looking to get into lagers or even just control ale temperatures a bit better.
However, it may not be for brewers who have several fermenters going at the same time as you would need a separate unit for each individual fermenter. If you do own a fermentation chamber that is only single stage, it might still be a decent investment, as you can raise the temperature with the Immersion Pro.
Key Features and Benefits of the BrewJacket Immersion Pro
Small Footprint: A steady fermentation temperature can be the difference in a good beer and a great, award winning beer. Prior to the release, you had to set aside a fair amount of square footage and convert convert a fridge or chest freezer into a fermentation chamber. The Brewjacket Immersion Pro has a much smaller footprint than traditional fermentation chambers. The small footprint makes the BrewJacket a must have for homebrewers living in small apartments looking for temperature control solutions.
Jacket Provides Insulation and Protection: The insulation jacket serves a few purposes to both the homebrewer and the system itself. Primarily, it insulates the beer to maintain a steady temperature, and in doing so, reduces the amount of work the cooling rod must do. In fact, it has the same insulating power as a standard freezer. The material is durable and water resistant. The jacket also protects the beer from light exposure which is linked to having skunked beer.
Top of the Line Technology: The temperature probe is accurate to 0.1°F, and the system can keep your beer within 0.5°F of the set temperature. It has a solid-state cooling device, so there is no glycol or moving liquids to worry about, and no compressor that may fail after a few years. The system can handle 5 gallons of beer and cool at a rate of 1°F per hour. Brew Jacket’s temperature controller is built into the unit and you do not need to purchase a separate temperature controller.
Heating and Cooling Capabilities: The new pro release of the BrewJacket Immersion allows homebrewers to not just cool the beer, but warm it up as well. This provides two key advantages.
The first is the ability to ferment warmer than ambient temperature. While not typical, sometimes it can be beneficial to the beer. If you make sour beers, warming up the fermenter to allow more rapid lactobacillus growth can give your beer's sourness a nice kick. Saisons are a popular beer that may require fermentation temperatures in the high seventies to low eighties. The warmer temperature promotes yeast ester formation and can lead to a higher overall attenuation.
The second benefit is to keep the temperature above ambient when it's cold. Many homebrewers ferment in the basement, which can hover around 50°F or lower in the colder months, depending on where you live. This can cause attenuation issues in ale yeasts and depending on the strain, create off flavors.
The heating capabilities of the BrewJacket Immersion Pro solves both temperature issues easily. In fact, it can control your temperature within 35°F up or down of the current room temperature. So, in a 68°F degree room you can have your beer sitting anywhere between 33 and 103°F.
More Information on the BrewJacket Immersion Pro Version
BrewJacket Immersion Pro
No more bulky refrigerators, no more sensor lines, no more fuss, and now you can use it to for heating your fermenting beer! This high-tech temperature controller will keep your fermenting beer within 0.5ºF of your selected temperature.
The unit is listed to be able to control five gallons of beer in that large temperature range. You can use the system with larger batches like seven or 10 gallons, but you should plan on some loss of efficiency in the max range and cooling / heating times.
One great feature that they included in the release is for owners of the previous BrewJacket Immersion. You can upgrade to the Pro without buying a whole new unit. The only thing you need to purchase is the new Pro panel which is available separately. Everything else on the unit is the same.
Maintenance & Cleaning
Another nice feature they included when creating it was the ability to disassemble and clean the parts. The gray rod can be heated in the oven (250°F for 1-2 hours) or boiled in deionized water for 1-2 hours.
The gray coating in the rod can be cleaned with soap and water as well. It's important to not expose it to high acid or alkalinity for long periods of time (Star San or Oxyclean respectively). This can damage the protective layer. You can contact their support center if your rod is damaged or the gray becomes removed.
Why is Temperature Control So Important? A Reminder
The temperature your beer ferments at plays a big role in the final product. You can manipulate ester production with good temperature control and harness yeast strains in ways that expand your options. You can limit esters in the first few days of fermentation (when most are created), and then ramp the temperature up to promote higher attenuation. Alternatively, you can increase ester production to get more fruitiness into your New England IPAs. Or you can just hold it steady at 65°F and get consistent results every time. Harsh fusel alcohols will also be reduced if the temperature is kept in check.
The BrewJacket Immersion Pro is a great way for homebrewers to control temperature without a fermentation chamber.