So the guys at Bouncer Beer Filters have come up with a new idea, the Boil Bro. They sent one off to me to review in a real world brewing situation. I have used on three batches now, and I am quite happy with it. It it even helped me save a batch! So here’s my Boil Bro review, what I think of it, and will it be good for you.
The Boil Bro Setup
The Boil Bro is a good sized mat. The rubber backing allows it to stay in place on a table or counter, with no slipping. The top side is a nice water resistant glossy surface. This allows you to leave yourself some notes for your brew, using the included dry erase marker. It is set up into multiple “boxes” to help you plan for your brew day. I found it quit helpful to lay things out by time to be prepared for my brew. Writing some notes with the dry erase marker was good as a checklist.
Boil Bro Use
First brew day, two batches of cider. I was brewing up some Mangrove Jack Cider pouches. These are currently fermenting and will be reviewed when they are ready and tasted. I fired up the first batch and took a picture of the Boil Bro setup to be sure to show how I used it. I brewed, and realized the OG was a little low, but thought nothing of it. I figured I just needed to stir things up a bit more to get a good mixture for the gravity reading. I went ahead and brewed my second batch.
The second batch was underway, and I had laid out my ingredients for the batch. I looked at it, and thought it looked like a ton more sugar in my bowl to add to the batch. So I checked my recommended picture….and sure enough I had not included enough sugar! Plain as day, I could see from my picture the bowl had way less sugar…..a pound to be exact. If I hadn’t have taken that picture that was suggested right there on the Boil Bro, I would have had a batch that was thin and low in alcohol. Batch saved! 5 gallons being prepared to the correct recipe versus a weak batch is definitely a win for the Boil Bro! This would have paid for itself with this catch alone! In the picture right below, you will notice the sugar level in the bowl is low…..there is no way there is over 2 pounds in it!
The next brew I did was an outdoor brew. I was making a quick extract batch. I set up my card table next to the propane burner and prepared myself. I liked having a quick checklist for myself visibly in front of me. The one thing I wish was on the list was paper towels….but I should remember by this point to always have those on hand. The Boil Bro was a great spot to rest my spoon between uses. The waterproof top of the mat is awesome, and means I don’t have to worry about a spoon rest or cleaning a spot where the spoon goes. I didn’t record my OG for this batch on the Boil Bro as I was a little chilly by the end of the boil……something about the outdoor weather and being able to chill my wort in a snow bank. Cleanup was a snap, as I just moved everything into the middle of the Boil Bro and carried it inside quickly.
Boil Bro Pros
- Cleanup with this mat is super easy. Wiping off the dry erase notes with no mess means it is ready for the next use with minimal fuss. Wiping up liquid malt extract, wort leftovers from the stirring spoon, dried malt extract and other spills (like the beer I was drinking) are quick and easy. A few sprays of sanitizer, and I know I am ready for the next round.
- I love the reminders of timing and the checklist at the top. If you need to change out any of the times, just cross it out and write the updated info with the dry erase marker. It is much easier to read large lettering than your instructions on a page for a recipe.
Boil Bro Cons and Suggestions
- I wish the supplies list at the top included paper towels….I add them on each brew now. This isn’t a deal killer, but more of a helpful suggestion. I don’t know of a brewer who doesn’t need a towel of some kind along the way.
- I am a little worried about the glossy top. What will happen if it gets punctured or torn on the edge. Will this compromise the whole thing? Time will tell. I think as long as I don’t puncture, tear, or melt it, I should be good to go.
- If you are handy, put some rivet rings on the top corners, so the mat can hang flat easily on pegboard.
I love that I have an easy way to take notes, organize, and cleanup from brew days now. The Boil Bro is a great addition to my brewing equipment setup. I think it is a great thing that I didn’t know that I would need or use. The fact that it helped me save a batch right away is a huge plus. I would say this is a great add-on thing for a brewer of any experience level…it just makes life easier during the brewing process!