The Best Wine Thief Pipette To Check The Quality Of Your Wine - Wine Turtle

The Best Wine Thief Pipette To Check The Quality Of Your Wine

The Best Wine Thief Pipette To Check The Quality Of Your Wine

The Best Wine Thief Pipette To Check The Quality Of Your Wine

To check the vinification stage of your beverage or its quality, a wine thief pipette is an important instrument to include in your winemaking kit. There are dozens of models available on the market and choosing the right one is daunting.

We aim to help you choose the best wine thief pipette to check the quality of your wine; however, if you don’t feel like reading, use the links below to check out our selection of pipettes!

There is nothing more satisfying than uncorking that first bottle of homebrewed aromatic red or white with the floral bouquet. The trials and tribulations of developing such an auspicious beverage forgotten in the swell of enjoyment at the dinner table.

But getting to this point of confidence can be daunting at the best of times particularly when trying to gauge when your wine is at its peak. This is why a wine thief pipette is a fundamental piece of apparatus.

The wine thief pipette is a crafty answer to an age old problem. Once in the fermenter, accessing your brew can be either near impossible or rather messy; spilling a single drop on the tiles is a heart-wrenching loss to your dedication. With the wine thief, every drop can be savored offering a practical way to run those all too important tests.

Without a wine thief, you are scrambling in the dark, hoping that the cask you just opened is ready for the first tentative sips. It is not a risk worth taking. You want to be assured in your decision that the color, density, and flavor of the wine is just right. That is why the wine thief should be at the top of your shopping list.

How Does A Wine Thief Pipette Work?

The traditional ways of testing wines were to suck a small amount from the carboy or cask through a tube which posed risks of contamination and were difficult to clean.

Nowadays, a wine thief can be used instead avoiding these concerns altogether. The wine thief utilizes gravity to draw a sample of wine out from the fermenter or cask.

Most designs incorporate a generous diameter to allow for the incision of a hydrometer directly into the sample while held within the wine thief making testing your brew quicker and easier than ever.

Some incorporate a racking cane to prevent sediment intake or buildup during siphoning. In contrast, others are of a simplified pipette design to allow you to make a decision on the amount extracted, and so on.

Why Invest In A Wine Thief Pipette?

A wine thief is a hygienic way to access your brews without fear of spoiling the carboy or cask and in a quick and convenient manner. Usually made from long lasting silicones or plastics, the wine thief harnesses the power of gravity to siphon a measurement from the cask ready for tasting or testing.

A wine thief is also designed for easy cleaning and sterilization; the diameter of most designs ensures that the wine thief can be properly sterilized before incision into each cask, eliminating the risk of cross-contamination between casks.

But, as can be expected, there are numerous models and styles of wine thief to choose from which is why this article has been designed to help you make the right choice. This article evaluates five wine thief designs across a three-point system:

  • check
    Functionality: is the wine thief suitable for purpose e.g. does it have a well-fitted valve for convenient siphoning and measuring?
  • check
    Diameter: is the diameter of the wine thief suitable for its function? Can a hydrometer be inserted without fault? Can other apparatus be used in conjunction?
  • check
    Hygiene: is the wine thief easy to clean and maintain? Is it made from the correct material?

By following these guidelines, this article is a convenient way to filter out the wine thief which will help you develop that winning bottle of red or white you can show off at the dinner table.

The Best Wine Thief Pipette To Check The Quality Of Your Wine

1. Fermtech Regular 5/16” Auto-Siphon

An established producer of specialist brewing equipment, Fermtech boast their products as unique and of high quality.

This auto-siphon has been designed for use by both the hobbyist brewer and the professional. It is made from durable plastic with a racking cane and removable tips for good sediment control during intake.

The plastic and removable parts also allow for thorough cleaning and sterilization during use.
Regular 5/16" Auto-Siphon

A light amount of pressure draws in the sample from the carboy or cask with minimal drag or suction of sediment resulting in a clear measurement of your brew for testing.

Things We Liked

  • check
    Lightweight: weighing only 4.0 ounces, this auto-siphon is easy to handle and operate. The lightweight of the product also assists in siphoning, making it easier than ever to control while drawing in a sample.
  • check
    Color: by opting for a clear plastic, Fermtech has made it simple to judge the color and viscosity of the wine as well as take accurate measurements.
  • check
    Long lasting: the durable plastics used for this auto-siphon are designed for repetition and can withstand multiple uses and cleaning.
  • check
    Hygienic: this auto-siphon offers ample diameter that, not only makes siphoning samples easier and more convenient but also allows for quick and simple cleaning. Sterilizing this for repeat use is highly beneficial to maintaining the purity of the wine in its carboy/cask.

Things We Didn't Like

  • exclamation-triangle
    Removable Parts: while Fermtech establishes the removable parts allow for easier cleaning, the tip has a tendency to pop off during siphoning which can be potentially detrimental to the process or result in spillage.

2. Fermtech Regular 5/16” Auto-Siphon w/ 8ft Tubing

1 X Regular 5/16" Auto Siphon with 8 feet of Tubing

This is another design by Fermtech, incorporating similar materials and design for accurate siphoning.

The only difference between this product and the Fermtech Auto-Siphon is the addition of the tubing which assists in the transferral of liquid, filling of decanters, and so on.

The expert design of the racking cane has been introduced to this auto-siphon as well ensuring minimal sediment intake.

Things We Liked

  • check
    Controlled siphoning and transferal: the addition of the 8ft tubing with the auto-siphon allows for direct, accurate transferal of liquids from carboy or cask to bottle.
  • check
    Racking cane: a racking cane is a small L shaped fixture found on most specialist wine thieves. It is designed to help ease of transfer of your brew from one container to another but alternatively, provides additional control when trying to avoid too much sediment entering the samples.
  • check
    Polyurethane outer: polyurethane is a hard wearing and durable plastic which can withstand temperature changes and consistent use. The plastic is also easy to maintain and to sterilize, helping the brewer to maintain high cleanliness standards throughout the process.
  • check
    Multi-functional: the provided tubing can be used in conjunction with racking canes, spigots and bottle fillers, reducing the amount of equipment potentially needed for brewing.

Things We Didn't Like

  • exclamation-triangle
    Suction: after repetitive use and dismantling, the rubber tips of the siphon are prone to wear and tear, resulting in the siphon eventually losing fundamental suction or dragging in too much air with the sample, thus spoiling the wine for tasting, or potentially, disturbing sediment.

3. Tovolo Dripless Baster

Tovolo produces a wide range of specialist equipment for baking, food preparation, and homebrewing. The Tovolo Dripless Baster has been designed for cooking and brewing purposes alike, but for brewing, it focuses on the first time or hobbyist brewer with a simplified design and  easy-to-use.

Weighing only 5.0 ounces, the Tovolo Dripless Baster is easy to handle and control when siphoning liquids. Its rubber bulb allows for the addition of varying amounts of pressure giving the brewer a wide spectrum of choice in the measurement or direction of liquids.
Tovolo Dripless Baster

Meanwhile, the removable tip offers an opportunity for more direct siphon or small samples to be drawn with minimal disturbance to sediment, whilst also combatting drips.

Things We Liked

  • check
    Spillage control: the removable tip is an additional way to control liquids, preventing backwash once the liquid has entered the main cylinder. This is a perfect way to minimize potential sediment disturbance.
  • check
    Comfortable to handle: the size of the baster, as well as the bulb, make this tool easy to handle and a comfortable fit in the palm, establishing the siphoning or transferal of liquids as an easy, no fuss process.
  • check
    Cleaning brush: for additional hygiene control, the baster comes complete with its own brush to ensure it can be cleaned thoroughly. As contamination is a significant concern for the brewer, this addition is reassuring.
  • check
    Transparent: the clear baster tube allows for easy, accurate measurements and gauging of volume.

Things We Didn't Like

  • exclamation-triangle
    Risk of perishing: the plastic tip and bulb can withstand some use but consistent use all year round can affect the integrity of the baster and lead to issues with siphoning, measuring or fluid control.

4. Brewcraft Wine/Beer Thief 19”

Fermtech Wine/Beer Thief, 19 Long

Brewcraft stands as one of the main competitors against Fermtech offering a wide variety of brewing kits or equipment for professional or small scale brewing projects. This Wine/Beer Thief is designed from high quality acrylic for durability and ongoing use.

It also features a splayed tip to reduce drag on sediment during liquid intake. Lastly, the Wine/Beer Thief offers a simplified design for quick, multiple uses.

Things We Liked

  • check
    Durable: made from heavy duty acrylic with a higher degree of flexion in the material, it can withstand more knocks and constant use than other designs can.
  • check
    Practicality: by being lightweight and durable, Brewcraft has focused on multi-functionality and ensured a product which is easy to control and to use, as well as effective at doing its job.
  • check
    Diameter: with a width of 4.0 inches, the Brewcraft Wine/Beer Thief allows for optimal use. While offering adequate intake, it can also incorporate a hydrometer in the main cylinder making testing and siphoning work in synchronicity and reducing the time needed to undertake tests.
  • check
    Simple design: some siphons boast a wide array of additional functions, but the simplified design of the Wine/Beer Thief makes it much easier to operate and also to control sampling and testing, either on a large scale or small scale.

Things We Didn't Like

  • exclamation-triangle
    Valve susceptible to blockage: the unique valve on the tip of the thief operates well in conjunction with siphoning liquid from a carboy or cask with minimal sediment intake, however, transferal can be problematic, especially with some wines i.e. particularly fruit based brews not concentrates where pulp, seeds or pectin can clog the mechanism leading to reduced flow.

5. Brewcraft 18” Plastic Wine Thief

This is another product by Brewcraft designed with the hobbyist or amateur brewers at heart. Made up of three separate pieces, this Plastic Wine Thief fits together quickly and easily.

The segmented parts also allow for interchangeable length as well as thorough cleaning.

While some siphons offer multiple functions, this Wine Thief has been designed only for quality testing; siphoning measurements to test for taste, color and to pass against the hydrometer.
18in Plastic Wine Thief

By reducing the number of parts to it, Brewcraft has simplified the brewing process making it a more accessible hobby for all.

Things We Liked

  • check
    Easy to clean: the three separate parts to the thief allow for it to be disassembled and cleaned thoroughly ensuring sanitary fermentation.
  • check
    Extra long: the additional length of the wine thief enables it to be used on a wide range of carboys and casks regardless of depth or levels.
  • check
    Hardwearing plastic: plastic is long lasting, durable and forgiving. It allows for consistent use and can withstand frequent sterilization without damaging its integrity or changing its structure, thus maintaining its fitness for purpose.
  • check
    Pinched tip: the pinched tip on the wine thief allows for careful, accurate siphoning without disturbing too much sediment in the carboy or cask. This promotes a clean sample that is easy to test.

Things We Didn't Like

  • exclamation-triangle
    Color: the white plastic is not transparent but rather opaque. This could be potentially challenging when attempting to take a specific measurement or check the quality of the brew while in the siphon. In this case, moving the liquid to a clear receptacle would be the only viable solution, therefore increasing the time needed for tests and so on.

Conclusion & Final Pick

While functionality and diameter pose as viable solutions to making the fermentation and testing process of brewing simpler, hygiene is the most important. Without an adequate focus on cleanliness, an entire cask can spoil, meaning wasted time and potentially, money.

Wine thieves are used frequently throughout the entire process and so, need to be easy to maintain and keep clean to prevent contamination. That is why the Brewcraft 18” Plastic Wine Thief is the winning product in this review.

It is a simplified, practical design offering interchangeability which the others do not. Being able to switch between a short or long length ensures it can be used for carboys or casks of varying depth with ease. It also allows for the brewer to control measurement and volume of intake incorporating the added bonus of minimized waste.

While the color of the siphon was an issue when visually checking the wine for its color, sediment or viscosity, this is a minor problem which can be solved with the addition of a clear decanter for testing these particular qualities.

Lastly, home brewing can be a fun and rewarding experience. Having the right equipment and above all, knowing how to use it is key to your enjoyment. Brewcraft has ensured that anybody can have a go at making their own beer or wine, by developing a line of simple yet practical wine thieves for maintaining quality in your brews.

So, if you’re ready to develop your own line of exuberant Sauvignons or study the peppered notes of the Shiraz, or want that proud feeling of uncorking your first bottle, invest in a Wine Thief and get cracking!

Leave a Reply 0 comments