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Old 01-30-2010, 03:24 AM   #11
GilaMinumBeer
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I am being quoted $5436 shipped from B3 for a 1550 with full digital, digital pilot, whirlpool chiller, and boil kettle screen. Sabco is $5703 shipped for the Brew Magic. I am leaning more towards the Brew Magic because of the tri-clover fittings, hard plumbed, its one and done without countless options like the B3. I guess I need to really decide if I want HERMS in 12 weeks or RIMS in 8 weeks
If you can hold off til next christmas, Sabco will throw in shipping for free.
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Old 01-30-2010, 03:28 AM   #12
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Brew Magic, lot stronger kettles and hard plumbed.....

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Old 01-30-2010, 03:32 AM   #13
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BM: Pro's

Touchscreen PLC
Tri-clamps
Stainless everything that touches wort
Tri-clamp heating element
Keggle kettle (less left behind)
ships capable of easy convert to NG
RIMS design (no bulk water to heat)

Cons:
No tippy dump
Touchscreen PLC (pricey with proprietary software)
Manual burner control
Manual Burner controlled step heating
Will not accomodate larger kettles
cannot whirlpool for break management

B3 Pros;

More compact design
can change to larger kettles
Ranco controllers (easy to replace)
thermocoupler controller heating of HLT
QD's
can whirlpool for break management

B3 Cons;

Vertical design, mash tun at highest point
awkward kettle valve location
must remember to disconnect controller lead when tippy dumping MLT
QD's
Must keep large volume of water at temp for mash recirc
Tippy dump latch can sieze

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Old 01-30-2010, 04:00 AM   #14
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If you can hold off til next christmas, Sabco will throw in shipping for free.
Nah I am ready to roll and I am even considering the 4hr drive to pick up the rig instead of shipping from Sabco. I just can't figure how Morebeer wants 800+ for shipping even for freight it seems high. I have a feeling I will get the BM but a little more research and waiting on a few responses to questions before I pull the trigger next week

Now off to plan the new kegerator build.....
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Old 01-30-2010, 04:05 AM   #15
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What questions do you have about the BM?

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Old 01-30-2010, 05:06 AM   #16
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What questions do you have about the BM?
Really its just shipping info, payment info, etc....

I am assuming you have one, any recommendations, tips, for a future owner?
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Old 01-30-2010, 01:53 PM   #17
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Hey Augie-

I was previously trying to make the decision you are making right now until i found a brewery that blew my socks off. It has some key advantages that neither the BM or the B3 has.

www.brewmation.com

It's fully electric, which I didn't really want at first, but came around. Electric is a lot cheaper per brew and you never have to refill a propane tank. I live in New York and had a hard time imagining wanting to brew in frigid weather (it was 4 degrees last night). I have read a lot here from people who custom fab'd both B3 and BM clones as well as brutus clones and many of them said that if they did it again, they would build an all electric rig. Point is, 'don't fear the low density water heater element'! It doesn't scorch the wort.

Anyhoo, check out the vids. They are of the semi-auto system, but the full auto is just -punch in your brew data, add ingredients, put the sparge arm in place, and come back later for wort chilling.

Key benefits are:
-one thing to sanitize- ball valve after boil kettle
-multiple peristatic pumps- which are like medical grade and he makes them
-so, you don't have to worry about pump priming, etc.. like other pumps
-much less $$ for full automation compared to B3 or BM
-bigger kettles -17.5 gal (not compared to the 20 gal B3, though)
-4 weeks turnaround build time (compared to 12 weeks for B3)
-automated sight level gauges
-automated burners/elements- pretty much impossible to have boilovers
-automated timing/brew schedule
-no worries about pilot lights on burners (B3 doesn't even come with pilot lights)
-the floating sparge system is pretty cool and prevents foaming in the MLT
-more capable of step infusion mashing if you want
-even a sprayer included to wash things off (powered by the pumps)
-"extremely" low profile design- 56" x 22" x 26"- especially for the volume (sits up on a table)
-more sectioned and easier to break down/move/ship

and for me,
-manufactured n the Hudson Valley an hour away from my house


Only things besides ingredients that this doesn't come with are a water filter and a wort chiller, which are options. Also, the temp logging box and PC software is an add on option, too, but only like $100.

The BM was always a little too pricey for me, so I never seriously considered it. I did consider buying a B3 and automating it at a later date. But for $3700, the semi-auto brewmation is as automated as a B3 or a Sabco and the full auto is even more automated beyond that. I am going to go to his shop and check it out in action before I buy, but I have already decided really.

I'm not affiliated with him, but just though you should check it out. Maybe you'll be as impressed as I am. Can't imagine either of the others being any more repeatable/consistent/reliable that this one and this one maybe even more so than them.

Also, nothing against a Sabco, but they sure have gotten a whole lot of mileage/free press out of breweries like Dog Fish Head using them for pilots. B3's are similarly utilized as pilots by equally illustrious breweries, so don't let that influence your decision too much towards the BM. It's just well played marketing.

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Old 01-30-2010, 02:16 PM   #18
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I understand you want to buy the thing outright and be done with it....but for half the money you're going to spend at B3/SABCO, I guarantee you can find someone to weld together some square SS tubing and modify a few instawares pots for you. The designs are simple and the materials are readily available. You could spend the other $2500 on a complete fermentation setup, including conicals. Unsolicited advice I know, but $5500 is a lot of money....no matter how you look at it!

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Old 01-30-2010, 02:21 PM   #19
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I don't want to take the wind out of your sails, but I have seen a Brewmation rig upclose and personal and while it is a nice rig it has some caveats of it's own. I do not like that it has to sit on a table. The table better be very strong becuase when it has wort and water in it is weighs alot. I believe it would be taller than the Brew Magic when put on a table. I also do not like the pumps. The Peristaltic Pumps are used to meter the fluids during the flow. They are made of plastic and I question their longevity at boiling temperatures. The Peristaltic Pumps are a great idea but thier implementation looks flimsy. Lastely the brewing vessels appear to be made of kitchen sink stainless steel material. It is denfinetly not the same guage stainless steel as a keggle or Mega Pot kettle. The Brewmation's big advantage for many brewers is that it is an electric brewery, but for some an electric brewery is not an advantage, especially if your home doesn't have enough electrical service to support an electric brewery. It is not a bad brewery but it is not without it's own caveats and not for everyone.

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Old 01-30-2010, 02:29 PM   #20
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I guarantee you can find someone to weld together some square SS tubing and modify a few instawares pots for you.
Thought I would go this route with single tier w/ tippy dump mechanism plans that I found here on the forums.


Got a quote for $1500 from a local TIG welder for just the stand fab with 1.5" 16th stainless tubing. Doh! Gave up on that one.
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