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Old 12-02-2013, 03:38 PM   #1
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Default Buying E-system prebuilt

I have been kicking around the idea of a new brewsystem for a couple years. Currently (for 15 years) using morebeer, 3 tier, natural gas 5 gallon setup. I brew inside and am considering going electric as more and more people seem to recommend and rave about the pros vs. any cons.

I am in no way mechanically inclined, and, I have zero interest in "building" stuff. If I do go electric, I will be buying as nearly complete as possible.

That said - looking for recommendations on prebuilt systems and sites that sell them. What sites sell them. Particular ones that you think are the best way to go, etc.

I am leaning toward 3 vessel, but am not completely against the prospect of BIAB/one kettle. I want a system for brewing 5-6 gallon batches. I do not want to brew 10 gallons. For the rare occasions that I want 10 gallons of the same beer brewed at the same time - I will just brew 2 batches.

Just trying to gather info and ideas at this point - so looking for some of the best options to consider.

I do not have a problem paying $2000-$5000 for it if it is quality, will last, and is worth it.

Thanks for any ideas, or directing me toward other links that have the info I am looking for.

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Old 12-02-2013, 03:48 PM   #2
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You may be able to "contract" a person on here to build you one to your specs and come out cheaper and get a personalized set up.

Just a though. Good luck on your search!

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Old 12-02-2013, 05:53 PM   #3
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The two most popular sites that offer a prebuilt option are:

http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/products

And

http://www.ebrewsupply.com/ebrew-control-panels.html

One is based on PIDs, the other more around the use of BCS and a web-based GUI.

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Old 12-02-2013, 06:06 PM   #4
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I have a few questions that will lead the recommendations more in the direction you're looking for (hopefully).

1.) Are you looking for an "out the door" system (the system shows up, you provide ingredients and off to the races)?

2.) Do you want to use a web-based brew system or are you looking for a more mechanical approach?

3.) How much automation would you like? Do you like flipping switches and hitting buttons or is it a 1 push and its off kinda thing?

4.) How long are you willing to wait/plan out the system you want? Some of the lead times may be much longer than others.

5.) CIP system or are you ok having to do some moving and cleaning?

I think those 5 should get a good start on recommendations for a system.

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Old 12-02-2013, 09:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waffle418 View Post
I have a few questions that will lead the recommendations more in the direction you're looking for (hopefully).

1.) Are you looking for an "out the door" system (the system shows up, you provide ingredients and off to the races)?

2.) Do you want to use a web-based brew system or are you looking for a more mechanical approach?

3.) How much automation would you like? Do you like flipping switches and hitting buttons or is it a 1 push and its off kinda thing?

4.) How long are you willing to wait/plan out the system you want? Some of the lead times may be much longer than others.

5.) CIP system or are you ok having to do some moving and cleaning?

I think those 5 should get a good start on recommendations for a system.
Good questions....... Like I said, I am just delving into this.

1.) If I am reading your question correctly, It is not necessary that I take it out of the box and plug it in and start brewing immediately. I would be hiring an electrician for some work to get that end of things up to code. I am fine with plugging things together - but I do not want to be putting circuits in, I don't want to drill holes in pots and boxes, I don't want to solder anything, I don't want to run wire and put cords together, etc. Basically, I want the stuff done that needs electrical knowledge, and I want the stuff done that requires tools other than screwdriver

2.) Web Based vs. Mechanical - I guess this is something I am not familiar with..... I am assuming that Web-based is dealing with the process being computerized and the brewing is controlled by a web based computer program??? If so - I guess I am open to that possibility, but I am probably equally fine without it. I like to be involved in the brewing process.

3.) As mentioned in #2 - I like brewing. I like the process. To be honest, that is why I am leaning toward 3 vessel over 1...... I don't want making beer to be like a bread machine, where I just mix everything together and push a single button and come back when it is done. That said - I do like the idea of repeatability and temperature control/recirculation for really dialing in recipes, step mashes, etc.

4.) No hurry - My current system works fine. But have been considering an upgrade for a couple years and would like to move that way over the next year or two.

5.) I currently wash my pots in the sink, hoses, etc. I guess I am ok with either. The one thing that always scares me about any kind of automation, recirculation, plate chiller, pumps, etc..... - I hate not being able to see parts of my system as far as cleaning. I like to know something is clean, and that scares me a bit. I am sure it is just a matter of a quality routine - but cleaning and sanitation is super critical to me. I don't want anything that I cannot be confident in its ability to be clean and sanitary.

If I missed your meaning on any of these, let me know. I am a noob to electric brewing.
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Kegged/Serving: Citra IPA, Oatmeal Amber Ale, American Wheat, Ordinary Bitter, Double IPA
Bottled
: Barley Wine, Sour Belgian Golden on Cherries, Sour Cherry Stout
Primary: Heady Topper Clone, Double Citra IPA, Munich Helles
Secondary/Lagering: Schwarzbier, Oktoberfest, Bourbon Barrel Porter
Future Brews: Bo-Pilsner, Porter, APA, American Brown, Oatmeal Stout, Schwarzbier #2, British Dark Mild, More...... More....... Beer.......
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Old 12-02-2013, 10:02 PM   #6
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Regarding 3-vessel vs. single vessel BIAB, it is really personal preference. I have found that I can do just about anything with BIAB, with the limits on batch size constrained by the size of the vessel, just like with multiple vessels, although I do have to be able to accommodate the full grain bill and water volume in one vessel. I also need to be able to lift the bag, but there are plenty of ways to get around that (mechanical advantage through pulleys, draining wort into buckets before trying to lift, working out more , etc.). I can step mash if so desired, but obviously I do it through applying heat and cannot do a hot water infusion step. I get great efficiency, but I do mill my grain pretty fine. Where it really shines is in simplicity, in fewer parts to clean, and in compressing the time window required to brew. I can be finished in about 3 hours, or even less, but I also practice no-chill. It is not "press a button" and be done with it.

All that said, back to personal preference, if one prefers a 3 vessel HERMS or a RIMS system, that is great. A good brewer can make good beer on any of these systems.

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Old 12-03-2013, 01:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braufessor View Post
Good questions....... Like I said, I am just delving into this.

1.) If I am reading your question correctly, It is not necessary that I take it out of the box and plug it in and start brewing immediately. I would be hiring an electrician for some work to get that end of things up to code. I am fine with plugging things together - but I do not want to be putting circuits in, I don't want to drill holes in pots and boxes, I don't want to solder anything, I don't want to run wire and put cords together, etc. Basically, I want the stuff done that needs electrical knowledge, and I want the stuff done that requires tools other than screwdriver

2.) Web Based vs. Mechanical - I guess this is something I am not familiar with..... I am assuming that Web-based is dealing with the process being computerized and the brewing is controlled by a web based computer program??? If so - I guess I am open to that possibility, but I am probably equally fine without it. I like to be involved in the brewing process.

3.) As mentioned in #2 - I like brewing. I like the process. To be honest, that is why I am leaning toward 3 vessel over 1...... I don't want making beer to be like a bread machine, where I just mix everything together and push a single button and come back when it is done. That said - I do like the idea of repeatability and temperature control/recirculation for really dialing in recipes, step mashes, etc.

4.) No hurry - My current system works fine. But have been considering an upgrade for a couple years and would like to move that way over the next year or two.

5.) I currently wash my pots in the sink, hoses, etc. I guess I am ok with either. The one thing that always scares me about any kind of automation, recirculation, plate chiller, pumps, etc..... - I hate not being able to see parts of my system as far as cleaning. I like to know something is clean, and that scares me a bit. I am sure it is just a matter of a quality routine - but cleaning and sanitation is super critical to me. I don't want anything that I cannot be confident in its ability to be clean and sanitary.

If I missed your meaning on any of these, let me know. I am a noob to electric brewing.
That helps a lot. The first question was what I was trying to get to... you may have to order some parts and screw them together, but you should be able to order the pots with all the fittings welded so you can just install.

The web-based vs. mechanical is based on a system like E-Brew Supply's vs. Kal's (the electric brewery). I'm not sure of a solution that comes with everything pre-installed, but they sell all the items needed with the exception of the vessels.

I'm not good about the vessels since I am using kegs, but I'm sure someone could give some more help!
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Old 12-03-2013, 01:32 AM   #8
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If you don't want to drill kettles, you're left with a couple options...buy a kettle and have someone do it for you or get something from Stout Kettles with TriClamp ports and use an element housing from brew hardware or Still Dragon. I went with the latter and love it. Very simplistic but does require a little DIY.

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Old 12-03-2013, 01:43 AM   #9
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I've been eyeing this e-biab setup from High Gravity, which is around a grand.

http://www.highgravitybrew.com/produ...m#.Up1Eh2RDvzR

You can also pick your own components for a three-vessel electric system if you prefer that- I believe they will do all the technical stuff so it will be "plug and play" for you.

http://www.highgravitybrew.com/produ...m#.Up1FFGRDvzQ

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Old 12-03-2013, 01:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heckels View Post
The two most popular sites that offer a prebuilt option are:

http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/products

And

http://www.ebrewsupply.com/ebrew-control-panels.html

One is based on PIDs, the other more around the use of BCS and a web-based GUI.

So far, the only completely pre-designed/built E-brewing system I've run across is the High Gravity E-BIAB rig here - http://www.highgravitybrew.com/produ...m#.Up1E0eJPmVc

Here's what The Electric Brewery says in their FAQs about "turn-key" set ups -

I don't have time to build this / I want to buy a setup like this. Will you sell me a setup like yours?

In addition to DIY kits and hard to find components, we are working with a US based manufacturer to offer completely built systems for those that do not want to build their own system.

New products are continually being added to our Products page so check back often.

Don't see something listed that you're interested in? Email us and let us know. We are continually working to bring special products on board at discounted prices.


I'd suggest contacting Kal at kal@theelectricbrewery.com and let him know what you'd like to do. I expect that you'll find him very helpful.
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