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Old 01-27-2012, 05:40 PM   #1
Soviet
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Default How to Spend $3000 on Homebrewing

Folks: I've been brewing for about 3 years with over 70 or so batches under my belt. I'm looking to invest some more money into my craft. I've contemplated building a 2-vessel, 1 pump rims system with some high-grade stout kettles. You can check out the evolution of that design at this thread.

If you look at the price/parts list of the build mentioned above, I'm looking at spending $2700 for a quality brew system. I know I could build that system for a lot less, but I purposely avoided keggles/megapots that I would have to drill/weld/attach threaded fittings. I want IMPECCABLE sanitation and am willing to pay extra to achieve it (stout kettles have those sweet sanitary fittings).

My question is this: considering I'm looking at spending nearly $3000, why shouldn't I order a 50L Speidel Braumeister immediately? Seems like the repeatability factor with that unit would be second to none, and there's been some great reviews. The only limitations I can think of are as follows:

  • I've heard efficiency can be lower than with multi-vessel sytems because of no sparge. If I want to do a high gravity beer, however, couldn't I just do a 5 gallon batch on the 50L unit to fit enough grain?
  • One can't really control the boil/boiloff rate with the waterheater—I'm ok with this as long as I can get a decent rolling boil. Any thoughts?
  • Can't whirlpool the wort as well (I'm guessing) so perhaps you'd get a wort that isn't as clean?

I appreciate all your comments—even the highly critical ones. With the BrauMeister's footprint, the fact that it fits in the frigging dishwasher with the top shelf removed, It would probably cut my brew-day in half, while also allowing me to brew inside makes it a pretty irresistible idea. Talk me out of this if you can.
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:17 PM   #2
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Do you want to be all electric? or is propane an option? Do you need/want automation? I here people really like the Speidel Braumeister.

I came across these guys recently during an search for kettles the other day.
http://www.synergybrew.com/complete_...-brew-systems/

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Old 01-27-2012, 06:58 PM   #3
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For me, repeatability is #1. I want to be able to focus more on recipe design, and controlling my fermentation. I want my process and sanitation to be IMPECCABLE. I like the fact that this system doesn't have any uneccessary transfers, hoses etc. Automation is great if it saves me hours of my brew day. I currently, I brew 5 gallon full-boil batches in a 9 gallon pot on a turkey fryer. I mash in a converted 10gal cooler. I don't use any pumps so everything takes forever. I cool my wort using a copper immersion chiller (also takes forever). Also, I live in WI so when I brew in the winter, it can really be a pain.

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Old 01-27-2012, 07:43 PM   #4
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Not saying your approach is wrong, but one of the joys I get from this passion (it's a hobby but it's a love hate relationship) is the brew day. I feel like a mad scientist and while it may take several hours I get to RDWHAHB.

Have you thought about saving up and getting something like this http://www.brewmagic.com/products/br...v350ms-system/

Looks like you are looking for something that is already completely assembled and ready to go. I believe this would work. Although it's about double your budget.

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Old 01-27-2012, 07:46 PM   #5
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Someone from my local club is selling thier Brewmagic I just noticed. Asking $4500

http://alemakers.com/plugins/forum/f...topic.php?6952

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Old 01-28-2012, 01:09 AM   #6
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Anything over $3000 is over my budget—besides, if I were to do a multi-vessel propane system I'd build a 2 vessel RIMS system like the one in the thread I mentioned above.

OatStraw, I know the 6 hour brew day / manual labor all TOO well. I do love my craft and I love my brew day, but right now I have ZERO automation and I think I could take my craft to a new level going from 5 gallon to 10 gallon batches. I just don't want to add extra hours cleaning 2 additional vessels.

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Old 01-28-2012, 03:18 AM   #7
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Get the Braumeister!!!! I friggin love that thing and I'm brewing so much more since it makes the brewing process more enjoyable. No regrets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soviet View Post


  • I've heard efficiency can be lower than with multi-vessel sytems because of no sparge. If I want to do a high gravity beer, however, couldn't I just do a 5 gallon batch on the 50L unit to fit enough grain?
  • One can't really control the boil/boiloff rate with the waterheater—I'm ok with this as long as I can get a decent rolling boil. Any thoughts?
  • Can't whirlpool the wort as well (I'm guessing) so perhaps you'd get a wort that isn't as clean?
1. I am locked in at 82% efficiency w/ my 50L. Last four brews all hit that. If you want to go super high G you can always add DME, honey or sugar. Did that for a Dubel.
2. Just make sure your pre-boil gravity is in-line and can always add a heatstick to accelerate. ($30)
3. Wort comes out amazingly clear from the cycling through the grains. Some folks have added piping to the pumps to create a whirlpool. I just use grain bags to keep hops under control.

With the Braumeister I am no longer a slave to the wort. Dial in the programming and go do whatever you want while the system manages temps, so nice.
Got brew day down to 5 hrs and most of that time is worry free.
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Old 01-28-2012, 03:53 AM   #8
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Man that Braumeister looks cool. It's got me thinking about my next electric build. Im picturing a chain hoist, PID's, stainless for days... Thanks for the inspiration Spiedel!

Oh, the Sabco looks pretty slick for a gas system.

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Old 01-28-2012, 04:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sj_engr View Post
2. Just make sure your pre-boil gravity is in-line and can always add a heatstick to accelerate. ($30)
What's a "heatstick?"
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Old 01-28-2012, 04:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soviet View Post
What's a "heatstick?"
its a electric heating element on a wand and you dip it into the water or wort.

tons of info on them on the forums.

-=Jason=-
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