I was thinking about what more I could do with the Beer Machine that originally got me into brewing. This last weekend I brewed this specialty grain and extract recipe in there:
2 lbs Bulk Light LME
1 lb Extra Light DME
½ lb Pilsner Malt
1 oz Warrior Hops
1 oz Saaz Hops
Nottingham Dry Yeast
Followed normal brewing procedure and then dumped it all in the Beer Machine and pitched the yeast dry.
Already lots of fermentation and slowing down a little. Just tasted it and it is right on the money taste-wise just two days after pitching.
I have realized there are several nice things about the Beer Machine
1. You can taste the beer easily, just tap some off and let the head settle then test away with the hydrometer and taste some too.
2. It gives you the PSI in the keg and lets you pump in CO2 if you want to.
3. Since it is closed it captures all the natural carbonation if you brew with it.
It will hold a steady 15 PSI and release all the extra CO2 past that, then reabsorb into the beer when cooled.
The next time I brew this smaller recipe I plan to brew it to an almost complete primary and then put it in the Beer Machine to act like a keg and force carb it instead of priming with anything. I will also do this when my Cyser finishes and then back sweeten it, stick it in the Beer Machine in the fridge and force carb it for sweet sparkling cyser.
Thought I would share my ideas and experiences with this kit since it is what I started with. I know lots of brewers out there probably have them just sitting around gathering dust with no idea what to use them for now since they are "serious" brewers at this point. Get em out and experiment, it's a system with merit if you invest a little time and ingenuity in it.