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3 in 1 BIAC vs doing this all over again but electric this time

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N9BOW

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Hello,

Its been a while since I have been active on here.. I mostly lurk.
I am not new to all grain but I am (will be) new to electric brewing. I built this home brew system and sold it on here in 2014. Looking to now "Buy" an All-In-One BIAC system


I am now starting to settle into my new location and new phase in life and would like to go all electric, and one vessel. We have the electrician coming this week to put in the 220 line. I could build a new system, but am really set on one of these new all-in-one systems for simplicity of brew day, cleaning, and space as I am doing all this in my basement in a fairly limited area.

Looking for input on Brewha, Brau, or any other competitor. Please consider I dont want to build my own again.. been there done that...It was the most satisfying exercise I have ever embarked on... However, with that said I am ready to have someone else "mow my lawn" in regard to building a new brew system.

Looking forward to the replies or links to other threads that are current. Most of what I have found are fairly older threads.

Thanks
Eric
 

doug293cz

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Can't help you with the turn-key systems comparison, but love the 'ready to have someone else "mow my lawn"' analogy.

Brew on :mug:
 

azdavid

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Hello,

Its been a while since I have been active on here.. I mostly lurk.
I am not new to all grain but I am (will be) new to electric brewing. I built this home brew system and sold it on here in 2014. Looking to now "Buy" an All-In-One BIAC system


I am now starting to settle into my new location and new phase in life and would like to go all electric, and one vessel. We have the electrician coming this week to put in the 220 line. I could build a new system, but am really set on one of these new all-in-one systems for simplicity of brew day, cleaning, and space as I am doing all this in my basement in a fairly limited area.

Looking for input on Brewha, Brau, or any other competitor. Please consider I dont want to build my own again.. been there done that...It was the most satisfying exercise I have ever embarked on... However, with that said I am ready to have someone else "mow my lawn" in regard to building a new brew system.

Looking forward to the replies or links to other threads that are current. Most of what I have found are fairly older threads.

Thanks
Eric
After some long debate and research I ended up purchasing the 15 Gallon Brew Boss system with the COFI. I love it, Quality is top notch
Here is a link to a video from Darin of Brew Boss putting the system through a Brew Session this will give you a good idea of the system and its capabilities.
 

JB_Brewing2

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I've been more than pleased with my medium BIAC from Brewha. Purchased three years ago and still no issues.
 

PeteSeattle

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I did the same thing (took a break). Returning to brewing I did biab for sometime. But decided that I really preferred 3 vessels. Don’t ask why but that’s how it worked out.

Now, if I did keep on my BIAB method of brewing. I would’ve gone for Brewha only because of true BIAC with their built in conical fermentation. But the smallest Brewha set-up cost a lot more than my 3 vessel so I was fine with not having a BIAC. My 2 cents.

Hope you find the system that works for you. Cheers.
 
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N9BOW

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After some long debate and research I ended up purchasing the 15 Gallon Brew Boss system with the COFI. I love it, Quality is top notch
Here is a link to a video from Darin of Brew Boss putting the system through a Brew Session this will give you a good idea of the system and its capabilities.
Looks like a nice set up but I dont think this will fit the bill.

I am leaning towards the Brewha Biac or the Brau Unitank Pro at this point. I want to be able to brew a 10 gallon batch and ferment in the same vessel.... then go to kegs.
 

PeteSeattle

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kinda wish Stout or SS Brewtech or others would make a BIAC option.. would be great to have more options.
If Spike had one when I was shopping then I would’ve had gone with them (personal preference). They kinda have one now. But yes, you’ve got my vote for Brewha! Cheers ...
 

azdavid

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Looks like a nice set up but I dont think this will fit the bill.

I am leaning towards the Brewha Biac or the Brau Unitank Pro at this point. I want to be able to brew a 10 gallon batch and ferment in the same vessel.... then go to kegs.
Ah I see that now I read BIAB not BIAC the Brewha Biac does look like a nice setup.
 
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N9BOW

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If Spike had one when I was shopping then I would’ve had gone with them (personal preference). They kinda have one now. But yes, you’ve got my vote for Brewha! Cheers ...
Is this a custom kettle they mention on their site?

I dig that these guys are a made in the USA business and close to my back yard. I will give these guys serious consideration.
 

PeteSeattle

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Is this a custom kettle they mention on their site?

I dig that these guys are a made in the USA business and close to my back yard. I will give these guys serious consideration.
Yes it is. I thought there was a thread on here about one that someone purchased and I can’t find it. But the person’s system ended up on their Instagram...
https://www.instagram.com/p/BnjjS1GhR0z/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

You may have already found this link
https://spikebrewing.freshdesk.com/support/solutions/articles/35000055830-ebiab
But looks like you’ll need to put it all together and shop for a control box.

I did end up with a Spike system only because I went to HomebrewCon this past year and met a the owner. Others are popular for sure but I’ve also been experiencing excellent customer service from them. They are also a smaller company that I like to support. I’m pretty impressed.

Now, here’s another company that is in Portland, Stout. I really like the quality of their basket. Not mesh, no bag, but perforated SS. I purchased a conical from them years ago.
https://conical-fermenter.com/BK18TW-TI-EL1-BIB-104-18-gal-Brew-In-Bag-Kettle.html

Anyway, hope this further helps you. Cheers!
 
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N9BOW

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OK.. Spike has really peaked my interest especially seeing how they can add/customize any kettle or conical.

now looking into the cost difference/feasibility of going with a CF10 or CF15 and add the necessary ports for the heating element and brew controller etc.

I would use a brew bag instead of a colander (should save a bunch right there)... Just thinking out loud here.. I'm sure someone else has noodled on this sort of setup. Any input would be appreciated.

Im sure the brew bag would have to be just right to not hit the heating element. I would definitely use a small hoist whichever way this goes to lift the bag.
 
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N9BOW

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Yes it is. I thought there was a thread on here about one that someone purchased and I can’t find it. But the person’s system ended up on their Instagram...
https://www.instagram.com/p/BnjjS1GhR0z/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

You may have already found this link
https://spikebrewing.freshdesk.com/support/solutions/articles/35000055830-ebiab
But looks like you’ll need to put it all together and shop for a control box.

I did end up with a Spike system only because I went to HomebrewCon this past year and met a the owner. Others are popular for sure but I’ve also been experiencing excellent customer service from them. They are also a smaller company that I like to support. I’m pretty impressed.

Now, here’s another company that is in Portland, Stout. I really like the quality of their basket. Not mesh, no bag, but perforated SS. I purchased a conical from them years ago.
https://conical-fermenter.com/BK18TW-TI-EL1-BIB-104-18-gal-Brew-In-Bag-Kettle.html

Anyway, hope this further helps you. Cheers!
Just saw this after my last post!!! awesome thanks
 
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N9BOW

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OK.. off to family time dinner for KFC today at my favorite Mother-In-Laws, and card games afterward.. Will check back later!

I appreciate all the info!
keep it flowin!
 
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PeteSeattle

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E2FE8845-CBB2-454E-B9CE-98B8414181E5.png
So, that set-up I shared earlier is on the Facebook Spike user group. I thought it was on this forum. Here is a screen shot of his set-up with a little more detail. The basket is from arborfab.
 
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TxBigHops

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So I realize it's not brew in a conical, but have you looked at Colorado Brewing Systems? They've got some great looking stuff, also built in the USA like Spike, and the pricing looks really hard to beat.
 

TxBigHops

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tnx! Ill check them out.
Hey Eric, I just noticed you're in Cedar Rapids. I grew up in Cedar Falls and graduated from UNI before relocating to Texas many years ago. This Feb when I was back in Iowa the beer scene was really heating up. Good to see. I try to get to Toppling Goliath any time I get anywhere near the area.
 

azdavid

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Hey Eric, I just noticed you're in Cedar Rapids. I grew up in Cedar Falls and graduated from UNI before relocating to Texas many years ago. This Feb when I was back in Iowa the beer scene was really heating up. Good to see. I try to get to Toppling Goliath any time I get anywhere near the area.
Also an Iowa native.. Grew up in Waterloo. Now residing in Arizona I have never been to Toppling but it is on my list of places to check out next time I travel home..
 

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So I realize it's not brew in a conical, but have you looked at Colorado Brewing Systems? They've got some great looking stuff, also built in the USA like Spike, and the pricing looks really hard to beat.
Not to go off topic here but its worth mentioning that spike does have their vessels and parts made in china as well as other countries by different vendors. They weld the ports and do the finish work and assemble here in the states but with many different vendors making the different components as they have explained in the past... That said I dont know of any truly made in the USA homebrew vessels except the newer blichmann kettles really (and one pays dearly for that).
As far as the Colorado "systems" are concerned I know they are made in the USA but that doesnt necessarily mean the components are either.. just that its made into a "system" here..
They could be, but sometimes this is misleading as well. Again just mentioning for clarification since the made in the USA comment has come up in the conversation a couple times now so if thats really important you might want to research further.

Its like Guiness here in the states... says "brewed in Ireland " on the label but most of it is made in Africa and much of it sold in the states is made in canada by Labatt. When questioned on this they stated that since its thier headquarters and they do make some there and it doesnt specifically say its all brewed there the statement is still legal.

Out of all the different brands I worked with, the heaviest built stuff Ive seen comes from Stout hands down. that said its Literally heavy! so if portability is the goal it may be overkill vs spike which makes some great quality stuff.
 

TxBigHops

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I don't think it's misleading at all. Steel and components are sourced from overseas and the systems are built here in the US. I'm not aware that CBS has stated anything different or has made any efforts to mislead anyone. Earlier on when I first became aware of the company, their fermenters were completely built overseas and the quality was less than desirable. In an effort to correct that they brought the completion and quality control in house for all their equipment. I think that's commendable and shows a commitment to satisfying their customers. It's similar to what Spike is doing which is why I made the comparison.
 

augiedoggy

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I don't think it's misleading at all. Steel and components are sourced from overseas and the systems are built here in the US. I'm not aware that CBS has stated anything different or has made any efforts to mislead anyone. Earlier on when I first became aware of the company, their fermenters were completely built overseas and the quality was less than desirable. In an effort to correct that they brought the completion and quality control in house for all their equipment. I think that's commendable and shows a commitment to satisfying their customers. It's similar to what Spike is doing which is why I made the comparison.
I dont disagree and I dont want to start an arguement, If you read what I wrote I stated that I was not sure of the manufacturing process of CBS only that "made in the USA" is a very broad term these days.

Im merely pointing out its not just the raw steel thats made overseas like you just kinda implied with your statement yourself (thats exactly what im talking out by them implying something) In reality the kettles and conicals are stamped/welded and made overseas and they are in the case of spike, "modified" here with components like ports welded on, cleanup work, lids and seals or packaged with components like control panels. With some product from some companies, the final consumer may be doing more assembly in the states than the companies who package the stuff in a box as a product.
I personally consider it a global product in my mind not really "made in the USA" and they are advertised. many many companies do this and it is what it is. I'm just trying to point out its not exactly what most people picture in thier mind and something a person might want to research further if they are considering it as a real factor in what they buy.

If I buy a piece of particleboard furniture from ikea that was made in china, and assemble it on my living room floor does that mean it was now made in america by me? Yes and no.. more like assembled in the usa. How about if I bought an old Toyota supra, restored and modified it as a hot rod here in the states?. Is it now an american product?.. Hopefully you get the point I was trying to make which is there is big difference between SOME products that claim to be made here and how many people interperate that in their mind. Spike has been very open and honest about their process, some arent.
 
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I just converted from 3 vessel gas to electric, I simply added tri-clamp ferules to existing kettles. Then bought some of the 5500W elements everyone uses and an Auber Cube for a controller. But there are other more comprehensive controllers out there if you want to spend the money and have the amps available.

Don't blame you for not wanting to do the fabrication yourself as I did, but you can buy a 5 pack of the tri-clamp ferules on amazon and find a decent local welder who is set up for stainless.
 
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N9BOW

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I just converted from 3 vessel gas to electric, I simply added tri-clamp ferules to existing kettles. Then bought some of the 5500W elements everyone uses and an Auber Cube for a controller. But there are other more comprehensive controllers out there if you want to spend the money and have the amps available.

Don't blame you for not wanting to do the fabrication yourself as I did, but you can buy a 5 pack of the tri-clamp ferules on amazon and find a decent local welder who is set up for stainless.
I have a friend who has a whole host of commercial fabricators/welders at his disposal. Im sure I could get quality work done by these guys I just hate hate to impose and I know how long the last build took. I am waffling back and forth on the BIAC or a 3 vessel system. Really like the Spike system or equivalent. still on the fence. have plenty of time to make a decision. may look for a deal on the classified for someone looking to upgrade to a larger system.
 

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Hi again. I completely love my 3 vessel 15 gallon Spike system.

Previous I put together a 10 gal spike BIAB kit with an induction plate. I hooked up a pump and added a whirlpool arm attachment. I got a few brew on that system. But as I alluded few weeks ago after all that I was longing for a 3 vessel system. I just prefer it over BIAB.

I hopped on this thread to ask some questions from several owners ...
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/threads/spike-complete-system.599487/
I encourage you to read through that thread if you haven’t already.

Hope that gives you more info for what you may want to do. Cheers!

Edit:
Btw, I just sent my boil kettle back in for them to add a tri-clamp port for a steam condenser. Effectively eliminating the need for an exhaust hood. There’s a thread on that too. Consider adding one before you purchase either system. Condenate hood=close to a little over $1000 vs. about $250-300 for a steam condenser.
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/...denser-no-overhead-ventilation-needed.636955/
 
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N9BOW

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Hi again. I completely love my 3 vessel 15 gallon Spike system.

Previous I put together a 10 gal spike BIAB kit with an induction plate. I hooked up a pump and added a whirlpool arm attachment. I got a few brew on that system. But as I alluded few weeks ago after all that I was longing for a 3 vessel system. I just prefer it over BIAB.

I hopped on this thread to ask some questions from several owners ...
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/threads/spike-complete-system.599487/
I encourage you to read through that thread if you haven’t already.

Hope that gives you more info for what you may want to do. Cheers!

Edit:
Btw, I just sent my boil kettle back in for them to add a tri-clamp port for a steam condenser. Effectively eliminating the need for an exhaust hood. There’s a thread on that too. Consider adding one before you purchase either system. Condenate hood=close to a little over $1000 vs. about $250-300 for a steam condenser.
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/...denser-no-overhead-ventilation-needed.636955/
Awesome I will check it out! Thanks!
 

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Those spike systems look great, would like to have one, but the cost difference is vast. Fortunately, even a home made keggle system can make good beer.
 
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N9BOW

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For you guys that have the unitank pro or Brewha Biac. how fine are you able to crush the grains? for those that have ebiab systems with a steel colander, how fine are you able to crush. just trying to get some input on the colander vs bag.

Thanks
 

PeteSeattle

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Im not one to adopt this method but folks are seriously looking into it. I’m partially doing it since I’m installing a steam condenser because doing that is more affordable than installing a condensate hood.

Here’s a good link
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/threads/byo-low-oxygen-brewing-article-and-live-q-a.643761/

And
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/...gen-brewing-thread-aka-lodo-lowdo-lob.636841/

There are gobs more but this probably is more than enough info. I’m sure someone who’s practicing “LODO.”
 
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N9BOW

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Not to confuse you but in case you were interested in low oxygen brewing
https://conical-fermenter.com/20-Gallon-Brew-Kettle-for-Low-Oxygen-brewing.html?cat=91
The only thing I am seeing "Special" at first looks about this pot is the lid configuration. Not sure I see why there is a $400.00+ premium in price... anyone care to share their opinion? Im game to be moved from ignorance to LODO woke :). It would be great if these guys would back up their claims with feature details and what they contribute to LODO for the uninitiated.

All, thanks for your posts.. Like I said earlier.. been out of the hobby for a while. Seems like things have advanced a bit over the past several years.
 
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N9BOW

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The only thing I am seeing "Special" at first looks about this pot is the lid configuration. Not sure I see why there is a $400.00+ premium in price... anyone care to share their opinion? Im game to be moved from ignorance to LODO woke :). It would be great if these guys would back up their claims with feature details and what they contribute to LODO for the uninitiated.

All, thanks for your posts.. Like I said earlier.. been out of the hobby for a while. Seems like things have advanced a bit over the past several years.
just saw this on their site after doing a Duck Duck Go Search. http://www.lowoxygenbrewing.com/stout-tanks-and-kettles-llc/

they should provide this on their page with their tank. but I digress..
 

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PeteSeattle

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wow! very sexy...

The Mash Tun has a pretty cool set up for brew in a bag
Wow! That’s impressive.

Edit ...
Oh. I just got to the mash tun. That is awesome with the bag holder. I’d just get the MT for BIAB without worrying much about LODO
 
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