3-in-1 "Boil Kettle, Jacketed Chiller, Conical Fermenter" by Brewha

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jeffcosgrove

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I just use the idea behind the foam stoppers for yeast starters for the cooling stages. My mom gave me some foam that she buys at fabric stores that appears to be the same as those you buy from midwestsupplies but thinner so that I can wrap 2 layers around the blowoff hose and I attach them with one of my daughter's hair rubber bands. I haven't had any issues after about 7 batches. You could probably cut out one of these and stick it into the hose:

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/foam-stopper-35-45mm.html

I made a DIY chiller based on this:

http://byo.com/brown-ale/item/1877-build-your-own-glycol-fermenter

I have the medium BIAC and bought a 5000 BTU AC and have not had any problems chilling to 33 deg in my basement.

I used this old aquarium pump that I had to run the system and drilled holes through the lid of the cooler:

http://www.aquacave.com/sen-700-water-pump-by-won-brothers.html

I think the pump is discontinued but you should be able to size another one based on its flow and head specifications. I have run it without any valve restrictions and had no issues. I have 3/4" inlet and outlet braided tubing on the inlet and outlet. I currently have one of the BREWHA valves on there trying to optimize the control cycle for lager fermentations and have it about half way open.
 

jeffcosgrove

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I meant to add to my previous post that this is what I use to pull the mash colander out of the unit:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001BXJVNC/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

Seems to be an inexpensive alternative that I just attached to one of my floor joists and have not had any problems pulling the colander out with 35# of grain and the associated wort in it.
 
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limulus

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Two summers ago, I built a 4x4x4 fermentation cabinet in my garage using a new 5000 BTU A/C unit and an STC-1000 with the probe in a sealed bottle of water. I considered buying a Coolbot, but the STC-1000 continues to work just fine. I still use it to store grain in plastic totes inside at 68F. I also kept two SS Brewtech conical fermenters and a Speidel Braumeister fermenter so I can do a double or triple brew weekend with my BIAC. It has been over 90 a lot the last month and the glycol chiller had to work hard to crash the medium BIAC in my garage. I crashed my last brew down to 45F for a couple of days and then transferred to kegs and put them in my garage fridge and then the keezer. That was a lot less stressful for my glycol chiller.

I just use the idea behind the foam stoppers for yeast starters for the cooling stages. My mom gave me some foam that she buys at fabric stores that appears to be the same as those you buy from midwestsupplies but thinner so that I can wrap 2 layers around the blowoff hose and I attach them with one of my daughter's hair rubber bands. I haven't had any issues after about 7 batches. You could probably cut out one of these and stick it into the hose:

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/foam-stopper-35-45mm.html

I made a DIY chiller based on this:

http://byo.com/brown-ale/item/1877-build-your-own-glycol-fermenter

I have the medium BIAC and bought a 5000 BTU AC and have not had any problems chilling to 33 deg in my basement.

I used this old aquarium pump that I had to run the system and drilled holes through the lid of the cooler:

http://www.aquacave.com/sen-700-water-pump-by-won-brothers.html

I think the pump is discontinued but you should be able to size another one based on its flow and head specifications. I have run it without any valve restrictions and had no issues. I have 3/4" inlet and outlet braided tubing on the inlet and outlet. I currently have one of the BREWHA valves on there trying to optimize the control cycle for lager fermentations and have it about half way open.
 

cuda6pak

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I meant to add to my previous post that this is what I use to pull the mash colander out of the unit:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001BXJVNC/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

Seems to be an inexpensive alternative that I just attached to one of my floor joists and have not had any problems pulling the colander out with 35# of grain and the associated wort in it.

Nice and cheap. I may go this route instead of spending the $150-$200+ for an electric hoist.

Two summers ago, I built a 4x4x4 fermentation cabinet in my garage using a new 5000 BTU A/C unit and an STC-1000 with the probe in a sealed bottle of water. I considered buying a Coolbot, but the STC-1000 continues to work just fine. I still use it to store grain in plastic totes inside at 68F. I also kept two SS Brewtech conical fermenters and a Speidel Braumeister fermenter so I can do a double or triple brew weekend with my BIAC. It has been over 90 a lot the last month and the glycol chiller had to work hard to crash the medium BIAC in my garage. I crashed my last brew down to 45F for a couple of days and then transferred to kegs and put them in my garage fridge and then the keezer. That was a lot less stressful for my glycol chiller.

Finally crashing today with the new 1/3/hp TK2000, we'll see how it does.
 
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limulus

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grain mill gap settings: I know this has been discussed but there are a lot of pages and I could not find it. I had been keeping my recipes at Brewmasters Warehouse and buying pre-crushed grains. Their packages were sealed and it had worked great for me for a few years. Now they are closed so I bought 3-roller mill. What are you guys using for the gap settings?
 

RiverCityBrewer

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grain mill gap settings: I know this has been discussed but there are a lot of pages and I could not find it. I had been keeping my recipes at Brewmasters Warehouse and buying pre-crushed grains. Their packages were sealed and it had worked great for me for a few years. Now they are closed so I bought 3-roller mill. What are you guys using for the gap settings?

I have a 3 roller mill as well and I've only brewed twice with the BIAC. The first grist I milled at my old system setting of .040 and I managed to compact the grain pretty well and had a lot of material fall through to the bottom. The second brew I backed off to .045 and I had much better run off, and while I still had some husk material make it into the cone, the pump was able to handle it. I may try the double false bottom that you had shown and see if it makes a difference.
 

limulus

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I have a 3 roller mill as well and I've only brewed twice with the BIAC. The first grist I milled at my old system setting of .040 and I managed to compact the grain pretty well and had a lot of material fall through to the bottom. The second brew I backed off to .045 and I had much better run off, and while I still had some husk material make it into the cone, the pump was able to handle it. I may try the double false bottom that you had shown and see if it makes a difference.

Thanks for the info. The stuff I was getting from BMW was also specifically ground for a spargeless system so it was a little fine.

I definitely did not have a stuck sparge/flow after I installed that second bottom. It helped quite a bit in my case.
 

cooldood

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I Have one something like this
http://www.harborfreight.com/1000-lb-capacity-hand-winch-65688.html

image_22163.jpg
 

cuda6pak

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any results to report?

Well, results are in, TK2000 could only handle 39°, checked the garage ambient and it was 90°, so I can't be too mad.

So, I did what anyone else would do and hooked the chillers up tandem, so I have the TK500 feeding into the TK2000. Just started it back up and we'll see how it goes. I can't be too mad since the garage is basically a sauna. Plus I went back to home depot and got the right size 1/2" rubber insulation that nets up against the silicon hose, unlike the 3/4" insulation I have now which is loose, and I'm sure losing quite a bit of thermal capacity due tonits loose fit, I'll install it before the next brew.

As far as mill gap settings settings I finally dialed into .045 with my cheap cereal killer grain mill, usually around 65-70% efficiency, bit occasionally would dip into low 60s without really any cause. So, I went ahead and bought a Monster Mill Pro-2 with the 2" rollers. Hoping this provides a better crush to keep the hulls intact and provide a faster lauter and recirc with rice hulls. My next batch will be with 6lbs of pumpkin in the mash so likely not a good indicator, but I will report back of course. I'll start with a 0.045 which is stock I believe.
 

brianpedersen

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I meant to add to my previous post that this is what I use to pull the mash colander out of the unit:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001BXJVNC/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

Seems to be an inexpensive alternative that I just attached to one of my floor joists and have not had any problems pulling the colander out with 35# of grain and the associated wort in it.

I used something similar with my previous brew rig, but I got tired of messing with it. So when I got the BIAC I went with a cheap hand winch, with plastic coated wire.

winch.png
 
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cuda6pak

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I would be all over that winch setup if I had a relief somewhere close to where I brew to mount it.
 

Jimmy82

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Curious what everyone else is doing for a mash/sparge process?

  • How do you calculate strike temp?
  • Do you recirculate during the mash?
  • If you recirculate, how do you calculate strike temp?
  • If you don't recirculate during the mash, do you recirculate before you raise the colander?
  • Do you sparge?
  • What is your mash efficiency?

Any other tips or tricks worth mentioning?
 

RiverCityBrewer

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  • How do you calculate strike temp?
    - I calculate based on the full volume of water in the conical
  • Do you recirculate during the mash?
    - Yes
  • If you recirculate, how do you calculate strike temp?
    - Same as #1
  • If you don't recirculate during the mash, do you recirculate before you raise the colander?
    -N/A
  • Do you sparge?
    - Yes, usually just use a few liters of water at the end of the mash to make boil volume... I'm still dialing this in.
  • What is your mash efficiency?
    - About 75%, hoping to improve this with better sparging
 

limulus

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Answers are below in blue.

Curious what everyone else is doing for a mash/sparge process?

  • How do you calculate strike temp?
    I use BeerSmith and intentionally calculate temp a little low so I don't over run the temp. Sometimes, I use a simple calculator like this:
    http://www.brew365.com/mash_sparge_water_calculator.php
  • Do you recirculate during the mash?
    Always
  • If you recirculate, how do you calculate strike temp?
    BeerSmith
  • If you don't recirculate during the mash, do you recirculate before you raise the colander?
  • Do you sparge?
    Ocasionally. I have a 10gal beverage cooler/former MT that uses a bucket heater and an STC1000 to warm sparge water. I also have a second Chugger pump and set of hoses to handle this task
  • What is your mash efficiency?
    Normally 60-70%

Any other tips or tricks worth mentioning?
I bought a slottedd false bottom that sits on top of the perforated bottom of the mash colander and have had excellent luck draining the mash w/o getting stuck.
I have also bought additional triclamp fittings to make extra hoses.
I also wrote a complete SOP that works for me just based my previous experiences.

I do also dump trub after the wort is chilled and settled before pitching yeast. I also dump trub after primary fermentation and again after secondary. I also kept my two SS Brewtech conical fermenters so I can have a multiple brew weekend.

I think I'm going to start pressing my grainbed after the wort has stopped running out. I used to give my BIAB bags a squeeze and I think it helped. I am going to make some sort of press that fits into the colander.
 

cuda6pak

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Curious what everyone else is doing for a mash/sparge process?

  • How do you calculate strike temp?
    BeerSmith - using the profiles Nathan provided and changing to Infusion in mash.
  • Do you recirculate during the mash?
    Always
  • If you recirculate, how do you calculate strike temp?
    #1
  • If you don't recirculate during the mash, do you recirculate before you raise the colander?
  • Do you sparge?
    Never
  • What is your mash efficiency?
    65-75%

Any other tips or tricks worth mentioning?


I am also considering having Jaybird build a custom low rise false bottom for a 2-stage filtering of the grainbed. I can recirculate pretty decent but would like to mill a little finer and still increase recirculation speed. Jaybirds False bottom on my old mash tun did wonders vs the stock slotted dome false bottom.

My biggest problem is that I always tend to have way more wort than I should before starting the boil - IE my grain absorption rate seems to be even lower than the usual 0.78 for BIAB. I need to go back through my notes again to see what the problem is. I usually just boil for an hour+ to reach my desired volume before throwing the 90 or 60 min hop addition.
 

cuda6pak

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Also forgot to mention that I had a nightmare of a brewday, probably mostly my fault. Did a pumpkin beer with 6lbs of pureed pumpkin in the mash with 1lb of rice hulls. I dumped the hulls and pumpkin in first, and then the grain. Big mistake. Clogged up my Chugger with rice hulls as well as the bottom port even with a Glacier butterfly valve. Probably should have thrown those in last on top of the grain. Took 30 minutes to clear everything. Oh well, won't make that mistake again.
 

limulus

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I am also considering having Jaybird build a custom low rise false bottom for a 2-stage filtering of the grainbed. I can recirculate pretty decent but would like to mill a little finer and still increase recirculation speed. Jaybirds False bottom on my old mash tun did wonders vs the stock slotted dome false bottom.

My biggest problem is that I always tend to have way more wort than I should before starting the boil - IE my grain absorption rate seems to be even lower than the usual 0.78 for BIAB. I need to go back through my notes again to see what the problem is. I usually just boil for an hour+ to reach my desired volume before throwing the 90 or 60 min hop addition.

Yeah, the extra wort thing is puzzling to me also. It caught me off guard the first time and had a pretty big impact on my OG
 

cuda6pak

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It's the grain absorption rate. Typical batch sparge 3 vessel system is 0.96 and BIAB is around 0.78, which is where I was at originally, and now after switching to 0.78 I'm still ending up with too much.
 

JB_Brewing2

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No, I don't have one. I am just saying that you need to give Beersmith the proper information to start from......

If the equipment profile does not match reality Beersmith cannot give the right results.

Yes, I was aware of that. I was questioning the accuracy of the equipment profile provided on the Brewha website.

cuda6pak,

What adjustments have you made to the equipment profile?
 

kh54s10

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Yes, I was aware of that. I was questioning the accuracy of the equipment profile provided on the Brewha website.

cuda6pak,

What adjustments have you made to the equipment profile?


Ok, didn't know it was a Brewha profile. I have a pieced together system so I had to work out all the details myself.

That said, even the placement of the system in the house will make some difference. Someone with a cooler room and great ventilation, will get a different boil off than someone in a hot garage with little ventilation.
 

b1v1r

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I've noticed that on my small BIAC where I do not have contol over the heater (on full or off) it can easily scortch. This is especially true when just starting the mash because particles fall through and sit on the heater and may burn. And going with a lower mash volumn to compensate for the lack of grain absorption can also cause the level to go too low during recirculation and expose the heating element whish will then scortch in a few seconds. I just ruined a batch with some flaked wheat this way when the mash stuck a bit. I'm going to get a control for the burner, but wondered what others were doing with their heater control during mash and boil. I will start turning the heat off until the grain lays a bed and will probably not go full wattage on the boil and instead ramp up a bit. I think the extra false bottom is a good idea as well. My LHBS has their mill set a little fine for the BIAC so this may help.

As for clogging the chugger, I manually vorlauf a few times with a pitcher before hooking up the pump. Learned that the ard way on my first batch.

For sparging, I ramp up my initial temp to about 175F-180F with an almost full vessel without the colander. Then run out down to my mash volume into an old insulated cooler mash tun for sparging water. When I drop the cold colander in, it pretty much settles to my strike temp. I do a mash out to 168F to get everything a bit thinner (20mins) and then sparge very slowly. I get about 80%. Hit my SG pretty consistently.

I would not recirculate the mash with the colander up as this seems like it could lead to oxidized wort too easily.
 

cuda6pak

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Yes, I was aware of that. I was questioning the accuracy of the equipment profile provided on the Brewha website.

cuda6pak,

What adjustments have you made to the equipment profile?

I believe it's in Tools > Advanced > Grain Absorption Rate. I've changed mine to 0.78 according to my first 5 brews and thought I had it dialed in, but still seem to come out with more wort, though the last few bathes have had lots of flaked adjuncts and then latest had 6lbs of pumpkin.
 

cuda6pak

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I've noticed that on my small BIAC where I do not have contol over the heater (on full or off) it can easily scortch. This is especially true when just starting the mash because particles fall through and sit on the heater and may burn. And going with a lower mash volumn to compensate for the lack of grain absorption can also cause the level to go too low during recirculation and expose the heating element whish will then scortch in a few seconds. I just ruined a batch with some flaked wheat this way when the mash stuck a bit. I'm going to get a control for the burner, but wondered what others were doing with their heater control during mash and boil. I will start turning the heat off until the grain lays a bed and will probably not go full wattage on the boil and instead ramp up a bit. I think the extra false bottom is a good idea as well. My LHBS has their mill set a little fine for the BIAC so this may help.

As for clogging the chugger, I manually vorlauf a few times with a pitcher before hooking up the pump. Learned that the ard way on my first batch.

For sparging, I ramp up my initial temp to about 175F-180F with an almost full vessel without the colander. Then run out down to my mash volume into an old insulated cooler mash tun for sparging water. When I drop the cold colander in, it pretty much settles to my strike temp. I do a mash out to 168F to get everything a bit thinner (20mins) and then sparge very slowly. I get about 80%. Hit my SG pretty consistently.

I would not recirculate the mash with the colander up as this seems like it could lead to oxidized wort too easily.

For the medium BIAC I dial down my heat control to 25-30% of full power. That keeps it from scorching anything and also keeps it from re-heating the recirculating wort too fast creating mismatched temps.

I would manually vorlauf first but I like to recirculate all my water first to get all my RO water additions throughly mixed throughout all of the water. I think the double false bottom will prevent the need for a manual vorlauf
 

JB_Brewing2

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I believe it's in Tools > Advanced > Grain Absorption Rate. I've changed mine to 0.78 according to my first 5 brews and thought I had it dialed in, but still seem to come out with more wort, though the last few bathes have had lots of flaked adjuncts and then latest had 6lbs of pumpkin.

Thank you cuda6pak! :mug:
 

limulus

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I made the mistake of loosening the clamp on one of the ball valves that came with the system. Now, I can't get it to stop leaking. I use these on the cooling jacket and the lid as a vent. These ball valves seem like they are really nice quality pieces, but damn, I just can't get it to stop leaking. Is there a trick to getting these back together or should I just buy more butterfly valves?
 

Jimmy82

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I made the mistake of loosening the clamp on one of the ball valves that came with the system. Now, I can't get it to stop leaking. I use these on the cooling jacket and the lid as a vent. These ball valves seem like they are really nice quality pieces, but damn, I just can't get it to stop leaking. Is there a trick to getting these back together or should I just buy more butterfly valves?

I had the same problem until I started completely disassembling the valve (removing handle and all), and reassembling. The key seemed to be installing the handle last as it allowed the gasket to properly align in the groves.
 

brew-in

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Arrived today. Was very well packed. I thought I'd share just how much comes with this system - the inventory list on the site just does not do it justice. In addition to the vessel on the floor, *everything* on the table was included (Extras: 2 hop baskets, the chugger pump and an aeration stone). That is a lot of parts. Doing a water test now.

Hi,

Thanks for the pict. If you do not mind I have a few questions:

1) Was the Chugger pump extra or did it come with the system?

2) Is your picture a Small BAIC?

Seriously considering a purchase....the current US $ to Canadian $ exchange rate is very favorable.
 

limulus

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I had the same problem until I started completely disassembling the valve (removing handle and all), and reassembling. The key seemed to be installing the handle last as it allowed the gasket to properly align in the groves.

That thought did occur to me. Now that you have confirmed it, that is what I'll do. It seems like the gasket was being stretched over by the handle and not aligning just like you said.
 

limulus

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Hi,

Thanks for the pict. If you do not mind I have a few questions:

1) Was the Chugger pump extra or did it come with the system?

2) Is your picture a Small BAIC?

Seriously considering a purchase....the current US $ to Canadian $ exchange rate is very favorable.

I just looked back a page at post 546 and see he has the small. The small does come with a Chugger but not a heat controller. Nathan has a lot of info on his site but it is not always easy to find. Here is the link to a page that will list what is included:
http://brewhaequipment.com/pages/biac-benefits-and-specifications#biaccontents
 

brew-in

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I just looked back a page at post 546 and see he has the small. The small does come with a Chugger but not a heat controller. Nathan has a lot of info on his site but it is not always easy to find. Here is the link to a page that will list what is included:
http://brewhaequipment.com/pages/biac-benefits-and-specifications#biaccontents

Thanks for taking the time to respond...the website is kinda confusing...as best I can tell it comes with the chugger pump and the electronic Temp Control...

It appears to me that (ion the small):

1) for boiling you just plug the element into a wall socket ....
2) for mash temp control you plug the element into the electronic temperature control
3)for fermentation temp control the electronic temp control will control the electronic temp valve....

trying to confirm this with Nathan....any insight would be appreciated...



Trying to sort it out...
 

cuda6pak

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Breeze of a brew day yesterday. After dialing in my new MMPro-2 gap settings I hit 78% efficiency on a simple session oatmeal IPA. During the mashout I was able to crank my pump up to recirc faster than I ever have before and was draining no issue.

Also kegged 10 gallons of my Pumpkin Ale the day before. Ditched the racking hose like most others as I was tired of hop or debris matter clogging up the dip tube, hose, or disconnect. Just put a 1/2" silicon hose on a barb and let her rip wide open. Way less time and no chance of clogging. I've also bent all my dip tubes slightly so they pickup towards the sides about an 1"+ from the bottom cone of the keg to let any hop/debris matter than transferred have a place to sit while picking up clear beer. Helped especially on my heavily hopped IPA which was clogging over and over when I swapped kegs, then I bent the tube out of the way and crystal clear beer followed.
 

brew-in

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Anyone with a Small BIAC, how effective is the 1500 watt element at boiling?

Thanks
Dan
 

b1v1r

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Anyone with a Small BIAC, how effective is the 1500 watt element at boiling?

Thanks
Dan


You absolutely must get a power controller for it or you will get scorching. One with a full power bypass switch is great. I have this one:


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BLOSG7I/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

For boiling I find I have to put the top on or it takes forever (I leave the ports open and set the alarm for 200F then remove). I cannot seem to get a rigorous boil, though. Quite adequate, but when you get up or over 6.5 Gal boil I cannot seem to get over about 208F. Going down to 5.5-6gal it seems fine. Benefit of this, though is it pretty much will not boil over ;)

Another issue I have is the mill my LHBS uses is too fine and the mash tends to get stuck if you are using 10lbs or more grain (at or above the limit).

I only went with the small as I did not want to mess wiring 240v. I am quite happy with it overall, but realize there are some limits. If you can do 240v, then I recommend you go med.
 
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b1v1r

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Thanks for taking the time to respond...the website is kinda confusing...as best I can tell it comes with the chugger pump and the electronic Temp Control...



It appears to me that (ion the small):



1) for boiling you just plug the element into a wall socket ....

2) for mash temp control you plug the element into the electronic temperature control

3)for fermentation temp control the electronic temp control will control the electronic temp valve....



trying to confirm this with Nathan....any insight would be appreciated...







Trying to sort it out...



Anyone with a Small BIAC, how effective is the 1500 watt element at boiling?

Thanks
Dan


Mine did not come with a temperature controller or chugger. I got the chugger when I ordered and a temperature controller after.

You absolutely must get a temperature controller for it or you will get scorching. One with a full power bypass switch is great. I have this one:


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BLOSG7I/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

For boiling I find I have to put the top on or it takes forever (I leave the ports open and set the alarm for 200F then remove). I cannot seem to get a rigorous boil, though. Quite adequate, but when you get up or over 6.5 Gal boil I cannot seem to get over about 208F. Going down to 5.5-6gal it seems fine. Benefit of this, though is it pretty much will not boil over ;)

Another issue I have is the mill my LHBS uses is too fine and the mash tends to get stuck if you are using 10lbs or more grain (at or above the limit).

I only went with the small as I did not want to mess wiring 240v. I am quite happy with it overall, but realize there are some limits. If you can do 240v, then I recommend you go med.
 
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limulus

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brew-in, you can contact Nathan at BREWHA and he will reply within a day. He has been very quick to answer any question I have ever asked. At least the tech stuff. Here is still the best place to get answers from actual owners.
 
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