Advice/experience using Blichmann BrewEasy Classic

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lindastops

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Hi, I’m a new member and just getting used to the forum…. I am recently retired. I just got my new 10 gallon electric Blichmann BrewEasy Classic (2 kettles, kettle rims not the BIAB single kettle compact system). Is there anyone out there that has some experience/lessons learned using this? I know I need to get to know my system and dial in on my methods, efficiency, etc. but am hoping for a learning curve that’s not as steep. Will also be using a Spike condensing lid as I will be brewing indoors in my outbuilding „brew house“ Any help is greatly appreciated.
 

Wagon_6

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I had one a handful of years ago and enjoyed it. I recall dialing in the recirculation takes some practice. You can’t see how fast the wort is gravity draining into the BK and most brewing pumps are quite powerful. Said another way, you’re trying to match a pump output to a gravity input. I think I eventually gave up on the auto-sparge arm. And in the end just switched back to BIAB for simplicity and less cleanup. I would go with a nice simple light beer for your first run to learn the process and avoid any stuck mashes/etc. and congrats on retirment!
 
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lindastops

lindastops

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Thank you for your insights. I’m really looking forward to giving it a go. I’ll probably play around with just some water in the tanks to get a feel for the recirculating before I brew my first beer.
 

Bobby_M

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I had one a handful of years ago and enjoyed it. I recall dialing in the recirculation takes some practice. You can’t see how fast the wort is gravity draining into the BK and most brewing pumps are quite powerful. Said another way, you’re trying to match a pump output to a gravity input. I think I eventually gave up on the auto-sparge arm. And in the end just switched back to BIAB for simplicity and less cleanup. I would go with a nice simple light beer for your first run to learn the process and avoid any stuck mashes/etc. and congrats on retirment!

I agree that single vessel is much easier and I do try talking everyone out of kettle RIMS but it's not too bad. I think the riptide is quite overpowered for a small system like this and the autosparge does get pretty jumpy. Once you get the wort moving and there are no grain chunks in the recirculation path, restricting the pump output valve quite a bit will help.
 
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lindastops

lindastops

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I agree that single vessel is much easier and I do try talking everyone out of kettle RIMS but it's not too bad. I think the riptide is quite overpowered for a small system like this and the autosparge does get pretty jumpy. Once you get the wort moving and there are no grain chunks in the recirculation path, restricting the pump output valve quite a bit will help.
I figured that would probably be the secret. I was thinking about not using the Blichmann linear flow valve and using a ball valve to throttle the pump. I thought referencing the angle would help me dial the flow rate better. Any thoughts?
 

jyoung

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Congratulations on your retirement @lindastops! If i can suggest reaching out to Jared and Doug, our technical customer service and product experts at [email protected], or feel free to give us a call at 765.421.2018. I know they'd be glad to help guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have. Happy Brewing and Cheers to your exciting next phase of retirement!
 
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lindastops

lindastops

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Thanks! I think I worked with Doug as I tweeked my system before I bought it. He was terrific. I’ll be in touch soon with a couple questions.
 
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lindastops

lindastops

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Congratulations on your retirement @lindastops! If i can suggest reaching out to Jared and Doug, our technical customer service and product experts at [email protected], or feel free to give us a call at 765.421.2018. I know they'd be glad to help guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have. Happy Brewing and Cheers to your exciting next phase of retirement!
Hi, I wrote to customer support asking for help with a couple system dimensions I needed to buy a wort chiller. These were the inside diameter of a 240V boil coil in a 20 kettle and the height of the boil coil measured from the bottom of the kettle. I (wrongly) assumed this could be provided easily by someone in the tech or sales department. I cant do the measurements myself since my system is in VT and I am in Germany… i went back and forth a couple of times with C……a but in the end was told she could not help me without more information about my system I could call for support once I was back in VT with my system and „Have a great day!“. Seriously? If I am in front of my system I can read a ruler myself… what a joke. No help at all. I will try to ask for help from other home brewers on the forum I guess. im too frustrated to spend more time with Blichmann „customer support“.
 
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Bago-0

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Here is a good video on using the system.

I have the 5gal breweasy, 240v boil coil and the jaded scylla chiller fits perfect.
If you use beersmith the equipment profiles for breweasy are included and a great starting point.
 
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easttex

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I run a homemade K-RIMS system currently. You need a valve on both the output of the pump and the mash run and the idea is adjust both so the wort circulates slowly through the system. It takes some playing with and brewing a couple batches to perfect. My suggestion is to brew a SMaSH beer or two (or other simple recipes) give you a beer with few variables that will allow you to run the system and make note of its operations. My experience is that it will take you a few batches to dial in your system before you get it right.
 
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lindastops

lindastops

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Here is a good video on using the system.

I have the 5gal breweasy, 240v boil coil and the jaded scylla chiller fits perfect.
If you use beersmith the equipment profiles for breweasy are included and a great starting point.

That was a great video suggestion. There’s a lot of good info to get me started. Thanks a million,
 
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lindastops

lindastops

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I run a homemade K-RIMS system currently. You need a valve on both the output of the pump and the mash run and the idea is adjust both so the wort circulates slowly through the system. It takes some playing with and brewing a couple batches to perfect. My suggestion is to brew a SMaSH beer or two (or other simple recipes) give you a beer with few variables that will allow you to run the system and make note of its operations. My experience is that it will take you a few batches to dial in your system before you get it right.
The thing that sold me on the Blichmann K-RIMS system was the gravity flow control using a washer with specific diameter hole from the mash kettle to the boil kettle and an AutoSparge to control the return up to the mash kettle. I’m a bit of a fanatic about control and repeatability when I brew. I figured once I dialed this in to my process it would be one less thing to worry about as I try to brew new recipes and hit hit my numbers,etc. At some point in the medium term, due to the effects of old age, I will probably want to switch from the stacked gravity feed option and make my system similar to yours. Do you have a way where you can replicate your valve and pump settings from batch to batch? Am I over thinking it? Your thoughts?

BTW, I agree, SMaSH is definitely the way to start on the new system.

Linda
 

easttex

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The thing that sold me on the Blichmann K-RIMS system was the gravity flow control using a washer with specific diameter hole from the mash kettle to the boil kettle and an AutoSparge to control the return up to the mash kettle. I’m a bit of a fanatic about control and repeatability when I brew. I figured once I dialed this in to my process it would be one less thing to worry about as I try to brew new recipes and hit hit my numbers,etc. At some point in the medium term, due to the effects of old age, I will probably want to switch from the stacked gravity feed option and make my system similar to yours. Do you have a way where you can replicate your valve and pump settings from batch to batch? Am I over thinking it? Your thoughts?

BTW, I agree, SMaSH is definitely the way to start on the new system.

Linda
Admittedly, I'm not the most scientific brewer but I've brewed a lot of beer that a lot of people enjoyed and having both experience brewing on my system and lots of notes allows me to replicate recipes batch over batch. I've been brewing on this system now for about three years and generally know how to run it. With experience, I expect you will as well.

With that said, you may be over thinking this a bit. It's called a Breweasy after all. The K-RIMS system was popular prior to recent rise of the eBIAB systems that so many use now days. You simply make up your grain bill in the top, then start recirculating brewing liquor through it. If you want to step mash or mash out, you can do that - just adjust the temp controller and let it run. I recirculate slowly and allow the grain bed time to settle so the Auto-sparge doesn't clog. I've never had a stuck mash, nor have I had a clogged recirculation system. When I'm done mashing, I just run all the wort into the kettle and boil it. Simple.

The real tricks to using the system are:
1. Perfecting the equipment profile in your brewing software to write your recipes correctly
2. Dialing in your strike temp
3. Figuring out what the temperature overshoot needs to be to get an accurate temperature in the mash tun
4. Dialing in the drain valves on both ends. (My system isn't terribly sophisticated; I just eyeball it and turn the handles until as much water enters the top of the mash as runs out the bottom.)
5. Finding your boil off rate during the boil.

Take lots of notes on this, especially during your first few brews. Those notes will be essential for feedback later so you can adjust equipment profiles and recipes accordingly. As with any new brew system, it'll take practice and good notes to master yours. Being a common and well regarded system, I expect you'll get it sorted in no time.

Lastly, since you're electric you can brew in the garage. If the mash tun becomes too heavy, you can always rig up a hoist to lift the mash tun off the kettle. That's pretty common with the eBIAB crowd as well because no matter what system you brew with, wet grain is still miserably heavy.
 
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Bago-0

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The washer in the outflow drain of the breweasy along with the autosparge works very well on the BrewEasy. I do not need to adjust any valves on the pump to get a desired recirculation. The trickiest part is getting the auto sparge set to keep the level you want in the mash but once its set I dont have to touch anything, just let the controller run my mash profile and stir the top 1/4 of grain bed every 10-15 min. Do not stir too deep into the grain bed or you may get a stuck mash.
 
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lindastops

lindastops

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The washer in the outflow drain of the breweasy along with the autosparge works very well on the BrewEasy. I do not need to adjust any valves on the pump to get a desired recirculation. The trickiest part is getting the auto sparge set to keep the level you want in the mash but once its set I dont have to touch anything, just let the controller run my mash profile and stir the top 1/4 of grain bed every 10-15 min. Do not stir too deep into the grain bed or you may get a stuck mash.
Great! Thank you for the tip to avoid a stick mash! Do you use the washer recommended by Blichmann
Admittedly, I'm not the most scientific brewer but I've brewed a lot of beer that a lot of people enjoyed and having both experience brewing on my system and lots of notes allows me to replicate recipes batch over batch. I've been brewing on this system now for about three years and generally know how to run it. With experience, I expect you will as well.

With that said, you may be over thinking this a bit. It's called a Breweasy after all. The K-RIMS system was popular prior to recent rise of the eBIAB systems that so many use now days. You simply make up your grain bill in the top, then start recirculating brewing liquor through it. If you want to step mash or mash out, you can do that - just adjust the temp controller and let it run. I recirculate slowly and allow the grain bed time to settle so the Auto-sparge doesn't clog. I've never had a stuck mash, nor have I had a clogged recirculation system. When I'm done mashing, I just run all the wort into the kettle and boil it. Simple.

The real tricks to using the system are:
1. Perfecting the equipment profile in your brewing software to write your recipes correctly
2. Dialing in your strike temp
3. Figuring out what the temperature overshoot needs to be to get an accurate temperature in the mash tun
4. Dialing in the drain valves on both ends. (My system isn't terribly sophisticated; I just eyeball it and turn the handles until as much water enters the top of the mash as runs out the bottom.)
5. Finding your boil off rate during the boil.

Take lots of notes on this, especially during your first few brews. Those notes will be essential for feedback later so you can adjust equipment profiles and recipes accordingly. As with any new brew system, it'll take practice and good notes to master yours. Being a common and well regarded system, I expect you'll get it sorted in no time.

Lastly, since you're electric you can brew in the garage. If the mash tun becomes too heavy, you can always rig up a hoist to lift the mash tun off the kettle. That's pretty common with the eBIAB crowd as well because no matter what system you brew with, wet grain is still miserably heavy.

Many thanks. Wonderful advice and overview.
 

Gary25

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lindastops, I have the 240V BrewEasy Classic 10gal system and it is working well for me. The video by DanaM (above) is great and FYI, Brad Smith from Beersmith also uses a BrewEasy. Both of them have helped me with the system. I ended up documenting my mashing process and also keep stats that have helped dial the system in. I've attached the file that includes the steps I use and the data sheet.

My system includes the Brew Commander, Brew Vision, Flow Control Manifold, and a Therminator plate chiller. I also use an immersion chiller in an ice bucket prior to the plate chiller to help cool the water going in. I use a Maverick BBQ thermometer with a silicone hose protecting the probe wire in the boil kettle as the Brew Vision alarm is not loud enough and I like to know when the boil kettle approaches boiling temperature. I use a Hanna Hi98128 to measure Ph, typically at 10, 20, and 30 minutes into the mash. I also calibrated my Brew Commander to have the flow manifold temperature match the mash tun temperature.

In addition, I've found reviewing the operating manual from time to time helps. Sometimes I keep it open and check the steps as I go through the mash. Here's the link (I'm sure you likely have a copy).


While I'm hardly the expert, I'm happy to assist where I can.
 

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  • Brew Easy Mash Steps 12.15.22.pdf
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