all-in-one decision for half batches....?

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

SanPancho

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2014
Messages
2,581
Reaction score
762
Location
An Island in the Bay
so the anvil 6.5 is the only system i'm aware of that's specifically meant for half batches. is there another?

if not then i need some advice deciding on what to do here. unfortunately anvil is out of stock on the 6.5, and havent been able to get any word on when it will be available again. so, i'm not opposed to using another system i.e. brewzilla, robobrew, etc. (but i do like the fact that anvil can go 120 or 240v, which is great for me) and it seems like you have to buy some extra parts /adapters, which isnt that big of a deal to me.

so i assume problems are mainly- 1- the chiller wont sit all the way on the bottom, so need to bend it or extend it. 2- my kettle losses will be fairly steep given i've cut the batch in half but the vessel is the same size, and 3- have to be pretty careful about scorching and/or boiling off too much with the smaller volume.

but again, i assume those to be the same for all competing systems, so given that -- is there a unit that does well for half batches?
 

Sammy86

Still thirsty
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 28, 2013
Messages
3,024
Reaction score
1,950
so the anvil 6.5 is the only system i'm aware of that's specifically meant for half batches. is there another?

if not then i need some advice deciding on what to do here. unfortunately anvil is out of stock on the 6.5, and havent been able to get any word on when it will be available again. so, i'm not opposed to using another system i.e. brewzilla, robobrew, etc. (but i do like the fact that anvil can go 120 or 240v, which is great for me) and it seems like you have to buy some extra parts /adapters, which isnt that big of a deal to me.

so i assume problems are mainly- 1- the chiller wont sit all the way on the bottom, so need to bend it or extend it. 2- my kettle losses will be fairly steep given i've cut the batch in half but the vessel is the same size, and 3- have to be pretty careful about scorching and/or boiling off too much with the smaller volume.

but again, i assume those to be the same for all competing systems, so given that -- is there a unit that does well for half batches?
Unsure what you mean by half batches. What is your total packaging that you're looking to get?

From whats on the market, the smaller AIOs Anvil, Robobrew, Clawhammer etc are all dealing with 120 and 240 v so you have plenty of options.

It really comes down to ease of use and what bells and whistles you're looking at getting.
 

Coastalbrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2018
Messages
989
Reaction score
750
I have a Brewers edge mash and boil and love it. I brew 3G batches almost exclusively and it works great. It is 7 or 7.5G, so plenty big enough to do 5G batches too but for me the 3G batch size is just right. I opted for the no pump version because I wanted simplicity and less cleaning and hassle on my bye day, but they offer the system with a pump too if you want that feature. The mash and boil is one of the simpler AIOs, but for the money I don't think there's a better system out there.
 

jtratcliff

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Messages
2,127
Reaction score
1,139
Location
Pasadena
I have a 35l Klarstein maishfest which is almost identical to the Brewer's Edge mash & boil vers. 1... No-pump...

I brew 6 gallon batches in it, but I don't see any reason why a 2 or 3 gallon batch wouldn't work.

It's just a tall, narrow, electric kettle.
 
OP
SanPancho

SanPancho

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2014
Messages
2,581
Reaction score
762
Location
An Island in the Bay
I have a Brewers edge mash and boil and love it. I brew 3G batches almost exclusively and it works great. It is 7 or 7.5G, so plenty big enough to do 5G batches too but for me the 3G batch size is just right. I opted for the no pump version because I wanted simplicity and less cleaning and hassle on my bye day, but they offer the system with a pump too if you want that feature. The mash and boil is one of the simpler AIOs, but for the money I don't think there's a better system out there.
Good to know. Can I ask what you use for chilling?
 

Coastalbrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2018
Messages
989
Reaction score
750
Good to know. Can I ask what you use for chilling?
I use a stainless immersion chiller. It works pretty well except in the summer when the ground water temps are in the 80's. I usually run the chiller until the wort is in the low 80's or high 70's and then transfer into the fermenter and then into an ice bath to finish chilling.
 
OP
SanPancho

SanPancho

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2014
Messages
2,581
Reaction score
762
Location
An Island in the Bay
I use a stainless immersion chiller. It works pretty well except in the summer when the ground water temps are in the 80's. I usually run the chiller until the wort is in the low 80's or high 70's and then transfer into the fermenter and then into an ice bath to finish chilling.
got it. that's about what i figured. i already have one with straight arms on it, so shouldnt have to do any un-bending thankfully.

after some more digging i saw a bunch of folks on reddit talking about doing the small batches, seems like alot of folks skip the grain basket and just use the false bottom plate and a biab bag with good results.

i think im going to go ahead and do the brewzilla. while M&B is on sale right now at 299 i think i'll spend the extra cash (~59) so i can get the programming feature. i dont step mash, but i'll be able to set the mash rest and then have it automatically run up to mash out temps without any effort on my part.
 

bwible

I drink, and I know things
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Oct 31, 2017
Messages
1,221
Reaction score
1,650
Location
Oxford, PA
I have the Anvil 6.5. I use it just about exclusively for 3 gallon batches. It has an 8 lb grain capacity so you have to take that into account. For most regular batches that’s enough. If you want to do something stronger you can always add extract to the boil.

I find it works well on 120v for that batch size. You have the option of converting it to 240 if you have 240 available. But I have not found that necessary. I like having the temp control.

If you decide to not use the basket and use a bag instead just be aware these units are not really made to do that and there are plenty of stories about bags getting holes burned in them. Personally, I use the basket but I do not lift it. I drain into my brew kettle after the mash. I found lifting the basket stirs up every bit of crud I just spent an hour recirculating with the pump to get rid of and I never get clear wort when I lift the basket.

Overall, its great for 2.5 - 3 gallon batches.
 
Last edited:

bwible

I drink, and I know things
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Oct 31, 2017
Messages
1,221
Reaction score
1,650
Location
Oxford, PA
so i assume problems are mainly- 1- the chiller wont sit all the way on the bottom, so need to bend it or extend it. 2- my kettle losses will be fairly steep given i've cut the batch in half but the vessel is the same size, and 3- have to be pretty careful about scorching and/or boiling off too much with the smaller volume.
1 - yes, the chiller that comes with it does not reach the bottom. It sits probably 1/3 into the wort. This is not a problem for me anymore because I only use the Foundry to mash. I drain into my brew kettle and boil on my stove top.

2 - I calculate all my 3 gallon recipes as 3.5 gallon. Collect 4 gallons, boil down to 3.5. 3.5 into fermenter. I do this to make up for losses and so that I actually get 3 gallons of beer at the end. I’m finding I get 80-82% out of it. At least thats what I had to enter in BeerTools to match what I got out of the grain. This is also after adjusting water chem.

3 - again, I don’t use it for boil.
 
OP
SanPancho

SanPancho

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2014
Messages
2,581
Reaction score
762
Location
An Island in the Bay
I have the Anvil 6.5. I use it just about exclusively for 3 gallon batches. It has an 8 lb grain capacity so you have to take that into account. For most regular batches that’s enough. If you want to do something stronger you can always add extract to the boil.

I find it works well on 120v for that batch size. You have the option of converting it to 240 if you have 240 available. But I have not found that necessary. I like having the temp control.

If you decide to not use the basket and use a bag instead just be aware these units are not really made to do that and there are plenty of stories about bags getting holes burned in them. Personally, I use the basket but I do not lift it. I drain into my brew kettle after the mash. I found lifting the basket stirs up every bit of crud I just spent an hour recirculating with the pump to get rid of and I never get clear wort when I lift the basket.

Overall, its great for 2.5 - 3 gallon batches.
still no word from anvil on when they'll have them in stock, so i went and ordered the brewzilla. so bit of a moot point. but i also thought about doing what you're describing- using it as an auto mash system.

there's a thread here somewhere that has a raging debate about how all in one systems and biab are just as good as traditional mutli vessel systems. i heartily disagreed and just got a ration of **** for it. but you're absolutely right- there is a much higher technical hurdle to getting truly clear wort in a one vessel set up. flour on the bottom= boiled malt. no bueno.

im not trying to enter contests or some BS like that, but i do mainly brew lagers so it does concern me. luckily i still have my regular kettle and gear, along with a 240v plug handy, so worst case i can do the same as you if i cant keep the flour under control...
 

Latest posts

Top