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BrewEasy vs RoboBrew

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Skipp107

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Hi All. So I'm looking to upgrade from a traditional 3 tier system to either a BrewEasy or RoboBrew System.

I know that the RoboBrew is far less expensive, but it seems like the RoboBrew might be more limited in the styles.

Does anyone have experience with both systems? What are your thoughts?
 

Boomer

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I don’t have experience with the breweasy; but, I just bought a Robobrew a week ago and have already made three brews with it. I’m hooked. Biggest concern for me is that it’d be nearly impossible to make a really big beer because there isn’t a ton of grain. I’m just gonna add in some DME when I wanna go that route and continue enjoying the simplicity. It really has a ‘set it and forget it’ feel to it. I like it a lot.
 
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Skipp107

Skipp107

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Thank you. I'm looking seriously at the RoboBrew. The live read ad on the brewing network says it can do 9 gallon batches. That seems a like it might be a little tough on this system. Would it be basically mashing twice?
 
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Skipp107

Skipp107

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What do you love most?

I'm guessing you can't do really big here in the GF either right? How do you look like the Bluetooth functions?
 

Boomer

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Thank you. I'm looking seriously at the RoboBrew. The live read ad on the brewing network says it can do 9 gallon batches. That seems a like it might be a little tough on this system. Would it be basically mashing twice?


I wouldn’t do 9. If you’re on it with a spray bottle you could do 8, I’d imagine. At 9 you only have a half gallon of room to spare and that’s like 3/4” on this thing. No way I’d try that.

That said, it’s really only prohibitive with really big beers. I’ve decided to start doing some partials and to also get some smaller fermenters and a few 3 gallon kegs so I can make 3 gallon batches of monster beers. If it’s something I really like and I can nail it with a partial brew, I’ll do that for 5 gallon batches.
 

hunter306

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I've just received the latest Generation 3 RoboBrew without the pump. For 349 it's a pretty neat little system that can comfortably boil a 6.5-7gallon batch. 9 gallons out the end would be two brews worth of wort, no way I could see you getting that much out of this in one batch. It also would struggle to boil anything more than 7gallons with the 1500w base mounted element.

I actually utilize the GrainFather Profile for Beersmith and my numbers were nearly spot on for the first brew. I did augment the system with a chugger pump (I liked the idea of being able to service it, rather than having it built in) so I ran a recirculated mash just like you would with the GF or the Robobrew w/ pump.

For the price, it's a great little system. I have no complaints... but if it were nearer to grainfather pricing, I would say it's a little 'rough' around the edges... both literally and figuratively. I actually downsized from full single tier Electric-Brewery style setup so I definitely came in with pretty sky-high expectations.

 
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Skipp107

Skipp107

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Great looking brewery.

Thank you for the additional comments about the systems.

I kinda feel like these systems are almost cheating, but I like the simplicity and the small footprint it uses. My apartment isn't the biggest so it's a plus.
 

deadwolfbones

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Yeah, I want that brewery.

Another thing you can do to make higher-grav beers is just make a smaller batch, or double up on smaller batches and combine them in the fermenter. Longer brew day, but you'll still get your 5-6 gallons of barleywine or whatever.
 

thehaze

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I have the Grainfather and made 29 batches on it so far. Easy to brew with and easy to clean, store away, etc.

It's true you cannot really brew 5-6 gallons of 10% beers on it, but I managed a 9.2% with a bigger grainbill and some sugar. Adding LME/DME will also do just fine.

Like deadwolfbones said above, if you want a bigger beer, just brew a smaller batch, like 4 gallons or do a reiterated mash ( takes longer ). A 10% beer is not something you will drink fast. So 4 gallons in 12 oz bottles, nicely tucked away, will most likely please anyone. If you really put your mind to it, I am sure you can brew 5-6 gallons of high gravity beer on the Grainfather or any other similar system.
 

Boomer

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You’re not wrong, @Skipp107 - it’s kinda like cheating. I remember the first time I used an electric smoker and sat there twiddling my thumbs for hours because I wasn’t messing with a smoke box and fighting the wind and all that other stuff. I didn’t know what to do and it felt like cheating. I also remember how excited my wife was to get weekends back. It used to be a smoke day or a brew day meant all hands on deck for an entire day. Now, with my pellet grill and my Robobrew, I can have ribs going and a brew day going and still have time to play with the kids and take care of other chores.

I still haven’t gotten over the fact that it feels like cheating; but, the meat coming out of the smoker is incredible and my first batch of beer coming out of the Robobrew will be kegged this weekend so I’ll have more on that topic in a few more days.

I love brewing and all the nuances of brew day; but, this is a pleasant change of pace that allows me to spend more time with the wife and kids while also making (what I hope turns out to be) great beer.

As for the Grainfather vs. Robobrew - my pellet grill can hook up to my WiFi network so I can monitor and change it from inside the house. I paid extra for that feature. I’ve used it once. I went with the Robobrew because I was just getting back into brewing and wanted to use the money I’d save to buy fermenters and build a keezer. The Grainfather does look like a good system, and time will tell on the Robobrew; but, I’m three batches in and I love the thing.
 

murphyslaw

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Its only cheating if you consider brewing to be fiddling with temperatures and lugging equipment around. With the GF, the only thing that's automated is temp control. I was getting really tired of the garden hoses, silicone hoses, pumps, connections, various pots and buckets etc. Overshooting my strike water temp on the propane burner if I didn't watch it like a hawk, sometimes losing 4-6 degrees in my cooler mash tun.

I love the GF so far. I can set the strike water to heat before I wake up. It holds the mash temp and does step mashes really well. I was amazed at the clarity of the wort, having not previously recirculated my mash. Its also just smartly designed--efficient in terms of process and equipment. Clean up is faster, less storage space, etc. I create a recipe in beersmith and export it to the GF app. I can monitor temps, get alarms for next steps, etc.

But most of all, its the temp control. Its hard to fix problems with a beer when you look over notes of your last few brews and see that on one, you mashed in at 154 but lost 6 degrees by the end. Was the low mouthfeel caused by the loss in temp or your recipe? I feel like I can focus on the GF.

It has not quite translated into more time with my family yet, though I think it will. I'm not quite comfortable walking away from it for very long. I end up standing around trying to think of something to do, but there's really nothing. Once I get the hang of it I do think I can basically step away during the entire mash and the boil.
 

bionut

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I have a quick question, what value is writen in the thermal fuse that's on the heating plate of RoboBrew? I am looking to make a clone of that and i don't know if i should choose 120°C or 170°C fuse (or thermostat i think it is actually).
 

vwluv10338

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Where did you find the V3 without the pump? I agree with you about the pump but I can't find it for sale anywhere



I've just received the latest Generation 3 RoboBrew without the pump. For 349 it's a pretty neat little system that can comfortably boil a 6.5-7gallon batch. 9 gallons out the end would be two brews worth of wort, no way I could see you getting that much out of this in one batch. It also would struggle to boil anything more than 7gallons with the 1500w base mounted element.

I actually utilize the GrainFather Profile for Beersmith and my numbers were nearly spot on for the first brew. I did augment the system with a chugger pump (I liked the idea of being able to service it, rather than having it built in) so I ran a recirculated mash just like you would with the GF or the Robobrew w/ pump.

For the price, it's a great little system. I have no complaints... but if it were nearer to grainfather pricing, I would say it's a little 'rough' around the edges... both literally and figuratively. I actually downsized from full single tier Electric-Brewery style setup so I definitely came in with pretty sky-high expectations.

 

Dancy

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I've just received the latest Generation 3 RoboBrew without the pump.
Where did you buy your RB vesion 3 without the pump? I contacted More Beer 3 days ago and they said theirs are V 2 and they will receive V 3 in a few months.
Thanks
 

hunter306

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Where did you buy your RB vesion 3 without the pump? I contacted More Beer 3 days ago and they said theirs are V 2 and they will receive V 3 in a few months.
Thanks
I purchased mine from Morebeer on Preorder- They must have sold out of that first batch!
 

SanPancho

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Question no ones seem to mention yet- big hop beers.

I like hops free range, not in bag or spider. How do the robo/GF/MashNBoil compare in terms of letting those guys go free? Saw one review of robo that says the false bottom did good job of filtering/screening hops. Anything on GF or MNB?

GF seems like it should address this given price. Im thinking Id be adding a pump to MNB, no biggie, but having to install a filter setup seems like a pain.
 

murphyslaw

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Question no ones seem to mention yet- big hop beers.

I like hops free range, not in bag or spider. How do the robo/GF/MashNBoil compare in terms of letting those guys go free? Saw one review of robo that says the false bottom did good job of filtering/screening hops. Anything on GF or MNB?

GF seems like it should address this given price. Im thinking Id be adding a pump to MNB, no biggie, but having to install a filter setup seems like a pain.
Ive always used a hop spider so I can't say. On the GF thread, most seem to do the same, but I've seen a few people say theyve never had a problem tossing them in.

If it's important to you, I'm sure there are ways you can make it work. It might require cleaning your pump after each brew to make sure there's no buildup.
 

murphyslaw

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Are the pumps accessible? On MNB itd be a separate unit, but on the GF it appears built in.
It is built in, but i guess you can access it. I haven't needed to try myself (only about 4 months in), but people on the main GF thread seem to open it up and clean out regularly.
 

SanPancho

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Interesting. Ill have to dig around and see if theres a video showing location and access.

Anybody familiar with the mashnboil outlet and how easy itd be to set up a screen/filter?
 

murphyslaw

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Interesting. Ill have to dig around and see if theres a video showing location and access.

Anybody familiar with the mashnboil outlet and how easy itd be to set up a screen/filter?

That's not about cleaning the pump, but around 1:52 you can see how it can be accessed.
 

JedlyMT

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I have made two brews with the Robobrew Gen 3 now and love it! It's super clean and simple. I'm having trouble figuring out my efficiency though. I'm at 50% right now and I should be getting upwards of 72%. I use a little thinner mash because of the false bottom on the kettle so I have been typically going with 6 gals of water for 11-12 lbs of grain. Then I sparge with 4 gals of water. Is this too much? My kettle gets pretty full after this but when I calculate on BrewersFriend it says to use this much water total. I mash at 154F for 45-60 mins and sparge only takes about 5 minutes. Should I use less water? Am I calculating my mash water wrong?
 

hunter306

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I find that I don't use as much sparge water as the calculators are telling me. Basically, I target a volume of liquid to boil (7g everytime), then stop sparging as soon as I hit that. I'm hitting 75% efficiency consistently, using the grainfather profile in beersmith.

I DO however recirculate the mash constantly for 90 minutes, so that may help.

cheers
 
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