Convert 3v to Electric, EBIAB, or sell and get all in one system

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Jeremydc

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I currently have a 3v propane system with the following:
2 62-Quart Bayou Classic Kettles (HTL, Boil)
1 64 Quart Kettle - Mashtun
1 12" Domed False Bottom (Mash Tun)
3 Thermometer for Kettle
4 SS Weldless Bulk Heads (HTL, MTL, Boil)
4 1/2" NPT SS 3 PIECE BALL VALVE (HTL, MTL, Boil)
1 Side Pickup Tube (Boil Kettle)
1 Whirlpool Tube (Boil Kettle)
1 Steel Head SS Pump
1 Plate Chiller


I have a nice welded brew stand with 2 Bayou classic Bg14 burners. I primarily brew this time of year and live in Montana. It is cold and I would like to have an electric set up so that I can brew inside. My question is should I convert my system to electric, or downsize my system and convert it to EBIAB, or sell it all and go with a system like a Grainfather, Robobrew, or Clawhammer or some other all in one system.

I have never brewed in a bag before. I do like to mainly brew IPAs and do brew some 10 gallon batches, although that may is not required. I am not the biggest fan of cleaning, although I do clean meticulously and like my brew setup to look clean all of the time.

If money was no object, I'd probably upgrade and convert my 3V system, but some of the all in one systems are pretty tempting

240V is not a problem. I have a plug welded in and have many electrician friends if I need more

I feel like I am handy and can do minor electrical work (I did wire my house when I built it, although I had my electrician friend wire in the panel)

I also am in the welding industry and have access to a welder that has his D16 cert for welding stainless and has welded a lot of stainless pipes for the food industry

So, any opinions or help or suggestions would be great. If you need any more information, please let me know.
 

Bigarcherynut

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I'm not going to tell what to do with your existing system. I'll tell you how well I like my E-kettle.

I started brewing with a Mr. Beer 2 gallon jug my daughter got me for Christmas about 6 years ago. Didn't take long and I bought me 5 gallon buckets and started with 5 gallon extract batches. I thought about all grain brewing but didn't know if I wanted to buy a 3V system or buy a large boil pot and a cooler for a mash tun and go that route.

Was about 4 years ago I read about BIAB and it sounded interesting. I lucked out and came across a 20 gallon portable stainless steel whirlpool that was getting tossed out. It was perfect for an E-kettle. The build started. Being an electrician by trade the electrical and control side was easy. Welding fittings is not necessary. Weldless adapters with silicon O ring gaskets work great. There are some nice simple controllers that you can use.

I love mine. I can brew all year round and inside in my little brewing space. From the people I talk to on HB love BIAB. It's simple and I feel just as good as a 3V system once you run some batches and get your system dialed in. My profile picture shows mine.

Good Luck!!
 
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Jeremydc

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How
I'm not going to tell what to do with your existing system. I'll tell you how well I like my E-kettle.

I started brewing with a Mr. Beer 2 gallon jug my daughter got me for Christmas about 6 years ago. Didn't take long and I bought me 5 gallon buckets and started with 5 gallon extract batches. I thought about all grain brewing but didn't know if I wanted to buy a 3V system or buy a large boil pot and a cooler for a mash tun and go that route.

Was about 4 years ago I read about BIAB and it sounded interesting. I lucked out and came across a 20 gallon portable stainless steel whirlpool that was getting tossed out. It was perfect for an E-kettle. The build started. Being an electrician by trade the electrical and control side was easy. Welding fittings is not necessary. Weldless adapters with silicon O ring gaskets work great. There are some nice simple controllers that you can use.

I love mine. I can brew all year round and inside in my little brewing space. From the people I talk to on HB love BIAB. It's simple and I feel just as good as a 3V system once you run some batches and get your system dialed in. My profile picture shows mine.

Good Luck!!
what size batches do you brew with your system?
 

Bigarcherynut

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I'm currently doing 5 & 5-1/2 gallon batches. I got a Fermentasaurus conical for Christmas which is 9.25 gallons so I can adjust my batches to handle those. I just plugged a recipe I recently brewed which was an oatmeal stout and doubled it. With my 20 gallon system would require 13.06 gallons of water with a 27.1 pound grain bill so it's not a problem with my 20 gallon kettle.
 

wilserbrewer

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You are only a bag and an optional pulley away from trying BIAB w/ one of your existing kettles and propane. I suggest giving it a try and moving on from there...

If you like it consider electrifying one of your existing kettles...

BIAB began as an extremely simple approach, but has since moved to a point where some think you need a “system” to effectively BIAB...not true imo:)
 

Jtvann

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My personal experience ....

I had a propane 3v Ssbrewtech system. I loved it but moved to a new house and wanted to brew in the basement. I bought a brew boss system. Initially I loved it. For small beers (1.060 or less) I still love it and will use it. That particular system suffered when using larger grain bills. The grain to water ratio suffered and there was a limit of how much and how big I could go.

I ended up buying a RIMS tube and additional heating element. I went to my 3v system, but using electric, controlled with the brew boss controller. If I had to do it over again, I'd buy just the stand along brew boss controller and have converted my gear like I have. I'd have saved about 1,500 dollars in total.

On the positive side, i can brew either way now very effectively. Small beer brew days can be done in about 3.5 hrs counting clean up. If I want to get fancy, I can go big and have my 6 hr brew day.

It's just money, enjoy it however you think you'll have the most fun.
 

Bobby_M

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You will be happier with a 15 gallon kettle with a 5500 watt element in it than any of the all in one systems. The all in ones are a 6 hour brew day. I spend MAYBE 4 hours.
 
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Jeremydc

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You will be happier with a 15 gallon kettle with a 5500 watt element in it than any of the all in one systems. The all in ones are a 6 hour brew day. I spend MAYBE 4 hours.
4 hours with the 15 gallon kettle with the 5500 watt element? Is it just quicker to heat up the water and that is why you are saving time?
 

JONNYROTTEN

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Montana....ya your going to like indoor winter brewing.

I brew 10 gallon batches. 20 gallon pot, 5500w element with a homemade control panel. The panel is really easy to wire up. Half day project to build.

You dont need to weld anything. Drill 2 holes in the pot. One for the element, one for the thermometer. Its really pretty simple. With new everything including a 20 gallon pot your probably looking at $300 total

As stated BIAB isn't really a system.
Stick a bag in a pot of water, fill bag with grains, mash,pull bag, boil, chill, done....clean one pot....its couldnt get any easier
 

Lager_Goggles

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You will be happier with a 15 gallon kettle with a 5500 watt element in it than any of the all in one systems. The all in ones are a 6 hour brew day. I spend MAYBE 4 hours.
Agreed. I'm probably 3 hours total now. And 1.5 hours of that is sitting on my ass letting the controller do it's thing while drinking beer. BUT I kept my 3 vessel stuff in case I wanna brew outside in the spring. So I essentially have 2 separate setups. But I also had 3 kettles, coolers, etc.
 

Lager_Goggles

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Montana....ya your going to like indoor winter brewing.

I brew 10 gallon batches. 20 gallon pot, 5500w element with a homemade control panel. The panel is really easy to wire up. Half day project to build.

You dont need to weld anything. Drill 2 holes in the pot. One for the element, one for the thermometer. Its really pretty simple. With new everything including a 20 gallon pot your probably looking at $300 total

As stated BIAB isn't really a system.
Stick a bag in a pot of water, fill bag with grains, mash,pull bag, boil, chill, done....clean one pot....its couldnt get any easier
Yeah and dougcz however you spell his user name has some really nice diagrams around here to use. Simple to complex. BTW I use a knockout punch instead of a drill but personal preference.
 

0080

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Took me 21 minutes to heat 7 gallons of 52° tap water to 158° strike water last brew day with the system Bobby is talking about. 11 1/2 minutes after pulling my brew bag I was boiling.

Sold my GrainFather to finance modifying three kettles, 10, 15, and 20 gallon (I like to have kettle size choices), along with the ripple elements. Couldn't be happier with that decision.

Still had $$ left over for some of Bobby's fittings and electrical goodies.
 

wyowolf

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I was in a similar situation, though i didnt have a 3V rig. But i just went with a CBS system with a SS mesh screen for the "bag"... was about 500 if i recall for it. I built the BCS panel for it, but a simple pid would be more than enough. I dont like the CBS I have, but I like the eBIAB method alot, simple to keep , maintain and use. I do 10 gal batches mostly. You could easily convert one of your kettles, get a pid, and the SS mesh basket and your done. I do recirc with a pump through the basket though... but its not very expensive.
 
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Jeremydc

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Any good threads or sites that show how to create a panel for a single ebiab kettle?
 
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Jeremydc

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Been considering going with a Blichmann G2 240V Electric Boilermaker™ Fahrenheit with the Blichmann power controller and doing 10 gallon EBIAB Batches. Would this be a good option? I think it would be simple, I wouldn't have to make my own controller, and I think I could sell my setup and purchase this without really being out of pocket much extra $. Let me know what your thoughts are. I would make a custom stand with a hoist for pulling out the grains (luckily I work at a metal fabrication shop) but I think that this would be the quickest and easiest way to achieve what I am looking to do.
 

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