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Jan 11, 2017
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I've always been a fan of the Blichmann BrewEasy systems but never wanted to fork over the $2,200. Aside from the cost, I also didn't enjoy that for a 10 gallon system, you had to use a 15 gallon mash tun and a 20 gallon boil kettle. This didn't work for me because I bounce between 5 and 10 gallon batches and a 15 gallon mash tun would be too big for lower ABV, 5 gallon recipes.

Back when I was using a brew basket, I realized that grill grate would sit perfectly on top of my 16 gallon Bayou Classic kettle to allow the wort to drain. The small brew basket I had couldn't hold the grain bills for some of my bigger beers so I started to look for other options. I already had a 3 vessel system and didn't want to go down that road again.

After researching different mash tuns I decided an 11 gallon Bayou Classic kettle would be the perfect size. When it arrived, everything clicked and here is my system so far.

Nice!! What’s the cost difference?

Any advantage to this method over eBIAB?
Nice!! What’s the cost difference?

Any advantage to this method over eBIAB?

Advantages over eBIAB: I don't want to lift a bag anymore, it's cheaper than a hard sided brew basket, it allows me to brew different size batches, and it looks cool.

A quick estimate if you're looking to duplicate is around $1060.

Auber Cube
11 gallon kettle
false bottom
16 gallon kettle
5500W element, tri-clamp parts and cables
Hoses and connections
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What’s your brewhouse and mash efficiency look like? Also what do you use for recirculation rates?

Brewing on the system this weekend, so we'll see how things go on Sunday. I imagine my efficiency will be somewhere around 70%.
Did you ever get this to work? I have a 15 gallon electric kettle with a BoilCoil that I made for eBIAB, and I am wondering if I could create a similar DIY BrewEasy using that as the boil kettle and using my old 10 gallon kettle for a mash tun. My concern is that the 15 gallon kettle with the BoilCoil needs about 4 gallons in it at all times to cover the coil, which might not leave enough water for the mash. And it may be hard to keep the boil kettle water level consistently above 4 gallons.
I can't speak to the OP's success, but I've been looking into a similar approach for quite some time. It's basically a Kettle RIMS (or K-RIMS) system. There's no real reason why the two kettles need to be directly on top of each other, you could easily just have a two tier where they're adjacent. Some people do one tier and use two pumps.

To keep the levels correct, a Blichmann auto sparge in the mash tun works really well. Set your flow rate with the drain valve from the mash tun, then let the autosparge control the flow from the kettle to back into the mash tun to automatically match the flow going out.

That's all the easy stuff. Now onto your question about volumes. K-RIMS is a full volume mash, but that volume is split between two vessels. If you need 4 gallons in kettle to cover the boil coil, then the remaining volume is all you have for the mash tun. If your total volume is 8 gallons, for example, that leaves 4 gallons in the mash tun, pump and hoses. Now it's just the math to determine if that's enough for your mash tun. Say you have a 12 lb grain bill. with 16 qts of water that's a mash thickness of around 1.33 qts/lb...a little thick, but doable.

I plan to do eBIAB for smaller grain bills and save the K-RIMS for big beers (25 lb grain bill type stuff). Those are big RIS's and I like to boil them a long time, so I have more water available for the mash since I get quite a bit of boil off.

Bottom line: depends on what you want to brew. You could just do bigger batches when you do K-RIMS. For me, I'd prefer to keep it simple (eBIAB) unless I need the added capaicty of K-RIMS.
Did you ever get this to work?

Yes, I did get this to work but then I upgraded to a matching 16 gallon mash tun and went with a two pump horizontal setup.

I have since sold the system. I got tired of having to carry my system from the garage and setting everything up on the patio. I now have a 1/2 propane, 1/2 electric, 1/2 barrel system that is similar to the original.
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My concern is that the 15 gallon kettle with the BoilCoil needs about 4 gallons in it at all times to cover the coil, which might not leave enough water for the mash. And it may be hard to keep the boil kettle water level consistently above 4 gallons.

I guess it depends on what OG's and batch size you normally brew. A 10 gallon mash tun will max out at 30 lbs of grain when going 1 qt/1 lb mash thickness. A 10 gallon batch with 30 lbs. of grain will give you a 1.083.

The batch will require 12.85 gallons of water. Mash in with 7.5 gallons and that leaves you 5.35 gallons to cover your element. I would add a sight glass and set a mark for the element and adjust your flow accordingly. Adding a float switch could also work.
I did pretty much the exact thing (boil kettle is 16 gallons, Mash is 10). Same controller. K-Rims is what its considered I believe. Finished it a little while ago and have completed two brews on it. Getting around 77% efficiency, so am happy with that. I can do 10 gal batches with careful adjustment of the auto-sparge. I suppose a high gravity batch would be problematic, but that is ok with me.

Prewing process is quite simple: Add all water in boil kettle. Add salts as needed. Heat to strike temp. Once close, I start pumping into the mash tun. When temp is stable, I mash in, adjust auto-sparge, and keep cycling water until mash out (Temp adjustments included).

Once all wort is drained to boil kettle, I ramp up the temp. Once its boiling, I cycle through my pump and chilling equipment (Not cooling yet) to steralize all that. Drain those back into the boil and business as usual. Start my boil timer and start adding hops/adjuncts per schedule.
Thanks for the responses. I think at this point, I'll stick with my plan of using the 15 gallon kettle for regular eBIAB. The only improvement I was looking for was wort clarity, and I don't feel strongly enough about it to add more complexity and worries of scorching my BoilCoil.