DIY Wort Hog vs. Brewzilla

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Aug 5, 2011
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I’ve been brewing as basic as possible on propane with the 62 qt Bayou Classic kettle and wilserbag for years. No ports. Siphon to my fermenter. Basic. Interested in going electric and thinking to myself do I add:
-drain port and connections
-recirc port And connections
-electric element (120v is what I have available)
-hot rod heat stick to get to mash and boil temps more quickly
-recirc pump
-basket or some form of false bottom to protect the bag from the element

to my existing pot or do I just get a brewzilla and store my existing burners and kettle in the attic waiting for big brew days (for a party etc when I need 10 gallons).

I love the look of the wort hog system and already have the kettle as mentioned. Saw the brewzilla for just under $400 recently (before a pump). And people seem to love the product. Also due to my very limited brew time love the thought of mash water ready and waiting for me in the morning before the kids wake up. Seems that most controllers alone are in the $300 range. That alone is more than 75% of the brewzilla cost. With work and active family life it’s highly unlikely I’ll have the time or patience right now to diy my own controller to reduce costs. Also electronics are not a specialty for me. Last note. I like that the wort hog type set up is not proprietary. Worry that if something breaks on a brewzilla it’s game over.

Has anyone built their own DIY wort hog system and have thoughts on the final set up vs a brewzilla?
...Has anyone built their own DIY wort hog system and have thoughts on the final set up vs a brewzilla?

My system was largely inspired by the wort hog and built around a 44qt bayou pot. I use a false bottom from to keep the wilser bag up off the elements. The pot has a single valve for draining and recirculating which I drilled myself. I use a mkII wort pump mounted to the underside of my kettle platform to pump the wort from the outlet valve up to an overhead copper diy counterflow chiller, which then drains back into the kettle.

I agree with your reasoning for wanting to buy vs. build a controller, makes perfect sense if your setup requirements are straightforward. For me, I knew I needed more wattage than a standard 120V outlet could provide, so I designed my controller to drive two elements that plug in to outlets on separate circuits. In my case that means plugging the main element/controller cord in to an outlet in the garage, and the secondary element cord in to an outlet in a bathroom just inside the house. It's a bit of a hassle but I don't have any way to access 220V directly.

3200W total heating power gives me pretty good performance, and the auber ez-boil unit has been great to work with. I've brewed close to 50 batches on my setup without any problems and so far I have no desire to upgrade any part of it.
Thanks for your feedback. Very helpful.

couple of follow up questions if you don’t mind:

-when recirculating the mash do you still run thru the counter flow? Was thinking of setting mine up directly thru the lid similar to wort hog with temp monitoring

-since you also use two circuits do you see any problems with my thought of a “permanent” 120v element in the kettle (most low density watts I can get) and a portable hotrod stick run on a separate circuit to get temps up quickly. My idea for this setup was:
*ramp water up to 10 degrees shy of mash in target
*remove hotrod
*let main element reach and hold desired mash temp
*then after mash out re-insert the hotrod to assist the main element get to boil quickly
*remove hotrod again when boil is achieved and let the main element handle the nice rolling boil.
Really just looking to take the ramp up load off the main element

-not exact but as a rough order of magnitude would you mind me asking how much you had invested in upgrades to your system? I’ve got a table already. As you referenced from my post just looking at the cost benefit analysis with things

Thanks again for reaching out! Would love a photo if you have one.
I just bought a mash & boil w pump to brew alongside my 44q bayou with basket - (20 amp boil coil and I use a bag). I actually have two of these because 2 batches are the same work as 1.

The mash and boil is not as powerful and feels cheap next to bayou, which is interesting.

However, with the preheat function and not having to use my power hoist they came out about equal because the mash and boil was getting to boil while I was goofing around with the bayou.

I really dont make big beers and the mash and boil did fine.
However I am doing the center pipe upgrade hack which makes me feel like I should have just gone with brewzilla for $100 more. I spent $30 on those parts per youtube vid.

The bayou control cost me a lot to build so I would skip it knowing what I know now. I suppose a generic element would be cheaper than the boil coil, but I really have liked that part.

The mash and boil controller has a 4 degree swing if that bothers you but in reality the pid on the bayou is often a chore to get sorted at mash temp without overshooting.

TLDR cheaper and easier to brew on mash& boil than bayou setup with more power.
I too have a Bayou 62 qt, mine came with a valve. I drilled holes for a temp sensor, whirlpool and Blichmann 5kW BoilCoil (240v). I bought the Wort Hog EBC 130. I LOVE IT! The Blichman Boil Coil leaves a large portion of the kettle bottom open. I had a steam basket from another kettle, i added stainless steel bolts and nut to hold it off the bottom.
I used a Wilser bag at first, but i found it too fine a mesh and it did not circulate the mash enough for my tastes. So i use a more generic bag. The EBC package came with a nozzle for recirculating, i had my own pump. I found the recirculating through the nozzle contributed too much to oxidation. So i bought a loc-line set up to mitigate that. I would love to answer any questions you have. Finally, the folks at High Gravity brewing are second to none. Fantastic support. I have contacted High Gravity on several Sunday afternoons and gotten a response that walked me through my issues each time. PM me if you want pics etc ....
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I’ve had the brewzilla for almost 2 years - and am quite happy with it. I ditched the center pipe and just stick a bag in the basket - makes it easier to clean up.
Worry that if something breaks on a brewzilla it’s game over.
You should be able to easily find replacement parts for the Brewzilla - I mean everything. For example, I lost my handle for the basket (somehow...might be buried in the compost bin) - sure enough... there it is $10...