Gen4 BrewZilla vs Anvil Foundry

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jmstone617

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I know this discussion has been had a few times, with most occurring in 2021 or earlier with the gen three Brewzilla. There is also this thread that hasn’t seemingly come to resolution so i’m starting a new thread in hopes of getting feedback from anyone who has one or both of the generation 4 BrewZilla or the anvil foundry. I had, for quite a while, been strongly considering the anvil, because of the optional 110 to 220 V conversion and the double wall insulation, but I am starting to reconsider. I can support 220 V so their switching factor is less of a consideration for me.It seems the BrewZilla has a larger grain capacity which opens up the possibility of brewing bigger, beers and seemingly supports timed step mashing in a way that the anvil does not. I have read elsewhere that some folks like the external pump option on the anvil so that they can buy one that is a little bit higher quality but I’ve also seen that a lot of the stuck mash issues from earlier generation BrewZilla have largely been resolved. More beer has a good sale on both for black Friday that ends tonight, so trying to collect a few more data points to sway my decision one way or the other. Feedback is Appreciated!
 

CleanEmUpIves

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The Grainfather G40 is hands down the winner but it is more expensive than the two you've listed in this thread.

The machines are primarily used for single step - mash and boil. In other words, most of the time, people are simply heating their water, doughing in, setting the mash step temperature, ... try to get recirculation working ... start the boil, pump to fermenter.

What they are not doing with these machines are multi step mashes, decoctions, etc...

If you look at each step:

1.) Dough in - Strike Temperature

Choose a machine that has a delay timer allowing you to set the timer the night before and wake up to pre-heated strike water.

2.) Mash Step Temperature

Choose a machine that has the ability to measure the temperature in at least two or more places and applies those measurements to a PID algorithm. This aids in the consistency and accuracy of maintaining the grain bed temperature.

3.) Recirculation

Choosing a machine with a tall, narrow malt basket that only drains through the bottom can more easily result in a stuck mash if not monitored closely and care taken to control the pump speed.

Choosing a machine with a wide malt basket such that the grain bed isn't as deep helps to alleviate a stuck mash in most situations.

Choosing a machine with a malt basket that allows wort through the sides is ok and a standard method of preventing a stuck mash.

Machines with a center drain or pump pipe through the mash basket tend to contribute to a stuck mash if the mash basket is too narrow or their aren't high enough side drains on the basket.

4.) Boiling

Choose a machine that uses 220V. Things just go faster.

5.) Straining

Choosing a machine with a double filter helps to keep hops and trub out of the fermenter.

No matter the machine you purchase, it's going to have quirks that you'll have to adapt to and overcome.

No one machine makes better beer than the others - that is done by the operator understanding the brewing process and applying that knowledge to the capabilities of their machine throughout the brew.
 

CleanEmUpIves

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Worth a mention is the ability to manually control the unit without being attached to a bluetooth or wifi device.

Brewzilla, Grainfather and Braumeister, etc.. all have their apps and "cloud" platforms for recipe and settings sharing, etc...

The Anvil doesn't currently have the remote capability but it also doesn't have the associated cost.
 
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jmstone617

jmstone617

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Thanks for the thorough response, @CleanEmUpIves! I went down to my LHBS which happened to have the anvil, Grainfather, and BrewZilla and spent a good half hour chatting with the folks there, as well. Seems the Grainfather is the only one with WiFi and (unconfirmed) timed step mashing? I don’t know if I really need to control my brew when I’m not home, so the WiFi piece is less attractive to me.
 

Grizwold1

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IMO there are no "perfect" choices, all have strong points and drawbacks. Of course, that applies to all brewing methods, not just AIOs. When comparing options, we just prioritize. I have an Anvil and like it overall, tho the only other experience I have is with various configurations of cooler/boil pot gas fired setups. Does it have drawbacks? Certainly, but overall, I like it, although sometimes I wish I had gotten the 10 gal. size instead of the 6.5. In my case, cost was a bigger concern than automation, plus my brew days are partly for some "me" time anyway, so I don't mind some manual setting of parameters along the way. Your priorities are no doubt different, so in the end you must choose how to balance the pros against the cons of any system.

*edit: I like @CleanEmUpIves post--it's all about choosing which unit fits "the most" of your priorities
 

SanPancho

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Brewzilla redesign is supposed to make for easier access to pump for service. Replacements are available.

and “accuracy” of mash temp isnt some Holy grail. It’s nice but definitely not as important as made out to be.

Long story short. Dont overthink it.

just figure out which two ideas appeal most to you- price, capacity, voltage, wifi/automation, etc.
 

Wayne1

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Check out the Kegland You Tube video on the Brewzilla 4. He goes through all the features. He states that with the 65L, you can easily upgrade the pump.



I have the 65L Brewzilla 3.1. My pump went out and I had no problem sourcing a replacement through MoreBeer.
I do use my Brewzilla for step mashing and decoction along with a Digiboil 35L
 
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jmstone617

jmstone617

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Thanks everyone! This has been incredibly helpful. Morebeer ended up selling out of the 220v Brewzilla by mid-day on Sunday so I’m going to keep an eye out for restocks and probably pick that up.
 
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