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Has anyone ever switched from 3 vessel to all-in-one?

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Rik van den berg

Rik van den berg

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So about 7 months ago I bought the ss brewtech 3 vessel electric system. I have been using a brewers edge mash and boils since then. I bought the brewtech system for a new house and by the time I realized the full build out was more then I wanted to spend it was too late to return it. I tried to sell it for a while and had no takers. So I finally decided to shell out the money. It’s finally almost finished and on top of buying the table, paying an electrician to put in the 240 volt, and getting a sink put in my basement, and a couple of other toys that didn’t come with it I’m at just about 5 grand. Meanwhile I have been making good beer with my 250$ all in one system. So I am hoping I absolutely love the thing it already looks badass I will post pictures when it’s finally complete. And I know you can do 3 vessel less expensively but I don’t really have the ability.
5 grand!.. Still married? 😂😂
 

drgonzo2k2

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Over the years I have gone from a 3-tier, 3-vessel propane system to a 3-vessel system with pumps to a 2-vessel RIMS system, and then when we purchased our home a few years ago I decided to go with a 220V Braumeister all-in-one system, and I have never been happier. I did supplement the basic system with my chugger pump and plate chiller from my 2-vessel system, and I also added in the Braumeister WiFi module, so I'm not just using the stock setup.

I absolutely love the setup, and I don't think I'll ever switch back to a multi-vessel system again. I still brew all the same styles of beer that I did before, and it's simple enough to supplement with malt extract or a double mash if you're really trying to brew a big beer. End-to-end my brew days average 4-4.5 hours including cleanup, which is honestly a breeze with the Braumeister. I have to say that brewing indoors and being able to safely walk away from things for a bit has increased my ability to brew quite a bit. I can now easily get things going, and then feed the family breakfast, take the dogs out, do whatever chores need doing around the house, etc, and I never have to worry about the weather cooperating. That makes scheduling a brew day much easier than, "honey I'm going to be out in the driveway for 5-6 hours on Saturday."

I've attached a pic of the indoor brew setup, and I'm happy to answer any questions that might help you in your decision making!

Braumeister.jpg
 
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Rik van den berg

Rik van den berg

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Over the years I have gone from a 3-tier, 3-vessel propane system to a 3-vessel system with pumps to a 2-vessel RIMS system, and then when we purchased our home a few years ago I decided to go with a 220V Braumeister all-in-one system, and I have never been happier. I did supplement the basic system with my chugger pump and plate chiller from my 2-vessel system, and I also added in the Braumeister WiFi module, so I'm not just using the stock setup.

I absolutely love the setup, and I don't think I'll ever switch back to a multi-vessel system again. I still brew all the same styles of beer that I did before, and it's simple enough to supplement with malt extract or a double mash if you're really trying to brew a big beer. End-to-end my brew days average 4-4.5 hours including cleanup, which is honestly a breeze with the Braumeister. I have to say that brewing indoors and being able to safely walk away from things for a bit has increased my ability to brew quite a bit. I can now easily get things going, and then feed the family breakfast, take the dogs out, do whatever chores need doing around the house, etc, and I never have to worry about the weather cooperating. That makes scheduling a brew day much easier than, "honey I'm going to be out in the driveway for 5-6 hours on Saturday."

I've attached a pic of the indoor brew setup, and I'm happy to answer any questions that might help you in your decision making!

View attachment 715119
Strongly leaning towards an all-in-one.. The time it would save for me building my custom electrical 3V alone would be worth it.. let alone the cost and the time it would save me on brew day!
 

brewman !

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Great points! Your post surely helped put more doubt in my mind lol.

I thought I had my mind made up to continue my electric 3V build but i am still early enough in the process to abandon it and just go all-in-one.. I can always j keep my current two-cooler, one keggle gravity, propane fired system for 10 gallon or large grain bill brews (which happens once or twice a year)...

decisions, decisions
I did the same thing. Look at my posting history. Had a brewery room all set aside in our old house. Ordered all the parts. Was actually going to heat it with steam. Started welding the frame.

Then the all in ones came out and I started thinking how nice it would be to "just brew". To be upstairs, with my family, brewing in the kitchen on a quiet Saturday evening. Instead of alone in a brewery, building a huge contraption.

What got me was watching David Heath's Grainfather videos on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb3HYxTpCaVDeulH1mZGW1Q There he was easily turning out batch after batch of tasty beer with that little thing. In his kitchen ! Why did I need a dedicated room and a bit 3 vessel brewing system if he was turning out tons of delicious batches while making dinner ?

So I took a good look at the all in ones that were on the market. They all had issues - high price, poor heating performance, poor pumps, they sat too low and they weren't on wheels. And I'm not a BIAB guy. So I decided to build my own all in one. With a good pump and a PID and good heating.

I wasn't sure if my all in one was just going to be my "kitchen" brewing setup and if I was still going to build my 3V or not. I just went for it to see how I'd like it. I wanted to stop building and get brewing, ASAP. So I built it. And I love it.

All my kegs are full of delicious beers. And I can't wait to brew again. What does that tell you ?

I have an idea for you. Stop your build and build yourself an all in one like mine. You've got all the pieces to do it from your big build. Brew with it for a year. If you don't like it, all you are out is the frame, basically. You can always build your big 3V if the all in one doesn't make you happy.

Truthfully, I'd rather have 2 nice all in ones than a 3V. For a while that was my plan. I was going to build the dedicated brewer space and have 2 all in ones in it. But it is just so easy to brew in the kitchen, why do I need a dedicated brewery room ? I'm just following my heart when I say that. Both the all in one and brewing in the kitchen were supposed to be temporary. But they both work so well that there is no need to do more.

I no longer have the least bit of interest in building a 3V. 3Vs were a great step forward in brewing, back when the automated, propane fired, HERMs Brutus plans came out. Things have changed a lot since then.
 

brewman !

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and it's simple enough to supplement with malt extract or a double mash if you're really trying to brew a big beer.
Look into reiterative mashing. I just did 7 gallons of 1.100 with an 8 gallon grain basket.
 

drgonzo2k2

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Look into reiterative mashing. I just did 7 gallons of 1.100 with an 8 gallon grain basket.
Oh hey, sorry, that's actually what I meant. I didn't realize that was the term for it. Learn something everything day. But yes, basically use the wort from your first mash as the strike water for your second mash.
 

brewman !

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So here's the thing... realistically, how much beer are you (and your friends) going to drink in a year and how many times do you want to brew ?

I like beer, but I limit myself to a single beer a day during the week. So that's 50 x 5 = 250 beer. And most weekends we'll drink less than a dozen beer. (50 x 8 = 400) And once or twice a year I'll take a keg or two to a party. So how much is that ? 650 beer plus 2 kegs. 60 gallons plus 2 kegs. That has us swimming in beer.

I brew 6 gallon batches. 19L goes into a keg, the rest goes into 2L pop bottles. This means I always have fridge beer that is portable, ready to go.

I only brew when the weather sucks. I almost never brew in summer. Cold snap in winter - I'm brewing. Big snow storm coming ? I'm brewing. Rainy fall weekend - I'm brewing.

With my all in one, it is very easy to set up at 5PM, have dinner and be done by 10 PM on a week night. On a bad weather weekend, I'll bang out 2 to 4 batches and still spend time with my family. For me brewing a batch is less work than making a turkey dinner.

So I crank out 10-12 batches a year in 6 or 8 brewing sessions, some sessions being multi day weekends.

Why do I need a dedicated room and a 3V system to do this ? I don't !

How does having a dedicated room and a 3V system increase my enjoyment ? It doesn't !
 
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drgonzo2k2

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Then the all in ones came out and I started thinking how nice it would be to "just brew". To be upstairs, with my family, brewing in the kitchen on a quiet Saturday evening. Instead of alone in a brewery, building a huge contraption.
This is really where it's at for me with the simplicity of the all-in-one unit. My brewery is located in our (for some reason) ridiculously large laundry room, which is just off the kitchen/dining room. That makes it easy for me to do my thing but still be a part of whatever is going on with the family that day.
 

brewman !

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Oh hey, sorry, that's actually what I meant. I didn't realize that was the term for it. Learn something everything day. But yes, basically use the wort from your first mash as the strike water for your second mash.
Yeah. I just did my first one on the weekend and it works great. I couldn't believe it. I've read story after story of how hard it is to mash big gravity beers and yet with reiterative mashing, it is a piece of cake. And I don't need to have a big second mash tun to do it. All it takes is more time. But my mashes run basically unattended, so really it is no big deal.
 

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5 grand!.. Still married? 😂😂
That doesn't count finishing the room, wiring and plumbing the room and all the time spent building the rig.

I can't believe some of the control panels I see these days. Is all that really necessary ?

And the truth is, most of the all in ones make beer that is as good or better than the 3V systems. I love having the grain bucket immersed in the boil kettle because it is getting heated from the outside - much better grain bed temp consistency.

And I much prefer direct heating the mash to RIMS or HERMs.

And a boil is a boil ! Unless you've got issues with scorching on a burner, which does happen on some high power elements in big kettles.

Edit: repectfully, each to their own, but I don't get this.
 
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brewman !

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That makes it easy for me to do my thing but still be a part of whatever is going on with the family that day.
Yep ! That right there. A big main floor laundry room would be great to brew in.
 
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Steve G.

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I am a first time poster here, but have been lurking for years. I am a 3v brewer, but also do BIAB. The downside I saw to BIAB or all-in-one units is high gravity. For Christmas, I got a 25 gallon boil kettle so I can do high gravity all in one and still fill two 5 gallon cornys. I cannot relate to the desire to be in the house in the winter as I am in Southern California. Not an knock, just an observation. I use a natural gas burner that I cobbled together. It is quiet, no jet volume propane burner. I like single vessel BIAB, but I also like doing 3v brews.
 

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Last weekend I did a 7 gallon 1.110 wort with my all in one which has an 8 gallon grain bucket and an 11 gallon boil kettle.

I did it with a reiterative mash with 2 x 15lb mashes. All grain, no added sugars or DME. Standard 1 hour boil. ~70% efficiency. Would have been better but the second sparge stuck because the wort was so thick. Note to self: rice hulls in the 2nd mash !

How high do you want to go ? This could have been a 1.120 wort if I limited the volume to 6 gallons or so.

BIAB generally has poor efficiency. Not sure reiterative mashing would work with BIAB.

20210116_214156.jpg
 
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brewman !

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For Christmas, I got a 25 gallon boil kettle so I can do high gravity all in one and still fill two 5 gallon cornys.
How does one use a 25 gallon boil kettle to create 10 gallons of high gravity wort ? Lots of boiling ?
 

bracconiere

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It is quiet, no jet volume propane burner.

just to chime in off topic...if you're brewing on a propane burner, you don't want a jet engine sound, wastes a ton of gas, you want to actually use that air adjuster to get a blue flame from the burner all the way out, way hotter, and silent. way more effecient too, with an allready expensive fuel...

it won't sound impressive but you'll notice you can turn down the reg, and the boil be more vigorus....
 

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I'm running a Blichmann 3V gravity feed tower with Hellfire burners. I switched from running 3V to running the two lower burners as independent BIAB's. So two batches at a time essentially. I figure if I'm dirtying up my pump etc. I might as well make a day of it. I've also installed chains above the kettles and mini pulleys to lift out the bags. They don't seem to be getting any lighter as I get older ;)
 

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Suburban Punk

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And the pumps suck. And the grain basket is too small. And they aren't on wheels or the right height. Yes you can fix all those things but by the time you do that you might as well build one from scratch.
Well said. Build your own or get one that has standard fittings. I loved the idea of the robobrew, but after 9 months I was frustrated with the pump, poor wiring, and a repeated leak underneath (which was scary given where the exposed electrical is ...). I got a unibrau to replace it and couldn't be happier (the kettle and basket, other parts I already had or wanted something different such as the controller).

My robobrew is now a dedicated sous-vide machine for Prime Rib.
 

Steve G.

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Not that hard...Add enough water and grain to get yourself an OG over 1.060 using what I can only assume is a brew bag or brew basket. Right @Steve G. ?

That is how I do it. I have a bag for my 25 g kettle and do BIAB in the one vessel. Getss close to the top with some mashes.
 

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