Induction vs all in one

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Jloewe

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Been doing stove top partial mash for the last 2 brews. Thinking of upgrading some of my stuff (after I get temp control). Now I like the idea of getting an induction burner as I can bring it almost anywhere and even use it as a spare burner. Not sure if current kettle is magnetic it’s not at my house right now. It’s just a cheap Walmart deal so probably not.

I like the idea of partials as to me it seems the best of both worlds. Still saving money and full control but without the giant amounts of water and absurd amount of spent grain. So I’m leaning toward induction burner.

However am I showing my rookiness as I haven’t even been brewing a full year until September? Would I be better off with a value all in one like Klarstein?

Also did the math. Cheaper to go induction and kettle with an immersion chiller by about $75 or so depending what kind of system you put together.

Also forgot to mention. Must be able to use a standard plug.
 

Immocles

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Never used induction, but moving from my stovetop biab to a brewers edge mash&boil was a huge upgrade for me. I was topping off at about 2.75G into the fermenter, and can easily do 3-4G full volume with the M&B. I believe the klarstein is basically the same as that model, iirc. I have the non-pump version, and line the mash pipe with my bag and use full volume/no sparge. Simple as can be, and uses a standard outlet. Assuming that you are still using ice baths, You would also have the added cost of an immersion chiller. I use a really low end, cheapy one and it does the job. Hoping to upgrade to a scylla at some point, though.

I've never done extract on it, though. So I don't know how well the probe gets along with extract additions or if its more prone to scorching.

There's going to be pros and cons to any system comparison. I can't help you on the induction end, but I can try to clear up any questions you might have about the klarstein/M&B.
 

minorhero

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As newbie myself I'll throw in that in researching this stuff a very popular sentiment is that the cold side is way more important than the hot side. I am mostly investing in the cold side and just doing my boils on the stove. Next brew is a BIAB and will do a dunk sparge in a smaller pot, both on the stove. I also do smaller quantities though as opposed to 5+ gallons so I can get away with using a stove.
 

Sammy86

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I was a stove top all grain brewer for 5 years...upgrading to my Brewzilla 65L was a godsend.

I can brew 5-15 gallon batches, my strike water is set and ready when I wake up on the morning and cleanup is so easy.

As the Spike guys like to say buy once, cry once and you're set. My vote is AIO.
 

csantoni

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I looked into some of this when I wanted to get off the stovetop. On 110v induction wasn’t feasible with my kettle. I couldn’t get even a gentle boil with a reasonably priced burner and my nice 4 gal kettle. I bought a digiboil kettle because I do all grain now and it works great on 110v, albeit a little slow. The Klarstein should be comparable and that’s what I’d recommend.
 

IslandLizard

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I love induction!

8 years ago I started brewing on an induction plate (Avantco IC3500 ~$200), but only because it's 3500W (240V).
My main kettle is magnetic and has a tri-ply bottom to prevent scorching. Although the plate indicates it being much larger, the actual effective heating area is fairly small, about a 6" diameter area, so there's a lot of heat being generated in a fairly small area.

Another (cheaper Polarware) kettle is not magnetic but works fine on induction. Sadly, there's only one way to find out, you've got to try it out!

I sometimes wish we had bought an induction stove, 11 years ago, when we moved into our current home. But none of our regular pans and pots would have worked, except for the few cast iron ones.
 

matt_m

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You won't have any automated temperature control with induction where the all in one will allow you to set a temperature setpoint and maintain that for you with some degree of accuracy. Most induction burners are only going to provide say 10 power levels. This mostly applies to mashing and your philosophies around recirculating and temp control.
 

spittiz

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Induction stove tops and plates are the norm over here, and I did BIAB on an induction plate a long time before switching over to a Grainfather. It works but I'd recommend AIO because like matt_m said above the temp control during mashing is easier and you probably get better efficiency if that matters to you.
 

madscientist451

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I like my stove for BIAB because the stove top itself holds heat during the mash; will an induction burner do that? I can do 5 gallons in my 8 gallon kettle but it takes a long time to get the boil going. I usually do 2.75 gallon batches in a 4 gallon pot, with a 3 gallon pot for a dunk sparge. The smaller pots are easier to handle and clean.
When I do a full 5 gallons I use 2 pots and then combine everything.
I'm skeptical that the cheaper "all in one" systems are going to last and their electric components can't be removed for repair. If I had the disposable cash, I'd look at a 220v kettle that had a heavy duty coil and controller and get a long cord so I could take it outside when the weather is suitable.
 

toadie

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I mostly brew using my propane burner in a 10 gallon tri-ply pot. However I do have an 1800 watt (110) portable induction cooktop that I occasionally use. I mostly use the cooktop for other cooking related things but wow I could never live without one now. If you were brewing full time with the 110 unit I would suggest using one of the heat sticks for supplimentary heat.
 

jtgoral

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In all in one if one part gets demaged you might be forced to replace the whole thing and decide to go induction next time :)
 

jtratcliff

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I just got the 35L Klarstein... It looks to be nearly identical to the Brewers Edge Mash & Boil except for how the malt pipe is suspended over the unit for sparging. You almost need 3 hands to lift the pipe and get the sparge support ring in place...

Also, the stainless immersion chiller that comes with the Klarstein isn't really tall enough for the 35L version. For my 6 gallons post-boil, the top coil wasn't submerged ... Took more than 30 minutes to drop to near tap water temps.

On the plus side, I scored mine for about $150 from an Amazon warehouse deal on prime day... Looks like it was probably a return (some sight discoloration near the heating element) but everything was there and looked mostly brand new.

I've only brewed with it once so far, but after doing exclusively stove-top BIAB in the past, I have to say, I really like the AiO.
 
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While I thought about going back to BIAB using an electric all-in-one, instead I upgraded to induction from propane and I love it. I probably wouldn't have made the jump when I did if it wasn't for getting a BK and HLT that are induction ready from a homebrewer who was selling off his stuff.

I have one 3500W/220 (BK) and one 1800W/110 (HLT). I start the HLT when I get up in the morning and after about 1 1/2 hours its ready for mash-in. From first runnings to boil is only about 15 minutes of heat time. Other than grinding grain and the boil itself, all of this can be done inside with the garage door closed if I want, which is nice.
 
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Jloewe

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While I thought about going back to BIAB using an electric all-in-one, instead I upgraded to induction from propane and I love it. I probably wouldn't have made the jump when I did if it wasn't for getting a BK and HLT that are induction ready from a homebrewer who was selling off his stuff.

I have one 3500W/220 (BK) and one 1800W/110 (HLT). I start the HLT when I get up in the morning and after about 1 1/2 hours its ready for mash-in. From first runnings to boil is only about 15 minutes of heat time. Other than grinding grain and the boil itself, all of this can be done inside with the garage door closed if I want, which is nice.
How big of a batch are you doing on the 1800?
 
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How big of a batch are you doing on the 1800?
I will have between 7-8 gallons heating to strike temp, though I did 10 for my first induction batch (a 10% wheat wine with 20# of grain). I usually have 6-6 1/2 in the BK at the start of boil. I do a 50/50 batch sparge normally.

Just to be clear, the 1800 is for the HLT and the 3500 is for the BK.

EDIT, again: I have my kettles wrapped in reflectix also, so that speeds up the process considerably. And the BK runs at about 1/3-1/2 power to maintain the boil.
 

McKnuckle

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Only invest in an induction burner if you have a place to access a 240V power source. In that case, it’s great. But it’s not a brewing solution - it’s a portable stovetop. It’s highly flexible and practical, but it’s just a heat source. Keep that in mind.

I have a couple of “systems” - the Clawhammer and a Braumeister - and I still employ my Avantco IC3500 induction burner around the brewery. It’s like a plastic bucket: always useful!

This being said, the purpose-built systems solve most brewing problems, like mash temp control, recirculating, filtering, and so on. They are good investments. Just find the one that’s right for your budget and power requirements.
 
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Jloewe

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I will have between 7-8 gallons heating to strike temp, though I did 10 for my first induction batch (a 10% wheat wine with 20# of grain). I usually have 6-6 1/2 in the BK at the start of boil. I do a 50/50 batch sparge normally.

Just to be clear, the 1800 is for the HLT and the 3500 is for the BK.

EDIT, again: I have my kettles wrapped in reflectix also, so that speeds up the process considerably. And the BK runs at about 1/3-1/2 power to maintain the boil.
Even with all the new info still leaning towards induction. I’m actually wanting one anyway since I have one dead burner on my stove. So might as well get one and try it before investing in an expensive system

Ok so just to be clear. Also do others in my situation can have it ready for them too. Correct me if I’m wrong.

You get your 1800w from sink to room temp in 1 1/2 hours (my hot water is already a stupid 140 in my apartment so not worried about that)

From mashout to boil is 15min with an insulated kettle.

This is generally done with 7 gallons.

I’m still somewhat new to brewing but my last batch was a partial. Mashed super thin 5lbs to 5 gallons, light almost ceremonial sparge added DME and ice bath cooling. Don’t remember how long it took to do everything but the whole brew day but because I have two teenagers and an in law at my apartment I don’t have fermentation space (might be a problem solved soon if we empty the deep freezer we don’t use) I brew at my parents house. I got there around 7am, watched some Olympics, was home 45 minutes away about 1:30. So I want to say about a 5-6 hour day including set up cooling, and cleaning. Would like shorter but I’m not against that feel like I’m doing ok. This is my process so far. Before my next batch I’m getting a wort chiller which will cut down on time. Part of my thought process is brewing outdoors too whether at home or somewhere else therefor cutting back on cleaning time as well.
 
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Jloewe

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Also as far as AIO goes I have been convinced to hold off on an expensive kettle. I think I have a 4 gallon that’s magnetic. If it works well with cheaper stuff then I’ll look into something more expensive. That minimizes the financial risk.
 

csantoni

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You get your 1800w from sink to room temp in 1 1/2 hours (my hot water is already a stupid 140 in my apartment so not worried about that)

From mashout to boil is 15min with an insulated kettle.

This is generally done with 7 gallons,
I don’t entirely understand your comments, but I can tell you my experience with induction on 110v with an 1800w burner was nowhere near these times and I was using much less water. It was much slower and never truly boiled 4 gallons.
 

matt_m

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I have to wonder if using a steam condenser would help you get by with a smaller induction plate. I run my 5500W element around 26% with a steam condenser which is about 1430W.
 
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I filter the water the night before into the HLT, so when I get up in the morning I turn it on and set a timer for an hour. Then I walk away. It goes from about 60-65F (overnight garage temp) to 165F in about 1 1/2 hours, on the 1800W/110 at maximum temp.

When I move the wort into the BK from the MT, it's normally 145-150, and from there I start it boiling on max on the 3500W/220. By the time the sparge is done and moving over into the BK (10-15minutes) the first runnings are already at a boil. Once the complete amount is boiling, I reduce the power to about 1800W, so about 50% power to keep a good boil going.

Overall, including cooling and cleaning, I spend about 6 hours working. But I like having machinery that won't burn the house down if I walk away (like when I am heating my strike water). It's also nice that I can start all of this early with the garage door closed so I don't disturb the neighbors until I need to vent the steam out the open garage door from the boil.

Here is a picture of the setup if that helps make sense of it all. The BK is on the left, HLT on the right. The reflectix insulation makes a tremendous difference in how much power is required to hold temp, and how fast the liquid can get there.

Setup July 2021.JPG
 

HopSing

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+1 for the Avantco IC3500 induction burner. Bought one about a year ago to replace the propane burner. This allowed me to move the brewery to the basement about 4 months ago. Being able to brew in a 72F basement vs a 92F garage in the middle of summer makes everything more enjoyable. Not to mention I can start my brew day at 5AM and not worry about waking up my neighbors with propane jet burners and clanging pots.

I put everything on a wire shelving unit that has wheels so it's a breeze to move stuff around and store. I use a piece of 3/4 plywood to put on the wire rack so the Avantco has a nice stable platform to sit on. I cut a 4" hole in the plywood where the bottom fan of the Avantco is to help it breathe better too. Probably overkill, but a simple step that might help with improved airflow. I also added cleats for the burner feet to sit in so the burner does not move around.

Instead of the reflectix wrap, I fold up a wool blanket and wrap it around the kettle and keep it in place with a few bungee cords. I originally did this as a temporary thing until I bought the reflectix, but being able to throw the blanket in the washing machine after something spills on it is easier than trying to make a sticky sheet of reflectix non-sticky after wort drips on it.

I will say that the first few times I was standing close to the Avantco at full power, I did have an odd feeling. Like a little dizzy. I don't get that anymore. I think I've watched too many episodes of Ghost Hunters and bought into the EMF fear cage. :no:.

The other thing I recommend is getting an inline GFCI cord for your 220V outlet. This is the one I got. Works great and its portable.


~HopSing.
 

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