Quantcast

Is Automated Brewing for Me?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

blackcows

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2007
Messages
153
Reaction score
5
I’ve been brewing for 10 years. In that time I’ve probably made 50+ batches, all extract, all kegs, never bottled. Partial boil and 95% of the time kits from Northern Brewer.

I’d like to brew smaller batches of beer as 5 gallons of many styles is too much for me. A 5 gallon batch of my favorite IPA is fine but I’d really like to brew some 2 gallon batches of styles I’d just like to drink on occasion. I’d like to experiment some more.

Between kids, life, other hobbies, and time I rarely brew anymore but would like to brew more. Bought a Pico C on a whim for $50 figuring the corney keg was worth that to me.

I know that smaller extract kits are available but reality is when you look at the costs you may as well just get the 5 gallon kit because it doesn’t cost much more. After getting the Pico I started to look at the kits and they are EXPENSIVE for a small batch of beer. So I start looking more and see the Brewie +, the Pico Z which seem to be closer to what I’m looking for. Flexibility of batch sizes, ability to use my own ingredients, and automation which saves time (and being a lover of gadgets looks fun) but it appears these systems still have a lot of issues.

I want to brew more and in order to do that I want to brew smaller batches at a reasonable cost and also keep things simple. What I don’t want is to purchase something to make things easier and then be on the forum all of the time trying to figure out how to make it work .

Are any of the automated systems ready for prime time? From the things I read here most have lots of bugs to work out, I’m getting to old to be an early adopter . Would a Gigawort be a good option for me? It would meet several of my requirements; a new gadget, ability to do smaller batches with BIAB, I could still do 5 gallon batches of extract when I wanted. It wouldn’t save me the time that an automated system would and I’d have to learn to BIAB but I don’t think that’s too difficult.

Any input would be appreciated.
 

alaric10000

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jul 28, 2017
Messages
37
Reaction score
5
Personally, I'd just learn to do stovetop BIAB with no automation. Automation is expensive and at small batch sizes BIAB is almost as easy with about the same amount of hands-on time loading the ingredients, the difference is pretty much just whether you absolutely need to be able to load everything at once and disappear for a few hours, or whether you can periodically check in on it for 5 minutes. And I say that as a very happy Zymatic user for 20+ batches.
 

Brewfreedom

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2018
Messages
155
Reaction score
60
With the Zymatic it depends solely on - "Am I ok with only 2.5g"? The second you start doing double batches its a lot more work than a 3 vessel or BIAB setup. Double everything and to be honest the system is an unreliable POS once you put some mileage on it. Im talking 25 batches in will be your first major problem. Look into the much cheaper and higher rated BIAB style devices for very close to automation but not fully with a few steps in there. The braumeister is probably the nicest I've seen. If I didn't like doing large high gravity batches that would be my go to automated since finding a sucker for the Zymatic. The Z doesn't exist so unless you like committing to vaporware I'd stear clear of that.
 

chillandbrew

Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2018
Messages
10
Reaction score
7
Location
Seattle, Washington, USA
Hi guys,
I joined recently because my friend asked me to share my experience on automated brewing.
I have created a new thread where i welcome everyone to share objective opinion about the different systems.
I haven't seen any thread where people actually compared systems objectively. As i have used most of these systems (braumeister, grainfather, robobrew, picobrew zymatic, brewie b20 and brewie +) i will share what i liked and disliked in each system and i welcome others to share their experience and have a constructive discussion. I think it is really hard now to see what are the main differences between these systems and i think this can help everyone to decide which system is the best fit for him/her.
You can find the thread here:
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/threads/comparing-different-automated-systems.658745/

(If there is already a thread like this then let me know it was not my intention to duplicate topics)
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2014
Messages
5,366
Reaction score
1,542
Location
West Palm Beach
Depends on your definition of “automated”... because automation includes the simple start of automatic temperature control and ends with one-button brewing (into fermentation even). That said, assuming you mean fully automated, if you plan on doing a lot of brewing, then the time savings and frustration reduction (outside of brewie perhaps) goes down and you begin to capture your costs back.
 

4of7

60sqftbrewhouse
Joined
Apr 16, 2017
Messages
549
Reaction score
110
I’ve been brewing for 10 years. In that time I’ve probably made 50+ batches, all extract, all kegs, never bottled. Partial boil and 95% of the time kits from Northern Brewer.

I’d like to brew smaller batches of beer as 5 gallons of many styles is too much for me. A 5 gallon batch of my favorite IPA is fine but I’d really like to brew some 2 gallon batches of styles I’d just like to drink on occasion. I’d like to experiment some more.

Between kids, life, other hobbies, and time I rarely brew anymore but would like to brew more. Bought a Pico C on a whim for $50 figuring the corney keg was worth that to me.

I know that smaller extract kits are available but reality is when you look at the costs you may as well just get the 5 gallon kit because it doesn’t cost much more. After getting the Pico I started to look at the kits and they are EXPENSIVE for a small batch of beer. So I start looking more and see the Brewie +, the Pico Z which seem to be closer to what I’m looking for. Flexibility of batch sizes, ability to use my own ingredients, and automation which saves time (and being a lover of gadgets looks fun) but it appears these systems still have a lot of issues.

I want to brew more and in order to do that I want to brew smaller batches at a reasonable cost and also keep things simple. What I don’t want is to purchase something to make things easier and then be on the forum all of the time trying to figure out how to make it work .

Are any of the automated systems ready for prime time? From the things I read here most have lots of bugs to work out, I’m getting to old to be an early adopter . Would a Gigawort be a good option for me? It would meet several of my requirements; a new gadget, ability to do smaller batches with BIAB, I could still do 5 gallon batches of extract when I wanted. It wouldn’t save me the time that an automated system would and I’d have to learn to BIAB but I don’t think that’s too difficult.

Any input would be appreciated.
I brew 2v ebiab...brew days 3.5-4 hours.. look up Brutus 20...
 
Top