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KLARSTEIN Maischfest all grain system... is it worth it?

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prah

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Greeting to all the amazing homebrewers out there!
I'm in the middle of thinking on how to optimize my brew day, I brew on the kitchen stove and I'm getting tired of the ridiculous amount of times that I need to get the worth to boil and all this stuff.
My most frequent issues are:
I only own 2 vessels: one for mashing with a 15 liter + 5kg grains maximum capacity a and a boiling vessel with a 28 L maximum capacity. To sparge I use multiple vessel each of 3-4L and getting everything to the sparge temperature and repeat the whole process at least 3 times to get a 15-16L sparge takes ages.
I have a worth chiller, but it doesn't suit perfectly the kitchen sink so I have to kind of hold it with my hand to get it going almost properly, and the chilling process takes at least 1 and a half hour.
I think you guys are starting to see what I mean by time wasted, so far I've written of two vessels not of the proper size (and I have to be honest, they're not even INOX, they're cheap), a slow chilling process, and a very old kitchen stove which is barely capable of taking a 25-28L mash to boiling temperature ( it can but it's not so much boiling as you'd expect).
I'm sick and tired of that, but since I started working I gathered some money and I want to upgrade some stuff, and that's where I want your guys opinion:
I've started looking at a proper INOX vessel, and a 35L vessel with tap and thermometer goes for 130 euros here in Italy, plus I would need to substitute the stove, or I'm still stuck with a long heating process, possibly even longer by using a bigger vessel, So I've started looking at a gas burner, on the same website it goes for 30 euros, the gas I need to buy it elsewhere but I heard it goes for 20-30 euros (I don't know if there's a caution to pay as well). So we're already at 180-190 euros, now I could brew in the garden, I could use the chiller without any problem there, not dirtying anything is also a huge plus, I have a shack in the garden that I can use so definitely a huge plus. But still I can warm vessels only one at a time, I could do a no sparge (i think it's called actually batch sparge, please correct me if I'm mistaken) but it would require me to buy a bigger vessel to do a 25L batch at least, so the price would already be at more than 230-250 Euros.
Then I saw this : Maischfest paiolo di ammostamento
It's one of those All in one machines, but it's simpler than an Easy grain, bremonk or similar, that's why it costs significantly less. It comes with almost everything, except for a recirculation pump (How crucial is that? could I recirculate it manually as I'm doing right now with my vessels?) For the same price I would get a more compact solution to all the problems stated above, it could be a bargaign but I don't know much about these automated systems, Can some more expert brewer give me a feedback about those machines? Or maybe if someone owns this one and could give me a feedback it would be lovely.
Should I drop the cheap vessels and go for this system? Or should I slowly one by one replace them all with more expensive vessels?
I know these are a lot of questions and it came out very long but it could be a great starting point for a discussion.
Thank you for your time! Looking forward to see what you guys think!
Sincerely,
Francesco.
 

Jag75

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Hey Prah . I'm not familiar with that system you posted . It looks similar to the one vessel systems like Mash & Brew, Robobrew and Grainfather . I use the Grainfather and I love the system . It has a small footprint and has an app for recipe building . I think you'll be happy with a 1v system as it's easier and smaller footprint.
 
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prah

prah

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Hi Jag, thank you for your kind reply! I've been digging a bit more, it seems that it's way more simple than a grainfather, it doesn't have an app like you do, or the ability to save recipes, it just lets you set steps, you told it to hold 64C for 1 hour lets say, then you take it to 100C and tell it to hold it for 1hr, So in the end it's packed with a lot less functions, but at a significantly lower price. Do you think it could be worth the trade? Also how many L of beer do you make with yours? For the one I've posted there's a 30L and a 35L size, How much can worth can you pull out of these 1 vessels system? If it says 30L i would end up with approximately 25L of worth? Sorry but it's really a new ground for me. Thank you for your time guys.
 

Jag75

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I do 28 L ( 5.5 gallon batches ) . I dont know how much that system is your looking at but I'll let you know what I did. I was looking into the Mash n Brew and Robobrew. I was bouncing between the two . My Aunt who has the Grainfather had nothing but good things to say about it . Well I sat and thought about them for a while . My thought was , I am going to be brewing and its something that I really like doing . So I knew my investment would be worth it , leaving the basic extract kits in a pot on the stove behind. I figured if I got the M&B or the Robobrew I would later regret not getting the GF and eventually get it , costing me more money. So I decided on the GF . It's really really simple as it comes with a pump and a CFC. The app is amazingly on point with the water calculations. It's so easy a caveman can do it lol. I think recirc is a really good thing to have because it keeps my temp exactly where I want it . Good luck with your new set up , whichever one you decide on . :bigmug:
 
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prah

prah

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Thanks Jag, you've been very nice! :D thank you for sharing your experience and all the useful pieces of advices!
 

RM-MN

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This is heresy so read at your own peril.

1. You don't need to heat sparge water. It is simply rinsing the sugars off the grain and cool water does nearly as well as hot and with cool water you reduce the chance of extracting tannins if your pH goes too high because it takes temperatures over 170 along with the pH over 6.0.

2. A well done batch sparge will outperform a poorly done fly sparge and take much less time. Do a double batch sparge. With cool water you can even do a triple batch sparge without tannin extraction if you need the extra volume.

3. It doesn't take an hour to get full conversion. In fact, conversion happens very quickly but the holdup is in the gelatinization of the starch so the enzymes can work on it. The key to getting gelatinization quickly is in the milling of the grain. Mill it fine and conversion happens in a few minutes, faster than the water can cool. The big downside of the fine milling is being able to separate the wort from the grains. Think of stuck mash or stuck sparge, every time.

4. There is an easy way to avoid the stuck mash and sparge. It is known by the acronym BIAB. Forget about the fly sparge, forget about intact grain husks to avoid stuck mash, forget about rice hulls added to the mash. The fine weave bag provides a huge filter area so it doesn't clog until you do something to make it clog. That something is recirculation by pump. The idea of the recirculation and adding heat along with it is to keep the mash the same temperature during the conversion. See number 3. Recirculating can plug the pores of the bag but since you don't need it, save the money, save the problem.

5. Fast cooling keeps your late addition hops from isomerization. If your recipe calls for hops within 30 minutes of the end of the boil, you need to make some adjustments. If not, slow cooling works fine. Some of us will allow the wort to cool overnight in a covered container.
 

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