Speidel Braumeister (brewmaster)

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rukkus

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Hi,

I've been thinking of ordering a braumeister but I cant decide between the 20l and the 50l version. I'm living in an apartment and I'm limited by space so I only brew 5 gallon batches. I would be looking to brew some high gravity beers though (I tend to drink IPA/IIPA). Would spending more on the 50l version make this easier or would I be better off going with the 20l version and going for double mash etc?

Cheers
 

Yambor44

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Hi,

I've been thinking of ordering a braumeister but I cant decide between the 20l and the 50l version. I'm living in an apartment and I'm limited by space so I only brew 5 gallon batches. I would be looking to brew some high gravity beers though (I tend to drink IPA/IIPA). Would spending more on the 50l version make this easier or would I be better off going with the 20l version and going for double mash etc?

Cheers
Good questions rukkus. I can't speak for the 20L but I would think if you don't need to get much above 1.070, you would be okay on the 20. I would say 20 based on your limited space and current batch size (5 gallons). Saves you a bit of money on the front end.
 

makomachine

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Hi,

I've been thinking of ordering a braumeister but I cant decide between the 20l and the 50l version. I'm living in an apartment and I'm limited by space so I only brew 5 gallon batches. I would be looking to brew some high gravity beers though (I tend to drink IPA/IIPA). Would spending more on the 50l version make this easier or would I be better off going with the 20l version and going for double mash etc?

Cheers
I just brewed an APA at 1061 with room to spare for more grain and 76% efficiency on a bad crush. I think with a better crush, people are seeing 80% efficiency regularly - which would have taken my grain bill to 1071. Given that, I think you would be fine unless you are going to be exploring the extreme limits of IIPA and/or barley wines on the 20L. $1000 is serious money that I would only spend if you really plan on brewing 10 gallon batches, IMO. I tended to brew 5 gallons on my 15 gallon gas setup 95% of the time - which drove me to the 20L unit. I'm happy with my purchase at this point.
 

rlhvegas

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makomachine said:
I just brewed an APA at 1061 with room to spare for more grain and 76% efficiency on a bad crush. I think with a better crush, people are seeing 80% efficiency regularly - which would have taken my grain bill to 1071. Given that, I think you would be fine unless you are going to be exploring the extreme limits of IIPA and/or barley wines on the 20L. $1000 is serious money that I would only spend if you really plan on brewing 10 gallon batches, IMO. I tended to brew 5 gallons on my 15 gallon gas setup 95% of the time - which drove me to the 20L unit. I'm happy with my purchase at this point.
Agreed, I would regularly brew 5g batches on my Brutus 10. I also went with the 20l as well. The system is awesome. Mint chocolate stout next in the line-up. Then Mako, the English bitter for the engine!
 

DeGarre

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Last time I brewed with 24 litres and 5.5kg ie 12.1 lb grain bill, got 1.06 OG, and there was a lot of space to spare...a lot. With my next brew, IPA of some short, I will try to push the limits.
 

bach

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Hi guys,
I have read the whole thread. Great info !!
I have brewed all grain with my gravity, NG powered for 3 years.
I like the Braumeister a lot for winter brewing, but I am not sure if I should pull the trigger on 20L system...
Questions:
1.do you beers come out clear ?
2. Is there really problem with wort clarity ?
If so, could you in fact pull the malt pipe up, drain the wort that remains in the cattle and recirculate it with March pump to the top of malt pipe to get a clear wort - ?

3. Does the copper elbow trick to make whirlpool work well ?

I have been using 50ft immersion chiller with Jamil Z return to help whirlpool.
The result is OK. I found, that I have to help it mechanically with a spoon.
I cools very quickly, but even though I am in Minneapolis, it does not drop the temp below 50-55, without prechilling.
I could cool with effective plate chiller and recirculate the wort with March pump + return it back with curved copper pipe to help whirlpool ..? and use my 50ft chiller to pre-chill ( I am talking lagers)
4. I do not have so much concern about the malt tube capacity in my case - my biggest all malt beers are 1065-70 - in fact the crystals, etc do not have to be in the mash - you can just steep them - that way you save some space in the tube.
Anyone made a good quality german/czech lager with it ?
5. Insulation - could I just use reflective insulation from home depot ?
Does the original jacket help it a lot ?

6. Are the pump connections welded or screwed on ? - > could I make some Y , etc ?
And can the pump speed be regulated ? - to decrease the pressure during the mash to prevent channeling ?

7. Is the copper hood good quality ?

It looks very nice overall, however, several of you already had some problems with it.
Any guess, how many people in US own it ? I have noticed about a dozen folks on this thread.
It sure is pretty expensive, compared to my 40L all grain setup.
Thorsten I heard is the guy to order with ? I have emailed and he has different pricing if I pay by personal check vs paypal. I got badly burned once, when I paid for digital camera by check and never got the camera. Is he reliable ?
So, thank you for your help

Bach
 

makomachine

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Hi guys,
I have read the whole thread. Great info !!
I have brewed all grain with my gravity, NG powered for 3 years.
I like the Braumeister a lot for winter brewing, but I am not sure if I should pull the trigger on 20L system...
Questions:
1.do you beers come out clear ? First was a wheat, so not a good judge. Second was a pale ale which is being dry hopped currently. Was clear at 65, but noticed some haze at 72 when taking to room temp. Guessing it will clear up in the keg when the temp drops. (too early to tell)
2. Is there really problem with wort clarity ? Wort was clearer than when I batch sparged.
If so, could you in fact pull the malt pipe up, drain the wort that remains in the cattle and recirculate it with March pump to the top of malt pipe to get a clear wort - ? Not necessary IMO.

3. Does the copper elbow trick to make whirlpool work well ? Haven't used it - not sure if Chris is still using it or not.

I have been using 50ft immersion chiller with Jamil Z return to help whirlpool.
The result is OK. I found, that I have to help it mechanically with a spoon.
I cools very quickly, but even though I am in Minneapolis, it does not drop the temp below 50-55, without prechilling.
I could cool with effective plate chiller and recirculate the wort with March pump + return it back with curved copper pipe to help whirlpool ..? and use my 50ft chiller to pre-chill ( I am talking lagers)

4. I do not have so much concern about the malt tube capacity in my case - my biggest all malt beers are 1065-70 - in fact the crystals, etc do not have to be in the mash - you can just steep them - that way you save some space in the tube.
Anyone made a good quality german/czech lager with it ? Not yet.
5. Insulation - could I just use reflective insulation from home depot ? Yes - any kind of insulation would work I would think.
Does the original jacket help it a lot ? Yes - helps with holding temp.

6. Are the pump connections welded or screwed on ? - > could I make some Y , etc ? Welded to the kettle - wouldn't be easy to replumb.
And can the pump speed be regulated ? - to decrease the pressure during the mash to prevent channeling ? Not necessary in my experience.

7. Is the copper hood good quality ? Not sure - don't own it but Chris says it's high quality.

It looks very nice overall, however, several of you already had some problems with it.
Any guess, how many people in US own it ? I have noticed about a dozen folks on this thread.
It sure is pretty expensive, compared to my 40L all grain setup.
Thorsten I heard is the guy to order with ? I have emailed and he has different pricing if I pay by personal check vs paypal. I got badly burned once, when I paid for digital camera by check and never got the camera. Is he reliable ?
So, thank you for your help

Bach
First and foremost- Thorston is extremely honest and reliable. He sent me the replacement unit, without anything from me financially, and wasn't even the vendor that sold me the original unit! I need to reach out to him as I need to get the unit returned to him - but that's the kind of guy he is. Order with 100% confidence. That out of the way, see my answers in bold above.
 

davewaldo

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Hi Bach, I can help with your first two questions :)

1. All my beers have been CRYSTAL clear. No dramas there.
2. Wort clarity is great if all goes well on brew day. If you don't contain all the grain it might be a bit cloudy. But one of the strengths of the BM is wort clarity. No worries here either.

Cheers,

Dave.
 

davewaldo

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Well I got to use my new stand today for the first time. It was awesome! Even though I was just doing a 22L batch and I probably could have lifted the maltpipe easy enough, the winch made it super easy and also allows me to leave it raised higher than the kettle for a quick sparge and can remain there while I start the boil to get all the run off.

I also found a great use for it I wasn't expecting. During clean up it works great to swing the winch arm over the garden to hold it steady and at a good height while I hose it out. Nice.

 

stevedasleeve

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Hello all, I've been reading this thread - and others - with some interest! I currently do 5 gallon all-grain full boil batches in my kichen - takes a bit of work but very doable. I did two partigyle 10 gallon brew days and they were just a big pain so I figured I would move up to 10 gallon batches. This Braumeister looks ideal for my situation - so I think I'm going to order one. It is my 50th birthday in a couple of weeks so this will be appropriate I think!

Yambor44 thanks for the videos - you are a brave man videotaping the maiden voyage without much editing! Very useful for me to see the actual dimensions with some context.

A couple of questions:

Someone suggested this to convert voltages

http://www.220-electronics.com/Transformers/trans/diamond-voltage-converter.htm

Did it work, and might this work with the larger 50L one?

I read with some mild surprise at the morebeer lack of response to makomachine's problems. Did they ever get back to you? I am guessing the best thing to do would be to contact Thorsten to purchase this. I have had minor irritations with moirebeer and stopped using them last year so I am not super surprised, still it is disapointing.

Looking forward to brewing with this soon!

Cheers,
Steve
 

hfk2

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Hello Bach, I'll give a shot at some of your questions. I have the 20L and purchased it because even with my 15 gal system I'll almost always did 5 gal batches. I like variety in my refer kegerator. I almost always brew German lagers/Czech Pils so I'm a little picky about clarity and color. About half the time I get cloudy beer, usually due to chill haze. After I pull the malt pipe I run the wort through my March pump to pump the wort down through the malt pipe to repack and rinse the grain. I do this for at least 15 minutes. I then slowly sparge from the top down with 168F liquor using about 2 to 2.5 gals. I have always hit my gravities. I think the cloudy beer is from not strong enough hot and cold breaks. I started using a heat stick to get vigorous boils but I have been stopping my chilling at about 70F. I'll now not stop chilling until I'm at 65F or even 60F. Cold break doesn't really kick in until 68F or lower so that might be the problem. I have done both German lagers and Czech Pils that have come out sensational but took nearly 3 months to clear at 32F. I think cold break and yeast flocculation has a lot to do with it. You will definitely notice the flavors change as it lagers. I use a long copper pipe connected to my March pump which causes a mild whirlpool while I chill, and then I remove the chiller and let the whirlpool continue for 15 minutes with the kettle covered. All the penetrations into the kettle are welded but the pump is screwed onto the welded connections so it can be completely removed. You cannot control the pump velocity. Clasley and a few others have the copper hood and said it was very high quality. By the way I just got my custom charges for $72. Thought is was a little steep. Anyone else got theirs?
 

bach

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Thanks hfk2 and Mako,
Hfk2 - Exactly what I though to do with the sparge process .
The lack of vigorous boil in uncovered kettle bothers me.
So with 220V, the insulation and copper cap the boil IS vigorous ?
Very important for DMS boil off and as you say hot break too .

As all of you, I like the compactness, and am willing to spend the money.
My only fear is I do not want to make inferior beer, when compared to my gas setup.
Then, it would be a waste of money.
 

makomachine

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Thanks hfk2 and Mako,
Hfk2 - Exactly what I though to do with the sparge process .
The lack of vigorous boil in uncovered kettle bothers me.
So with 220V, the insulation and copper cap the boil IS vigorous ?
Very important for DMS boil off and as you say hot break too .

As all of you, I like the compactness, and am willing to spend the money.
My only fear is I do not want to make inferior beer, when compared to my gas setup.
Then, it would be a waste of money.
I'm not using the copper cap, but I do use the insulation, and I find the boil as vigorous as I tried to maintain on my gas setup. I don't like it rolling out of the pot as all that did for my beer was slop hop residue on the sides of the kettle. I know that's a point of preference with others but I've never had a DMS problem, or break problem, with a 90 minute gently rolling boil. I'll let others talk to this but IMO it's adequate at my particular altitude.
 

makomachine

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So funny that Vegas asked about first wort hopping as that's what I'm doing in my next brew this weekend. On deck.... Alaskan Amber inspired Altbier

8.5 lbs 2row
.75 lbs crystal 80L
.75 lbs crystal 120L

FWH - .5 oz Saaz
60 min - .5 oz Cascade
15 min - .5 oz Saaz

Mash Schedule
55C - 15 min
67C - 90 min
76C - 15 min

1054 OG
21 IBU
WLP029 - 3 liter starter
Pitch/ferment at 63F

This is the first time Ive used this yeast. Anybody have prior experience with it and/or suggestions on temp? White Labs says no lower than 62F but have read where others have done so successfully.
 

rlhvegas

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makomachine said:
So funny that Vegas asked about first wort hopping as that's what I'm doing in my next brew this weekend. On deck.... Alaskan Amber inspired Altbier

8.5 lbs 2row
.75 lbs crystal 80L
.75 lbs crystal 120L

FWH - .5 oz Saaz
60 min - .5 oz Cascade
15 min - .5 oz Saaz

Mash Schedule
55C - 15 min
67C - 90 min
76C - 15 min

1054 OG
21 IBU
WLP029 - 3 liter starter
Pitch/ferment at 63F

This is the first time Ive used this yeast. Anybody have prior experience with it and/or suggestions on temp? White Labs says no lower than 62F but have read where others have done so successfully.
Great minds think alike! ;)
 

hfk2

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rlhvegas, I've used both White Labs and Wyeast Kolsch strains and you can use it at 60F, but your ferment will take a little longer and you will have higher diacetyl levels. I tend to go 65F for 10 days, rack to 2ndy hold at 65F for 14 days, then drop temp to 50F and hold for 14 days. With the Wyeast you can ferment down to 55F without issues. The difference? White Labs is a little cleaner, neutral tasting and clears better the Wyeast. The Wyeast has a little fruity taste but seems more characteristic of lager beer, but it takes forever to clear. I ferment this at 60F for 10 days, rack to 2ndy 60F for 14 days then drop temp to 45F for 30 days. Either one works well at typical basement temps in the winter.
 

makomachine

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hfk2 - thanks for the input. What's the reason for the drop to 50F on day 25? Are you in keg at that point and Semi-lagering / cold crashing? I was planning on a diacytl rest in the mid/high 60's like I do with my lagers once I hit 1020 or so but it looks like you get good results at a steady 65. I'm up for any advice as this is the first attempt with the Kolsch yeast.
 

hfk2

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Sorry about that. I go to 50F to help clear it out when I'm bottling to a party pig which needs to be naturally carbonated. Otherwise I start there and slowly lower the temp till it shows good clearing and then into the keg. My work schedule dictates when I do what more than the best laid out plans. Treat it more like a lager than an ale that's fermenting at the higher end of the lager range. Diacytl rest is a good thing. I brew a lot of Kolsch's usually in the colder months because between my basement temperature and a bathroom that stays cool (especially with window open a little in winter) I can cover most of the temperatures needed without using the freezer or fridge. I think I'll give your recipe a try. I can taste the caramel already.
 

makomachine

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Sorry about that. I go to 50F to help clear it out when I'm bottling to a party pig which needs to be naturally carbonated. Otherwise I start there and slowly lower the temp till it shows good clearing and then into the keg. My work schedule dictates when I do what more than the best laid out plans. Treat it more like a lager than an ale that's fermenting at the higher end of the lager range. Diacytl rest is a good thing. I brew a lot of Kolsch's usually in the colder months because between my basement temperature and a bathroom that stays cool (especially with window open a little in winter) I can cover most of the temperatures needed without using the freezer or fridge. I think I'll give your recipe a try. I can taste the caramel already.
Thanks for the tips - I will let you know the results when ready.

I love the darker caramels! Let me know how yours turns out when you do it. I've cannibalized multiple clone recipes in this formulation, leaning slightly darker than others have that I've seen and using FWH with a portion of my late hops.

I'm about to carb up the Citra Pale Ale this weekend and excited to see how it turns out.
 

makomachine

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Had my easiest brew day to date on the SB 20L yesterday. I'm really loving this thing now that the initial problems are behind me!

Everything went without a hitch yesterday and brewed the Alaskan Amber inspired Altbier per the recipe as previously outlined. During the mash, I occasionally got some grain noise in the pump - even though I was really careful and used my strainer to gather up everything initially before starting the cycle. Apparently, during one of the pump breaks a piece of grain made it's way past the wire screen and plate. No worries as it would rattle a little bit and stop - never interfering with the pump working. OG came out at 1053/1054, so running right at 78% efficiency. Same HB shop did the crush and I'm fine with that result because I can plan around it and it's what I targeted the recipe around exactly. Two brews in a row with different mash schedules that were at 78%.

I chilled a little differently yesterday and got my wort temp down to 78F fairly quickly, but then stuck from there. I didn't add ice to my prechiller until I was in the 80's - which made better use of the ice. I think I need to just buy a few bags and should be able to get the temp down quicker that way. (I've got an ice machine, but it's small and not enough to cool with apparently.)

Pitched and held at 63 around midnight once the wort had cooled to that point in the chest freezer. I use a themowell cap in my carboy so get very precise on the temp - between the freezer and a fermwrap. Oxygenated for 60 seconds. Had decanted the 3 liter starter and topped with 70 wort for a couple of hours and it was really going. Got up this morning and have zero activity. All of this normally results in a rapid start with other ales I've brewed so it appears what I've read is right on this yeast - a bit slow to start.

Below are a few pics from the brew day.


Wort got really clear and with the better chilling, I got a good break and pretty clear into the fermenter. 6 gallons initial water, sparge with 1.5 gallons, then 90 minute boil.


Here is a pic of the Macgyver Wheat I brewed when I had the pump problem. I would have swore this beer was going to be a disaster given my temps were out of control in the mash and the pump wasn't working and had to manually sparge. Turned out pretty good!


Found my new brew day tradition from someone else on this site (nostalgia). This is a hot scotchy - made with the wort after sparge & some Tullamore 12 year. EXTREMELY tasty! As you can see fromthe pic, the wort was clear but a bit darker than I thought given the recipe and beersmith. We'll see how it settles out but may end up being a darker beer than the Alaskan Amber. Regardless - it's going to be good!
 

makomachine

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Is your malt pipe upside down in that first pic?
No. Looks kind of weird with the reflection on it and messes with the depth appearance on the photo. Wort is even across the top, but it doesn't look like it in the pic.
 

Yambor44

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Do you have an extra seal? It looks like the red seal is on the top under the hold down bar. I put mine on the bottom to seal the malt pipe to the bottom of the kettle.
 

makomachine

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Do you have an extra seal? It looks like the red seal is on the top under the hold down bar. I put mine on the bottom to seal the malt pipe to the bottom of the kettle.
That's actually the wort spilling over the edge. Got a dark amber color to it which is what you are seeing in the pic.
 

Yambor44

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makomachine said:
That's actually the wort spilling over the edge. Got a dark amber color to it which is what you are seeing in the pic.
Ohhhh. Now I see it! I've been on my phone and iPad so it looked like the seal. I had to zoom in to see what you meant!! :)
 

makomachine

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Well, about 12 hours post pitch and I've got a good fermentation going on the Altbier. This is currently at 62F, with the temperature ranging from 62 to 64 degrees in the carboy.



Also pulled a sample of the Citra Pale Ale, which isn't quite fully carbonated and a bit young. It's needing some more time to clear as it's cloudy. That said, the flavor and aroma is very nice with tropical fruit - mango, papaya, and pineapple to my tastes/nose - coming through very nicely. Mouthfeel is good but not getting much from the Vienna malt and might bump that up a knotch in the grist next time. Too early to call any of that yet as it's way too young at this point - but am pleased with it given my cooling issues that day. Hoping a little more time in the keg clears it up nicely.

 

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Just read all 87 pages wow........Here is what I don't understand, the official BM video says it brews a concentrated brew and that you add water at the end to hit your OG. From all my reading here that does not look like the case.......Can someone comment? Also are you doing a grain to water ratio like normal AG or are you just filling to the line in this system?
 

Yambor44

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Just read all 87 pages wow........Here is what I don't understand, the official BM video says it brews a concentrated brew and that you add water at the end to hit your OG. From all my reading here that does not look like the case.......Can someone comment? Also are you doing a grain to water ratio like normal AG or are you just filling to the line in this system?
You can always do it that way, you would just have a lower OG. You can also do a grain to water ratio if you wish. So far I have added water to just over the bottom line on the center rod on all of my batches except one.

No matter which way you choose you will always have a water to grain ratio. No two brews that I do are exactly alike for the most part. The amount of grain is usually different and sometimes the amount of mash water. I forget what each of the 3 lines/marks are set at on the center rod, but all you would need to do is fill to one of those lines and calculate your water to grain ratio according to the weight of your grain bill.
 

SanMarzano

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Thanks I guess I should have rephrased my questions. As for concentrated brew....I thought they mentioned that because there was not enough room to do a full boil. but it looks like there is enough room to do a full boil on the 20l system. I assume its at least 9G in the boil kettle? Not sure why they said that in the video. As for Grain ratio I always do the 1.25 to 1 lb, I didn't know if this system required a much higher ratio to allow the upwards flow......Meaning always fill to this line.

PS a little about me - I have always been a lurker on here with very few posts. I have about 20 AG batches under my belt (batch Sparge method) but have been on hiadus the last 8 months due to work and a new home build. But I am very excited as my new home has a separate detached garage which will be my BrewShed!!!!!!Looking for a new way to AG and I love the look of the system
 

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I must admit his point has me curious also. It appears the system requires one place a minimum of water in the pot to satisfy the flow mechanics. I think I understand the pipe must overflow sufficiently enough to fill the pot to the pump pick up point. So you must add enough water to fill the pipe and part of the pot.

Can anyone tell me how much water it takes to overflow the pipe in a 20L system?
 

makomachine

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Thanks I guess I should have rephrased my questions. As for concentrated brew....I thought they mentioned that because there was not enough room to do a full boil. but it looks like there is enough room to do a full boil on the 20l system. I assume its at least 9G in the boil kettle? Not sure why they said that in the video. As for Grain ratio I always do the 1.25 to 1 lb, I didn't know if this system required a much higher ratio to allow the upwards flow......Meaning always fill to this line.

PS a little about me - I have always been a lurker on here with very few posts. I have about 20 AG batches under my belt (batch Sparge method) but have been on hiadus the last 8 months due to work and a new home build. But I am very excited as my new home has a separate detached garage which will be my BrewShed!!!!!!Looking for a new way to AG and I love the look of the system
I've experimented with water to grain ratios and have never personally noticed a substantial difference in my beers going from 1 to 3 per 1lb. My Citra Pale Ale was right at a 2 to 1 ratio and turned out fine. I believe I've read somewhere that this is more critical when you approach closer to a 4 to 1 ratio, but may be wrong there - and probably comes down to water/mash PH.

What I can tell you is that this machine can/does support full volume boils. I've got roughly 7 to 7.25 in the kettle at start of boils for a 5 gallon batch.
 

makomachine

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I must admit his point has me curious also. It appears the system requires one place a minimum of water in the pot to satisfy the flow mechanics. I think I understand the pipe must overflow sufficiently enough to fill the pot to the pump pick up point. So you must add enough water to fill the pipe and part of the pot.

Can anyone tell me how much water it takes to overflow the pipe in a 20L system?
That's not a fixed number as it must be offset by how much grain you have displacing the water. You also need to cover your elements completely - not just run to the pickup point.
 

Sudz

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That's not a fixed number as it must be offset by how much grain you have displacing the water. You also need to cover your elements completely - not just run to the pickup point.
Good point on the elements. I guess what I'm asking is what is the minimum amount of water you can brew with on the BM?

From what I read 9 gallons is an acceptable volume for the BM. 9 gallons should be adequate for a 20lb grain bill and you should be able to get a good 5 gallons in the fermenter without difficulty. But what if the bill is 8 lbs? You wouldn't want to brew with 9 gallons so how far can you reduce the volume and still satisfy the BM mechanism?
 

Yambor44

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Good point on the elements. I guess what I'm asking is what is the minimum amount of water you can brew with on the BM?

From what I read 9 gallons is an acceptable volume for the BM. 9 gallons should be adequate for a 20lb grain bill and you should be able to get a good 5 gallons in the fermenter without difficulty. But what if the bill is 8 lbs? You wouldn't want to brew with 9 gallons so how far can you reduce the volume and still satisfy the BM mechanism?
I don't have the 20L but I would say the short answer is no. I do not believe 3 gallons of water would be adequate (at a ratio of 1.5qt/pound of grain). The grain is going to absorb 1 gallon leaving only 2. Therefore the pumps would indeed run dry before the cycle of pumping up thru the grain and down to the bottom of the kettle completes itself. Just my theory YMMV.

Just out of curiosity, why the concern with making such a small grain bill?
 

Sudz

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I don't have the 20L but I would say the short answer is no. I do not believe 3 gallons of water would be adequate (at a ratio of 1.5qt/pound of grain). The grain is going to absorb 1 gallon leaving only 2. Therefore the pumps would indeed run dry before the cycle of pumping up thru the grain and down to the bottom of the kettle completes itself. Just my theory YMMV.

Just out of curiosity, why the concern with making such a small grain bill?
I understand 3 gallons wouldn't work. I also understand that the traditional ratios are not necessary applicable the BM brewing. I haven't made any but there are light brews out there with 8 lb grain bills.

My question stems aroung the BM system. Simply put, how much water does it (20L) require for circulation? Can someone with a 20L tell me?
 

Sudz

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I appreciate everyones patience, but I'm still struggling with how one actually uses this thing.

For example, if you want to make a 5 gallon brew and there's 10 lb of grain in the bill. If you go with a 1.25 ratio then you would need to include 12.5 qts of water for the mash, or 3+ gallons. I'm fairly certain the BM will not function with 3+ gallons of water. I assume you add enough water at the start to make up for grain losses, pot losses, and boil losses. Roughly 1.2 gal for grain loss, 1 gal for pot loss?, 1.2 gal for boil loss, or 3.4 gal total.

If I add this to the start we're talking about 6.5-7.0 gallons in the system with 10 lbs of grain to yield 5 gallons of wort.

I assume the 20L BM will circulate with this amount of water and 10 lbs of grain? Is this a valid assumption?

At 7 gallons in the system, it's interesting to note actual mashing will occur at a ratio of 2.8 which I guess is not an issue as stated by BIAB guys and the BM crowd.

If the ratio is no longer a key factor, then all one needs to know is how much water to add when you brew ..as long as the grain bill is covered. I assume in practice you just fill the thing to some mark on the center post and go for it???

Have I got it?
 

makomachine

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If the ratio is no longer a key factor, then all one needs to know is how much water to add when you brew ..as long as the grain bill is covered. I assume in practice you just fill the thing to some mark on the center post and go for it???

Have I got it?
You are really close. :mug:

You basically need to figure out how much to add to account for grain loss, either via the sparge which most perform, or just topping off prior to boil. On the 20L version, I add 6 gallons to start my mash as I use bottled spring water - and then sparge with 1.25 to 1.75 gallons based on the amount of grain in my mash. After a 90 minute boil, I have 5.25 gallons for the fermenter. I believe Chris says one liter per kg of malt in the bill is what he uses, which seems right to me based on my experience and how I come out in old school gallon measurements.
 
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