Speidel Braumeister (brewmaster)

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DeGarre

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1 cm below top mark on the rod, 24 litres I think it is, 1 litre more than the manual says.
 

beefeater

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Lately I have been doing a straight 60 minutes at 152, no mashout
I have never tried not do do a mashout on the Braumeister but with my pre-Speidel batch-sparging setup I noticed an increase in efficiency after starting to do a mashout-infusion. Now I allways do a 78C mashout-step and sparge with around 2 gallons of 78C water dumped through the malt pipe. I adjust my mash in water to allways accomodate the same 2 gallon (more exact 9 litres) sparge because I have a kettle with space for just that.

Does 2 gallons of sparge water really rinse the grains that well for a 10 gallon batch? Or, does it just add more "water" to the boil kettle therefore reducing efficiency?
I dont really know but I think so.
My reasoning have been that efficiency have to increase if sparging like this opposed to adding the same water from the start to achieve the same preboil volume.

Should I boil for 90 minutes to create more boil off? Would this increase efficiency?
Given you end up with the same post boil volume a longer boil will allways increase efficiency because your pre-boil volume was larger. If you boil off two gallons per hour you can sparge with one gallon more with 90 vs 60 minutes boil and that will pull some extra sugars out of the grist.
 

tektonjp

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Yambor44 said:
I did use the default mash setup (step) on the first brew. The next brew I mashed at 152 for 50 minutes then a 10 minute mashout at 170. Lately I have been doing a straight 60 minutes at 152, no mashout and a sparge which consists of draining the wort the same as you, and then pouring the 2 gallons of 185 degree water thru the top. I leave the top sieve in to help dispurse the water equally.I only boil for 60 minutes.

Thoughts:

Does 2 gallons of sparge water really rinse the grains that well for a 10 gallon batch? Or, does it just add more "water" to the boil kettle therefore reducing efficiency?

Should I boil for 90 minutes to create more boil off? Would this increase efficiency?

I want to get mine to about 80% and be able to maintain that or close for each batch.

I have recently had some grain mill issues and have been tweaking that but I brewed on a propane burner for those brew sessions (5 gallons).

I also have not been using my collar. My boil seemed vigorous enough but on the last batch I partially covered the kettle with the lid as others have tried and the boil was indeed a lot more aggressive.
What is your efficiency now? Do you know how to measure it? It's about how much sugar you get out of the grain with mashing. It can NOT be increased once the grain is removed. Therefore boiling down does not increase the efficiency, it only concentrates the original sugars, increasing the gravity. According to Mosher, preboil gravity times water amount always equals post boil gravity times water amount. The sugar amount does not change!
 

Yambor44

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What is your efficiency now? Do you know how to measure it? It's about how much sugar you get out of the grain with mashing. It can NOT be increased once the grain is removed. Therefore boiling down does not increase the efficiency, it only concentrates the original sugars, increasing the gravity. According to Mosher, preboil gravity times water amount always equals post boil gravity times water amount. The sugar amount does not change!
I measure it with Beertools Pro. It is in the upper 60's to low 70's now. First batch on the BM was 84%, then 80%, then 75%, then 74%, then 75%, then 78%, then 67%, then back to 78%.
 

bach

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I have to admit that even that I can always SEE some loose grains floating around (and they must be getting into the pump because when I clean it there are a couple of them always inside), but I can never HEAR anything out of the ordinary, any grinding noise, etc. Smooth humming is all I hear.
Same here.
I have brewed 2x so far.
first was a Surly Saison,
the second was Bavarian wheat - I have used more rice hulls, than Makomachine recommended (400g) and everything went smooth.
Occasional grain floating, but no rattling.

So far I am very happy with BM
 

bach

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I'm experimenting with the pipe to create a whirlpool with my March pump. The end with the elbow (top of photo) goes into the kettle, the other end hangs over the top of the pot and is connected to a piece of high temp tubing that connects to the pump. I use it to create a whirlpool effect that helps to cool the wort much faster. (I use an immersion cooler) I can't say that it creates a great enough whirlpool effect to collect all the trub in the center but it does help the cooling. The cheese cloth fills the gap between the edge of the sieve and the pot. I have had grains get through that small space almost every brew which ended up in the pump, but this seems to seal it off.
I am using big Duda Diesel plate chiller and March pump.
spigot-> March pump->plate chiller-> back to the kettle via curved copper pipe.
It works very well. I start whirlpool with concurrent chilling.
With our well water temp 48F it took 15mins to cool down to 55F.
I let it stand covered. It seems better when it stands for at least a couple of hours. I have great cone and trub sedimented - first brew. The second brew I let it stand only for 15 mins, and although a lot of trub ended in kettle, the cold break coagulums developed after I drained the wort to carboy.
I actually like the height of the spigot, because I avoid picking up the trub.
Great clear wort.
 

DeGarre

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This thread has become quiet, I reckon we have become masters of BM art...every now and then a noob :p asks a question but that's pretty much it - we have it sussed, to a T.

All we can wait for is Rob to make a video, long due...:rockin:
 

BierFest

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Hi all,
Im thinking of getting one of these Braumeister setups as they look fantastic. Im not sure whether to get the 20l or 50l model - what are your thoughts?

1. The copper hood has come up a few times during the thread - for those that have bought it - what are the advantages of it and would you recommend buying it as an extra?
2. Do you guys use dried hops or pellet hops? If using dried hops do you have any problems using these with this machine with blockages etc? (All the homebrew shops over here only supply the dried hop form)

Thanks,
Brian.
 

cathalheavey

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BierFest,
seeing your address has made me reply, posting from Limerick, Ireland. I purchased in May, never home brewed before and have done two brews with, Sierra Nevada Ale, which was very good and I have conditioning a cask of Sierra Nevada Porter. Plan 4 more brew before Christmas, while not having home brewed before the BM makes it reasonably straight forward to all grain brew which I suspect would be quite involved without it. Hop leaves (dried hops) block up the pump as was posted way back in this thread and which I also experienced - tried this as in one of the promotional videos for the Braumeister they throw hop leaves directly into the BM, but unless I am missing something I cannot see how this does not block the pump. Used hop bags also but they are a pain to use and I guess do not give good utilization of the hops. Found a thread where they have constructed a hop screen (see "Hopster Hopscreen" thread), and I have started to build a similar screen but this is proving difficult to construct, at least for me. A solution like this would be ideal. Another solution is a paint strainer solution (see http://billybrew.com/hop-filter-build) but I cannot locate a paint strainer in Ireland. Would be interested in what other readers of this thread use for hop leaves in the BM.
Cathal
 

Yambor44

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I have used pellet and leaf. Throw them right in the boil and clean my pumps very well after EACH use. I've had the rattling noise in my pumps but they have never stopped working.

You could always bag your whole hops as I would imagine they could clog it. However, the Speidel video shows the use of leaf hops being place directly into the boil.
 

DeGarre

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...

You could always bag your whole hops as I would imagine they could clog it. However, the Speidel video shows the use of leaf hops being place directly into the boil.
I have always bagged my hops - leaf, no pellets yet - and just throw the bags in as per schedule, then every now and then dunk them below the surface with a spoon. Later in the boil the bags sink to the bottom but the late hops obviously don't have time to sink as they don't have enough time to get wet enough.

Works ok. A good idea might be to put a stainless steel bolt or summin' in the bag.
 

Yambor44

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I have always bagged my hops - leaf, no pellets yet - and just throw the bags in as per schedule, then every now and then dunk them below the surface with a spoon. Later in the boil the bags sink to the bottom but the late hops obviously don't have time to sink as they don't have enough time to get wet enough.

Works ok. A good idea might be to put a stainless steel bolt or summin' in the bag.
I have used stainless plumbing elbows or couplers etc to weight mine down. I wonder about utilization as well and so I usually just throw them stright into the boil.

Somehow I missed cathalheavey post about clogging the pump with leaf hops. Myself, I haven't had this problem with my unit (50L, 2 pumps) but as he and I mentioned, that is what is shown in the Speidel BM Sales video so.... :confused:
 

Strangelove

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Hi All,

I took a week to read through the entire thread. I have a couple of questions that are probably recapitulations of previous questions, but after you all have had some solid experience with the BM.

1.) Other than the 220 vs 110 issues, can the BM be used right out of the box as demonstrated in the company video?

2.) How much time and money are required to make the screens bottom tubes and other mods including electric? In other words, what's the grand total for parts, electrical work, etc before the first beer is brewed?

3.) How much actual effort is saved over traditional all grain methods and BIAB? (I've only done extract to this point).

Thanks for the info. I'd like to go all grain soon and am not sure what direction to take.
 

beefeater

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1.) Other than the 220 vs 110 issues, can the BM be used right out of the box as demonstrated in the company video?
Yes!!

2.) How much time and money are required to make the screens bottom tubes and other mods including electric? In other words, what's the grand total for parts, electrical work, etc before the first beer is brewed?
Apart from any electrical work, which I can't speak for, none.
None of the mods are neccessary for brewing. I made 20 batches without incident using the cloth filters. Weighed the bottom one down with anything stainless or attached it with some string or paper clips. Last five or six batches I bought and have been using the stainless "cloth" that is included with new units. Works great without any mods at all.
I've considered making a dip tube but haven't done so yet. Tilting the unit a bit to drain the last gallon or so works well for me.


3.) How much actual effort is saved over traditional all grain methods and BIAB? (I've only done extract to this point).
I have never done extract or BIAB but I did all-grain batch sparging in a cooler for two years. Compared to that a Braumeister brewday is a very laid back and clean experience. My reason for buying it was just this. I wanted a stress free brewday with time in between to do other things and it's been a success. Highly recommended!!
 

rlhvegas

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beefeater said:
Yes!!

Apart from any electrical work, which I can't speak for, none.
None of the mods are neccessary for brewing. I made 20 batches without incident using the cloth filters. Weighed the bottom one down with anything stainless or attached it with some string or paper clips. Last five or six batches I bought and have been using the stainless "cloth" that is included with new units. Works great without any mods at all.
I've considered making a dip tube but haven't done so yet. Tilting the unit a bit to drain the last gallon or so works well for me.

I have never done extract or BIAB but I did all-grain batch sparging in a cooler for two years. Compared to that a Braumeister brewday is a very laid back and clean experience. My reason for buying it was just this. I wanted a stress free brewday with time in between to do other things and it's been a success. Highly recommended!!
+1 on Beefeater's comments. I'm a huge fan of this system. It works as advertised, the quality is top notch, and there is a wonderfully helpful community of brewers using it. I went from a direct fire Brutus system to this and have never looked back. Cheers!
 

clex25

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Hi All,

I took a week to read through the entire thread.
I know, it is getting quite long and hard to find things in the thread. I was wondering if this might warrant a seperate forum where topics could actually be organized by thread. Or perhaps a wiki would be better, since we are collecting quite a bit of information.

1.) Other than the 220 vs 110 issues, can the BM be used right out of the box as demonstrated in the company video?

2.) How much time and money are required to make the screens bottom tubes and other mods including electric? In other words, what's the grand total for parts, electrical work, etc before the first beer is brewed?
1. yes
2. Mine came with the stainless steel screens, so that is no problem. I did not do the diptube mod that everyone seems to rave about, mainly because I simply tip the whole unit if there is more clear wort at the bottom. Hasn't seemed absolutely necessary for my 20L.

As far as electrical, here is what you would PROBABLY need, assuming you are plugging into a dryer outlet. If you do not already have a 220V outlet in your home (such as dryer) then that would be much more costly.

PLUG: nema 10-30P (again depends on which type of socket you have available in your home). I found it in stock at lowe's and it was maybe < $10.

You simply strip off the plug on the included power cable and wire this one up. there was a good diagram earlier in this thread.

The only additional thing i needed to wire was an extension cable, since my dryer outlet is not in my kitchen. I found some "dryer extension cable" that had a dryer plug on it, and added a 10-30s (socket) to the end of that. You probably wouldn't need such high gauge extension wire just for the BM though.

For electrical, I spent maybe $30-$40, and that was mostly due to needing the extension cable.

3.) How much actual effort is saved over traditional all grain methods and BIAB? (I've only done extract to this point)
Prior to the BM, I had also only done extract. It is as close to "set it and forget it" as I believe you can get. It takes some labor out of the brew day and leaves you with just the joyful parts. Once you add grain and set your schedule, all you need to do is attend to it when it beeps, and add the hops. No continually monitoring the temperature like a hawk or continually stirring. You won't need to watch the clock as it does that for you also.
 

Refly

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Yes!!

Apart from any electrical work, which I can't speak for, none.
None of the mods are necessary for brewing.
I'm glad someone pointed this out. It does work without any modifications, especially the latest version which has the wire mesh screens. If you read through the entire thread, you would think that you have to modify the setup.

Electrical aside, you can successfully use it "as is" and make excellent beer. Some of the modifications such as the dip tube may be helpful, but are not going to make or break your brew day.

In terms of effort saved, I'd say it gives you time while the brew day is going on to do other things. I don't feel that I need to watch the system every second as it is mostly automated. It also let's you know when you need to intervene so other than having the ingredients ready to go, it's a pretty relaxing brew day.
 

Strangelove

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If you read through the entire thread, you would think that you have to modify the setup.
That's what I thought reading the entire thread. I'll bet there are 500-600 posts on mods. Good to know it works as-is.

Perhaps there needs to be a "normal operation" thread with schedules, recipes, BeerSmith parameters, etc. There are (relatively) few posts on just using it.
 

BierFest

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Thanks for the replies guys. I'm pretty sure that I'll buy now. Still not sure about the copper hood. If you had the chance would you buy - the 20l model or the 50l model with the 20l malt pipe insert as an extra?

?.......
Perhaps there needs to be a "normal operation" thread with schedules, recipes, BeerSmith parameters, etc. There are (relatively) few posts on just using it.
This is a fantastic idea. Yambor44 has made a start on this with his YouTube videos. I too have been wondering about the beersmith parameters. It would be a great help with this kit if we could nail down the beersmith parameters.
 

makomachine

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Thanks for the replies guys. I'm pretty sure that I'll buy now. Still not sure about the copper hood. If you had the chance would you buy - the 20l model or the 50l model with the 20l malt pipe insert as an extra?
I own the 20L version and would buy it again in a heartbeat despite my original problems. I very rarely brew 10G batches of any beer as I love variety in my pipeline and the brewing process in general. That said, I just bought an extra electric pot (2000 watt hot water heater element and Bayou Classic 44qt pot) so that I can do two simultaneous brews on the 20L. I'm going to mash the first brew then drain into the pot for boil, clean out the 20L, and then mash/boil my second batch while the first is boiling. Will share how this works with everyone as I'm going to try a double brew session in the next two weeks.

Overall, I love the Braumeister. Its not perfect, but nothing ever is.... It's close enough for me to give it a "buy" recommendation as I've brewed my very best beers on it with the least stress I've ever had in a brew session.
 

Yambor44

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I own the 20L version and would buy it again in a heartbeat despite my original problems. I very rarely brew 10G batches of any beer as I love variety in my pipeline and the brewing process in general. That said, I just bought an extra electric pot (2000 watt hot water heater element and Bayou Classic 44qt pot) so that I can do two simultaneous brews on the 20L. I'm going to mash the first brew then drain into the pot for boil, clean out the 20L, and then mash/boil my second batch while the first is boiling. Will share how this works with everyone as I'm going to try a double brew session in the next two weeks.

Overall, I love the Braumeister. Its not perfect, but nothing ever is.... It's close enough for me to give it a "buy" recommendation as I've brewed my very best beers on it with the least stress I've ever had in a brew session.
Very good points. I too enjoy my 50L with the 20L extra Malt Pipe. I think it comes down to what size you mainly do. I went from a Brutus 10 setup where I had all 10 gallon Blichmanns that I used to make 5 gallon batches. As much as I love to brew, I had a hard time keeping my pipeline up. This was the reason I went with the 50L and the extra 20L malt pipe. I can do either one.

I know some have mentioned the boil isn't as vigorous as they would like with the 20L and use an extra heat stick. I noticed on my last batch that if I partially covered the kettle, the boil was much more what I was accustomed to as well. So I think the element situation is relative. More wattage on the 50L but more wort to boil.

I think if I were to do it again today, I would go with the 20L. Smaller footprint, less cash outlay and a smaller unit to clean with one less pump to worry about. I know I said I had a hard time on my old system keeping up with the pipeline, but it was a lot more work to clean (3 kettles, 2 pumps, hoses, false bottom and RIMS tube) compared to the 20L BM.

If money is no object just send me 2k and you can have my 50L complete with a stainless chiller coil, insulated jacket and the 20L malt pipe (cord already converted) and you're ready to go!!

Then I'll get the 20! :D
 

bcryan

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i'm only on page 32 of 80ish so if this has been answered my apologies. i'm reading alot about this screen that seems to be a pain in the butt. why doesnt the stainless screen that holds down the mesh screen do two jobs in one?? can't it be desinged to filter? seems like it wouldnt be that hard to come up with?? theres obviously a reason why its like that. just thinking.
 

BierFest

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I have been in contact with Ralf at Speidel who has been very helpful and responsive to my questions.

He has answered some questions I put to him:

1. He has confirmed that the cloth filters discussed above are no longer an issue. These have been replaced with Stainless steel filters for both the 20l and 50l models.

2. Once the boil reaches 89°C the pump cuts out so dried leaf hops getting stuck in the pump should not be an issue during the boil. (I assume that nobody adds their hops before boiling point)

3. The main purpose of the copper hood is:
  • To look good
  • It can be used as a grain funnel to direct the grain into the malt pipe at fill time
  • you can connect an extration pipe to it to channel the steam out of the room during your boil.
4. Beersmith - They cannot supply parameters at the moment. However he told me that they are working on it.

Overall I am feeling very positive about it now between the helpful comments here and also on some of the Austrailian forums where a lot of guys are using them. So I think now I need to get my finger out and make that purchase!
 

Strangelove

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If money is no object just send me 2k and you can have my 50L complete with a stainless chiller coil, insulated jacket and the 20L malt pipe (cord already converted) and you're ready to go!!

Then I'll get the 20! :D
Hmmm....shipped?:cool:
 

bach

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1. The copper hood has come up a few times during the thread - for those that have bought it - what are the advantages of it and would you recommend buying it as an extra?

Thanks,
Brian.
I got the copper hood but I would have not bought it if I could decide again.
I think Chris pointed out earlier that it is a pretty nice and expensive funnel.
I mainly got it, because the existing lid looked "cheap" on picture - I found quite the contrary, when I got it.
The lid is solid and the only thing I might do is to replace the black plastic ball by some custom machined hardwood piece.
My copper hood looks little different from the website picture. It also came with silicone gasket, which holds it on the kettle rim without sliding.
I found that I get too vigorous boil if the pot is completely covered with copper hood - especially in the first 30 mins, when the boil tends to foam more and when the kettle is fuller. So I cover the kettle with copper partially at the beginning and after about 30 mins keep it covered completely without any issues.

For some people who are now looking at the unit - it makes step mashing really fun. I did also single decoction with it. While the main mash rests at beta amylase rest I heat and boil the decoction through alfa amylase rest, boil and return it back to main as some other folks from Norway pointed out.
The BM is just paused to remove and to return the decoction.

The only thing Braumeister does not do well is washing all that stuff.
I need to buy Dishmeister for that !! Washing is pain !
 

beefeater

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The only thing Braumeister does not do well is washing all that stuff.
I need to buy Dishmeister for that !! Washing is pain !


This is a relatively small dishwasher.
When I remove the top shelf in the dishwasher I get the malt pipe, immersion chiller, screens, filters and everything else I use at brewday except the kettle itself in there in one go.

I'm now looking for fermenting buckets with a dishwasher friendly size and shape..
 

limulus

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I started looking at this system over a year ago and I don't think there were too many in the US. I'm glad I ran across this thread. It seems that everyone is very happy with the BM :mug: My thinking is it makes beer and it is made in Germany...how can it be bad? When you have a beer purity law in your country, you have to know how to make a good product! I'm about to remodel our basement in February by taking out a wall to open up a room for better entertaining. My wife actually wants a bar now which we never wanted before. This would make adding a brewery into the mix a real easy thing to do. I think I'm sold on this.
 

luisfrancisco

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Wow, just went over the 100 pages of this thread in a couple of days. I guess I am getting near to pulling the trigger on a 20l. I basically only do 5 gallon batches. The only thing holding me back, other than the cash outlay, is the fact that I am paying top dollar and am still limited on my ability to brew the occasional RIS, Trippel or Barleywine.
Can anyone one else chime in on their experience brewing any of these styles. Anyone claiming it is their best Barleywine yet?
Someone mentioned earlier about doing a double mash. What were your results?
 

DeGarre

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... The only thing holding me back, other than the cash outlay, is the fact that I am paying top dollar and am still limited on my ability to brew the occasional RIS, Trippel or Barleywine.
Can anyone one else chime in on their experience brewing any of these styles. Anyone claiming it is their best Barleywine yet?
Someone mentioned earlier about doing a double mash. What were your results?
Would be great to get some feedback/recap on this - I know someone in Finland who is reading this thread and being held back by this high gravity issue.
 

clasley

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I did a reiterated mash this past weekend on my SBM20L. The total grain bill was around 16 lbs split into two 8 lb mashes. I manually controlled the SBM and did a single infusion for both mashes. At the end of the first mash I emptied the malt tube, rinsed it off and started the second mash using the runoff from the first. I had more issues with the second mash with some grain getting into the pump and a geyser but worked it out. It didn't add much time to my day and was quite a bit easier than I expected.

On the copper hood - I've used it the past few sessions and have to say I like it. I get a much better boil and a consistent 10%/hour boil-off using it. My only remaining concern is DMS. Oh and fermcap-s and hop bags are pretty much a necessity to prevent foaming and boil overs.

-Chris
 

rico567

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I did a reiterated mash this past weekend on my SBM20L. The total grain bill was around 16 lbs split into two 8 lb mashes. I manually controlled the SBM and did a single infusion for both mashes. At the end of the first mash I emptied the malt tube, rinsed it off and started the second mash using the runoff from the first. I had more issues with the second mash with some grain getting into the pump and a geyser but worked it out. It didn't add much time to my day and was quite a bit easier than I expected.

On the copper hood - I've used it the past few sessions and have to say I like it. I get a much better boil and a consistent 10%/hour boil-off using it. My only remaining concern is DMS. Oh and fermcap-s and hop bags are pretty much a necessity to prevent foaming and boil overs.

-Chris
Interesting. This is a good way to go. Also, when I reflect on getting a Braumeister (which I appear to do more and more these days), I think about how many times I actually brew a beer over 1.060, and I reflect that there are ways to do that occasionally, just using my existing equipment. Or, perhaps, use the Braumeister to do sequential mashes, then taking a "first runnings" from each batch and making that into the big beer, and use the rest of the runnings to make a smaller beer. Or, as some have suggested, just subtract enough 2-row from your big beer recipe, mash that, and then do a late addition of light DME. There are many ways around this issue.......
 

luisfrancisco

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I did a reiterated mash this past weekend on my SBM20L. The total grain bill was around 16 lbs split into two 8 lb mashes. I manually controlled the SBM and did a single infusion for both mashes. At the end of the first mash I emptied the malt tube, rinsed it off and started the second mash using the runoff from the first. I had more issues with the second mash with some grain getting into the pump and a geyser but worked it out. It didn't add much time to my day and was quite a bit easier than I expected.

On the copper hood - I've used it the past few sessions and have to say I like it. I get a much better boil and a consistent 10%/hour boil-off using it. My only remaining concern is DMS. Oh and fermcap-s and hop bags are pretty much a necessity to prevent foaming and boil overs.

-Chris
Chris:

That is very interesting. Could you tell us what style of beer your were brewing on your reiterated-mash, and if your efficiency went down compared to a single mash?

Somehow I don't like the idea of adding DME to complete the bill. Maybe I could be comfortable not adding the crystals to the mash, and then just steeping. But if this reiterated mash technique works well, then I may have to save up a bit and buy one of these already.
 

clasley

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It was a batch of Mike "Tasty" McDole's infamous Janet's Brown Ale.

I introduced two variables into the mix on this batch so it's hard to draw conclusions on efficiency. In addition to the reiterated mash I choose not to sparge. I started with 25.6 liters of water and had 20 liters left after mashing at 1.069. It came out to around 62% efficiency. I added water to get my final volume. I usually get around 70% with a sparge rate of 1 liter to 1 kilo grain.

I wouldn't worry too much about adding DME to hit your targets. So long as the percentage is in check I doubt you would be able to perceive a difference. From what I can tell it's actually a pretty common practice to ensure consistency.

-Chris
 

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