Speidel Braumeister (brewmaster)

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Soviet

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So reading through your process it looks like everything you are doing is correct to remove haze, however you did mention that when filtering one of your beers that it came out cloudier.

Now...I know nothing about filtering, but I do know that fining and temperature play a large role in the removal of chill haze. So as an experiment maybe you could fine & chill a future beer then split it, filter one batch and leave the other batch in the fridge at near 32f and see what happens after a couple of days?

Nothing in your process appears to point to the BM being the cause though.

Unless I'm not mashing long enough and my starch isn't converting all the way...
 

brautim

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Unless I'm not mashing long enough and my starch isn't converting all the way...

So next questions would be:

What brewing software do you use?
What malts are you brewing with?
What is your mash schedule?
How long is the boil?
Do you get hot & cold breaks?
Can you see cold break in the kettle when drained?
Is your Whirlfloc in date?
 

dinnerstick

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Also the boil temp does not get above 98c on my machine, even with 20L of wort on the 50L BM with dual heaters. I haven't looked up the physics but I think this is pretty much as hot as water can get before it changes state.

depends mostly on ambient pressure, which in turn depends mostly on elevation (also influenced by solutes). here at sea level mine gets to 100
 

jstafftx

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Yesterday I attempted my first batch with a new 20l Braumeister and it was the longest brew day that I have ever endured. I started heating my water at 4pm and did not finish the boil until 1:30 am. I have looked through the forum several times and have never seen anyone discuss the issues I encountered.

1. It took almost two hours for the system to heat my strike water to 66 celsius. Is that normal? I filled the Braumeister with warm water from the tap and my house temperature was 72 Fahrenheit.

After I doughed in the Braumeister executed the two mash programs without any observable issues. I drained the grains without sparging and then had to wait oven 90 min for the system to start the boil.

2. The system never reached the programmed 102 celsius for the boil. The hottest temp reached was 98 celsius. I did not use the copper dome or insulating jacket. I had programmed a 90 min boil but it took much longer than that (over 2 hours). I don't have exact times and data because I was several drinks into the brew day/night, but my experience with the Braumeister doesn't seem right.

Is my new system a lemon?

The electrician installed a 20 amp 240v circuit breaker and outlet over the weekend. The BM worked as promised. It was awesome! I can't wait to brew my next batch.
 

Mateus

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If someone could please help me out. Im going to buy a BM clone. I live in Brazil and the manufacture company offers to do a personalized tube to use on the 50L model.

I've been reading this thread and saw the efforts to do high gravity batches. Specially Batfink´s attempts by drilling holes in the tube.

My question would be: what is the most optimized size of a tube (to use on the 50L model) so as to get the higher possible OG?

I ask because it seams its a ratio of grain storage capacity vs. water need to recirculate. Has anyone figured this out?

Tks a lot!
 

jdebonth

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If someone could please help me out. Im going to buy a BM clone. I live in Brazil and the manufacture company offers to do a personalized tube to use on the 50L model.
I've been reading this thread and saw the efforts to do high gravity batches. Specially Batfink´s attempts by drilling holes in the tube.
My question would be: what is the most optimized size of a tube (to use on the 50L model) so as to get the higher possible OG?
I ask because it seams its a ratio of grain storage capacity vs. water need to recirculate. Has anyone figured this out?
Tks a lot!

Since I have put a bit of thought into this myself I’ll give you my personal take:

To answer your question, the most optimised size of the tube in order to maximise OG is to make it as large as possible. Reason is that this maximises the ratio of water in direct contact with the grist vs. the total water in the system (however this doesnt improve the OG limitations by very much). The reason why some have suggested using a length in between the short and long pipes is so that you are able to brew a larger volume of wort and then boil this down (to increase the OG) and still have a good (~20L) batch size left over. With the 20L pipe there is just not much wort left. It’s important to note that the BM is limited in post mashing/pre-boil OG… high post-boil OG beers can be easily brewed by increasing the boil length until you hit whatever OG target you are after, no limitation whatsoever here (I did a 155min boil recently to bring a high gravity IIPA from 1.047 post mash OG to 1.083 post boil OG).

The reason why the BM design is limited in terms of post mash/pre-boil OG is because of the large amount of water in the system which is not in direct contact with the grist. In traditional brewing systems there is only the false bottom which can be designed to take up almost negligible space, and then the piping that circulates the wort through the heating elements and back to the top of the grain bed which is also negligible in volume. So almost 100% of the water is in contact. With the BM system there are two areas that take up a significant amount of space; the bottom section of the malt pipe (underneath the mesh), and the space outside of the malt pipe that needs to be filled with water to a certain level to ensure the heating elements are covered and don’t overheat.

These two areas need to be addressed to really make a difference. Since you are doing a DIY BM you could think about doing the following:
- Put the outer heating elements on the inside space within the malt pipe area, you will need less water volume outside of the malt pipe, just enough to ensure the pump does not run dry.
- Reduce the height of the space underneath the lower mesh in the malt pipe. The challenge here is to ensure the water continues to flow uniformly upwards throughout the grain bed, so you might want to add diverters on the pump outlets to ensure this (this is a mod I am planning to try on my BM50L). Alternatively you could just untighten and rotate the malt pipe several times during the mash to ensure uniform flow.

Another more extreme option is to redesign the way the water flows in the system. You could move back to the traditional way of pumping water from the bottom of the kettle, running it up with a pipe and sprinkling it over the grain bed. If you put the heating elements only in the space within the malt pipe underneath the grain bed then you wouldn’t need to utilise the space around the malt pipe at all (bottom of malt pipe would need to be sealed off which should not be a problem). This would be like a typical brewing system however with the amazing benefit the BM has where you can just lift out the grains and boil away in the same kettle. This is how I personally would have designed the system, and might be something I plan to do in the future if I get more free time on my hands.
 

Mateus

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Tks jdebonth!

I was afraid someone would say that. I was having trouble figuring out why Batfink had success with the drilled tube (isn't that just a 30 litre tube? :confused:)
As you said, that gives more room for boiling and still having a decent size batch. But i worry a bit about these very long boils, someone have pointed out that caramelization occurs, and more undesired reactions could be going on.

One other concern i have is oxygenation of the worth. With the small beer´s its not such a problem since the flow is slow and smooth, and the drop is not very high. That problem would increase when setting up a high gravity version, as you pointed the drop would be much higher and i think the risk of oxygenating the worth then could become a real problem.

My setup is not a DIY, but the manufacture is very flexible on making personalizations. I´m going to bottom drain by putting a tee and two valves on the pump. That way i wont need the main valve on the front at all. I´ll have to use a hop bag or figure out a way do do a stopper though.
 

topoisomerase

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hi everyone!

what better inaugural post (i am new here) than one about my first batch brewed with my new Braumeister 20L? first of all, i can't thank this board and others enough for all of the valuable feedback. it made doing my purchase research so much easier! i'm also happy to say that dealing with Thorsten was as effortless and effective as i was lead to believe by this group. my system was also delivered faster than expected!

OK so yesterday i made the original Blind Pig IPA recipe which Vinnie has shared. i'd like to say everything went off flawlessly, and largely it did - with one major exception. i don't have a 220V outlet in my rented house, so i purchased a beefy stepdown transformer from Amazon. i'm pretty sure P=I*V is working against me here as either the wattage is wholly insufficient for efficient heating, or something is wrong with my unit. it took a good 2+ hours to get from 22C-52C, and all other transitions in my mash schedule were incredibly long. my boil timer started at 95C as designed by Speidel, but when i opened the lid for the boil and came back 30 minutes later, i'd lost 5C. in the end i pulled it all together and got the batch in the fermenter. let's just say my brew day was about 14 hours long (!)

does this match anyone else's experience with trying to run on 110V? it seems a non-starter for me if so, therefore i'll have our electrician in next week to remedy things if i'm right. any feedback at all would be greatly appreciated!

otherwise, i was really happy with how the unit worked. having done a lot of reading and watching of YouTube videos (thanks, guys!) i felt really informed and it made the day go a lot better than it would have otherwise, given the time hassles i encountered.

thanks very much!
-jason
 
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Mateus

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Has anyone tried to do a hopstopper with a SS perforated sheet for the BM? (something similar to the false bottom on the tube)

I want to try a full screen, that slides down after taking the tube out. It would sit just above the heating elements. Do you guys think this would work?
Would there be a problem having it sit directly on the elements?
 

Soviet

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Okay Braumeister brewers, I need your help. But first I'd like to ask people to refrain from telling me not to filter. I would encourage people that DO filter to share their thoughts.

What I want:
Diamond bright beer. Not the kind that you see in photos on the forum where people are bragging that it is "crystal clear" but isn't; the kind where I can see and anticipate an assailant's attack while looking directly through a glass of pilsner :). I want it that way after cold crashing the finished, racked beer for 2-3 days. I also want to be able to take a keg of finished, carbonated beer anywhere and not "kick up" a bunch of sediment at the bottom making my beer look murky. Those are my goals, and that's why I chose to filter.

My process today is this:
  • I brew 10 Gallon batches
  • All grain, mash is recirculated (I brew on a Braumeister 50L)
  • I usually don't do a protein rest, as my electric system takes time to ramp up to different temps and I worry about the variability of enzyme activity on different ramp times, etc. I want to be consistent, but understand the benefits of a protein rest.
  • I control PH by pre-treating RO water, and adding salts (usually 9 grams of calcium chloride to 5 grams of gypsum for malty beers and close to vice-versa for hoppy beers. I split this amount into 2 additions, one for mash, one for kettle, aiming to have at least 50 PPM of calcium ions in the mash.
  • I don't sparge, it's kind of like brew in the bag
  • I usually mash for 45 min to 1 hour, I don't test for conversion. I taste the mash and I usually hit my numbers dead on.
  • I always use whirlfoc at 15 minutes left in the boil
  • Quickly cool my wort by using an immersion chiller and running electric kettle pumps.
  • I always add gelatin to the keg directly after racking off the better-bottle and just before I throw the keg in my cold refrigerator (32F), although sometimes I don't see a point to it frankly.


  • An update on my quest to beat this haze: I was very close to buying a second canister housing and creating a 2-stage system to see if that would improve things. Instead of spending the extra cash, I just bought a 3 micron and a 1 micron filter, and did 2 passes. No improvement

    I've learned some things along the way though. Anybody trying to beat any sort of haze should take some time and read this: http://www.brewerssupplygroup.com/FileCabinet/WortandBeerFining_Manual[1].pdf

    Although it's still not totally clear to me what the nature of my haze is as pictured in the original post, I think I know what to test for. Clearly the haze particles I'm trying to remove are too small to be caught by the filter. I don't believe it's a polyphenol haze as I would expect that to clear at room temperature and it did not do so. The beer pictured in my previous post did eventually clear with cold conditioning, but that was nearly 4 weeks after kegging—something I want to accelerate.

    Here's what I'll be trying in the future: adding a 15-30 minute protein rest in my process. Using more whirlfloc (I use 1 tablet and I finish my boil with ~11 gallons). Perhaps 2 tablets might make the difference? Adding the whirlfloc at 5 minutes instead of 15 minutes in the boil. Adding gelatin AFTER keg is at lowest temp (this insight came from the manual above). I plan to try clariferm from White Labs. Finally, I may even add PVPP in somewhere, I'm not sure yet.

    If anybody does the above, please chime in and describe when, how much, and why you use it it your process? Thanks.
 

rbdanley

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Has anyone tried to do a hopstopper with a SS perforated sheet for the BM? (something similar to the false bottom on the tube)

I want to try a full screen, that slides down after taking the tube out. It would sit just above the heating elements. Do you guys think this would work?
Would there be a problem having it sit directly on the elements?

I use a stainless steel mesh cylinder from Arborfab.com. They hang from the side of the pot, not centered like you want.The 6 inch cylinder looked too big when it arrived, but I was pleased to find that it just fits between the side and the center post of my 20 litre Braumeister. It's 14 inches tall, and if you hang it from the side it ends just above the heating element.

I also use a heat stick I bought from Amazon, so I have a vigorous boil. Seems to work pretty well.

Arborfab also sells on ebay, under the name chads454. They say they will fabricate anything you want, so you might try contacting them
 

Nesto

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Well, I had the first brew day with my new BM20. Thanks so much for all the feedback from this thread. I didn't get to finish reading it, so maybe I missed the one warning that would have helped me today ;)

We started out fine, but ran into problems at mash in. When we reached our mash in temperature, and the BM beeped, I didn't press enter to acknowledge. So as we started adding the grain to the malt pipe, I assume the pump was somehow operating and setup a suction which compacted the grain we had added so that the malt pipe quickly began to overflow!

We shut off the system right away and decided to drain the wort (it was only 5 minutes worth of wort, but I didn't want to waste it). We had a couple of clean buckets, and we filtered the grain filled wort through some cheese cloth and a kitchen strainer. The suction on the malt pipe was incredible - we had to drain nearly all the wort out before it would budge. We finally removed the malt pipe and transferred all the wet grains into a container. We had to clean out the malt pipe as well as the Braumeister, including the pump. Then we restarted - added the wort back in (it was still enough volume), then we put the rest of the dry grain, then the wet grain. It took us a good 1.5 hours to get back on track.

The rest of the day went pretty normal. It took a good 45 minutes to cool down post boil and I could only get down to 28C - I might have to look into a prechiller in the future.

Looking forward to a smoother brew day next time :)
 

mellowmonk

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Hey Soviet, sounds like you've got all the right ideas. The one thing i would recommend is doing a 90 min mash. I have brewed a lot on my little 20L and have noticed that the longer the wort is pumped through the grain bed the clearer it gets. I'll stir 3-4 times the first 60 minutes to improve efficiency and let the last 30 min just let it go. Like you I also use gelatin in my kegs (at 34 degrees for 48 hours) and whirlfloc (half tablet to 1 tablet depending on the beer). I also use a plate chiller to cool my beer as fast as I can and use yeast nutrient to maximize yeast flocculation (my thinking could be way off but yeast that flocculates quicker clears quicker?). My lagers are temp controlled when fermenting and almost all of my non lager beers are chilled for 2 weeks at 34 degrees before tapping. Could be worth trying gelatin in the secondary. I have brewed exclusively darker lagers but once I'm back in the states I'll try some lighter ones and will let you know what I find.
 

Soviet

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I'll be extending my mash to prevent the possibility of starch haze, but I'm not sure that's the issue. I did test the finished beer with iodine but it came back negative for starch—unless that test is no longer useful when applied to finished beer vs. wort. As far as re-circulation goes, I think there's a certain flaw with the braumeister. On a traditional system, the grain is separated from the mash by running off. The clear wort is all you get after you vorlauf. Although the braumeister recirculates the wort, have you thought about what happens when you lift the mash pipe out of the kettle? I'm willing to bet a lot of the particulate matter that is trapped on the bottom screen just falls back into the wort when the malt pipe is lifted up and placed to drain.

Now that I got through the entire keg of one of my filtered beers, I see yeast sediment at the bottom of it, which suggests that the filter may not have sealed well. Someone in another thread suggested that some of these filters come with rubber gaskets... mine did not? Is anyone here filtering that can confirm their filters have seals/gaskets or recommend the filters they use?

I also learned a couple of things about gelatin that I've been doing wrong. First, gelatin's ability to fine can be compromised if you overheat the gelatin. Generally, I've been boiling water, putting it in a small glass pitcher and letting it cool slightly (never looked at temps). I know I've been inconsistent on this and it's quite possible that I added gelatin too soon and denatured it's ability to fine beer.

Second, I've been adding gelatin to the keg immediately after racking (at room temp), THEN sticking it in the fridge to crash it to 32F. It turns out gelatin works best when adding it to beer at it's COLDEST temperature, not to a cooling beer.

Third, be aware if gelatin is agitated, it will NOT resettle like isinglass. Anybody use any other fining agent like isinglass, sparkolloid, or polyclar? Any feedback is good.
 

brautim

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Anybody use any other fining agent like isinglass, sparkolloid, or polyclar? Any feedback is good.

For my ales (I haven't brewed a lager yet), following fermentation and Diacytl rest (7-14 days) I crash cool the fermenter to 2c and use Polyclar 730, 24 hours later I use isinglass whilst still at 2c then 48 hours later I can rack bright beer to to a cornie for carbonation, I usually bottle from the cornie using a Blichmann beer gun following carbonation and have no sediment in my bottles even after extended storage periods, there is no chill haze or yeast sediment present and there is virtually nothing left at the bottom of the cornie as it has all been removed in the fermenter.

Depending on the style of beer I can go from brewday to bright bottle within 14 days allowing for 3 days carbonation.
 

brautim

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I'll be extending my mash to prevent the possibility of starch haze, but I'm not sure that's the issue. I did test the finished beer with iodine but it came back negative for starch—unless that test is no longer useful when applied to finished beer vs. wort. As far as re-circulation goes, I think there's a certain flaw with the braumeister. On a traditional system, the grain is separated from the mash by running off. The clear wort is all you get after you vorlauf. Although the braumeister recirculates the wort, have you thought about what happens when you lift the mash pipe out of the kettle? I'm willing to bet a lot of the particulate matter that is trapped on the bottom screen just falls back into the beer when the malt pipe is lifted up and placed to drain.

Extending the mash to 90 mins appears to be widely recognised to reduce haze. I have also thought about what happens when lifting the malt pipe, an experiment to try would be to sparge the pipe into a separate bucket and compare the runnings with the pre-boil liquid.


I also learned a couple of things about gelatin that I've been doing wrong. First, gelatin's ability to fine can be compromised if you overheat the gelatin. Generally, I've been boiling water, putting it in a small glass pitcher and letting it cool slightly (never looked at temps). I know I've been inconsistent on this and it's quite possible that I added gelatin too soon and denatured it's ability to fine beer.

Gelatin should be mixed at 80c so not to overheat then added to the keg once cooled a little, prob around 50c and certainly before it re-gelatinises! I found that gelatine can freeze when crash cooling to below 0c and little blobs of jelly can end up in the beer (if using a cornie). I switched to Polyclar & isinglass.
 

Soviet

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For my ales (I haven't brewed a lager yet), following fermentation and Diacytl rest (7-14 days) I crash cool the fermenter to 2c and use Polyclar 730, 24 hours later I use isinglass whilst still at 2c then 48 hours later I can rack bright beer to to a cornie for carbonation, I usually bottle from the cornie using a Blichmann beer gun following carbonation and have no sediment in my bottles even after extended storage periods, there is no chill haze or yeast sediment present and there is virtually nothing left at the bottom of the cornie as it has all been removed in the fermenter.

Depending on the style of beer I can go from brewday to bright bottle within 14 days allowing for 3 days carbonation.

Thanks for the insight on your process! Definitely looking at switching from gelatin to isinglass. Do you use the liquid form of isinglass or the powder? Have you tried anything else like clarityferm enzyme or sparkolloid powder? I read sparkolloid contains diatomaceous earth, which is used in commercial filtering. Might this aid the filtration process when using a homebrew cannister filter?
 

Mateus

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I use a stainless steel mesh cylinder from Arborfab.com. They hang from the side of the pot, not centered like you want.The 6 inch cylinder looked too big when it arrived, but I was pleased to find that it just fits between the side and the center post of my 20 litre Braumeister. It's 14 inches tall, and if you hang it from the side it ends just above the heating element.

I also use a heat stick I bought from Amazon, so I have a vigorous boil. Seems to work pretty well.

Arborfab also sells on ebay, under the name chads454. They say they will fabricate anything you want, so you might try contacting them

Thanks Danley.
These look awesome, but i want to whirlpool. I think its important since i will use the outer hole on the bottom to drain.

What i will do is install a tee and two valves on the outlet of the pump. During the brewing the outside one is closed and the system works as usual. When i want to recirculate or chill/send to fermenter i will shut the valve back to the pot and open the other one. My system is a BM clone and will come out of factory like this.
 

brautim

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Thanks for the insight on your process! Definitely looking at switching from gelatin to isinglass. Do you use the liquid form of isinglass or the powder? Have you tried anything else like clarityferm enzyme or sparkolloid powder? I read sparkolloid contains diatomaceous earth, which is used in commercial filtering. Might this aid the filtration process when using a homebrew cannister filter?

Not used any other finings and I have no knowledge about filtration. I use pre-mixed isinglass liquid and use approx 70ml per 20 litres mixed gently into the fermenter.
 

Soviet

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Not used any other finings and I have no knowledge about filtration. I use pre-mixed isinglass liquid and use approx 70ml per 20 litres mixed gently into the fermenter.

Do you do it a room temp or do you crash cool your fermenter first?
 

Soviet

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Just brewed a pumpkin ale today. Put about half the grain in the mash pipe, let it settle, put in 2 lbs of canned pumpkin, let it settle, and followed by adding the remainder of the grain. I had no issues with clogging and the pumps weren't very strained at all, so I highly recommend this method. THIS was the good news.

Now, on to the bad news. I have only recently started doing the iodine test for starch in my quest to rid my beer of haze. I did a pretty long mash-schedule this time including a beta-glucan rest for 25 min, a protein rest for 15 min, my main saccrification rest @ 152F for 60 min, followed by a higher alpha-amylase rest for another 30 min @ 160F. I stopped the sequence a couple of times to open the mash pipe and stir the grain up a bit.

I mashed out a 169F for 30 min and shut the pump off. Left the wort at 169F overnight. This morning, I recirculated for another 30 minutes at 169F. The wort was crystal clear. Little did I know there was still starch lurking in there! I don't know if it came from the pumpkin or what (pumpkin was in the mash the whole time so most of it should have been converted), but when I iodine tested the wort today, it came back positive for starch with black blots!

Yeah, I know what you're thinking. I should have tested it during the mash. I totally forgot to do that. Anyway, another observation. I challenge all of the Braumeister brewers to pull a sample of your converted mashed wort into a clear glass. It will be crystal clear at mash temp. Let it cool, and you will notice that it will become hazy. Put mine in the microwave for a few more minutes and crystal clear again. As I understand it, this can't be poly-phenol haze because it operates the opposite way (comes out of solution at colder temps). So this must be either starch haze or protein haze. Let me know if you've got any experience with this. I just have a tough time believing that I didn't convert all the starch after 90 minutes! This leads me to some compelling questions:

Does this happen because the mash pipe is so densely compacted? Could some unconverted starch have drained back into the wort when I took out the mash pipe? Should we be draining the mash-pipe BEFORE we mash out so that those last starches have a chance of converting? Also, I added some crystal malts for this recipe at mash-out (I didn't have them in there for the entire mash schedule). Per brewing literature, crystal malts need only be steeped not mashed, but I noticed some white bits after I ran the crystal malts through my mill. Could this be the mystery starch?

Would love to hear your thoughts, all.
 

Nesto

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So, I just recently did my first brew (see my earlier post for the somewhat challenging brew day). And just today finished reading this thread from the start. I thought other potential or new Braumeisters might like a summary of my experience. This post will be just about the Braumeister 20l itself.

Ordered my unit from Morebeer - they are just 20 minutes away from me. Got my hopes up when I went into the Concord showroom and their computer showed they had inventory available! But when they checked, there were none :(. Since there were units on the way, it only took 10 more days before I was able to pick up the unit. Made sure we checked the unit for damage before I took it home - it was in perfect shape.

Mods:
1. Electrical. I had an old style dryer outlet (NEMA 10-30) and you just can't find a C13 (note: BM50l is C19) to 10-30 power cord. So I had my electrician friend install a NEMA L6-20P outlet in it's place - and he updated the circuit breaker to 20 amp as well. All that cost just $60. With that, I bought this cord from Amazon: NEMA L6-20P(Locking) to IEC 60320-C13

2. Faucet. Did not like the look of the BM faucet, so I set out to replace it. I have a heated/cooled conical fermenter, so I also wanted a stainless steel quick disconnect on it as well. I started with this adapter from Amazon: 3/4" NPT Male X 1/2" NPT Female. I was a little concerned when someone here noted that the Amazon specs say it was only rated for 100F. But then I though about it and read Merit Brass's spec sheets. Its Type 316 stainless steel - I'm pretty sure I'll be fine with it ;). Then used a 1/2" hex nipple and a stainless ball valve and finally a stainless QD. Use plenty of teflon tape and can disassemble completely for cleaning.

3. Legs. Took the advice to watch out for the sharp edges. The bottom on the legs do have edging, but I also put car door edging on the rest of those sharp edges on the legs. They came with adhesive pre-inserted to the grooves, so hopefully they will stay on well.

4. Malt pipe screens. I haven't tried these gaskets yet, but they are on their way for me to try out.

5. Pump. I got a little worried when I saw this post, but it seems that gold mark on one of the impeller blades is a normal part of the design of the impeller.

6. Trub control. I used a hop bag for my first brew and just got the materials to make a hop spider.

Like so many here, I went for a wheat beer as the first brew - a Weizen. Made sure to throw in some rice hulls. Despite the issues, hit all the numbers per my Beersmith recipe plan, altough I did have to boil a bit longer then planned - seems my grain absorption ratio was a little off. Will have to adjust that the next time.

My weizen is in the fermenter and ready to keg this weekend!
 
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Sprouthog

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Nesto,

I just finished reading all 219 pages of this thread (2 days) and ordered a 20l a couple of days ago. I sat down in front of the computer to make my shopping list from 5 pages of notes. I clicked on the refresh button and up came your post with everything I was going to purchase. I just have to print it out and off to the store I go.

Thanks

As for my experience I've brewed off and on for the past 25 years. Extract, partial, all-grain, coolers, tiers and a brutus 10. I like to have a variety of beers and usually brew 5 gal batches so I went with the 20l.

And thanks you everyone who posted for the last 3 years. You made my choices easier.
 

Nesto

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Nesto,

I just finished reading all 219 pages of this thread (2 days) and ordered a 20l a couple of days ago. I sat down in front of the computer to make my shopping list from 5 pages of notes. I clicked on the refresh button and up came your post with everything I was going to purchase. I just have to print it out and off to the store I go.

Thanks

As for my experience I've brewed off and on for the past 25 years. Extract, partial, all-grain, coolers, tiers and a brutus 10. I like to have a variety of beers and usually brew 5 gal batches so I went with the 20l.

And thanks you everyone who posted for the last 3 years. You made my choices easier.

Glad I could help!
 

ShakaZuluXI

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Soviet said:
Hey guys,

Been brewing faithfully on the Braumeister system for exactly a year now. Last year I made over 240 gallons of beer—most of it excellent. I wanted to revisit and offer some tips to those folks new on the Braumeister. These are all strictly my opinions and insights—others may disagree and your mileage may vary, etc.

The Mash—First, with respect to efficiency—I assure you it's EXCELLENT on the Braumeister. Remember, there are two commonly measured efficiencies: Mash Efficiency and Brew House Efficiency. The former measures strictly how much sugar you extract during the mash. The latter is dictated by many other variables like how much trub loss you have, etc. Mash efficiency for me has consistently been 80%+. If your MASH efficiency is less than that, I urge you to look at your mash ph, crush, minerals (you need at least 50ppm of calcium ions for an efficient mash), and the volume of water you're using.

I personally use RO water that I adjust with calcium chloride, gypsum, and a couple of teaspoons of Phosphoric Acid. This ensures I hit that ph sweet spot of 5.25-5.5. Outside of that range, your efficiency will suffer (on all systems). I use a minimum of about 14.5 gallons or so (1/3rd to half way between the last two notches on the middle post) to mash in. Again, your mash will go much better if you use a decent amount of water. The only exception to this is when I high-gravity brew, which I'll cover later.

The Sparge— I don't do it anymore. I've tried things like pumping hot water out of the main spigot back up through the suspended mash pipe/grain. That doesn't work too good—my pump flow is too fast. Using a pitcher to take some wort and pouring it through the top works better, but I've only seen a couple of gravity points of improvement that way. And I'm not going to heat a separate pot of water and watch the temps, etc—so you can forget it :). Bottom line is, if your end brewhouse efficiency is less than 64%, look at your mash efficiency. It's probably fine. You're probably leaving behind a ton of wort as I was in the beginning. Fashion a diptube, or better yet, tip the braumeister to get the last bit of wort when you're transferring to your fermenters. This way you'll need less malt, have less waste (less than 1 gallon loss) and you can easily achieve gravities of 1.050 to 1.060.

The Boil—...Is weak. The insulated jacket helps. Honestly, this is the one thing I wish the engineers at Speidel would have improved. I've gotten docked some points in competition due to DMS off-flavors. After that, I simply do a 90 min boil standard, and haven't had any issues. It takes me exactly 90 minutes to boil down from 13.5 to about 11.1 gallons. After cooling loss and trub loss I end up with right around 10.5 gallons or so... roughly a boiloff rate of 1.4 gallons per hour.

High Gravity Brewing—Yes, it's possible goddammit. Double mashes aren't fun, so I prefer an extended boil to make a 5 gallon high gravity batch (1.080+, if it's under 1.080 I just make 10 gallons and add DME to achieve my gravity). Doing an extended boil can be a bit tricky, because you don't want to be there all day, so what I do is use as little water as I can—just enough to complete the pump circuit. For my 55L unit, this works out to be around 10.5-11.5 gallons or so, depending on how much grain I have in there (usually I do not exceed 24 lbs.)

My mash efficiency definitely suffers, pumps kind of struggle initially, but gents—you can do 1.100+ with this method. After grain absorption, I'm usually left with about 9.75 gallons of very sweet wort, which I proceed to boil down to about 6.25 gallons or so (2.5 hour boil). After chilling and trub-loss I end up with about 5.25 Gallons. This method is great for making big dopplebocks, monster scotch ales, and other big beers. Double-IPAS are tricky because you will definitely get some color from the extended boil, so if you try this, omit any dark crystal malts and use very light base malt. Happy to answer any other questions on this topic.

Cleaning— This was the biggest nuisance to get used to when I switched from my old turkey fryer setup. If you can afford it—as I can guess you can, since you bought the ****ing Braumeister—buy yourself a 50lb bucket of pbw at the local homebrew shop (have them order it). That stuff is incredible and works with ANY water, and I have some HARD water. Oxiclean will not do it like PBW can, I don't care what you say. After you pump/pour all the gunk out of your Braumeister, close the valve and spray/rinse it out with some hot water. Next, fill with about 6-10 gallons of water and add like 5-10 scoops of PBW. Turn the heating elements on to about 45 C or so and run the pumps. Stir to make sure the pbw is dissolved. This soak will totally eliminate your need to scrub the heating elements as the stuff comes off TOTALLY. Believe me, I scrubbed for a while before i discovered the power of PBW in my braumeister.

I use a regular ass dishwashing brush to scrub the inside of the Braumeister, dunking the brush in the warm pbw solution. Every few brew days or so, turn the clean braumeister upside down and unscrew the pumps and peek in there to make sure there is now grain or gunk stuck in them. That's IT!

Hopefully you found some of this info helpful. Feel free to follow up with any questions. Here's to another year of delicious Braumeister Brewing.


Great summary. really have come to appreciate all the time users like you have taken to create such an invaluable library of info about the Braumeister.

I have just finished reading through all 140 plus pages of this thread, and have decided to purchase a BM. Would it be a reasonable assumption that one could get a 20L unit, and follow a similar procedure as you did to create high gravity beer? (albiet reducing volumes by 60%). ...and end up with 2-3 gallons of HG beer?

I can afford the 50L...but the issue of HG brewing and the fact that I likely will not have any help on my brew days is making me lean towards the 20L unit. Do you brew alone with your 50L unit...and if so...is it a struggle dealing with the full grain pipe?


Thanks
 

Soviet

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thanks for the kind words. it's a bit of a hassle lift the mash pipe for about 10 seconds because of the suction. but the ability to double your production and split batches, trying out different yeast and dry hops far outweighs the cons. to answer your question, though, yes you can use an extended boil with the smaller braumeister to produce 2-3 gallons of high gravity beer. for me, 2 gallons of dopplebock would go a bit too fast :)
 

BierFest

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The only real problem i have had with my braumeister is what many others have had - the hop leaves block the outlet valve when pouring to my fermenter. However overall its not a problem that makes me regret buying the braumeister.

I have been looking at many ways to resolve this and was going to get an Stainless hop spider type container with a hole in the center to sit down through the center rod. This would resolve this problem but also would probably result in a faster clean up time too.

However I have just spotted that Speidel appear to have a small filter now available for this problem. The only thing is that I cant figure out where/how you fit it to the braumeister - http://speidels-braumeister.de/shop/de/Zubehoer/Brauprozess/Hopfensieb

Does anybody else have one? Or perhaps it is just a container for the hops? Unfortunately the website has no further information on this.
 

flemming

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It looks like it just slips over the top lip of the Braumeister and the screen simply covers the outlet port. This isn't something you put the hops into, but rather a really coarse filter to keep them from entering the spigot.

Robert
 

ShakaZuluXI

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Well...after reading this entire thread through twice, I just pulled the trigger and ordered the 20L Braumeister from Thorsten at MoreBeer4U in Florida. The 4-6 week wait now starts. Have an electrician coming this week to install the 220v outlet for me in the garage. I'm also hoping to go down to Key West for a "brew camp" that Thorsten is going to set up for me in January. Sounds like he helped a guy open a microbrewery in Key West using the industrial sized Braumeister units...so I hope I can make that trip work....that would be really cool to see. If I do go, I'll be sure to report back here and provide any photos I take.
 

Sprouthog

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I also got a 20l two weeks ago and brewed my 1st batch last week. Loved the ease of use and clean up. One kettle no pumps no tubing. As far as the poor boil, not at sea level. Boil over at 99. I know to keep my eye on it now when it gets near the boil. No pump issues with a course grind at .45. 78% efficiency was good for first time. Think I can increase that with some tweaking but I hit my OG. Used pellet hops, whirlpool, chiller and a double screen strainer on the out flow. Wort at 67 and going through strainer aerated it to perfection.

Thanks everyone who posted and helped me throughout the process.
 

beefeater

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Wow, this tread has become long!!

Haven't brewed in a while, but today I'm starting my catching up with a two-brew day.
Just finished cooling the first one, an APA and as soon as it is in the bucket I'll rinse out the Braumeister quickly and start heating water for the second brew, a hopilicious IIPA:D

Since my Braumeister brewdays are so laid back I've been browsing the web a lot today, catching up on brewing stuff. I came over this video on Youtube. It's probably been posted before but this tread is too long to read through now.

Anyway I really liked it so it can't hurt to repost it :)
 
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brautim

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Does anyone know when mashing, if the BM uses 1 or both heating elements?

I'm asking this because when using the 20L malt pipe and the [spiedel] recommended 23 litres of water for the mash, when the mash starts and the pumps begin the level of water outside the mash pipe drops just below the top element of the outer heater. I added another 4 litres so that the elements were covered just in case, but I'm now wondering if only the inner element is activated by design.
 

OooGeeMac

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Sorry if this has been asked recently...I am interested in the Braumeister 200L. Does anyone know of any brewpub/ nanobrewery in the United States using one?
 

rkovatch

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I have the 50l and have made a few of the mods suggested on this thread. I purchased some silicon tubing to seal the top filter on the malt pipe, but the wall of the tubing is too big.

1) I tried to fit it in cold. Does the malt pipe need to heat up and expand before it will fit?

2) Does anyone have a link or specific example of what they used? I ordered the high temp tubing from Northern Brewer, which seems too big.

Thanks in advance for your help. This thread has been a great resource.
 

rkovatch

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brautim said:
Does anyone know when mashing, if the BM uses 1 or both heating elements? I'm asking this because when using the 20L malt pipe and the [spiedel] recommended 23 litres of water for the mash, when the mash starts and the pumps begin the level of water outside the mash pipe drops just below the top element of the outer heater. I added another 4 litres so that the elements were covered just in case, but I'm now wondering if only the inner element is activated by design.

That is a good question. It would make sense that only the inner coils are being used, but I am not sure. Once a boil is needed then all coils are on deck. I would be interested to know. Have you found the answer yet by chance?
 
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