Spike Complete System

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Labrat

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You might also consider taking a look at the UniFlex from BruControl...It's about $1300 all in, and does a fair bit more.
I watched the video and it seems like a much more modern alternative. Are a lot of forum members using the Uniflex? Is the software robust.

I will look into this more as an option.
 

Labrat

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Thanks all.

My ideal process is

When done with sparge, transfer all liquid out / dump. Scoop out all grain for compost, suck out final bit with shopvac. Remove TC clamp and output to remove false bottom / suck remaining grain under false bottom. Clean false bottom in sink. put clamp and valve back in, run a CIP cycle with CIP ball through lid. Rinse cycle, dry up remaining water after rinse cycle is done, put back together.

The BK is pretty easy, i suck up the whirlpool cone with the shopvac, rinse it out with hot water, then do same CIP cycle as MLT (just move the lid). I use the wort pump to do the CIP cycle on MT and run it through the chiller so it cleans those as well at the same time.

Don't worry @itsnotrequired ... i blow out the HERMS coil with my mouth too :) I want as little water as possible sitting in there.

I don't have a utility sink, and I brew in a space detached from my house, so trying to keep everything as contained as possible

Still finalizing everything so excuse some of the random tools around... here is my setup

View attachment 685279
Flyerwire,
Great looking setup. Can you confirm that the Spike system is using Chugger pumps? If so, what is the noise level?
 

Bohern

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I visited the electric brewing supply site and it looks like Spike is selling an EBSP200, $1550, with their system. Now I am curious about why the electric brewing supply's unit is cheaper than the also well respected Electric Brewery panel, $2295. Are the timers that much more expensive? I need to do some more research on control panels.
I know that "The electric brewery" panels have a few more bells and whistles so that might be the difference in cost. I just decided to go the other route due to cost and it was the same panel spike used.
 

flyerwire

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Flyerwire,
Great looking setup. Can you confirm that the Spike system is using Chugger pumps? If so, what is the noise level?
yeah, they are the chuggers and to me they are pretty quiet. I am outside though and have a glycol chiller in the same room and an exhaust fan running while brewing. I have a hard time hearing the pumps when the exhaust fan is running.

I’ve gotten a few more brews under my belt and really like the system. I’m hitting mid-80s on efficiency but not going as high on my water/grain ratio as the mad king. Its been really good and i love the system. Cleaning in place has been the biggest challenge, but the biggest issue there is just the MT. I scoop it out, rinse with hot water, take the false bottom out, vaccum out the rest of the junk and then run a CIP through it for 15-20 minutes while boiling (i put a weldless TC on one of the lids to be able to run the CIP ball through). It works, just needs a quick wipe down with a rag before rinse and its all good.

I’ve been going a bit overboard on brewing lagers now that I have easy temp control and the ability to check fermentation status cleanly. Have a bunch of other beers lined up once I clear a fermenter and can start rotating on a 2ish week basis. I love brewing on it and have switched to Sanke kegging, so it’s been pretty easy to get rid of kegs that I can’t fit. I have a fridge that can hold about 4, I have a tap system that can hold 3 and then I have friends that can hold another 2-4, after that I have to give them away. Its easier to do this when its a sanke instead of trying to get them to switch out to corny connections.
 

flyerwire

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I’m kegging sixtels. Some of them have garage fridges so I’ve already been using them as overflow storage, so this is just paying them back!
 

Labrat

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I just asked for a quote on the Spike + system, 30Amp, 15 G HLT, 15 G MT and 20 G BK. I want a TC port added low on the MT for an analog thermometer (just for my own enjoyment) and the inputs shifted to the right side on the HLT so that I can brew left to right (sink is on the right).

I will skip the table and wort chiller.

I like the Stout stainless CFC. Are users happy with it?

Thanks for all of the assistance!
 

Bohern

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I just asked for a quote on the Spike + system, 30Amp, 15 G HLT, 15 G MT and 20 G BK. I want a TC port added low on the MT for an analog thermometer (just for my own enjoyment) and the inputs shifted to the right side on the HLT so that I can brew left to right (sink is on the right).

I will skip the table and wort chiller.

I like the Stout stainless CFC. Are users happy with it?

Thanks for all of the assistance!
My only advice that I share in addition to this is to look at the cost difference between the 30a and 50a panels, not that hard to add on now Vs later.

As far as chillers I wnt with the copper one but have always wondered if I would be better served, I know some in here have the SS one.

EDIT: but it sounds like you have it pretty much figured out.
 

Labrat

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I already have 30 amp with a GFCI breaker above my brew table and I do not think I will ever do back to back batches. I have other was to heat cleaning water if needed.

I am hoping to spend less time working and more time leisure brewing this decade.
 

Labrat

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Has anybody successfully used a TV mount for the 30 Amp panel? I saw some mount information in pages 6-7 but they were for the 50 Amp panel. the 50 amp panel seems quite a bit larger than the 30 Amp.
 

Bohern

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Has anybody successfully used a TV mount for the 30 Amp panel? I saw some mount information in pages 6-7 but they were for the 50 Amp panel. the 50 amp panel seems quite a bit larger than the 30 Amp.
If you bought the Spike panel I'd email Ryan @ Electric Brewing Supply and he can for sure answer your question. He makes the panels for Spike so he can for sure steer you right. A link to email him is on their website and he is cool.

EDIT: I will say this and I own the 50a panel, I am 90% sure that the 50a and 30a panels ae the same size overall.
 
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Gozie Boy

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Has anybody successfully used a TV mount for the 30 Amp panel? I saw some mount information in pages 6-7 but they were for the 50 Amp panel. the 50 amp panel seems quite a bit larger than the 30 Amp.
Here is what I used for mine. It cantilevers/swivels a good bit away from the wall, and so I reinforced where the bolts would attach within the wall with some bracing before I tiled it. (The mounting holes did not line up conveniently with the studs in the wall). It's not fallen off yet, so I think I've passed the test. Does take some effort and planning, to be sure, but not a huge project.



Controller mount.jpg
 

Gozie Boy

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This is of course The Electric Brewery design enclosure, and it fits well within the parameters of the mount. It's pretty flexible, and so I imagine it would accommodate most controllers of this style, but you should check the Spike mounting holes and ensure they will indeed work with this mount.
 

grassfeeder

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Just picked up the 20G trio+, hoping to have it all set up soon. Great data in this thread. Now the joy of adjusting all the recipes to fit this and trying to build an equipment profile.
 

Gozie Boy

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Just picked up the 20G trio+, hoping to have it all set up soon. Great data in this thread. Now the joy of adjusting all the recipes to fit this and trying to build an equipment profile.
Would be great if you could share your equipment profile when you get it developed. Thx.
 

Brewfreedom

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I just asked for a quote on the Spike + system, 30Amp, 15 G HLT, 15 G MT and 20 G BK. I want a TC port added low on the MT for an analog thermometer (just for my own enjoyment) and the inputs shifted to the right side on the HLT so that I can brew left to right (sink is on the right).

I will skip the table and wort chiller.

I like the Stout stainless CFC. Are users happy with it?

Thanks for all of the assistance!
I run the stout chiller and so far Its been great. I need to get around to welding it to the table but for now I just lug it out and put it in a meat lug on the garage floor.
 

grassfeeder

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So are you guys raising the temp on the Mash PID 3 degrees higher to compensate for heat loss through all the hoses? thought I remember hearing something about that a long while ago.
 

Bohern

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So are you guys raising the temp on the Mash PID 3 degrees higher to compensate for heat loss through all the hoses? thought I remember hearing something about that a long while ago.
I have my HLT PID set 2 to 3 deg higher than my intended Mash Tun temp to allow for heat loss of the hoses during the recirculation during the mash. Before I mash in it depend on the time for year and how cold or warm may garage is before I dough in. I have found for me for 5 to 10 gal batches during the summer I am about 5 deg warmer in the tun and during the winter more like 6 to 8 deg higher than my intended mash in temp.
 

grassfeeder

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I have my HLT PID set 2 to 3 deg higher than my intended Mash Tun temp to allow for heat loss of the hoses during the recirculation during the mash. Before I mash in it depend on the time for year and how cold or warm may garage is before I dough in. I have found for me for 5 to 10 gal batches during the summer I am about 5 deg warmer in the tun and during the winter more like 6 to 8 deg higher than my intended mash in temp.
you using a temp probe in the mash to compare it to the mash temp on the PID to get the differential?
 

Bohern

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you using a temp probe in the mash to compare it to the mash temp on the PID to get the differential?
I did the autotune when I got my panel and temps the probes read vers what i read with my thermal pen were really close. I have a temp probe in a T fitting off the the mash tun between it and the ball valve and go off that for mash temp.

EDIT: I hope I understand what you are asking and that makes sense.
 
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Brewfreedom

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about 2.5 degrees over mash temp. For dough in I go a bit higher. Closer to 10 and then back down.
 

grassfeeder

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any of you guys incorporate a sight-glass into the system? Curious where you installed it. Commonsense says on the MT return port but possibly worried about adding weight up there. Was also thinking on the pump inlet/outlet??
 

Rob2010SS

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On mine, I put a sight glass on the recirculation port on the top of the mash tun. I like to see the wort clear up over time. Definitely not needed, but makes for good photos haha. You can see it on the mash tun in the second pic. I have a 90 degree coming off of the MT and then the sight glass hooked up to that.

20200830_083310.jpg

IMG_5560.JPEG
 

grassfeeder

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that exactly how I had mine set up on my old system. any worries about it being 'front-heavy'? mine was certainly that way on my 15G gas fired. 20G electric arrives today!
 

Rob2010SS

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that exactly how I had mine set up on my old system. any worries about it being 'front-heavy'? mine was certainly that way on my 15G gas fired. 20G electric arrives today!
Yeah it's definitely front heavy but you still have to pull pretty hard to get it to tip when it's empty. When it's full of 50# of grain, it ain't going anywhere.
 

grassfeeder

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I know Spike says to cut hoses in certain lengths and all but why not cut them even shorter to fit tighter once the system is set up? Eliminate extra hose travel??
 

Rob2010SS

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You could I suppose. I definitely have a lot of loose hose having cut mine to the suggested lengths. You may just have less freedom as far as which hose goes where during the brew day.
 

Gozie Boy

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Start a bit longer, then trim back once you see how much you need. If cut too tightly, you may wish you had a little more lagniappe for flexibility.
 

grassfeeder

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I might even just buy some extra quick-connects and hose so I can keep the MT and HLT ones as short as possible. I waste enough money on other needless ****, why stop now!
 

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Been a while since someone posted in this thread which is crazy. Hopefully you guys haven’t given up on your spikes. does anyone use a blichmann sparge arm with their spike system? I have a 15 gallon system but only brew 6 gallon batches. Not sure if the lower mash volume would render the arm useless.
 

Bohern

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Been a while since someone posted in this thread which is crazy. Hopefully you guys haven’t given up on your spikes. does anyone use a blichmann sparge arm with their spike system? I have a 15 gallon system but only brew 6 gallon batches. Not sure if the lower mash volume would render the arm useless.
I have thought about getting one at one time just to make it easier during the sparge. But now since I have brewed on it so much I just use a piece of silicone hose coiled up on the mash bed, I do 5 & 10 gallon batches and use different lengths.

edit: they do make an extension are for the sparge arm too so that should work
 

juggabrew

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I’ll have to look and see if anyone is selling a used one On the market. For now I’ll go another few batches to see if I can nail down a routine. Although I’m inly brewing every two months now that we have a 1 yr old.

as far as water to add to mash. do you account for the herms coil? BS tells me 7 gallons at 2qt/lb. that level drops as soon as I start circ through coil. Lately I’ve been adding back maybe a .25 gal to get back to the 7 gal mark but maybe I should just leave it? I don’t account for loss on the sparge since im sending that through the coils so I’m not sure if there’s any loss during mash and sparge. Let me know how you guys fill your mash...

BTW, I always fill my mash tun first and circ through coils before filling HLT to heat. This allows me to check for leaks.
 

Bohern

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For now I’ll go another few batches to see if I can nail down a routine.
You can do it, it took me some batches too but now I nail the flow rate pretty easily. I use Blichmann riptide pumps and have made marks on the flow control knobs so I know where to set it, works every time.

as far as water to add to mash. do you account for the herms coil?
Yes, according to Spike my herms coil holds 1/2 gallon of water but I fill mash tun while my pump is running and fill it to 1.5 qt per pound of grain per the marks in the MT. I also fill my mash tun and HLT at the same time. I do a non heated recir to make sure the volume doesn't change to insure I have no leaks from the herms coil. But I also check the herms to make sure it is seated before I fill my HLT.

hope this helps
 

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You can do it, it took me some batches too but now I nail the flow rate pretty easily. I use Blichmann riptide pumps and have made marks on the flow control knobs so I know where to set it, works every time.


Yes, according to Spike my herms coil holds 1/2 gallon of water but I fill mash tun while my pump is running and fill it to 1.5 qt per pound of grain per the marks in the MT. I also fill my mash tun and HLT at the same time. I do a non heated recir to make sure the volume doesn't change to insure I have no leaks from the herms coil. But I also check the herms to make sure it is seated before I fill my HLT.

hope this helps
Is it the recoverable dead space? BS has the default as 0.32 gal for the 15 gal system. If that’s the case then I don’t need to top off my mash tun
 

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Is it the recoverable dead space? BS has the default as 0.32 gal for the 15 gal system. If that’s the case then I don’t need to top off my mash tun
Yes it is recoverable, but it is in the coils and not in your mashtun. Here is how I do it at least.

I treat the entire volume of water, 1.5 qts per pound for grain plus what is in the coils. I don't top off my mashtun per se, i just start my pump to purge the coil of air and fill it with water. so if I was mashing 10lbs of grain I would fill the mashtun to 3.75 gallons of water after the coils have been purged and flowing.
 

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You can do it, it took me some batches too but now I nail the flow rate pretty easily. I use Blichmann riptide pumps and have made marks on the flow control knobs so I know where to set it, works every time.


Yes, according to Spike my herms coil holds 1/2 gallon of water but I fill mash tun while my pump is running and fill it to 1.5 qt per pound of grain per the marks in the MT. I also fill my mash tun and HLT at the same time. I do a non heated recir to make sure the volume doesn't change to insure I have no leaks from the herms coil. But I also check the herms to make sure it is seated before I fill my HLT.

hope this helps
Do you know how many turns you set the flow control to for sparging? for instance, my flow control valve is at the closed position when the clip is at the bottom...half turn is pointing up
 
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