Spike Solo vs. Brew Boss vs. BrewTools B80

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Fidelity101

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I've been searching for days trying to decide between these systems and I'd really like to hear feedback from people who have experience with each. From what I've been able to find:

BrewTools is amazing but instructions in English are hard to find and it's a very complicated system with a large learning curve. It's also the most expensive and doesn't seem to have a Steam Condenser lid as an option.

Spike Solo is a very basic system (no wifi, bluetooth, etc.) but it's very well built and has an optional Steam Condenser lid which is both expensive and hard to find in stock.

Brew Boss looks to be very capable with more features than the Spike Solo but less than the BrewTools. The only thing I'm not sure I like is that voice system stepping me through each function which makes me wonder if the voice can be turned off or changed.

I know there are several YouTube videos going over each system and how wonderful they are. There is also a YouTube video comparing the actual specs for each item. But what I'd like to find is a user who has brewed several times with each (or at least 2) of the systems and which one they prefer using.
 

Mer-man

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I think that's a pretty big ask, and you are only likely to get such a comprehensive perspective from a retailer or a v-blogger.

That said, I have looked at the BrewTools and while they have serious bling going on, it is also a wort-oxidizing machine. Just look at that sparge/recirc manifold. Plus, they use non-standard TCs.
 

matt_m

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Another point, the Spike controller uses off the shelf components. The others are proprietary. I don't know anything about the proprietary controllers, but if they require an internet connection to a cloud service, run away. Ask the Zymatic owners, owners of several BBQ controllers, and any number of cloud-based devices backed by smaller companies. On the BBQ controllers, its become a holiday tradition for the cloud services to go down.
 
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Fidelity101

Fidelity101

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All great points. I've started to walk away from the BrewTools because the price is darn near $3k and that doesn't include a Steam Condenser.

The Brew Boss still looks nice but I just can't get over the lack of Youtube videos from anyone other than Darin Danelski. He does mention the oxidizing concerns on his website and attempts to disprove them as a problem but I'm a bit more concerned about yet another electronic item (Android Tablet) I have to keep updated when my PC works perfectly well with Brewfather.


I'm currently running a Brewzilla 35L and it's been a solid setup for 5 gallon batches. It would definitely be easier to just get the Brewzilla 65L and continue with what I know but the quality between Spike and Brewzilla isn't even close. Spike is 304 stainless steel and this Brewzilla is ... is it aluminum? I washed it out with ABW a few days ago and came back to some serious white powder at the bottom (corrosion) that needed to be cleaned out so I did a thorough cleaning with kegworks No-rinse followed by Bar Keepers friends to remove all the residue from the last 10-15 batches. It's now spotless and working on batch 16.

On the other hand, I could buy 3 Brewzilla 65L setups at the cost of the one Spike setup.
 

cnash

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I have had the Brew-Boss setup for about 2 years now and I wouldn't go any other way.

It speaks to your through the tablet which you can turn off or just turn the volume down/off.

Spike Solo is nice, but it really doesn't impress me in the whole. If I were going with their kettle/basket and another controller/accessories it would be better (High Gravity actually is doing that now).
Brewtools is nice, but I don't think it's worth the price and I am really not sure what it does or doesn't have that the Brew-Boss does or doesn't.
 
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Fidelity101

Fidelity101

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The Spike Solo seemed like the perfect next purchase after grabbing their CF5 fermenter and seeing the quality of their products first hand. Unfortunately they still don’t have the condensation lid in stock (and won’t until September) and their controller does seem a bit lackluster for the 2k purchase price.

If I went with the Brew Boss, would you recommend the 15 or 20 gallon setup for 5 and 10 gallon batches? I usually do 5 gallon batches when working on a recipe but once it’s dialed in I want to be able to make a 10 gallon batch so I can share the brew with friends.
 

cnash

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If I went with the Brew Boss, would you recommend the 15 or 20 gallon setup for 5 and 10 gallon batches? I usually do 5 gallon batches when working on a recipe but once it’s dialed in I want to be able to make a 10 gallon batch so I can share the brew with friends.
The 15 Gallon kettle is perfect for 5 gallon batches and the occasional 10 gallon batch.
If you are going to be doing 10 gallon batches all the time I would go with the 20 Gallon kettle, but I don't think they recommend brewing 5 gallon batches in the 20 gallon kettle.
 
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