Spike's upcoming eBIAB system

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pretzelb

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can you elaborate on your suspicion? I would have though basket with hard sides are the right way to do this. My thinking ia that the mash will flow in the dead space between the basket and the kettle wall rather than flowing through the grain, the former being the path of least resistance. The hard walls would force the water through the grain bed...I have no data on this, so curious to know what your experience with hard wall basket is.
I've had a hard time with the hard sided basket that came with my system due to the restricted flow. I kept chasing after it with rice hulls until I finally got fed up and switched to a false bottom and bag. It still requires some management but it seems to work better.

The issue in my mind is with the heating element you have to suspend the grains above it no matter what you use. That means less water per grain ratio which can result in a very compact grain bed that restricts flow heavily. The one system that looks to avoid that issue is SS Brewtech where a bag can sit right on the element and not get burned due to a different style of element they use.

Having said that I watched one video brewing on that system and it appeared to flow fine for that one time.
 

NewJersey

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I have that SS brewtech 1V. I do biab with it and can confirm that it 100% does nothing to the bag at all. I also recirculate during the mash with their recirculation manifold
 

Beer-lord

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Spike just sent initial pricing on the 20 gallon BIAB basket or system:

20g Basket and 20g Full System Initial Pricing*
[may be subject to change before launch]
Product Price
20g NPT Basket Only

Basket +single NPT fitting on top $300
20g TC Basket Only
Basket +single TC fitting on top $325
20g NPT Full System
Kettle, Basket, Controller, Pump and Hardware, Chiller optional. $1,775
20g TC Full System
Kettle, Basket, Controller, Pump and Hardware. Chiller optional.
$1,975

If the 15 gallon is proportionally cheaper (i.e., under $1500 with the controller, pump, and hardware included), it might be a tempting one-stop, high end solution for my typical 5+ gallon batches.
I don't doubt the quality is superb but I think the prices are a bit high. Just my 2 cents. Besides building your own setup, there are less expensive options that make great beer just like Spike's system obviously will.
But man, is it sexy!
 

Telegraph

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Longtime lurking around here but... +1 for a pre-order this morning, anyone else taking the plunge? Did you go with the pump option (its a yes/no)? Anyone else notice they are out of Chillers?
 

Punx Clever

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I was going to pre-order the one with tri-clamps... but got there too late.

For the price difference on the pump ($180)... it made more sense to forgo the spike pump and spend the money for a new riptide from blichmann ($200)
 

Hwk-I-St8

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I like the washing machine pan idea!

Any good suggestions for a cart/table?
I use one of these. It can be adjusted up and down. I like my table fairly low when doughing in or pulling the bag. The one I have is 52" and has a couple drawers, which are nice for storing things like refractometer and other brew day related items. I can also roll it out of the way to clean under it or adjust to make sure it's centered under my block and tackle when pulling the bag.
 

Telegraph

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I was going to pre-order the one with tri-clamps... but got there too late.

For the price difference on the pump ($180)... it made more sense to forgo the spike pump and spend the money for a new riptide from blichmann ($200)
That’s exactly what I did, ordered a riptide and camlocks from brewhardware.

Not to go too off topic (sorry) I was surprised at how hard I had to look for a new chiller though the only place that still had any was Duda
 

Punx Clever

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That’s exactly what I did, ordered a riptide and camlocks from brewhardware.

Not to go too off topic (sorry) I was surprised at how hard I had to look for a new chiller though the only place that still had any was Duda
Managed to get in on the second pre-order. Unfortunately they only had the "with pump" option in stock. Oh well, I'll send the spike pump on it's way with my current 3v rig and keep my riptide/chugger bastard pump.

Gonna look funny with blichman-style quick-thread fittings on one end of the tubes, and ball-lock QD fittings on the other though
 

pdcm

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I'm excited to start seeing these in the hands of people. That's not to say that the reviewers who had prototypes weren't useful at all, but it's just different when more people start to use it. I'm looking forward to the 10 or 15g version, myself.
 

RichardU

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Just got an email saying the initial orders will ship next week.

Is anyone else working on a Brewfather profile for this system?
 

Telegraph

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Just got an email saying the initial orders will ship next week.

Is anyone else working on a Brewfather profile for this system?
I got that email too! I’m planning on testing a few batches first but I would be interested in one. I thought it sounded like @Short_Circuited_Brewers made one for his videos perhaps he will share?
 

IanMC

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10 gal kettle owner here, waiting for the basket. Can't wait to see the pricing!
 

Rubberband

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Just got notification that my Solo+ has shipped. Guess it's time to start trying to sell the good ol' 3v eHERMS...
My Solo+ is arriving today, at least that's what FedEx is saying. I'm in the same boat but I just finished my 3V stand and have yet to brew a beer. May keep it around for a year or so to see how I like the Solo vs. traditional mash and sparge.
 

Telegraph

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Even though mine gets here tomorrow...

PICTURES! I NEED PICTURES! :mug:
My Solo+ is arriving today, at least that's what FedEx is saying. I'm in the same boat but I just finished my 3V stand and have yet to brew a beer. May keep it around for a year or so to see how I like the Solo vs. traditional mash and sparge.
So jealous! Got my notice last night, I’m on hold until Monday
 

Rubberband

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So jealous! Got my notice last night, I’m on hold until Monday
I'm opening it up this weekend, too busy to get into it before Saturday. I'm a little concerned about damage, there was a hole in the carton that the kettle was shipped in, see the photo. I hope everything is alright, I'll need to document unboxing well in case there's damage. That being said the one box was HEAVY, I am going to buy a cart to move this thing around. Monday will come sooner than you think. I'll let you know how the auto tuning went for the controller.
 

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9Kegs

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I have a picture above and they are all the same
 

Punx Clever

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Arrived yesterday morning!
What's the deal with the "AUX" switch? Extra 120v receptacle on the back in addition to the one for the pump?

Doesn't look like it was present on the preview model that ShortCircuted had.
 

9Kegs

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From the product guide:

PRO TIP:• The AUX switch powers the plug on the side of the control panel. This can be used for a phone or laptop charger; however, it was designed to work with our Steam Condenser Lid package.
 

Punx Clever

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Made an unboxing video. I've got a couple QA nits to pick with Spike on this, but seems like a pretty solid rig.

 

Rubberband

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Just an update on the unboxing of my Spike Solo+, everything seemed arrive safely without damage. The box with the brew kettle was damaged at the drain TC fitting but I seen that also happened to Punx Clever as well. I've assembled everything but the pump at this point. I have the same problem as everyone else does with the seal on the thermowell not matching the TC diameter, the thermowell TC diameter is smaller than the standard 1.5 TC rings. I'm guessing Spike had this make externally and specified them wrong or they were manufactured wrong. In any case, I am not alone, we'll see what Spike does when I contact them. I'm going to assemble the pump and run the autotune tomorrow, if anything goes wrong I can update the thread.

I did want to provide some details about the system that Spike does not list on their website. I like Spike and think they have some quality products but I'm also a little frustrated about the attention to detail. Clearly they can weld but their QC and marketing appears to be lacking. So some of the details that I wanted to know but didn't get answers until the system arrived are as follows:
  • The pump (if you order a pump) is a March 815 series pump, not a Riptide. Nowhere on the website does it list the pump brand and I purchased the unit with a pump fully expecting it to be a Riptide. Spike supplies riptides with the 3 vessel systems and some of the advertising is very unclear on this point. Given the price I paid, I feel like I should have gotten a Riptide. I am not the only one that will be disappointed by this. Details, details, details.
  • The main power cable is about 6ft. long. I need to build a longer cable, not an issue but it has delayed the autotune until I build the extension cable.
  • The cable for the heater - controller is about 6.5 ft.
  • There is no Butterfly valve on the basket as shown on the pictures for the system on the website. There are two butterfly valves, on the drain and one on the whirlpool, the pump has a huge three piece ball valve on the outlet.
The unboxing video attached above was a very similar experience to mine, so I don't have much more to add. Here are some photos of the Solo+
IMG_3039.jpeg
 

Rubberband

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More photos that may be of interest.
The welding is impressive, the flange on the basket is welded and looks spectacular. The hooks on the basket seem to be significantly improved over the prototype I saw in Short Circuited Brewing's video.

IMG_3025.jpeg
IMG_3024.jpeg
IMG_3030.jpeg
IMG_3041.jpeg
IMG_3021.jpeg
IMG_3033.jpeg
 

Punx Clever

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  • The pump (if you order a pump) is a March 815 series pump, not a Riptide. Nowhere on the website does it list the pump brand and I purchased the unit with a pump fully expecting it to be a Riptide. Spike supplies riptides with the 3 vessel systems and some of the advertising is very unclear on this point. Given the price I paid, I feel like I should have gotten a Riptide. I am not the only one that will be disappointed by this. Details, details, details.
Looking at the pictures on Spike's site, I knew I wasn't getting a riptide. In fact, I planned on ordering one without a pump... but that option was out of stock. So, I fell back to being prepared to move my riptide head to the provided motor.

It's probably not a big deal for a lot of people buying the system. Hell, I see pictures of people putting ball valves on the output of riptide pumps when it already has a flow control valve.
 

Rubberband

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Looking at the pictures on Spike's site, I knew I wasn't getting a riptide. In fact, I planned on ordering one without a pump... but that option was out of stock. So, I fell back to being prepared to move my riptide head to the provided motor.

It's probably not a big deal for a lot of people buying the system. Hell, I see pictures of people putting ball valves on the output of riptide pumps when it already has a flow control valve.
I ordered the Riptide conversion kit last night. To be clear, I was not sure the pump in the advertising was a Riptide but it would be nice to update the webpage with this information. I did the same thing you did, bought the system with a pump because it was the only option availabe for purchase. It's a little frustrating to be spending more money when I invested in a "top of the line" system. Oh well, in for a penny, in for a pound.
 
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  • The pump (if you order a pump) is a March 815 series pump, not a Riptide. Nowhere on the website does it list the pump brand and I purchased the unit with a pump fully expecting it to be a Riptide. Spike supplies riptides with the 3 vessel systems and some of the advertising is very unclear on this point. Given the price I paid, I feel like I should have gotten a Riptide. I am not the only one that will be disappointed by this. Details, details, details.
Sorry about the confusion here. Unfortunately we don't sell competitors products with our equipment. The big advantage of the March pumps we sell with our systems is they come with sanitary TC connections.
 

Rubberband

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Sorry about the confusion here. Unfortunately we don't sell competitors products with our equipment. The big advantage of the March pumps we sell with our systems is they come with sanitary TC connections.
No worries, thank you for the reply. I do suggest you mention the pump brand in the product description. The picture used on the web page looks just generic enough that I could not tell which brand you may be using. I saw the TC fitting in the end view and thought it was on the pump housing but I see now it is the TC fitting on the pump inlet. This is my error, I made an assumption and should have dug deeper.

On the autotune front, everything went very well. The pump performed well and the thermowell did seal. It was difficult to align the TC fitting to the thermowell fitting due to the mismatch issue but I snugged the clamp in the best alignment possible. All of the other TC fittings fit the seals perfectly which made assembly easy. I'm looking forward to a brew day, just need some temperatures below 90 degrees.
 

Telegraph

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Just started unboxing mine. This is my biggest surprise so far. Mine came with a nmea 14-30 to four-prong “Dryer” cable. Definitely something to note if you are speccing out your electrical connections.
image.jpg
 

Punx Clever

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Just started unboxing mine. This is my biggest surprise so far. Mine came with a nmea 14-30 to four-prong “Dryer” cable. Definitely something to note if you are speccing out your electrical connections.
View attachment 690724
The 4-prong connection is needed to provide a neutral for the 120v receptacles on the controller.
 

Telegraph

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The 4-prong connection is needed to provide a neutral for the 120v receptacles on the controller.
Oh, totally understood, I just expected a M/F 14-30 (4wire) twistlock (i.e. like a generator extension cable) not a 4-wire dryer plug.
Because of that I actually hand made and wired up a dryer pigtail to a 14-30 twist lock receptacle (functionally equivalent to what was in the box), which is why I brought it up.
 

Punx Clever

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Knocked out my first batch on the Solo today. 11 gallon batch of a 1.034 OG Light American Lager. Planned for 75% efficiency and hit it right on the nose. Couple notes:

I'm using a Hop Stopper to keep junk out of a plate chiller, so no whirlpool for me. I used the whirlpool port for mash recirculation, and on the next batch I'm going to just attach the butterfly valve directly to the kettle.

When recirculating, my flow rate was too high at first. I was pumping wort back into the basket faster than it would drain out the bottom. Make sure you keep an eye on that, especially with smaller batches. It would be easy to pump enough wort out of the main kettle and dry-fire the element or overflow the basket.

I don't like the silicone tube for recirculation. I'm switching things around to be able to use lock-line. A pass-though 1.5" TC / 1/2" NPT fitting with a male ball-lock QD on the outside will do the trick.

Lifting the basket at the end of the mash surprised me. I'm glad I had a hoist. Took quite a while for all the wort to drain through the grain bed, so the basket was pretty dang heavy. I could see someone throwing out their back if they tried to lift the basket on a big batch by themselves.



Don't mind how the hoses are hooked up... they are just there so they aren't flopping around.
 

IceChisel

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It's dissappointing/unfortunate that they went with a 4 wire plug as opposed to the 3 wire 220v w/ a separate 120v circuit like the SSbrewtech controller. I thought the original controller was 3 wire. This definitely takes this system off my list. (Of course maybe the controller could just be rewired to accommodate those type of connections.)
 
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