Author Topic: Getting Ready to Brew Again  (Read 1055 times)

Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: Getting Ready to Brew Again
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2021, 04:09:15 AM »
How do you brew with only two vessels?  Where do you hold your sparge water?  If you hold it in your kettle, how do you collect your wort? 

I can see the advantage of all-in-one systems for people who have to setup and break down their gear every time they brew.  I used to have to drag my gear up from my basement to my kitchen (mashing and lautering) and my garage (boiling).  Having to setup everything and then put it away was drag. Now, everything is in my garage, including my utility sink.  I will say that a 10-gallon Igloo cooler with a false bottom and valve setup is definitely more of a chore than a 5-gallon Igloo cooler with with a false and valve setup.  I understand that the SS Brewtech mash tun is over 30lbs empty.  I would hate to have to hump that out to my compost pile with 12lbs of grain and 12lbs of water.  The 10-gallon Igloo MLT is bad enough.  The 5-gallon Igloo MLT with 12lbs of grain and 12lbs of water is significantly easier to move because it is not as bulky or as heavy as the 10-gallon, but that is the limit of the tun.

Offline tommymorris

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Getting Ready to Brew Again
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2021, 04:38:34 PM »
For my low tech no frills setup I mash in my boil kettle with a BIAB bag and heat sparge water in a second pot. I batch sparge. I runoff into a bucket. I have to wait until I have first and second runnings before I can pour the wort into the boil kettle to start heating. I suppose it’s awkward but it works fine for me and my 3rd vessel (bucket) cost about $5.

Online narcout

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Re: Getting Ready to Brew Again
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2021, 05:51:24 PM »
How do you brew with only two vessels?  Where do you hold your sparge water?  If you hold it in your kettle, how do you collect your wort?

I do a Hockkurz mash and don't sparge.  So I heat the water for the infusions in the kettle and then gravity drain to the mash tun.  When the mash is done, I either put the kettle on the floor and use gravity to do a manual vorlauf and transfer (which then requires lifting the kettle back up to the burner) or I hook up a pump and use that to vorlauf and transfer.

I have two additional kettles from previous incarnations of my setup, so I can add an extra vessel and sparge if I want to, but I don't really see the point anymore.

I can see the advantage of all-in-one systems for people who have to setup and break down their gear every time they brew.  I used to have to drag my gear up from my basement to my kitchen (mashing and lautering) and my garage (boiling).  Having to setup everything and then put it away was drag.

That's the situation I'm in now.  I could install a utility sink in the garage and get a Grainfather or something similar, but I'm fine with things as they are for the time being.

I understand that the SS Brewtech mash tun is over 30lbs empty.  I would hate to have to hump that out to my compost pile with 12lbs of grain and 12lbs of water.

Since it's sitting right here, I just weighed it and it's 32.2 lbs. empty (including the lid).  I use a filter bag in the mash, so I scoop about half of the spent grains into a trash bag lined bucket and then upend the bag into it.  I do feel bad about throwing spent grains into the trash though.  Now that we've got a decent sized property, I should look into composting.
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Offline denny

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Re: Getting Ready to Brew Again
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2021, 05:52:47 PM »
How do you brew with only two vessels?  Where do you hold your sparge water?  If you hold it in your kettle, how do you collect your wort? 

I can see the advantage of all-in-one systems for people who have to setup and break down their gear every time they brew.  I used to have to drag my gear up from my basement to my kitchen (mashing and lautering) and my garage (boiling).  Having to setup everything and then put it away was drag. Now, everything is in my garage, including my utility sink.  I will say that a 10-gallon Igloo cooler with a false bottom and valve setup is definitely more of a chore than a 5-gallon Igloo cooler with with a false and valve setup.  I understand that the SS Brewtech mash tun is over 30lbs empty.  I would hate to have to hump that out to my compost pile with 12lbs of grain and 12lbs of water.  The 10-gallon Igloo MLT is bad enough.  The 5-gallon Igloo MLT with 12lbs of grain and 12lbs of water is significantly easier to move because it is not as bulky or as heavy as the 10-gallon, but that is the limit of the tun.

My gear is permanently set up and there are still a lot of advantages to an all in one for me.
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Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: Getting Ready to Brew Again
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2021, 09:41:37 PM »
My gear is permanently set up and there are still a lot of advantages to an all in one for me.

I am sure there are advantages, but there are also downsides to all-in-ones.  There pros and cons for all of the different brewing configurations.  The main pros I hear from people who have switched to all-in-ones is that reduce the amount of lugging and cleaning.   The lugging pro I get whereas I do not get the cleaning pro.  A mash tun is no more difficult to clean than a malt pipe, at least not a mash tun with a removable false bottom. I am certain that the digital control on the Grainfather is nice, so is being able to perform a step mash without having to resort to boiling water infusions.

Offline denny

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Re: Getting Ready to Brew Again
« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2021, 10:05:01 PM »
My gear is permanently set up and there are still a lot of advantages to an all in one for me.

I am sure there are advantages, but there are also downsides to all-in-ones.  There pros and cons for all of the different brewing configurations.  The main pros I hear from people who have switched to all-in-ones is that reduce the amount of lugging and cleaning.   The lugging pro I get whereas I do not get the cleaning pro.  A mash tun is no more difficult to clean than a malt pipe, at least not a mash tun with a removable false bottom. I am certain that the digital control on the Grainfather is nice, so is being able to perform a step mash without having to resort to boiling water infusions.

One of the main things I like about is that it's much faster and easier to clean than my cooler/kettle system.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline majorvices

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Re: Getting Ready to Brew Again
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2021, 12:25:58 AM »
Clean up is way faster. Then all tucks away for compact storage. And the brewday is fast too.

Offline RC

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Re: Getting Ready to Brew Again
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2021, 01:15:26 AM »
I had a brief tryst with an all-in-one brewing machine. It did not go well. We constantly argued. It was the 120v Brewzilla. At the end of the day, we just didn't want the same things.

I mainly bought it for step mashing. But the recirculation was hit and miss. No matter what I did with the crush, the pump would clog and stop. I had to watch the recirculation like a hawk or it would clog/stop, and the wort would scorch. It defeated the purpose of having an all-in-one. It turned into a frustrating battle of wills. I sent the darn thing back. We're still friends though.

Offline brewsumore

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Re: Getting Ready to Brew Again
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2021, 03:51:42 AM »
I've been following this thread, and thinking for a long time that an all-in-one would be a nice option to have.  I've been doing mostly 10-gal batches, batch sparging, for the last 16 years.  So, this afternoon I called my LHBS and am headed over there tomorrow to pick up an Anvil Foundry 10.5 gal (5 gal batch size), with pump.  8) 
« Last Edit: March 15, 2021, 03:53:33 AM by brewsumore »

Offline denny

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Re: Getting Ready to Brew Again
« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2021, 03:02:19 PM »
I had a brief tryst with an all-in-one brewing machine. It did not go well. We constantly argued. It was the 120v Brewzilla. At the end of the day, we just didn't want the same things.

I mainly bought it for step mashing. But the recirculation was hit and miss. No matter what I did with the crush, the pump would clog and stop. I had to watch the recirculation like a hawk or it would clog/stop, and the wort would scorch. It defeated the purpose of having an all-in-one. It turned into a frustrating battle of wills. I sent the darn thing back. We're still friends though.

I had one or those for a while.  I gve it away for pretty much the same reasons.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline majorvices

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Re: Getting Ready to Brew Again
« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2021, 04:41:09 PM »
I had a brief tryst with an all-in-one brewing machine. It did not go well. We constantly argued. It was the 120v Brewzilla. At the end of the day, we just didn't want the same things.

I mainly bought it for step mashing. But the recirculation was hit and miss. No matter what I did with the crush, the pump would clog and stop. I had to watch the recirculation like a hawk or it would clog/stop, and the wort would scorch. It defeated the purpose of having an all-in-one. It turned into a frustrating battle of wills. I sent the darn thing back. We're still friends though.

I wonder if the newer version is better? I have the BrewZilla 120V and the recirc on that thing is a dream for me. I can see how step mashing could be difficult though unless you just ramp up through all the temps.

I literally have had no problems with mine except for the fact that the temperature takes a while to even out since the probe is on the bottom.

I will add, it was a gift and not actually the one I wanted. But I've been very pleased with it since.

**** I will add, mine wasn't a gift from denny ... unfortunately we ain't that tight!  ;)
« Last Edit: March 15, 2021, 05:20:42 PM by majorvices »

Offline denny

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Re: Getting Ready to Brew Again
« Reply #26 on: March 15, 2021, 05:31:33 PM »
I had a brief tryst with an all-in-one brewing machine. It did not go well. We constantly argued. It was the 120v Brewzilla. At the end of the day, we just didn't want the same things.

I mainly bought it for step mashing. But the recirculation was hit and miss. No matter what I did with the crush, the pump would clog and stop. I had to watch the recirculation like a hawk or it would clog/stop, and the wort would scorch. It defeated the purpose of having an all-in-one. It turned into a frustrating battle of wills. I sent the darn thing back. We're still friends though.

I wonder if the newer version is better? I have the BrewZilla 120V and the recirc on that thing is a dream for me. I can see how step mashing could be difficult though unless you just ramp up through all the temps.

I literally have had no problems with mine except for the fact that the temperature takes a while to even out since the probe is on the bottom.

I will add, it was a gift and not actually the one I wanted. But I've been very pleased with it since.

**** I will add, mine wasn't a gift from denny ... unfortunately we ain't that tight!  ;)

Problem is that we aren't that geographically close!  And the one I used and got rid of was an early model.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline PORTERHAUS

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Re: Getting Ready to Brew Again
« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2021, 06:16:12 PM »
I had a brief tryst with an all-in-one brewing machine. It did not go well. We constantly argued. It was the 120v Brewzilla. At the end of the day, we just didn't want the same things.

I mainly bought it for step mashing. But the recirculation was hit and miss. No matter what I did with the crush, the pump would clog and stop. I had to watch the recirculation like a hawk or it would clog/stop, and the wort would scorch. It defeated the purpose of having an all-in-one. It turned into a frustrating battle of wills. I sent the darn thing back. We're still friends though.

I wonder if the newer version is better? I have the BrewZilla 120V and the recirc on that thing is a dream for me. I can see how step mashing could be difficult though unless you just ramp up through all the temps.

I literally have had no problems with mine except for the fact that the temperature takes a while to even out since the probe is on the bottom.

I will add, it was a gift and not actually the one I wanted. But I've been very pleased with it since.

**** I will add, mine wasn't a gift from denny ... unfortunately we ain't that tight!  ;)


I got the RoboBrew 3.0 right before they changed over to the BrewZilla and Versions 3.1 and 3.1.1 which was basically just some controller upgrades. I love mine, I have heard some having issues with them, but not a one with mine. If I was to do it all over, I would be happy to buy another, but I might look more into the Anvil because of slightly more capacity, slightly more power and better controller.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Getting Ready to Brew Again
« Reply #28 on: March 15, 2021, 10:22:27 PM »

Problem is that we aren't that geographically close!  And the one I used and got rid of was an early model.
Hahahaha -- started sounding cryptic though - you giving one away ... me receiving one as a gift.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Getting Ready to Brew Again
« Reply #29 on: March 15, 2021, 10:26:29 PM »


I got the RoboBrew 3.0 right before they changed over to the BrewZilla and Versions 3.1 and 3.1.1 which was basically just some controller upgrades. I love mine, I have heard some having issues with them, but not a one with mine. If I was to do it all over, I would be happy to buy another, but I might look more into the Anvil because of slightly more capacity, slightly more power and better controller.

yeah I was impressed from day one how clear the wort gets with the screen set up they have. I definitely have to fiddle with the pump valve top adjust the vorlauf flow at first especially if it is a gummy mash. But it isn't a problem.