About to take the plunge!

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About to take the plunge!

Unread postby HopBomb » Sat May 24, 2014 11:35 am

I'm from the UK and have been grain brewing since 1978, and during that time must have tried just about every bit of commercial and homemade kit known to man in the pursuit of brewing excellence.

And until I heard about the Braumeister, I've been a happy man, mashing and sparging and boiling in buckets and bins and tins and things to my heart's content.

But, as I imagine has been the case with many here, since coming across a YouTube video demonstrating the Braumeister a couple of years ago I just haven't been able to get the infernal machine out of my mind! It's been occupying almost every waking (and many non-waking) moments, and enough is enough!

I HAVE TO BUY ONE!

I plan to order one sometime next week after having a thorough read through this excellent forum. Currently, the only question in my mind is:

20L or 50L?

The style of beers I like to brew these days are hoppy IPAs and APAs with an OG of around 1060. I used to make a lot of stronger beers with a homemade 50L setup, but to be honest these days it's more a question of feeding my hop addiction and achieving maximum flavour from a lower gravity brew, rather than blow-your-mind alcohol content. (That said, I do have a massive weak spot for the big boys. Magic Rock Unhuman Cannonball, Sierra Nevada Hoptimum, BrewDog Hardcore IPA are a few of my faves.)

From a swift browse of the threads here, it seems that the 20L model is capable of servicing my needs, though with the amount of hard-earned being invested I need to make sure I'm going for the right one and won't regret not buying the 50L model later down the line.

Okay, time to get back to the research!

Cheers

Gary
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Re: About to take the plunge!

Unread postby royco » Sat May 24, 2014 11:55 am

Hi HopBomb and welcome to the forum.
It's a simple economic decision; if you have spare cash it's worth going for the big boy and getting a short malt pipe to do small brews. It is a big investment but I was lucky and found a used one for the price of the 20L. Whichever one you get you will have great fun and will enjoy the ease of operation.
Cheers, Roy
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Re: About to take the plunge!

Unread postby HopBomb » Sat May 24, 2014 2:26 pm

Thanks Roy. Sound advice.

I've been on the lookout for a secondhand BM for a while but they seem to be rare beasts, so will probably have to go for a shiny new one.

On which note, of the two main UK suppliers (Vigo / BrewUK) is there one that's preferred over the other for service / value?
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Re: About to take the plunge!

Unread postby Sportyone » Sat May 24, 2014 3:36 pm

Hi Gary,
I bought a 50 litre version a couple of weeks ago from Brew uk, I did look at Vigo also, no real difference in price and everything arrived to my satisfaction.
What swayed me toward Brew uk was the fact that I enrolled on one of their brewday's training courses and seen the Braumeister in action. From that moment I was hooked. I bought a multitude of equipment from them as I'm a complete novice and had no equipment whatsoever, now time to get down and do some brewing lol.

The owner of Brew uk is called Greg, very helpful.

Stephen
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Re: About to take the plunge!

Unread postby HopBomb » Sat May 24, 2014 5:42 pm

Many thanks for that, Stephen. Always good to get a recommendation from a satisfied customer!

Cheers

Gary
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Re: About to take the plunge!

Unread postby BrauTim » Sat May 24, 2014 7:58 pm

Welcome Gary. There is more to the 20/50L decision than just price....

Swigginpig loves to brew as often as poss (usually once a week I believe) and drops his 20L batch into a keg and serves from his multitude of kegs, I've no idea how he gets through that amount of beer, I'm assuming he does alot of sharing with a bunch of friends that love beer :D So if you like to brew alot, have the fermenters, want lots of variety, drink or share lots then a 20L could be your choice.

If you're a bit like myself with a 50BM, I'll brew a recipe for the first time with the short malt pipe, and if I like it then I'll do a 50L similar batch, I only get to brew around once a month on average so I just about keep on top of stocks, but one or two occasional weekends of sharing beer with friends can sometimes see my fridge rapidly emptying of beer, I manage to save a few bottles of beer that should really be matured for 6 months and more, but most of it gets drunk before it has matured properly :drink:

Then if you fancy trying something different like cooking ribs sous vide, then the 50BM will give you enough space to do two monster racks of ribs in one go....see the sous vide thread here

:beer:
To brew or not to brew, that would be a stupid question !
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Re: About to take the plunge!

Unread postby Dicko » Sat May 24, 2014 10:40 pm

BrauTim wrote:Welcome Gary. There is more to the 20/50L decision than just price....

Swigginpig loves to brew as often as poss (usually once a week I believe) and drops his 20L batch into a keg and serves from his multitude of kegs, I've no idea how he gets through that amount of beer, I'm assuming he does alot of sharing with a bunch of friends that love beer :D So if you like to brew alot, have the fermenters, want lots of variety, drink or share lots then a 20L could be your choice.

If you're a bit like myself with a 50BM, I'll brew a recipe for the first time with the short malt pipe, and if I like it then I'll do a 50L similar batch, I only get to brew around once a month on average so I just about keep on top of stocks, but one or two occasional weekends of sharing beer with friends can sometimes see my fridge rapidly emptying of beer, I manage to save a few bottles of beer that should really be matured for 6 months and more, but most of it gets drunk before it has matured properly :drink:

Then if you fancy trying something different like cooking ribs sous vide, then the 50BM will give you enough space to do two monster racks of ribs in one go....see the sous vide thread here

:beer:


BrauTim has pretty well summed it up above.
Another point you may need to consider is that the 50 litre model needs a power supply of 15 amps while the 20 litre model only needs a 10 amp supply.
This can be a problem if renting a home as a landlord may not want to run a separate power supply for the 15 amp supply.
In Australia this can pose a problem...
The worst thing that can happen if I die is that my wife will sell all my brewing equipment for what I told her I paid for it
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Re: About to take the plunge!

Unread postby HopBomb » Sun May 25, 2014 8:15 am

Thanks BrauTim and Dicko. More food for thought - literally! Love the ribs sous verde!

As for power supply, I hadn't thought about that, though I think I should be okay in the UK? I'll definitely look into it before buying, as I'm not too good when it comes to electrical matters (having been blown across far too many rooms in my time clutching a smouldering screwdriver).
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Re: About to take the plunge!

Unread postby swiggingpig » Mon May 26, 2014 9:22 am

Dicko wrote:
BrauTim wrote:Welcome Gary. There is more to the 20/50L decision than just price....

Swigginpig loves to brew as often as poss (usually once a week I believe) and drops his 20L batch into a keg and serves from his multitude of kegs, I've no idea how he gets through that amount of beer, I'm assuming he does alot of sharing with a bunch of friends that love beer :D So if you like to brew alot, have the fermenters, want lots of variety, drink or share lots then a 20L could be your choice.

I don't have a drink problem, HONEST !! :lol:
But I do love to share my beers and as BrauTim mentions I love variety so I brew as often as possible. :D
Dicko wrote:
BrauTim wrote:If you're a bit like myself with a 50BM, I'll brew a recipe for the first time with the short malt pipe, and if I like it then I'll do a 50L similar batch, I only get to brew around once a month on average so I just about keep on top of stocks, but one or two occasional weekends of sharing beer with friends can sometimes see my fridge rapidly emptying of beer, I manage to save a few bottles of beer that should really be matured for 6 months and more, but most of it gets drunk before it has matured properly :drink:

Then if you fancy trying something different like cooking ribs sous vide, then the 50BM will give you enough space to do two monster racks of ribs in one go....see the sous vide thread here

:beer:

BrauTim has pretty well summed it up above.

Image
Dicko wrote:Another point you may need to consider is that the 50 litre model needs a power supply of 15 amps while the 20 litre model only needs a 10 amp supply.
This can be a problem if renting a home as a landlord may not want to run a separate power supply for the 15 amp supply.
In Australia this can pose a problem...

HopBomb wrote:As for power supply, I hadn't thought about that, though I think I should be okay in the UK? I'll definitely look into it before buying, as I'm not too good when it comes to electrical matters (having been blown across far too many rooms in my time clutching a smouldering screwdriver).

The standard domestic ring main in the UK is only rated to 13AMPs so the 50L version would require an electrician to provide a suitable outlet for it's use.
:cheers:
20L BM with Jacket and Copper Hood
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Re: About to take the plunge!

Unread postby BrauTim » Mon May 26, 2014 1:28 pm

swiggingpig wrote:The standard domestic ring main in the UK is only rated to 13AMPs so the 50L version would require an electrician to provide a suitable outlet for it's use.
:cheers:


I'm not going to condone my current configuration of my electricity supply with the 50BM, but I just plug into a standard 13amp 3pin (UK) socket via a commando to 3 pin converter, my wiring is already 30A and my RCD is 32A. the plug does get warm during the boil (doesn't get warm at all during the mash) and in 10+ brews I've not had any problems, I am checking the BM during the boil anyway, but I'm confident about leaving the BM running unattended during mash (or 48hr Sous Vide!).

Having said that, upgrading to a commando socket is on my list of things to do :beer:
To brew or not to brew, that would be a stupid question !
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Re: About to take the plunge!

Unread postby hughjampton » Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:05 pm

I'm in the same boat. I was perfectly happy with my 4 pot system (HLT, MT, Boiler, FV) until I saw some videos of the BM on Youtube and talked to somebody who has one. Space saving is a big consideration but the ease of use and less cleaning has sold it to me. The 20L will meet my needs but I'll probably end up buying the 50L with the short malt pipe. The bigger capacity will be there if I need it.
When the chill sciroco blows, and winter tells a heavy tale
When pies, and daws, and rooks and crows do sit and curse the frost and snows
Then give me ale.
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