Hesitating Help

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Hesitating Help

Unread postby Doingatun » Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:22 am

Having chronic back and spine issues, I feel a BM would make my brew day less painful, initially wanting to order a 20L BM, Jacket, cooler, and hop sieve, for a while now, hesitating as I read the modification posts, tap replacement, under sized malt pipe top filter, requiring edge seal, useless hop sieve requiring replacement to name a few, together with the BM works with hop pellets as against loose hops.

Confused, going around in circles......don't really want to carry out any mods on this expensive kit or buy anything that doesn't work, assuming a thermal jacket and cooler a necessity, unsure about the hop sieve and what to get, what hops to use, I'd like the option to use loose or pellet? also is the stainless steel hood worth getting.

Cheers.
Last edited by Doingatun on Thu Oct 29, 2015 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hesitating Help

Unread postby LMoerkens » Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:41 am

Hello there, modifications can be done, but I bet that 80-90% of the BM users brew great beer without any modifications. Dependent on your ambient temperature, a jacket will help with the boil, but I have been brewing without a problem without it. Maybe I am missing something, but the standard configuration has done the job for me.
The BM simplifies the brewing process and more important the cleaning process while producing great beer and allows you to control the mashing process (together with the yeast one of the most important aspects to taste) perfectly.
:beer:
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Re: Hesitating Help

Unread postby Erick » Thu Oct 29, 2015 12:05 pm

I Agree.
I have the BM20 for 2 years now without modifications, works perfectly for me.
I do use the BM hop sieve without problems, I only use loose hops, if I wanted to use pellets i would use a simple hopbag.
I do use the Jacket as it wil see to a quicker boil.
A hood is optional, I don't have one but I might buy one in the future as an upgrade, It's a hobby isn't is? They do cost money sometimes but that's part of the fun.
:cheers:
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Re: Hesitating Help

Unread postby Aleman » Thu Oct 29, 2015 12:16 pm

The hop filter is only for use with whole hops, and doesn't do a great job with that . . It can be modded to make it more effective (#30 mesh wrapped around it)

The BM is supposed to work brilliantly with pellets as is. you just get a fast whirlpool going after cooling, give it 30 minutes, then run off though the tap, and when tipping you still get more wort out than you do with whole hops. I get around 3-5L 'lost' when using whole hops.

I brew with my BM un modded. I might get some silicone edging for the fiter plates, but it doesn't appear essential to me yet . . .but then I haven't sliced myself open on the edges yet :D

I don't have a jacket but made a poor mans version using a camping mat . . .essential for me as I brew outside . . it works, just doesn't look pretty.

The stainless hood I actually think is essential, firstly as a grain funnel it makes mashing in so much easier and cleaner, and during the boil it maintains a good rolling boil and no boil overs.

I will admit to hankering after the Springer Filter, but it is not supposed to work well with pellet hops, which is what I've swapped to after loosing so much to whole hops. . . . having said that a simple 90 bend pick up tube will also solve the need of having to tip the BM.

I am happy with the tap, and have no issues with it, I know others have replaced the tap . . .but that is more to connect to other pieces of kit in the brewery . . . I use a 10" length off silicone hose into my FV. I now cool using a coil in the FV rather than my Big FO plate chiller.

I have completely simplified my brewing process with the BM and just love brewing nowadays
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Re: Hesitating Help

Unread postby mbarn » Thu Oct 29, 2015 12:20 pm

Did you BIAB before?
The one aspect of the BM which I find far easier on my arms and back is the Malt Pipe. Lifting and resting on the stands is significantly easier and less messy than trying to hold and squeeze a hot bag of wet grain. This is where your spinal discomfort would be less apparent.

I cannot personally comment on the mods/optional extras, since I've not done enough brews for my comments to have validity. I will, however be buying the cheap rubber seal, as grain was visible in the water from the first brew.

One thing I have found with the BM is it is much harder to clean than my previous BIAB system!
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Re: Hesitating Help

Unread postby Erick » Thu Oct 29, 2015 12:25 pm

So many brewers, so many opinions... :)
I guess you'll have to ask yourself what's imported in your situation.
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Re: Hesitating Help

Unread postby kahobro » Thu Oct 29, 2015 12:29 pm

mbarn wrote:One thing I have found with the BM is it is much harder to clean than my previous BIAB system!

I have no experience with BIAB but if you use PBW and let that circulate with the pump for 15 min at 55 °C cleaning is a breeze!
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Re: Hesitating Help

Unread postby dinnerstick » Thu Oct 29, 2015 1:11 pm

I pretty much agree with the others- some of the mods are cool, and/or for fun, and some improve the BM for some people's particular situation, but they are by no means universally necessary. I did in the end go with a tap modification as it increases the flow, but I used the standard tap for years. It works. Some sort of thermal jacket is pretty well regarded as essential, I have the spediel factory one but as other say a camping/yoga mat one will do fine. Your need for a hood may depend more on where you are brewing and how you ventilate. If you brew indoors you can have the hood connected to an extractor fan. I installed a stovetop extractor fan above my brew stand, and I don't have any use for a hood. I don't (and have never) used any mods to the filter plates or screens. They work fine for me as they are. It's true that the odd grain here and there can escape through but it doesn't matter. If you are brewing beers with huge amounts of hops then even for pellets I recommend some sort of containment, a spider/strainer, or even simple hop bags. A small amount of pellet hop loose in the kettle is fine but really large amounts quickly become troublesome if you want to run the pump during chilling. If not then you can free range all your pellet hops. Whole hops I always contain, for years I used hop bags, they do the trick. But I did get a nice hop strainer recently.
That's my 2 cents, good luck.
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Re: Hesitating Help

Unread postby mashy » Thu Oct 29, 2015 1:21 pm

Agree. The BM works out of the box. Run with it and you will find your own way. Different strokes for different folks (and different styles of beer).

Thinking about your back issue has made me think about updating my write-up "fast beer" (probably should have called it "easy beer") - you need to stand it on a beer crate for best working height, so you can lift the malt pipe out easily.

I would (& did ) buy the BM & the thermojacket. The happened along the way.
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Re: Hesitating Help

Unread postby ibbones » Thu Oct 29, 2015 4:16 pm

Doingatun wrote:Having chronic back spine issues, I feel a BM would make my brew day less painful,

Cheers.

That is why I ended up with the awesome Braumeister. I had the 3v system and sometimes did the double batch with a keggle. The only problem is that I had some days where I could not move any more and right after transferring into the bucket, I walked away and would clean up in a few days. Wife was unhappy and I hurt too bad to even want to brew.
I saw the BM on a few YouTube videos and read a lot about it. I thought it would work for me but the $$$$ would not let me get one. I started saving $5.00 here and $20.00 there and 18 months later I got a 20L. My first mod was to get a power cord since I am in the USA. First mod done, and ...I am through. The tap runs slow but it helps the splashing to get some air into the wort.
I have not touched my old brewing stuff (need to sell it) in the last year since I started with the BM. You will not regret getting one and make life better. :cheers:
"BONES"
20 Liter BM
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Re: Hesitating Help

Unread postby Wezzel » Thu Oct 29, 2015 5:20 pm

Mine works fine unmodded. Some people just like to tinker. Some mods are useful, others less so but the BM works perfectly straight out of the box.

I use the BM hop strainer with either whole hops or a mix of whole and pellets and it works perfectly. I've never had a blockage and get clear wort into the FV.
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Re: Hesitating Help

Unread postby Doingatun » Thu Oct 29, 2015 7:43 pm

Wow, many thanks for all your very helpful replies one and all.

I now feel reassured enough to make a purchase, looking forward to easier, less painful, enjoyable brewing.
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Hesitating Help

Unread postby mbarn » Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:19 pm

kahobro wrote:
mbarn wrote:One thing I have found with the BM is it is much harder to clean than my previous BIAB system!

I have no experience with BIAB but if you use PBW and let that circulate with the pump for 15 min at 55 °C cleaning is a breeze!


The concealed element vs. BM open one is a big part!
I use the branded cleaning pack. Will have to give PBW a go, thanks.
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Re: Hesitating Help

Unread postby Doingatun » Wed Nov 04, 2015 7:45 pm

Hi thanks to your encouragement, I now have a BM nervously waiting for it’s first brew. I had a simple Bitter brew lined up a while ago for my 3V set up I couldn’t face starting, more pain than pleasure, I now wish to do it in my BM.

Pale Malt 3500g
Crystal 259g
Wheat Malt 150g
Black Malt 25g

Mash 90m at 670
Boil 60m

Challenger 27g at 60m
Goldings 15g at 15m

Seems strange not doing a 90m mash at 67c Trying to get my head around step mashing, can’t find any guidance on what suits what brew?, would this be ok for first trial to check out how it all works?

Mashing 38c
1. Protein Rest 52c 15m
2. Maltose Rest 63c 30m
3. Sugar Rest 1 73c 30m
4. Sugar Rest 2 78c 15m
5. Mash out 78c 15m
Boil 100c 60m
Hops 60m / 15m / 0m

Cheers
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Re: Hesitating Help

Unread postby dinnerstick » Thu Nov 05, 2015 7:27 am

that's a very normal step mash schedule, looks fine.
my (admittedly unsolicited) 2 cents: i don't usually do many steps for uk-type beers, or anything that's mostly my 'house' base malt of TF golden promise; i'll generally dough in at 50-54 because it's easier to stir, and then ramp straight up to a single sacc rest, whatever your single infusion rest would have been, and then i always do a mashout at 78 for easier lautering because i can. there are many beers that will benefit from various specific rests but i don't think a simple bitter like this is one of them! on the other hand, no harm done and it wil get you used to the procedure (of waiting there while the BM does the adjustments)!

also your 'sugar rest 2' is already a mashout temp, enzymes are dead pretty quickly. but there's no harm in a 30 min mashout.

also also, most set the boil temp to the highest possible (102). at least on the older models (did they ever fix this oddity?) this was required to get a strong boil. it doesn't get up to 102, it just makes sure it stays at 100.

good luck and it should come out great.
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