A noob looking into a purchase.

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A noob looking into a purchase.

Unread postby Floodster » Tue May 13, 2014 8:03 am

Hi all,

I have been reading a lot regarding the Braumeisters over the past few days and I am getting very tempted. At the moment I have a very basic 3 tier setup with only 8 all grains under my belt (some went ok others not so well, but all drinkable!).
I have a few worries regarding the purchase though which I am hoping you may well be able to help me with.

1) I am a noob. 8 all grains as I say so not very much experience. With the different mashing stages it scares me slightly as I don’t completely understand them. Would you recommend someone with limited knowledge spending a lot of money on a Braumeister?

2) I have mainly been doing English Ales (such as Old Peculier, Timothy Taylor Landlord, J W Lees Bitter etc). Is there actually just a standard mashing setting that can be used so I wouldn’t have to worry about it for now until I am more experienced?

3) Warranty\Support – Obviously with such a high price for the Braumeister I want it to last a long time before needing to replace anything. What is the warranty like on it? And if you have had to contact Speidel (or the supplier) how did you find it?

4) Does the Braumeister make that much of a difference to the finished product compared to a 3 tier system?

Thanks in advance.
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Re: A noob looking into a purchase.

Unread postby piet_v » Tue May 13, 2014 8:41 am

Hi Floodster, how is life under the crooked spire ?

1) If you are sure you are going to continue the hobby, YES
2) The Speidel makes multi-step mashes easy, but obviously you can just continue with single-step mashes.
3) No idea, but have never heard people complain
4) Well, it's the player who scores the goal, not the shoe ... The Braumeister is a compact, easy to use system, no DIY required. Perfect for me.

kr.
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Re: A noob looking into a purchase.

Unread postby niels » Tue May 13, 2014 8:51 am

First of all: Welcome! If you are tempted to buy a BM, you should do it! But before spending the money you'll have to do some research. It is a wonderful system but has its limitations (as does every system). If you think the advantages outweigh the limitation you simply have to bite the bullet.

As for your questions:
1/ The BM is easy to use, so it doesn't require advanced brewing knowledge to handle it. Because of the steep price you must be pretty sure you like brewing before purchasing it. This is a big investment for a hobby that you might get tired of in a few months...

2/ Regarding the mashing schedules: There is a separate sub-forum where mashing schedules are discussed. The BM makes it possible to easily experiment with mash schedules as you simply program them and the computer unit does all the magic for you. This means you can also simply do a single-step mash too...
There are a few good books to get started with. A quote of myself from the the thread "Good Brewing Book":
niels wrote:My recommendation: start with How to Brew and add Brewing Classic Styles as a second book to your library. You can buy both and start skimming through BCS while getting familiar with brewing techniques through HTB. BCS will be a good reference for proven recipes in every BJCP style so you can just start brewing whatever style you like.


3/ Warranty claims and support are of very high standards at Speidel. I still need to find the first bad customer experience (with Speidel) online... Speidel takes there business serious and although not all resellers are rated very high all users who handled with Speidel are pleased with their service. There are some members of the forum who can confirm this (and I am one of them). Contacting Speidel is as easy as e-mailing them.

4/ The main advantages of the Braumeister are the easy of use, the small footprint, the limited clean-up after brewing and the consistency you get out of your brews. Although experienced brewers can brew consistent on their 3-tier system, the BM makes it possible from the first brew.

Hopefully I answered your questions a bit. Please feel free to ask follow-ups or point out things I left unanswered!

:beer:
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Re: A noob looking into a purchase.

Unread postby dinnerstick » Tue May 13, 2014 3:42 pm

agree with all of the above. speidel customer service is shockingly good. they send out replacement parts free and quickly. it's not 'better' than a 3 tier system, but it's a lot more convenient for many of us. i for example don't have the space.
when i'm mashing loads of maris otter and english crystal i do the equivalent of single infusion. when i'm doing flaked oat and unmalted wheat and the like, i have the freedom to easily hit different rests. but you don't need to understand any of that to use the machine, just follow a recipe at first and experiment with the temps later. the BM lets you focus on the important bit- the fermentation.
i would only avoid getting it if you are going to be making mostly super high gravity (>1.080) beers, you can do them on the BM but it's not in its comfort zone. but even those a few times a year, no problem.
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Re: A noob looking into a purchase.

Unread postby Fritzkellerbrau » Tue May 13, 2014 5:07 pm

Hi Floodster

I went through the same evaluation process, except I am leaping straight from extract brewing to full grain. It's exactly because of the BM "ease" of process that I have gone with this much more expensive option than, for example, a three tier gravity fed, gas fired system. Programming the temperature and time profiles is the key benefit for me.

Also the "all-in-one" container is attractive to me.

I have done a lot of research and reading on brewing - I feel pretty confident to do my first all grain brew on my BM when it arrives :?

Can't comment on BM support! but certainly have seen only positive comments made. Local agent (in SA) is not inspiring me - no response to emails, with me having to follow up telephonically on status of my order (probably 6 to 8 weeks still as it has to go sea freight).

So, boils down to a question of appetite to make large investment into what is a hobby. :drink: :D
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Re: A noob looking into a purchase.

Unread postby BrauTim » Tue May 13, 2014 7:47 pm

Floodster wrote:1) I am a noob. 8 all grains as I say so not very much experience. With the different mashing stages it scares me slightly as I don’t completely understand them. Would you recommend someone with limited knowledge spending a lot of money on a Braumeister?


8 AG brews is plenty of experience! You don't need tons of experience to brew single infusion brews, just follow the recipe, ask questions and get some good advice from the experience on here and elsewhere, it's difficult to make bad wort with any system, it's extremely difficult to produce bad wort with the Braumeister!

2) I have mainly been doing English Ales (such as Old Peculier, Timothy Taylor Landlord, J W Lees Bitter etc). Is there actually just a standard mashing setting that can be used so I wouldn’t have to worry about it for now until I am more experienced?


Yep, just the same as with the 3v setup - dough in @ 66/67/68°C (pick one) for 90 mins, 78°C mashout, onto the boil 90 mins.

4) Does the Braumeister make that much of a difference to the finished product compared to a 3 tier system?


Difficult to answer that one, too many variables in fermentation and packaging etc to make side-by-side comparisons. Repeatability is a goal, not always achievable even with the BM, but brew differences is a feature of homebrewing even with the same recipe, schedules and fermentation etc and for me is another great aspect of this hobby.
To brew or not to brew, that would be a stupid question !
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Re: A noob looking into a purchase.

Unread postby swiggingpig » Thu May 15, 2014 6:43 pm

Hi Floodster, I live not far from you in Huddersfield, you're welcome to come and view one in the 'flesh' if you wish ?
20L BM with Jacket and Copper Hood
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Re: A noob looking into a purchase.

Unread postby Cervantes » Thu May 15, 2014 11:26 pm

Floodster wrote:
1) I am a noob. 8 all grains as I say so not very much experience. With the different mashing stages it scares me slightly as I don’t completely understand them. Would you recommend someone with limited knowledge spending a lot of money on a Braumeister?



I'd only ever done a handful of kit brews before jumping in the deep end and buying a 20 litre Braumeister.

With the support of forums such as this one I am now brewing and and drinking beer that is just as good as many of the expensive boutique beers from the bottle shops.

So don't let the lack of brewing experience strand in your way. Just get on line, read as much as you can and ask plenty of questions.
Cheers :cheers:
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Re: A noob looking into a purchase.

Unread postby royco » Thu May 29, 2014 6:19 pm

Exactly. Brewing with BM is so easy it's almost like cheating :wink:
Just do it Floodster
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