BM + what... for initial purchase?

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BM + what... for initial purchase?

Unread postby jdykes » Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:48 pm

Hello all - first time post,

I'm strongly considering purchasing the BM-20. (I should have gotten it earlier this year when I was stationed in Germany (paying no VAT!), but...)

As I understand it, there are "new" screens available for the BMs - as well as a gasket (for the upper screen?). When purchased new from Morebeer or Morebeer4U, do the BMs come with these "upgrades" or do I need to purchase them separately. Point being, outside of the jacket, bronze exhaust, plug replacement, valve or hop screen - there's nothing else I need to buy to ensure I have the most up-to-date and effective BM configuration.

The only minimum upgrade that I am considering on Day 1 would be a hop basket similar to Dan's design.

Best Regards,
- John
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Re: BM + what... for initial purchase?

Unread postby HopSong » Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:17 pm

Unless you want to do a DIY, I'd strongly suggest getting the thermal jacket. Some here have made a dome'd lid and find it was very helpful for the boil. Others, like myself, have purchased the BM conical lid.

I thought VAT was something all had to pay when buying in Germany.. I'm probably wrong. I will be going to visit my son at an AF base a few hours from Speidel. I thought seriously about buying mine there.. but, carrying it home.. etc.. and the price wasn't that much different.
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Re: BM + what... for initial purchase?

Unread postby jdykes » Mon Sep 15, 2014 5:14 pm

HbgBill,

Thanks for the response. A DIY thermal jacket is certainly high on the priority list; I think it's something I could pinch a penny on.

I was in Bamberg (the greatest city in the world) for three years (well two years... took a vacation digging up IEDs for 12 months). All the Army folks could buy anything on the German economy (hotels, building supplies, vacations - you name it) for 19% off retail price using an Armed Forces VAT Form. I assume your son gets the same deal.

I think the 20L is 1400'ish euro in Germany - VAT takes it down to 1150'ish euro - convert to about 1.33 - $1500 bucks. For $500 in savings, surely you can bring that back as cargo, or mail it?

Peter Griess who runs a brewery in Geisfeld is the one who first introduced me to the BM. Shoulda bought it 3 months ago before I moved back!!

Ah well.....
- John
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Re: BM + what... for initial purchase?

Unread postby HopSong » Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:01 pm

Brian is at Spangdahlm (sp?) Keiserslautern (sp?) We'll be going over in late Oct.. but, mine is already ordered :)

He was in Iraq twice, Afghanistan once.. and outside of one 4 yr stint in S.Cal, he has been in Germany ever since. Unfortunately, he'll be in FLA for 6 months while we are over there visiting his wife and the grandkids. It's a babysitting trip. Wish we had time to go to Belgium to pick up some of their beers at the abbey's.
Cheers, Bill
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Re: BM + what... for initial purchase?

Unread postby Dicko » Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:17 pm

jdykes wrote:Hello all - first time post,

I'm strongly considering purchasing the BM-20. (I should have gotten it earlier this year when I was stationed in Germany (paying no VAT!), but...)

As I understand it, there are "new" screens available for the BMs - as well as a gasket (for the upper screen?). When purchased new from Morebeer or Morebeer4U, do the BMs come with these "upgrades" or do I need to purchase them separately. Point being, outside of the jacket, bronze exhaust, plug replacement, valve or hop screen - there's nothing else I need to buy to ensure I have the most up-to-date and effective BM configuration.

The only minimum upgrade that I am considering on Day 1 would be a hop basket similar to Dan's design.

Best Regards,
- John


Hi John, welcome.

If you are using hop flowers then I would seriously consider a hop basket.
Speidel do make one or there are a couple of well made after market ones available in the USA.

The screens are now stainless mesh and work quite OK without the rubber seal.
The seal is not made by Speidel to my knowledge.
I got mine from a rubber supplier in Australia.
As mentioned, a jacket and a dome aren't bad options to consider but the dome from Speidel is quite expensive.

Good brewing,

:cheers:
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: BM + what... for initial purchase?

Unread postby jdykes » Tue Sep 16, 2014 2:51 pm

Thanks all for the help....

Uh - and the deed has been done. Now off to find a heavy gauge extension cord and plug replacement to stretch to my dryer outlet. And a hop basket -

Is it too early to admit that I've never done any grain brewing? Or that the limit of my brewing experience is three extract brews?

:shock:

I'll tell my wife it's just a kettle with a heater. That's true - right?
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Re: BM + what... for initial purchase?

Unread postby Nesto » Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:54 pm

jdykes wrote:Thanks all for the help....

Uh - and the deed has been done. Now off to find a heavy gauge extension cord and plug replacement to stretch to my dryer outlet. And a hop basket -

Is it too early to admit that I've never done any grain brewing? Or that the limit of my brewing experience is three extract brews?

:shock:

I'll tell my wife it's just a kettle with a heater. That's true - right?

John,

You'll be fine! And if your wife asks what the malt pipe is you can just tell her it's a pasta insert ;)

Reinforcing what was already written... the two musts, IMO, for day 1 are electrical setup and thermal jacket. Some might argue about the jacket, but I did tests when I first got my BM20 and there is a significant improvement in the boil with the jacket. Remember to set your boil temp to 102C when your program your brew day! (I'm assuming you're buying the BM20 from your first post.)

The exhaust hood (I went the DIY route) is a nice to have - there is definitely a difference in the boil. No jacket to jacket difference is like "is that boiling?" to "yeah, that's boiling." Adding the hood goes to "now THAT'S a boil!." But I never had any quality issues with just using the thermal jacket.

And a new valve is a nice to have as well, but not needed Day 1. If you're using a hose to transfer to your fermenter, just make sure you have some hose clamps around to fasten the hose to the BM output valve - it's prone to leak if you don't.

What are you doing to cool your wort? And what will you use to plan your brew? (Volumes and gravity)

Keep your first recipe simple and you'll do fine. Some good ones here in the recipe sub-forum. And one last piece of advice. At least 4 BM users I know have forgotten this (including myself)... make sure to press the Enter button to acknowledge you're ready to mash in BEFORE you actually start putting grain in the malt pipe :). Trust me.
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BM + what... for initial purchase?

Unread postby Eldoreth » Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:58 pm

Welcome and congratz with the purchase!
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Re: BM + what... for initial purchase?

Unread postby dinnerstick » Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:11 am

Nesto wrote:At least 4 BM users I know have forgotten this (including myself)... make sure to press the Enter button to acknowledge you're ready to mash in BEFORE you actually start putting grain in the malt pipe :). Trust me.


on that note, don't mash in before you put the bottom plate and screen in place.... yes it seems quite obvious, but you can put in the malt pipe, get distracted, dough in, find that you have 2 sets of plates and screen still, uh-oh. this has happened. i am not at liberty to say to whom. (always write in the passive voice after doing something stupid)
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Re: BM + what... for initial purchase?

Unread postby niels » Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:07 am

As a non-EU owner you should indeed get a different power cord. It's a bit silly the BM sellers in the US don't carry these, though.

If you consider buying the hood you might want to get the stainless steel version instead of the copper one. It serves the same purpose, but it is a bit cheaper. I've no idea if these SS hoods are available in the US already, but it might be even cheaper to buy it in Germany and ship it to the US (I think Batz paid about 40 EUR shipping to Australia).

The jacket can easily be made from a camping mat and certainly improves the boil.

All the other modifications aren't necessary at first. Just put a few brews on the BM and get a feeling if you need to e.g. change that spigot or not.

Are you going to use a immersion chiller or a plate/counterflow chiller?

- Niels
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Re: BM + what... for initial purchase?

Unread postby cpa4ny » Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:22 am

niels wrote:As a non-EU owner you should indeed get a different power cord.



A bit of over-generalization here; I plug that cord straight into my outlet in Singapore. :cheers:
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Re: BM + what... for initial purchase?

Unread postby niels » Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:30 am

cpa4ny wrote:
niels wrote:As a non-EU owner you should indeed get a different power cord.

A bit of over-generalization here; I plug that cord straight into my outlet in Singapore. :cheers:

Ok, ok... You are right! I meant "As a non-CEE 7 standards and Europlug owner you should get a different power cord.".

It's crazy how much different power plugs there are in use in the world. Even in the EU you have a few different ones (e.g. UK, Denmark, Italy, ...).

- Niels
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Re: BM + what... for initial purchase?

Unread postby cpa4ny » Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:42 am

niels wrote:Ok, ok... You are right! I meant "As a non-CEE 7 standards and Europlug owner you should get a different power cord.".

It's crazy how much different power plugs there are in use in the world. Even in the EU you have a few different ones (e.g. UK, Denmark, Italy, ...).

- Niels


A different plug is not such a big deal; gets much tougher when people have to rewire the outlet due to different voltage.

I am actually fairly surprised that BM doesn't have dual-voltage capabilities, especially given the well-known prowess of German engineering.
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