Braumeister Vs Grainfather

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Braumeister Vs Grainfather

Unread postby gandalf the brew » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:23 pm

I was resently asked by a fellow brewer why I thought my Braumeister was better than his Grainfather.
We went over all the pros & cons of both machines and came up with this.

GF Pros:
The GF now has a better controller than the BM, (superiour PID algorithm).
The GF has a hop & trub filter as standard, the BM has one as an extra purchase.
The GF has a consealed element which is easier to clean.
The GF pumps the wort from the boiler, the BM doesn't unless you make modifications.
The GF comes with a counterflow chiller as standard, the BM has no chiller.
The addons for the GF are far cheaper than the BM.
The GF is £500 cheaper.
The GF has good after sale service.

GF Cons
The GF could do with handles to lift it.
The GF spot welds are easy to break, especially the wort outlet pipe if lifted incorrectly.

BM pros:
The BM is has a better build quality.
The BM has a more accessible pump for cleaning.
The BM makes better beer by pumping wort up through the grains stopping compaction, but we couldn't agree, I say yes.

BM Cons: Based on complaints.
The 2015 onwards controller panel has a condensation problem, not a natural phenomenon as stated by Speidel.
The controller often fails to stabilise the temp quickly.(needs a better PID algorithm or re-sighting the temp sensor)
The BM has a rubbish manufacturer after sales service, gathered from complaints by owners.The arrogance of the manufacturer leaves a lot to be desired.If they were a UK firm there would be a mountain of returned units as not fit for purpose.

At the end of our discussion, I was asked if I would buy a BM over the GF, my answer was; if I had to do it all over again, NO, it doesn't warrant the extra money. German engineering my be better to look at, but not at that expense.

Personally, I am happy with my purchase since I don't have a condensation problem, nor has mine overshot the temp by more than 1.5 degrees, but I would like a GF on a long term trial to prove to myself, I made the right choice.
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Re: Braumeister Vs Grainfather

Unread postby 13brv3 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:57 pm

Looks like a pretty good list, particularly if you're a GF fan. The only other Pro/Con you might add for the US folks is the power requirement. The GF is sold as 120V here, which is convenient, though it's also limited to 1600W. If you have 240V available where you brew, then the BM20L is 2000W. It might not be that hard to get a 240V (non-US) GF, but I couldn't find the wattage.

I like my 20L, but I do worry about availability of parts in the US. If I were buying today, I'd be looking a lot more seriously at the GF, or the even cheaper RoboBrew.

Cheers,
Rusty
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Re: Braumeister Vs Grainfather

Unread postby tsgreen » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:47 pm

Does the Grainfather come in any other size than 30L :?: That would be a con for me if they didn't have a larger version.
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Re: Braumeister Vs Grainfather

Unread postby gandalf the brew » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:26 pm

tsgreen wrote:Does the Grainfather come in any other size than 30L :?: That would be a con for me if they didn't have a larger version.


Size is standard, but you can buy a short pipe kit for making 15L batches.
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Re: Braumeister Vs Grainfather

Unread postby tsgreen » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:28 pm

Want larger, not smaller. Currently have 50L :mrgreen:
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Re: Braumeister Vs Grainfather

Unread postby 13brv3 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:54 pm

tsgreen wrote:Want larger, not smaller. Currently have 50L :mrgreen:


You'll have to stack 2 GF units :cheers:

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Re: Braumeister Vs Grainfather

Unread postby tsgreen » Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:05 pm

13brv3 wrote:
tsgreen wrote:Want larger, not smaller. Currently have 50L :mrgreen:


You'll have to stack 2 GF units :cheers:

Rusty


:lol: :beer:
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Re: Braumeister Vs Grainfather

Unread postby mashy » Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:31 pm

I don't like the GF build quality AT ALL.

Some of the points are valid, and I have to say I am sooooo pleased I have the older controller. I could not hand on heart recommend a new BM....why are you not listening Speidel.

But an BM with an ALVA controller ... hmmm.
Last edited by mashy on Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Braumeister Vs Grainfather

Unread postby Onthebrew » Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:38 pm

Echo the point about after sales service, speidal in my experience leave a lot to be desired. When I was researching the gf, their people couldn’t have been more helpful, can’t comment on thier post sales service.
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Re: Braumeister Vs Grainfather

Unread postby dazer23866 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:41 pm

if i did it again i would go for the grainfather i used one about a month ago and results were exactly the same as the Braumeister but much cheaper
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Re: Braumeister Vs Grainfather

Unread postby BrauTim » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:02 pm

When I bought mine the GF didn't exist, now there is some competition, when the time comes to replace the BM......but that could be some time given that most things on the BM are modular and replaceable, it depends how economic it will be to replace. If I was looking now, I would still need 50L, I'm sure the GF will produce a higher capacity version once the 30L has proved itself.
To brew or not to brew, that would be a stupid question !
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Re: Braumeister Vs Grainfather

Unread postby gandalf the brew » Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:29 pm

mashy wrote:I don't like the GF build quality AT ALL.

Some of the points are valid, and I have to say I am sooooo pleased I have and older controller. I could not hand on heart recommend a new BM....why are you not listening Speidel.

But an BM with an ALVA controller ... hmmm.


I have sent an email to Tom at ALVA to see if he will help me write the program commands. I had a go early today and I got it down to 42 command lines for a 3 step mash.
It is the pump and pump pauses that's causing me problems, also I'm not sure if the temp probe is compatible, the ALVA uses an LM35 sensor inside a brass tube.
Carrots are good for your eyesight, but beer doubles your vision
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Re: Braumeister Vs Grainfather

Unread postby mashy » Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:04 pm

Have you put it on your 10l then.
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Re: Braumeister Vs Grainfather

Unread postby mashy » Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:06 pm

BrauTim wrote:When I bought mine the GF didn't exist, now there is some competition, when the time comes to replace the BM.


Had anyone reviewed the Bulldog. My local HBS really rate it.
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Re: Braumeister Vs Grainfather

Unread postby gandalf the brew » Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:27 pm

mashy wrote:Have you put it on your 10l then.


No, it's the controller I use for my brew fridge, but it won't hurt if I had it set up to work on a BM.
It wouldn't take a lot to make the connection plugs for the element & Pump, they are Hirschmann STAS and as for the temp probe, I could fit a 6mm thermowell to take the standard ALVA probe.
I have had a reply from Tom and he said he would help with the command lines.
From what I have watched on YouTube, it doesn't take much to make a BM clone, then wire it to an ALVA, Ohhhhhhhhhh the mind boggles.
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