Minibrew, Braumeister or grainfather

A forum to discuss one pot automated brewing systems.
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mval64
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Minibrew, Braumeister or grainfather

Post by mval64 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:28 am

Hi,
I want to buy an all in one brew kit. I've been looking at these new Minibrew ones and I like the idea of time and easy cleaning. Only 5l but could pretty much brew every week. I think it may become a bit boring tho...not too much input ie hydrometers, pH etc. Other option is 10l or 20l Braumeister or Grainfather.
The beer is only for personal drinking. Would like to do lagers as well as beer.
Does anyone have some experience in what might suit best.
Thanks 👍

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cristian.n
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Re: Minibrew, Braumeister or grainfather

Post by cristian.n » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:12 pm

hi, I have the Braumeister 20L.
I would not recommend to go lower than 20L (as BM10L version) as you will most probably regret the investment. You may buy the small malt pipe for 10L if you want to brew smaller batches anyway. You should take a look on the Braumeister user’s forum. You will find a lot of info about the device.
In my opinion, brewing 10L instead of 20 does not make sense because you will invest approx 5 hours for this job anyway.(for 10L or 20L version)
Comparing BM and GF on the other hand, i would go with GF :) the price is almost half and the controller is much better than of the BM. nowadays you have a lot of options compared to last years in terms of all grain all in one systems. Take a look at robobrew as well.

if you want to keep brewing aprox 5L, BIAB in a pot it's the best option

https://forum.braumeisters.net/index.php

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Re: Minibrew, Braumeister or grainfather

Post by MTW » Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:50 pm

...or halve the outlay again with a 20L Guten (brew devil, Klarstein, Hopcat... all tweaks to the same underlying product). Some economies will be evident, but your beer may taste the same.

Just making sure you know more options.
Busy in the Summer House Brewery

mval64
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Re: Minibrew, Braumeister or grainfather

Post by mval64 » Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:45 am

Hi,
Thanks for that info, I'll do plenty more looking at those on youtube etc. I'm already kind of drawn towards the Grainfather, then an Ss Brewtech fermenter.
Am I correct in saying tho that the Minibrew I've seen on the Craft Beer Cannel doesn't need any intervention like taking pH or gravity readings etc. Basically press start and wait !!
Thanks

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Kev888
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Re: Minibrew, Braumeister or grainfather

Post by Kev888 » Sat Mar 09, 2019 12:46 pm

I suspect very few people on here have the minibrew system as yet, in fact I can't immediately recall if anyone has, so responses on those may be limited. There are a few systems around now which aim to be as set and forget as possible, but so far they're pretty expensive for the volumes produced and in some cases a bit restrictive or compromised for enthusiasts, so haven't so far made an especially large impact on the forum.

Grainfathers, braumeisters etc. need (or allow) more hands-on time spent in order to make beer, a brew day can easily be several hours long or more, even before any fermenting. But they will work from first steps in grain brewing right through to really expert use without being too compromised; knowledge and expertise has plenty of scope to be learnt and applied.

So, responses to your question will be biased towards the latter, as the forum mainly comprises keen homebrewers who prefer this type of thing (or in fact separate vessels). But of course only you know your requirements and preferences, so may need to apply your own context..
Kev

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Re: Minibrew, Braumeister or grainfather

Post by MTW » Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:18 pm

To add to my previous post, with Kev's in mind, I'm very glad I had 80ish brews under my belt on a 3 tier system before using the machine (Klarstein, in my case). A few brews in on that, and I am far from setting-and-forgetting! The tolerances of mash/sparge temperatures are much wider than I used to get by striking accurately in a coolbox. The deadspace below the grains (where the probe resides) means that if anything varies (pump flow rate, stickiness of the mash, volumes, strike temperature...) then there can be quite a swing around the desired temperatures. And then there's any inaccuracy in the probe itself; you can tweak it on the display, but I've found that the degree of inaccuracy is not the same at all temps and stages. I'm narrowing the variance as I go, but it needs close attention.

To what extent these matters are improved on the Grainfather and the Braumeister, I'm not sure; the Chinese controller leaves a bit to be desired on mine, but there must be a lot of first time brewers who are quite happy with producing decent beer, while working with far less accuracy than I started out on in a cheap, partly plastic, three vessel setup. All this said, I enjoy an easier brew day and look forward to it more. But I'm glad my experience means I can tweak things around quite well where required.
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mval64
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Re: Minibrew, Braumeister or grainfather

Post by mval64 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:17 pm

Hi
Thanks for the replies, much appreciated. I agree regarding Minibrew, I'd rather have something I can be more involved in.
I'll certainly have look at the other options you gave, thanks again
👍

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Re: Minibrew, Braumeister or grainfather

Post by Mattpc » Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:03 pm

I really would not suggest someting as small as 5l. All that cleaning and effort for a tiny amount of beer. 20l is the perfect compromise between yield and having a device so big and heavy it's a total pain to operate and move. Also if you find brewing a bit boring you certainly don't want to be doing it every week. A 20l batch of beer will keep for ages in bottles or a pressurised keg. You don't need to drink your whole batch quickly unless you want to. It's not very hard to clean a Braumeister out. I think the trick is to develop an effective way of getting rid of the malt and hops before you even attempt to clean it.

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Re: Minibrew, Braumeister or grainfather

Post by aamcle » Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:40 pm

The GF has a small Pipework set that can be used for smaller volumes, I have one it works well.

An issue to consider if your brewing weekly is temperature control for your fermenters, you will have 3 possibly 4 batches at various stages, fermenting, cold crashing, lagering and so on it could be difficult to manage.

ATB. AAMCLE

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Re: Minibrew, Braumeister or grainfather

Post by Secla » Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:15 pm

i have a mini ssbrewtech kettle (20l) with a induction hob and do 10-12l biab
I dont drink/brew to often and it offers me a bit more choice.

but i agree with others that 5l isnt a great investment as the time difference is minimal

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Re: Minibrew, Braumeister or grainfather

Post by TheSumOfAllBeers » Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:39 am

Even if your personal consumption is quite modest, consider that many brews can be left down for years in bottled form. I found that by brewing large, and carefully with one fermenter, this was how I got variety into the house. It was always nice to have some of the last batch left over to sample side by side when I was re-making a house recipe (or a variant of it).

Also consider gifting.

Scaling up from 5L batches to 10-15L batches is essentially free, and gives you a lot more product to find interesting uses for. Above that, you need more equipment for certain processes, and the labour involved for larger batches can cross a line from "its not too bad" to "annoying enough to make excuses not to do it".

I am a 55L batch kind of guy, and brew days/packaging days take serious planning now. And if you dont stay on top of the cleaning as you go, you just make more work for yourself (that typically only gets sorted out the morning of the brewday/packaging day).

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