All In One for Smaller Batches

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tondy79

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Hi there,

I've been mulling over picking up an All In One system - I'm currently looking at the Hopcat 45l (£399) or the Brewzilla 35l 3.1.1 (around £360 with the same accessories as the Hopcat) - but the main reason I am hesitating is that I'm not sure I always want to do larger batches. Sometimes I'd prefer a batch size around 10-12 litres.

Is there a minimum batch size for these systems?

Also if anyone has any opinions as to Hopcat vs Brewzilla (vs something else) then please feel free to chime in, though there are plenty of other threads on this topic :)

Thanks!
 
I have never done it myself but will add my thoughts.
If you are wanting say 12 litres you will need and this is a guesstimate approx
12litres to FV
+ 2 to 3 litres for grain absorbtion
+ 1 litre boil off depending on how long
+ 1 litre of loss/trub
so the liquid required will be 16/17 litres with the grain which is possible on the 35l Hopcat or it's other guises under re-badging
You will not be able to sparge as I am projecting using all the liquid as a full volume.
Hope this helps
Re the 2 systems not much to choose between them and I have noticed the Brewzilla is the first version which is probably the best one for a beginner as there has been some minor teething issues with the latest version.
You will get more advise from members who have done smaller brews with these systems I am sure
 
I have never done it myself but will add my thoughts.
If you are wanting say 12 litres you will need and this is a guesstimate approx
12litres to FV
+ 2 to 3 litres for grain absorbtion
+ 1 litre boil off depending on how long
+ 1 litre of loss/trub
so the liquid required will be 16/17 litres with the grain which is possible on the 35l Hopcat or it's other guises under re-badging

Excellent, thanks Baron! I also found this after much searching:

"In case anyone from the future comes here, Hopcat just got back to me, said it's fine, said minimum volume in the 45 is 12L"
 
BIAB (brew in a bag) is an all in one system.
Yes, currently I am doing BIAB, though restricted to smaller batches by a crappy electric hob and smaller pots -though obviously I could buy larger pots, but I'm already struggling with the boil if I push to 15l.

I've also been looking at electric kettles for BIAB, but for the extra cost a brewzilla/grainfather type system seems worthwhile to me...

I've also looked into DIY options, but decided I'm happy to spend the money and save the time (and probably reduce the risk of disaster!)

Cheers!
 
I've done small (10-12L) batches in the grainfather (g30). I had to reduce the efficiency due to the losses that the baron mentions. But apart from that it's easy to do. I expect the other AIOs to be the same
 
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Klarstein Maischfest 25L? I've started doing smaller batches of 12L or 15L to suit my beer consumption between brews. 15L batches are achievable in the 25L Maischfest. Cheaper bit of kit too.

I picked mines up from HiFi Tower as a Grade B item, which meant that it might have some minor aesthetic damage, but mines was absolutely fine. Think I paid about £120 for it, two years ago. I did want to get the Brewzilla but the price of the Klarstein won it for me, and I'm happy with it.
 
I've got a BZ 3.1.1 but smallest batch I've done is around 19 litres.

Nothing in instructions on min volume, but a quick search indicates 10-12 litre batches are fairly commonplace...
 
Yes, currently I am doing BIAB, though restricted to smaller batches by a crappy electric hob and smaller pots -though obviously I could buy larger pots, but I'm already struggling with the boil if I push to 15l.

I've also been looking at electric kettles for BIAB, but for the extra cost a brewzilla/grainfather type system seems worthwhile to me...

I've also looked into DIY options, but decided I'm happy to spend the money and save the time (and probably reduce the risk of disaster!)

Cheers!
Buy a propane burner and a single pot BIAB system is perfect - fast to heat, easy to clean and important, reliable
Something like :
https://www.themaltmiller.co.uk/pro...e-with-regulator-and-gas-hose/?v=79cba1185463
 
If you are happy with your biab method and don't want to spend hundreds on an all in one system and want a slightly smaller set up, tea urns are available in 20l size.
But you might find that fitting a nice ball lock tap & finding a false bottom for the mash brings the price up to klarstein fullhorn price (for example)
 
Like @the baron I've never done short volume brews, but I did do "low-alcohol" batches (<1% ABV) and was performing "full-boil-volume" or "no sparge" mashes. Or what I now refer to as "emulated BIAB" brews. I'd even purchased the short pipework for my one-pot system (30L Grainfather) for small batches but have never used it. At this very moment I've a full size (22L) OG1.050 brew on waiting to come up to boil - it was mashed "emulated BIAB". It's pretty versatile ... low-alcohol, full capacity "high alcohol" ... small volume!

The huge advantage is: It really is a one-pot setup, not a "one-pot ... oh, and you'll need this extra boiler to heat your sparge water ... setup.".

As @the baron mentions, you do have to do a bit of phaffing about to get the volumes right. But only the once, and a bit of tweaking now and then to tune the volumes up.


I'd be more than happy doing 10-12L batches on this 30L GF, perhaps smaller? OK, less than happy, 'cos I could have made 25L for the same effort!
 
I have done 10 Litre batches (Fermenter Volume) in my Klarstein Fullhorn BIAB and that included a batch sparge. This was also done a @peebee says without an extra sparge boiler.

Typical water volumes were approx 8 ltres mash water and 8 litres sparge.

Simply bring sparge water up to about 80C and decant into an insulated drinks container. By the time you are ready to sparge then it will be down to around the right temperature.
Heat your mash water and away you go.

When mash complete drop the mash water into a bucket and pour water over grain, stir and leave 5 mins then pour contents of bucket back into kettle and start the boil.

61x1hbZWRdL._AC_SL1500_.jpg
 
Thanks all, there are so many options to get to tasty beer!

I'm leaning a little towards the tea urn / klarstein fullhorn type arrangement, so will investigate that a little further.

That being said, I may well still end up going down the all in one route; knowing my own tendencies, I would likely pick up a tea urn and have some small success but feel I was missing a tap and false bottom and rather than faff about I'll upgrade to the Fullhorn, then I'll start thinking about needing a pump system and doing a bit of DIY which will be great for a few brews, though my DIY perhaps isn't perfect, and then six months later I'll decide to treat myself to the Braumeister as a reward for all the money I saved along the way 😃
 
Low volumes.. The trick is to watch the elements... Make sure they stay submerged.

Short malt pipes. Holes and silicone bugs work too.
 
Thanks all, there are so many options to get to tasty beer!

I'm leaning a little towards the tea urn / klarstein fullhorn type arrangement, so will investigate that a little further.

That being said, I may well still end up going down the all in one route; knowing my own tendencies, I would likely pick up a tea urn and have some small success but feel I was missing a tap and false bottom and rather than faff about I'll upgrade to the Fullhorn, then I'll start thinking about needing a pump system and doing a bit of DIY which will be great for a few brews, though my DIY perhaps isn't perfect, and then six months later I'll decide to treat myself to the Braumeister as a reward for all the money I saved along the way 😃
I have a 35l digiboil which I do small vol (final batch size between 12-14l). It's great, tho I have over the last year made a recirculation pump setup, and bought the malt pipe kit, so it's very close to an all in one now. Looking back, if I was to do it again I'd just go for an all in one, but I have enjoyed starting simple and expanding as I've increased my knowledge/skills. I started doing BIAB and now just use the grain basket. Still have a bit of tinkering to improve my process, but a great bit of kit. DigiBoil Digital Turbo Boiler 35L - DigiBoil @ The Home Brewery
 
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