Calling all Klarstein Owners.

Discussion in 'General Home Brew Equipment Discussion' started by Sadfield, Jan 31, 2018.

Help Support The Homebrew Forum UK by donating:

  1. Aug 25, 2018 #41

    Horners

    Horners

    Horners

    Regular. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2018
    Messages:
    464
    Likes Received:
    161
    Location:
    NULL
    @Jonny Ford right have checked mine is 13mm internal diameter braided hose which is attached tightly to coil inlet with jubilee clip and the other end fits into a standard hozelock connector 1535192162005991594470.jpg
     
  2. Aug 25, 2018 #42

    Jonny Ford

    Jonny Ford

    Jonny Ford

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2018
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    4
    Thank you @Horners!

    I started running through my setup last night, boiled away some water to give it a clean and check for any leaks. All fine there.

    Brew day today: mashed away, sparged and drained away the grains. Go to set the boil temperature... the screen is off.

    Checked the power, all fine, checked the lights were on for the switches, all fine but the screen won’t come on at all.

    I’ve emailed Klarstein for advice or whether I’ve just got a dud unit but now I’ve got 25L of wort sitting there without a way to boil it.

    I guess I’m going to leave the wort in there in the hope that it’ll come back to life in a few hours so I can boil it.

    Otherwise, that’s a huge waste of grain.

    Making me very tempted to just shell out for a Grainfather or somehow try and find a second hand Braumeister.
     
  3. Aug 25, 2018 #43

    Horners

    Horners

    Horners

    Regular. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2018
    Messages:
    464
    Likes Received:
    161
    Location:
    NULL
    @Jonny Ford There is a reset switch in base of unit - empty it out and check if pressing that in helps at all
     
  4. Aug 25, 2018 #44

    Jonny Ford

    Jonny Ford

    Jonny Ford

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2018
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    4
    Yup! That’s fixed it for now. I really wish they had some more complete instructions (and an English speaking proof reader)

    Thanks again @Horners
     
  5. Aug 25, 2018 #45

    Jonny Ford

    Jonny Ford

    Jonny Ford

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2018
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    4
    It’s tripped again at 90 degrees getting up to the boil.

    Guess I got a dud.
     
  6. Oct 24, 2018 #46

    Steve.Dublin

    Steve.Dublin

    Steve.Dublin

    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2018
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bumping this thread to ask how people are enjoying their Klarsteins. I'm treating myself to an upgrade from a Peco boiler this winter and this one caught my eye. I'm in Ireland, so my buying options are somewhat limited. Have seen this on eBay and on a trusted "Irish" eRetailer for €400. It sounds like some of you got yours for a good bit less. Was there a sale on in January? Please and Thank you.
     
  7. Oct 24, 2018 #47

    Horners

    Horners

    Horners

    Regular. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2018
    Messages:
    464
    Likes Received:
    161
    Location:
    NULL
    @Steve.Dublin I have the one without the recirculation - the Maischfest and although I'm a relative newbie feel I have really got it dialled in after about 3 or 4 extract boils and then 6 AG brewdays.

    On Saturday mashed in, jugged water from tap back into top of unit for a few minutes to try and equalise temperature, and turned the heat off, stuck a probe in middle of grain bed and then wrapped the unit in a jacket I have made from some of that shiny stuff that goes behind radiators and it stayed at 67C for the full 90 min mash (ambient was about 12C). So that will be good enough for any single infusion mash I think.

    The rest for the grain basket to sit on whilst it drains works well and you can start the boil whilst you sparge. Efficiency now coming out north of 80% in the FV.

    On previous brew days had one or two problems with cut outs but since I have been meticulous about removing ALL residue from bottom of unit (I use white vinegar) this has not been an issue (last 5 brews no incident).

    Immersion cooler is a bit on the small/ flimsy side but broadly gets the job done provided you stir hard.

    All in all its the perfect set up for me as a relative beginner and well pleased I bought it. However it was less than £200 - Im assuming the €400 one has the recirc pump.
     
  8. Oct 24, 2018 #48

    Henders

    Henders

    Henders

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2018
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Berkshire
    I love mine still. I did add recirculation on my last (4th I think) brew. Though I also ground very fine and it kept getting stuck not draining enough. But that's my own problem to solve (condition grain, less fine grind maybe).

    I haven't used the immersion chiller yet. I briefly considered buying the tubey attachment bits to do it after getting annoyed at hot/cold break material. Then I read brulosophy and here and realised it's all fine carry on etc.

    I've never had a cut-out incidentally.
     
  9. Oct 24, 2018 #49

    Jonny Ford

    Jonny Ford

    Jonny Ford

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2018
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    4
    My replacement unit also had a cut out on the first use and I gave up. I’ve got a Braumeister now, but kept the Klarstein as a sparge water heater.

    I would absolutely use a bag within the malt pipe to help if I were to use it again to help stop the scorching on the element.

    The immersion chiller also wasn’t great in terms of cooling speed.

    I’m going to be switching to a plate chiller, which has its own benefits and drawbacks.

    If I had a choice of whether to buy again or not, I wouldn’t.

    I’d buy a Peco boiler to get brewing and then save up to buy something better (Grainfather, Braumeister, SS BrewTech kettle and eBay malt basket)
     
  10. Oct 25, 2018 #50

    Tuizner

    Tuizner

    Tuizner

    Janitor

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2017
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Isle of Wight
    You could also buy the robobrew. Basically the maischfest with pump but from australia (via china of course). £350 from brewkegtap. Just bought one and seems good.
     
  11. Oct 25, 2018 #51

    lhooq

    lhooq

    lhooq

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2016
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Brighton
    I do pretty much the same as @Horners - and it does work fine. I have the Maischfest which officially takes up to 25l, no recirculating pump.

    I like the grain basket and the simple draining; sparging through it seems to work well, and I use jugs for recirculation and that is pretty straightforward too.

    Using an additional temperature measure is essential - the temperature in the mash is wildly different from the temperature measured by the probe (can at times be 10 degrees out!), and yes it's much quicker to settle if you recirculate water while mashing in. Given this, the programmable nature of the control box is pretty much redundant - since you need to work to temperatures measured externally, and keeping temperature steady during mashing is *much* better with the machine turned off and some simple insulation thrown over it, a simple on/off switch for the heater would do just as good a job, with much less electronics to potentially go wrong.

    Also, it's a bit small for full-batch boils. I get good results from boiling up to 23l carefully and then diluting if necessary with bottled water afterwards. But there's always a bit of a risk of mess. You'd probably struggle to get the grain basket to work well with a very large grain bill as it's quite a bit narrower than the boiler.

    I already had a bigger immersion cooler, so I have never used the one that came with the Klarstein.

    It is extremely simple to open up the bottom of the machine and rewire so the annoying cut-off is taken out of the picture. I'm happy that a fuse will blow elsewhere in my electrics before there's any major problem.

    For me, in hindsight, although I like the principle of this one I would prefer a different system that:
    - had a bigger boil kettle
    - had the controller separate from the boiler so it was easier to just hose down and scrub the boiler at clean-up / after any spillages!
    and at some point I will buy or build something like that. I would like to have a simple grain basket that can be lifted up like this one does though... I like the simplicity of that system.

    But in the meantime, as I say, it does work fine!
     
    Horners likes this.
  12. Oct 25, 2018 #52

    Henders

    Henders

    Henders

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2018
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Berkshire
    @lhook it gets a lot easier if you set up a pump for recirc. on the temp front. I did do manual bucket the time before, but the pump thing I was giggling it so so easy!... until it ran dry due to my grind and then I was less happy :p

    It's good to know the bottom can be opened up should I succumb to any cut-out malarky. I also got to a 20l post-boil volume at the weekend which i'm very pleased about.
     
  13. Oct 25, 2018 #53

    soupdragon

    soupdragon

    soupdragon

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Messages:
    590
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    Wallasey
    Forgive my ignorance but isn't this basically the same machine as the original Ace brewer?
    I have the first version and it has a recirculation pump as standard.
    I must say that I've not read through the whole thread so my apologies if I'm stating the obvious

    Cheers. Tom
     
  14. Oct 26, 2018 #54

    Henders

    Henders

    Henders

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2018
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Berkshire
    From what I can tell - and this makes it all quite confusing - there are at least two versions/levels with not very unique names, so we all get confused. Or I do. From internetting it looks like the recirculation one is considered to be that Ace thing yeah, but then my non-recirculating model doesn't look like it so much. Different control panel (buttons, sits further out), metal lid, no vents on the base section. Probably more. I assume they both work similarly though, thermostat, timer... water-tight :D
     
  15. Oct 29, 2018 #55

    lhooq

    lhooq

    lhooq

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2016
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Brighton
    @Henders if you have the time could you say a bit more about how you made your recirculating pump / what parts? There's lots of information out there but would be so helpful to hear about a version that actually works specifically with this machine!
     
  16. Oct 30, 2018 #56

    Steve.Dublin

    Steve.Dublin

    Steve.Dublin

    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2018
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks a million, folks. I'm looking at the recirculating one, but it sounds to be a bit of a hit-or-miss proposition. I definitely can't get the Grainfather past The Financial Controller, so I'm looking at the Klarstein/Ace/Hopcat recirculating jobs. Looks like I scorched my last brew in the Peco and I think that I'm ready to say goodbye to it, which doesn't really matter as I have 4 batches bottled and won't be able to go near the Brew Room until mid-December at the earliest. My major concern is that despite living in an age of information, it's a bit difficult to suss out the paid-for content from the genuine user reviews. Maybe I'm being paranoid. Again, thanks to all the posters for sharing their experiences.
     
  17. Oct 30, 2018 #57

    Sadfield

    Sadfield

    Sadfield

    Landlord.

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2016
    Messages:
    2,275
    Likes Received:
    1,190
    Location:
    Macclesfield
    Yes, thanks for keeping this going, all good info.

    We've still not made a decision yet on which, if any, system to get. There's four of us to make a decision on what would best suit the needs of the club and it's members. I think we should go all out and get a grainfather. Might end up in a fight, though.:laugh8:
     
  18. Oct 31, 2018 #58

    Remi Gee

    Remi Gee

    Remi Gee

    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2018
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    France
    3E51A89E-50F9-40E1-B03A-D29DE49FE543.jpeg 736C70C2-38D8-42AD-BBD0-B81EA475CF10.jpeg 5678103D-6BF6-4BBF-9509-1F8860B1B992.jpeg 6763C6BC-61E0-4324-B300-E6017D445863.jpeg 2AF012A2-93A1-4ADC-859A-24C7F31C46D8.jpeg Hello folks

    In my opinion, klarstein products are good for the price ...
    I bought a klarstein beerfest, the « ancestor » of the maishfest and the other recent klarstein products, 3 years ago and use it at least for two brews per month. So far I had no major issues with the stuff. Electronics are very simple, and easy to modify if needed.

    Here you have some photos of my « beerboard », a compact, mobile, homemade brewing system, mixing grainfather grain basket system with an overflowpipe and a simple HERMS system with wort recirculating and indirect heating.
    This way, I avoid the cut off problems with malt getting burned at the bottom of the klarstein during the process. (The klarstein kettle is only used to boil the wort, and it does the job pretty good !)

    It’s easy to clean, easy to use, no automation at all, just an inkbird temp prob to control temperature in the spargewater/HERMS kettle and in the grain basket where the wort comes out to drain over the grains.
     
    Horners likes this.
  19. Oct 31, 2018 #59

    Jonny Ford

    Jonny Ford

    Jonny Ford

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2018
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    4
    @Remi Gee that looks brilliant.

    In my experience of using it this is the best way to do it. Mine cut out so much from the grain burning onto the element I think it works much better as a boiler.
     
  20. Oct 31, 2018 #60

    Remi Gee

    Remi Gee

    Remi Gee

    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2018
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    France
    Thank you Jonny
    I had the grain burning issu only when grain was milled to fine with to much flour.
    Recirculating helps keeping the flour in the grain bed.
     

Share This Page