- Mar 4, 2019
- Reaction score
Coobra CB5 all-in-one brewerThis was ordered from 'The Home Brewery' and shipped from Sweden.
The 'kit' comes with a chiller coil and a separate sparge-water heater. It's £549 if you order them together, but only £534 if you order them as separate items! Delivery was £35.43, with excellent tracking from UPS. It came all the way by truck and via the Channel Tunnel, a distance of 1600 miles! The carton was slightly damaged, with a blue handle sticking out. The contents were undamaged.
The main kettle has volume markings embossed on the stainless steel. It is a single casing and rather thin (0.5mm). The markings in gallons and litres go up to 12 US gallons or 45 litres. They are reasonably accurate (about 1 litre high). The 45L mark is about 5cm, 2" from the brim.
The malt pipe has a base with 2mm perforations. The central, overflow pipe is adjustable in height from 23 to 44cm. There are three sets of lugs for supporting it when you come to draining the malt. There are legs on the underside to raise it from the bottom of the 'kettle'. There is a perforated plate to sit on top of the malt.
The controller is identical to the early Bulldog one and has the same issue. To get a rolling boil it needs to be set to 102C, but to start the timer it then needs to be temporarily re-calibrated to 98C. It has four programming steps. Temperature control is excellent. When set to 70C, the temperature stayed between 69.7 and 70.2. Internal wiring is neat and tidy.
There are two elements fitted, 1500W and 1800W although the power is adjustable from 500W to 3300W in 100W steps. At any setting other than 1500, 1800 and 3300, the power is modulated by on/off, mechanical relays. The voltage where I live is 245V or higher and the unit can draw 14A or more. It is fitted with a European, Shucko plug rated 16A. At full chat, the 13A fuse in the UK plug on my extension lead reaches over 70C. On the day I did my tests the current at full power was 14.09A and the voltage at the socket was 242.3V. This equates to 3400W. I have bought an SCR voltage regulator to drop the voltage. I plan to connect this to the 1800W element so that the controller still 'sees' a normal, sinusoidal voltage.
The overall design is identical to the Klarstein Brauheld except that Klarstein's largest model to date is only 35L.
The pump is a Kaixin MP-10RN. It will handle fluids up to 100C. Klarstein told me the impeller is rated to 130C. I have used the pump during the boil but it did stop on thermal cut-out after about 15 minutes. On cooling it reset automatically. It is very easy to access the impeller if it needs cleaning. Mine was spotless after the first brew even though I suffered a stuck mash.
A unique feature of this unit is the anti-scorch system. Water from the pump can be directed across the heating area.
The 'kettle' and sparge heater are both fitted with quick disconnects. As the pump is external its suction hose can be moved from the 'kettle' to the sparge heater. The pump can then be used for sparging. I extended the recirculating pipe so that it reaches over the malt pipe in both of the first and second raised positions. The extra stainless-steel tubing is connected with push-fit pneumatic connectors. Stainless tubing is almost impossible to cut with a hacksaw so I used a plumber's tube cutter.
Klarstein's Mundschenk XXL Insulating Jacket is a reasonable fit and costs £39.99.
The sparge water heater has an analogue thermostat and is rated at 1600W and holds 16L. It is double walled. It also has a 16A Schuko socket fitted. On its own, it costs £85.
The chiller coil is 12m long but it is not tall enough to sit in the 'kettle' but it is a perfect fit for a standard fermentation bucket of 30L. It cooled my wort in under 15 minutes. No hose fittings were provided.
The importer and brand owner is Drinkit AB, established in 1942 with a turnover of €6,000,000.
Additional parts purchased:-
10mm S/S tubing https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Stainless-Steel-Round-Tube-Pipe-VARIOUS-SIZES-304-GRADE-1-METER-LONG/272646057208
Push-fit connectors https://www.zoro.co.uk/shop/fluid-power/straight-union-connectors/6580-10-tube-to-tube-coupling/p/ZT1066987X
Hozelock connectors https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GENUINE-HOZELOCK-2175-1-2-3-4-HOSE-PIPE-THREADED-TAP-CONNECTOR/191591351357
Brass compression fittings https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/WADE-MC112-321-12MM-OD-X-1-2-BSPP-MALE-STUD-COUPLING-Wade-Brass-Compression-F/222150167633
Plumber's tube cutter https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B077MD2W2F