eBIAB setup

Discussion in 'General Home Brew Equipment Discussion' started by pottsworth, Jan 12, 2019.

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  1. Jan 12, 2019 #1

    pottsworth

    pottsworth

    pottsworth

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    I’m looking at up-sizing my kettle, as I currently have a 20 litre pot which limits me to half batch for biab, or extract if I want to do a corny full.

    Ideally I’d like to go for something with an electronic temperature controller, so was thinking of something like this.

    https://www.brewsmarter.co.uk/peco-...shing-bin-with-temperature-readout-1841-p.asp

    Has anyone else got an eBIAB setup, and do you have any recommendations?
     
  2. Jan 12, 2019 #2

    AdeDunn

    AdeDunn

    AdeDunn

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    I built my own 33 litre rig. At a push I can brew 23 litre batches, but these days I prefer to do 14 litre batches, that way I can brew more often without drowning in beer.

    IMG_20181216_111502.jpg
    panelbuild3b.jpg
     
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  3. Jan 12, 2019 #3

    pottsworth

    pottsworth

    pottsworth

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    Very smart!

    Roughly him much did it cost you to build that (and do you need a degree in electrical engineering)?
     
  4. Jan 13, 2019 #4

    AdeDunn

    AdeDunn

    AdeDunn

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    I will admit, it cost a bit more than my wife would have liked. It's hard to work out, as most of the cost to be honest was tools. I didn't already own Q-Max cutters or drill bits suitable for steel, so these added to the cost quite a bit. If you can beg or borrow these though, it all gets a fair bit less expensive. Honestly though? How much it cost, a lot of people would probably say it'd cost only a bit more to buy something like a Brewdevil. BUT, if something goes wrong in my rig, I can just swap it out really easily and cheaply. Element blows? No problem, I just fit a new one... No need to send it off for repair etc. I also had a lot of fun building it. I also was able to buy it a bit at a time, and already owned the stainless steel stockpot for example, so this spread the cost, where an all in one I would have had to find a lump sum.

    As to needing a degree in electrical engineering. Well, it helps to have a rough idea of how to wire things up safely. That said, I have zero formal training. Just been building PCs for a few years now (another hobby), and to be honest you can learn a lot through research. Things like putting a 1 amp fast blow fuse on the power supply to the PID itself to protect that, and a 10-13 amp fast blow fuse on the output power to the element itself, to protect, well pretty much everything. Oh, and plugging in to an RCD when doing any testing... I found it a bit more fiddly too, as I can't solder as I have a tremor, so it all had to be done with crimp terminals and fast connect terminal blocks.

    To be honest though, if I can do it, almost anybody can. It's whether you want to do it is the question. I made it part of my brewing hobby, enjoying building it, then tweaking it to get it just right for how I wanted to do things. There are much cheaper ways of doing things for sure, but this way I can do things like a step mash with serious ease (the time I brewed a Belgian Wit in it, this just made things so much easier...). But if you were after saving some money, a build like this won't do that.... lol
     
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  5. Jan 13, 2019 #5

    Ghillie

    Ghillie

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    I own a Robobrew, it was second hand (used once for a demo) when I bought it for £280.

    They are selling new on Brewkegtap for £349 and I think came back in stock yesterday.

    Great setup, can't fault it in any way. Does exactly what it says on the tin and is half the price of a GrainFather.

    I often think of building a new rig as previously mentioned, but when I price up the materials it always works out more expensive. Its a pity because I enjoy making things, but not when it puts me out of pocket:laugh8:
     
  6. Jan 13, 2019 #6

    AdeDunn

    AdeDunn

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    It's true, my rig probably cost more to build than a Brewdevil or the like for sure. As I mentioned though, a lot of that expense was the tools, plus I was able to spread the cost buy buying a part here and a part there over a couple of months. I couldn't have done that with an all in one. I was also put off, as previously I DID buy a commercial boiler. My last rig started out as an ACE mash tun boiler. The company went bump, so the warranty evaporated. So I added a recirculation pump. Was brilliant, worked really well, as combined with the Beersmith mobile phone app, it was close on an AIO machine:-

    Tweaked.jpg

    Worked a treat. Then I discovered just how dodgy the workmanship can be on these things... lol

    IMG_20180513_123709.jpg
    That cable burned right through, 10 minutes before the end of a 70 minute boil.... I was gutted to say the least as no way could I fix that (my wife forbade it for one thing, and had it out for the scrap man in no time! She just gave me time to remove the tap, bazooka filter and the grain bag... lol). I already had the stockpot, as I started out trying to use it on the stove top (discovering that I couldn't get a rolling boil in more than say 14 litres.... lol). So I built my own, starting out really basic with just an insulated electric boiler with a tap, then building the control panel so I could turn it into a RIMS system (I already had the pump and some disconnects, so just bought a few more fittings).

    It's a game of numbers with anything mass produced though, I'm one of the few folks who had trouble with them (1 or 2 other chaps had problems too, usually with leaking, or failing controls on them), but lots of folks never had any trouble. To which end, if you are after a similar boiler, from a company that HASN'T gone bump, Klarstein still make one that's pretty much the same boiler for £169. I will mention though, I found it a stretch getting 23 litres out of one, 18 or 19 litres was more realistic, without some sparging tricks.
     

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