Getting back into Brewing

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Keith W

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Hi All,

Hope you are all keeping well.

I have been a lurker here for some time, just keeping up to date on what people are doing these days. I started brewing in 2008, first a couple kits then quickly on to a 70L Stainless stock pot boiler with a propane burner and a insulated stainless bain marie as a mash tun with four 19 litre cornies and a converted chest freezer as as kegerator. I made some incredible beers but after about 8 years I got tired of the long brew days and stopped brewing then a couple years ago I cleaned up everything and sold it (for a profit I might add so that was nice).

Anyway I am looking to get back into brewing in a much more limited and hopefully shorter brew day way. I was looking at going BIAB and No Chill or possibly an immersion chiller so have been looking at the Buffalo 40L boilers for £120 delivered and a BIAB Bag and maybe just bottling into 2L water bottles after using the water for the brew. I usually drink 3 or 4 pints a couple nights a week but I found when I had the Cornie/Kegerator set up it was too easy to pour a pint of an evening and wound up drinking way more than I normally would.

I have also seen the Klarstein systems which look nice for about twice the price of a Tea Urn and a BIAB Bag, so I am wondering if I would benefit in any way with one of these? Then there are the fancier versions with the Pumps and control systems like the BrewDevil and the fancier Klarsteins for another hundred or so and I think to myself will I kick myself if I don't spend a little more and get one of those.

Would my brew day be any faster or particularly easier or more enjoyable?

The main reason for me to brew is to be able to try different beer style that are not readily available in the UK, at least not cheaply. I have never had a Neipa and they look interesting and I have an Imperial Stout recipe that I would really like to brew again.

Anyone who has gone through the BIAB to All in one upgrade, what benefits do you see, are your beers better or do you just enjoy the shininess of it all?
 

Banbeer

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Welcome back to brewing Keith, I've never done BIAB as I went from kits to a 2 unit system, a HLT/boiler and a mash tun made from a cooling box. That was a while ago now and gave up doing AG due to space etc after moving so just did premium two can kits. Last year I decided to buy an all in one system as I'd been looking at them for a while and ended up with the Brewster Beacon, I don't see any difference in taste or how the beer is generally as it was good beer done the other way but I wanted an all in one system as I had the money to spare. Whatever choice you make you will still be producing good/great beer. Happy brewing.
 

Keith W

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Welcome back to brewing Keith
Hi Banbeer, thanks for the welcome. Glad to know the beers is good on these systems but I never really had any doubt anyway. I Did a couple BIAB brews on my old system just to try it out and I found the beer tasted the same as using the whole system in the usual way. I really don't want to spend more money than necessary but will if I have a good reason to. I have been given £250 worth of Amazon Vouchers from work as a sort of thank you so I have that I can spend on any equipment available on Amazon.co.uk. If I were to get an All-in-one system I would ideally like a BrewDevil from Angel Home Brew but the system is not currently on Amazon although it has been in the past. I suspect I could ring them up and get them to put one on for me. A Klarstein system would do too just that I suspect I would get better after sales support form AHB.

Do you find the programmable unit useful or would you just as soon control it manually?
 

Banbeer

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Hi Keith, the BrewDevil is the same system as mine except mine has a sight glass, there are alot of badged systems out there.
Do you find the programmable unit useful or would you just as soon control it manually?
I do it manually as I'm a bit of a control freak and sometimes like adjusting times/heat etc.
 

Keith W

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Hi Keith, the BrewDevil is the same system as mine except mine has a sight glass, there are alot of badged systems out there.

I do it manually as I'm a bit of a control freak and sometimes like adjusting times/heat etc.
I am aware of the different rebadged units, The latest BrewDevil comes with a sightglass kit but you have to fit yourself.

I thought the same about the manual control but then thought it might be useful, I guess it depends on how well it work.
 

Keith W

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I have been having a look around and I think I like the idea of a SS pot and and induction hob for BIAB. Was thinking I might be able to do a few 3 gallon brews on my kitchen hob which is a 7.4kw induction hob which has zones that can be connected so I could easily have 3700w for a pot that size or maybe even half that would be sufficent. In any case I think I could get back into brewing this way very cheaply if I can find a 3 gallon stainless steel pot that works on induction and a BIAB Bag. The only issue is the amount of steam created as I don't have an extractor over my hob in the kitchen, just a wall extractor which is fine for general cooking but an hour of boiling might be a bit much for it. I guess there is no way to know without trying. The biggest pot I have now is 7 Litres to the rim. I could probably boil 5 to 6 litres in it as long as I was very watchful but I don't think a 4 or 5 hour brew day is worth it for so little beer.

If all goes well and I enjoy it I can then think about getting a bigger 50 L pot and a Buffalo Induction hob for brewing outside or wherever.
 

Keith W

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So I decided to go with an All in One but haven't had a response from Angel Home Brew to my email asking if they could put a system on Amazon again so I could use my vouchers so I guess I will have to go with a Klarstein unit if I want to be able to use my vouchers any time soon or not use my vouchers and just buy direct from AHB.
 

Keith W

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Hi Keith, AHB are now our forum sponsors so maybe you could send them a PM?
I assume they are just very busy with loads of orders due to people staying at home and wanting something to do. I see they keep putting sales on hold so they can catch up, I don't want to add to that so I can just wait for a reply. I am not in a great rush to buy yet as I have to get other things in place before I can brew anyway.
 
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