Grainfather vs BrewZilla

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by CausticWolf, Feb 25, 2021.

?

Which is your preferred system

  1. Grainfather

  2. BrewZilla

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  1. CausticWolf

    CausticWolf Active Member

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    Does everyone have a preference?

    Personally, after watching David Heath Homebrew's take on the two, I think I'm actually leaning BrewZilla. I'm not one for technology and setting pre programs, Brew Day for me is a day to relax and watch Genus Brewing videos on YouTube.

    Minus the dashboard being on the bottom for the BrewZilla, I feel all in all it is the more convenient system. I'm not going to use the Counterflow chiller, I have a very nice Copper Immersion.

    Anyways, before I ramble on and on, I was wondering what the communities thoughts were?
     
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  2. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    I think both are fine. The extra functionality on the Grainfather wasn't worth the extra cost for me, so I went with the Brewzilla.

    Though the bottom placement of the control panel is a pain. About the only time I find myself doing a push up these days is getting up from changing the temperature.
     
  3. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    #3 thunderwagn, Feb 25, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
    I have the Grainfather. Guess it comes down to what you want and what you want to spend. I have a Jaded immersion chiller but I don't use it anymore I love the counterflow so much more. The brew software I use connects directly with the Grainfather and inputs everything. I like it. I hear some comments about efficiency and not sure why it would be so different, but I avg 84%. Worth the price difference? Maybe not. Truth be told, had I not been half lite when I pulled the trigger, I would have purchased the Anvil 10.5.
    I'll just mention one other thing and it may or may not interest you. Distilling.
     
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  4. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Price point is why I went with the BZ35. I am very happy with it in spite of some shortcomings. I do use the timers somewhat. I use them to set it up so that strike water is ready when I want to begin. For instance, if I am brewing in the morning, I set the timers up so that it is ready to go when I get up. I have mine at slightly lower than counter height, and use a pulley to pull the malt pipe out. This guy is not going to get on his hands and knees to make beer!
     
  5. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    It's the only time I bow down to anything. I'm sure other people looking on think I'm worshipping the device when I change the temperature.
     
  6. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I'm on the same page as Mark, both are nice but I don't see the value in the Grainfather being nearly twice the price.
     
  7. cmac62

    cmac62 New Member

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    I'm 3 brews in with the Anvil, it's great so far and the controller is up high.
     
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  8. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I have it on good authority that there will be a lot of changes to the next Brewzilla version. Controller will be up top for one. Expect wifi connectivity, and an app.
    My two biggest "knocks" on the 3.1.1 version are:

    All of the timers count up! WTF!? Right?

    The display is set quite a way back from the window that you look through, and the mode indicators are at the top of the display, so you can't see them unless your eyes are pretty much level with the top of the display.

    If you ask me 35 liters is just not quite enough for comfort. Another 5 liters would make a huge difference. I suggested they make it 40L but I doubt that will happen.

    Don't get me wrong, I still really like the machine.
     
  9. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Have you thought of Guten that's another affordable all in one. I think it's Chinese ? Not sure though.
    I'd go brewzilla if I were to purchase a unit but can't see that happening in my beer future with the one I've ramshackled together over the years;).
     
  10. Frankenbrewer

    Frankenbrewer Well-Known Member

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    Going from propane and multiple trips in and out of the garage, I went with the Brewzilla. Is it better than the other all in ones? That is very individual based but so far I like the brewzilla just because it is easier than what I was doing and I caught it on sale. I like the timer where I can set the temp and time so it is ready to go when I wake up on brew day. Still working on locking it in statistically but it was a good choice.
     
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  11. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    @Frankenbrewer brings up a good point about purchasing these units on sale. I did buy the 2 Grainfathers that I have on sale. I think it was a $200 savings apiece.
    Again, it comes down to what you're into and what you're willing to pay for convenience. I have zero problem with how much I paid for the Grainfathers. I really like the bluetooth and app which includes it's own brewing software designed just for Grainfather. I've used it (software) and it works very well. Another deciding factor was certain "accessories" that readily fit and are designed to fit the Grainfather.
    All about what you wanna do. I am one who is at a point in life where I will readily pay for convenience.
     
  12. Frankenbrewer

    Frankenbrewer Well-Known Member

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    I'm with you!
     
  13. Donoroto

    Donoroto Well-Known Member

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    Hard to say, having never used a Grainfather. The Brewzilla is nice. My friend has an Anvil which doesn't have all the fancy controls but works just fine, the external pump seems easier to clean when necessary but it's another thing to take care of on brew day.
     
  14. west1m

    west1m Well-Known Member

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    I am another Anvil user. Works great . I too use the pully above it for lifting the grain basket.
     
  15. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I am thinking about doing a DIY change to the controller on my Brewzilla.
    I may wait until my warrantee is up, and a I may not.
    Not sure whether I will go with the remote modification, or the smart PID conversion kit...

    Controller Relocation


    Smart PID conversion
     
  16. Donoroto

    Donoroto Well-Known Member

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    Remote brewing control or remote temperature probe?
    The former I would not need, the latter would be a bonus for me.
     
  17. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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  18. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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  19. Marz

    Marz Member

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    I am actually working on a prototype mod to convert the brewzilla into a smart brewer like the grainfather. I ordered a second v3.1.1 board+lcd for development (I don't want to miswire something and burn out my production board lol) and am using an ESP8266 and relays. I already have a partial android app built but was more of a generic app as a template for developing projects with the ESP8266. The end goal would be to have an app that connects to your brewzilla from anywhere and being able to monitor and make changes etc.

    Have not started the work on the prototype board yet as I am moving out of state in a couple of months and want to wait until I am done with that mess.
     
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  20. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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