System Upgrade

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Cousin Brewy, Jul 22, 2020.

  1. Cousin Brewy

    Cousin Brewy New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2019
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Hey all. Just lookin for some opinions on upgrading my system. I've been brewing in a keg I cut the too out of 20 years ago. Heating with a turkey frier, mashing in a 10 gallon igloo, fermenting in a carboy. I batch sparge. I was considering moving indoors and so possibly electric heating. WOW, I feel like Marty flying into the future in a Delorian!
    I see alot of HERMS for sale. Maybe people are upgrading those, but seeing those systems for the first time... My immediate thought is that looks like a clean up nightmare. Brew day couldn't possibly be getting shorter with all the cleanup time. Really, they look like a money pit as well, what am I missing?? Is it all about having an aging back?o_O
     
  2. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    918
    Likes Received:
    933
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Electrician (Previously a 6th grade Teacher)
    Location:
    Maine
    Home Page:
    Considered an all-in-one electric system such at the robobrew/brewzilla? They make 220v 10 gallon system or a 110v 5 gallon. I recommend the one with the pump. I love my 5 gallon robobrew with pump. Been thinking about upgrading to the 10 gallon 220v system. I just wired in the outlet for the upgrade a couple months ago.

    Cleaning is not difficult at all! Still a drag at the end of a long brew day but nothing like it was when I did a 3 pot set-up!

    There are quite a few electric all-in-one options out there: Grainfather, Anvil Foundary, Mash and Boil, etc.
     
  3. Cousin Brewy

    Cousin Brewy New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2019
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
     
  4. Cousin Brewy

    Cousin Brewy New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2019
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    I guess I'm really just tryin to determine what advantages there are in these systems.
     
  5. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2017
    Messages:
    1,303
    Likes Received:
    1,424
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    So at the bottom end of the price range, it's largely simplicity. A large amount of the functionality you'd need at a great price.

    Then they start increasing price and you start getting other functionality, that may or may not be an advantage. Things like bluetooth connectivity to control temps for mashing or some really quite amazing (and to me confusing) degrees of configuration.

    These videos may give you some ideas on whether they'd work for you



     
    Trialben likes this.
  6. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    4,701
    Likes Received:
    6,903
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I have been window shopping, I like what I see in the 65L Brewzilla, price is good too. Thinking about a plain 35L digiboil for heating sparge water to go with it
     
    Chaos home brewing and Blackmuse like this.
  7. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    Messages:
    9,442
    Likes Received:
    9,512
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Pest control tech
    Location:
    Palmwoods QLD
    I brew in a converted keg with lid cut off there if your the diy type and willing to get your hands dirty you can convert on of these into an all in one brew system.

    Here's a shot of it here.
    20200502_141529.jpg
    Still gotta build a control pannel I like to take my time lol.
     
    Craigerrr, thunderwagn and Megary like this.
  8. Cousin Brewy

    Cousin Brewy New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2019
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Not sure there have been any advantages mentioned yet. Those systems are pretty pricey to not have any significant, or at this point, insignificsnt advantages. I didn't even ask about an all in one:D
    Having been in the industrial setting for the majority of my life I know that more complication means bigger, more expensive problems. One component failing in an all in one will shut down your brewing. I would never buy one. Never, but that's just me...
     
  9. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    918
    Likes Received:
    933
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Electrician (Previously a 6th grade Teacher)
    Location:
    Maine
    Home Page:
    The largest advantages of a HERMS system (or a RIMS or an ALL-IN-ONE) is that consistency is easier to obtain. My consistency improved greatly with the all-in-one. Also, my clarity improved greatly due to a constant re-circulation during mashing. Then there is the fact that you are running on electric versus propane - again consistency and the fact that you can brew indoors out of the heat and cold.

    Your original post didn't specifically ask for "advantages". Actually, after re-reading it, it sounds like you already have your mind made up... I originally read it as if you were curious about a different set-up and possibly going electric. If you are solid on your system and you like it then keep at it! People make beer in all sorts of ways!

    I personally don't find my investment to be a money pit. I've had it for two years and haven't had anything break, fail etc. I've enjoyed brewing in my basement with a sink and everything right there on hand. I'm not running in and out to obtain stuff, I'm not bringing out tables and "setting up" for brew day. . I locked this system in faster and better than I did using an outside burner (which did eventually stop heating evenly btw). These, to me, are all advantages.

    Regardless of how you brew and what you brew on, HAPPY BREWING MAN!
    Post some pics of those brews in the "what are you drinking right now?" thread as I personally love to see them!
     
    thunderwagn, Craigerrr and Trialben like this.
  10. west1m

    west1m Active Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2019
    Messages:
    179
    Likes Received:
    244
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Hastings, Minnesota
    Blackmuse, A bit off the subject but I see you brew in the basement. How do you vent the steam?
     
  11. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    918
    Likes Received:
    933
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Electrician (Previously a 6th grade Teacher)
    Location:
    Maine
    Home Page:
    I brew near the window and use a fan to push the steam out. Been considering a vent fan but I have honestly not had any issues. I also have a nice dehumidifier down there and that draws a lot of the moisture out.
     
  12. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2017
    Messages:
    3,746
    Likes Received:
    2,980
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    IT Manager
    Location:
    Edmonton
    The big advantage to the all in one units are space and immediate functionality. You don't have to spend years fine tuning your own rig. If I was just starting now I would probably buy a Robobrew and some spare parts rather than build my own. But I went electric but not HERMS, I don't see the value in the additional complication. I just added an electric heating element to my kettle to replace the propane burner.

    upload_2020-7-22_9-58-59.png
     
  13. Cousin Brewy

    Cousin Brewy New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2019
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Thank you. Thats the kind of response I was after. Those are the reasons I am looking st and can think of disadvantages on my own!
    During the covid fiasco I framed in my basement and will be wiring and plumbing soon. So I saterted thinking that instead of just a bar and kitchen, I may wanna set up a brewing system...
     
    Craigerrr likes this.
  14. Cousin Brewy

    Cousin Brewy New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2019
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    But you ARE using a diy system??
     
  15. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    918
    Likes Received:
    933
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Electrician (Previously a 6th grade Teacher)
    Location:
    Maine
    Home Page:
    That is what I did in my basement. Sink, counter, chest freezer (keezer), upright freezer (ferm chamber). etc. It is certainly nice being in what at least feel like a "brewery". :) Certainly go for it! There are plenty of ways to have a "simple" electric set-up.

    BREW ON! BREW STRONG!
     
    Chaos home brewing and Trialben like this.
  16. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2018
    Messages:
    960
    Likes Received:
    1,419
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    South Central Pennsylvania
    I know what not only shortened the day for me but it also saved me from hurting my back as well as not getting parboiled fingers and that was adding a pump to my rig. My process is the same as you and that pump addition and using a foot truck to move the carboy around has reduced my lifting considerably!
     
  17. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    918
    Likes Received:
    933
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Electrician (Previously a 6th grade Teacher)
    Location:
    Maine
    Home Page:
    I've been thinking about buy a scissor lift to get my robobrew up in the air high enough for transfer but it would probably just be cheaper to use my hop spider and the built in pump to pump it to the fermenter huh?
     
  18. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2017
    Messages:
    3,746
    Likes Received:
    2,980
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    IT Manager
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Oh yeah.
    upload_2020-7-24_9-52-51.png

    upload_2020-7-24_9-52-37.png
     
    Chaos home brewing and Megary like this.
  19. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    4,701
    Likes Received:
    6,903
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Asked and answered!
    Much easier with the pump!
     
  20. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    918
    Likes Received:
    933
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Electrician (Previously a 6th grade Teacher)
    Location:
    Maine
    Home Page:
    Well... I think I'll give that a go this weekend!
     
    Craigerrr likes this.

Share This Page

arrow_white