Braumeister or Brewtools??

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timtoos
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Braumeister or Brewtools??

Post by timtoos » Wed Oct 13, 2021 10:59 am

Hi all,

I brew on a BM20 but want to upscale.

I fancy either the BM50 or Brewtools B80. I dont want a grainfather or such like - I dont like the non replaceable heating element as I have totally useless unit should it fail.

I can get a second hand BM50 for £1000. Its the last controller model (the one which misted up but he says it doesnt).

I can get a second hand B80 with 4 valve accessory kit and counter chiller for about £2500.

Whats folks thoughts? I like my BM20. I can get it going and walkaway from it, making family life that bit easier. At boiling/cooling times it can get hectic yes, - but dont all rigs?

On the other hand, the B80 looks really good and in the same robustness style. I like the more effective chiller, transferring and whirlpooling options.

Whats folks thoughts?

Thanks

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Cobnut
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Re: Braumeister or Brewtools??

Post by Cobnut » Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:52 pm

You pays your money and takes your choice, but I’ve been brewing with a GF 30 for 3.5 years and 70-80:batches with no complaints and no signs of it giving up on me. I would argue it’s a proven bit of kit.

However, I also know that BM is a solid system.

Brewtools I do not know. Seems a bit newer and also rather pricey!
Fermenting: Black IPA, Belgian style Witbier
Conditioning: Belgian Blond
Drinking: Partigyled IDSP & PP, Single hopped APA, (extract) Single hop pale ale, London Porter, Thai spiced Saison, SMASH Keeping Ale (Chevallier, First Gold, Voss Kveik), Dunkelweizen, Hazelweiss
Planning: Various

f00b4r
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Braumeister or Brewtools??

Post by f00b4r » Wed Oct 13, 2021 8:21 pm

The Brewtools is a lot of cleaning, very shiny but a lot of cleaning.
The BM (and Grainfather) are both solid proven systems.
They all have their strengths and weaknesses but just be aware that a step up to the 50L BM from three 20L comes with a few gotchas, eg commando power sockets needed and a hoist system for the malt pipe.

timtoos
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Re: Braumeister or Brewtools??

Post by timtoos » Wed Oct 13, 2021 8:30 pm

The power isnt an issue to be honest but having to install a hoist would be. A big issue is the height required to lift. The ability to pump out like on a grainfather and BT system is great. I see theres a pump out kit for the BM but it has mixed reviews. I suppose I could pump out with an external pump which I have arriving soon tbh.
Its things like whirlpooling which the BT system does really well that appeals to me. Just not the price of everything whats an extra.

timtoos
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Re: Braumeister or Brewtools??

Post by timtoos » Wed Oct 13, 2021 8:32 pm

Ive watched a few videos of the new G40 from grainfather. It looks well and very well thought through.
I must admit I dont fancy the grainfather unit. Im not sure they are built so good. There always seems loads of issues as if their products are pushed out before their time - or just built to a much lower standard. But, Ive never had one, just reading reviews.

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Re: Braumeister or Brewtools??

Post by Hodda » Wed Oct 13, 2021 10:21 pm

This is me - currently BM20 but undecided for say 18 months!! Love the BM, but…..I want more.

Love the set n forget and simplicity of the BM but wished it could do more - whirlpool, wort pumping etc (mixed reviews on the BM pump thing)

BT80 - does those things, seems to have the ability to do a few more ‘technical’ aspects and it’s something new to learn from, doesn’t need a new socket - price reasonable, until you realise extras are needed, then you have the cleaning and my considered extra faffing needed to get wort, which the BM does with ease.

I wish BM would do like a BM80, be close the base price of the BT, be a little more up in the game from the box on the whirlpool/wort pump front, without the expense of the IMO useless WiFi and chiller options which at new, takes them close in cost.

I swing from one to the other at the drop of a hat - the price of everything and the seemingly over engineered aspects ‘for the sake of it’ has so far put me off the BT, but the ‘it’s the same thing, just bigger’ has put me off the BM50.

Even considered a diy unibrau type setup with a controller but Im concerned it’d be a mistake given the outlay.

Want bigger volumes, both do that - which is best? Ultimately, I want wort not faff but have the ability to faff if I have time.

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Re: Braumeister or Brewtools??

Post by nickjdavis » Thu Oct 14, 2021 10:23 am

I also am a BM20 user who for the past 18 months has been considering another system. I'd say my primary drivers are...

1) Id like occasionally to brew bigger beers...the mash efficiency drops noticeably once you go over 6.25kg in the malt pipe....I've performed reiterated mashes, I've added extract to the boil, I've boiled for longer and accepted reduced volume to get the gravity I want....but these are all compromises to recipe or process
2) Transferring wort to the FV is less than ideal...I've used springer filters (when I had my BM at "desk level" now I have it a lot closer to the ground to aid malt pipe removal), the BM wort pump tube, external pumps etc....again these are all additional complexities....they're not major but they all involve the cleaning and sanitisation of just that bit more kit.
3) Cleaning the BM round the elements is a PITA
4) The ability to brew bigger volume might be nice, just once in a while...but having only one fermenter this would be limited to around 30L rather than the 22L that I currently brew to.

When the BrewTools B40 came out I thought that it was the answer so watched it with keen interest. Then you see it in the hands of real world users, (not just the "paid" you tube reviewers or company "stooges")....the folks who use the system in real life environments and really get into what works and what doesn't. The fact that the BT requires a significant investment in "accessories" to make it anything other than a very basic brewing system made it cost prohibitive, as did the issues found by the real world users, which required things like new laser cut filter plates being developed and overflow pipes to alleviate some problems....plus the constant burned elements (yes I guess there is some user error in there but burned elements seem to be common even when they've not been exposed to a bit of "dry" heating)....it all slowly seemed more trouble than it was worth.

I continued on happily with my BM20.

The Grainfather G70 came out.....waaaayyy to big for what I want.(likewise the BM50 is too much for me as well).

But now the G40 is here and, on the face of it, it looks the ideal product for what I want...sure there are some immediate things I would do differently...e.g. instead of simply laying a silicone pipe on top of the mash and having the recirc water just wash the top layer of mash all over the place I would employ some sort of perforated manifold that would sit nicely flat on top of the mash and disturb it a lot less...a far more elegant solution. Also, why a lower tap doesn't come fitted as standard is beyond me....makes taking samples for gravity/pH measurement/other purposes far more simple.

I'm saving up and at this moment in time am committed that the G40 is for me...but to be honest...that's where I was with the BrewTools at one stage....so now its a case of waiting for early samples to get to real world users and see what flaws they can really find. Will be interesting to see how well the bottom filter plate really does filter hops out, how often the pump fails to run/gets blocked with air (NEVER a problem with the BM), whether efficiency is affected by the fact that mash liquor can run out of the sides of the malt pipe rather than running down through the grain bed.

Folks have said that its too expensive.....but when you consider that a new BM20 is around £1750 and the BrewTools is closer to £2k by the time youve bought various accessories to make it work, the G40 doesnt seem to be too bad value.

I've watched a few vidoes....some of the G'father stooges I wouldn't let in my garage brewery having seen their ham-fisted efforts to brew...whereas some videos are far more informative about the system. Its now just a case of waiting to see what issues the real world users find.

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Re: Braumeister or Brewtools??

Post by thepatchworkdoll » Thu Oct 14, 2021 11:01 am

Hi Nick
For whats its worth. Ive got the BM20 and the BM50. Both are great bits of kit. You definately need a hoist or a chain block for the 50 and I do agree with you its a wee bit of a pain cleaning the elements. However having no knowledge of any other systems apart from my original 3V i love my BM's and would,nt do without them now.
Regards
Pete

timtoos
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Re: Braumeister or Brewtools??

Post by timtoos » Thu Oct 14, 2021 12:05 pm

You are all so bang on with what you say... these arguments for the pros and cons are exactly what's running though my mind. Ultimately I always just sit with my BM20 and see what other new products come out.

The g40 looks really good. The MaltMiller reviews look very favourable indeed, however I worry about how long the system goes with failures of some kind.

I did recently purchase a B40 but then sold it on. It was new and never used but to make it useful required so much investment for little in return of wort out. I can get 23L of wort from my Bm, to get an extra 8/10 litres at a extortionate cost didn't sit well so it went.

I think it's now a waiting game. I'm not going to bother with the BM50, I'll save my money and see what comes out or see how the G40 does.

🍻

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Re: Braumeister or Brewtools??

Post by Cobnut » Thu Oct 14, 2021 12:29 pm

I think there is also a degree of "horses for courses" here.

As above, I have a GF30 which meets my needs for the most part.

I don't often brew very big beers, so the GF30 generally suits.

I do sometime increase my brew length for "cooking beers" to 30L which is about what my fermenters can cope with.

Methodology is quite simple: I brew a bit bigger beer (more grain, more hops) and then liquor back prior to cooling and transfer. The GF30 can comfortably hold 32L which gives 30L in the fermenter. Boil is thus "normal" of around 28-30L and I simply prepare some extra sparge liquor to add post-boil.

Could you not do something similar in your BM20? Or do you want to brew even bigger batches? Or stronger beers in larger batches?

As per Nick's post above, I suggest you should think about what your objectives are and seek a system to suit those needs.

I don't think there is the ultimate system which is going to be everything to everyman (person).
Fermenting: Black IPA, Belgian style Witbier
Conditioning: Belgian Blond
Drinking: Partigyled IDSP & PP, Single hopped APA, (extract) Single hop pale ale, London Porter, Thai spiced Saison, SMASH Keeping Ale (Chevallier, First Gold, Voss Kveik), Dunkelweizen, Hazelweiss
Planning: Various

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Braumeister or Brewtools??

Post by f00b4r » Thu Oct 14, 2021 12:49 pm

Just to throw a curveball in there, there is a premium German machine, the BrauEule III. It doesn’t really seem to be known over in the UK but takes a different approach compared to the machines already discussed.

https://www.brumas.com/brumas/BRUMAS-Br ... lvnj5hhvn1

It isn’t cheap though (although does claim to be self cleaning and only require an hour’s hands on time). I’m tempted in picking up one next summer if I cannot sort out more brewing time.

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Re: Braumeister or Brewtools??

Post by Hodda » Thu Oct 14, 2021 5:51 pm

Totally agree with thoughts here as discussed earlier.

I’ve now considered that say if I got a BT or BM, that’s an investment of xxx - could I ‘build’ for the equivalent price - I’ve been down this road when I went BM initially.

Essentially a diy unibrau, BT or BM (albeit not the upflow mash) electric herms equivalent - back then an electric herms seemed to much to sort for me on the controller front, but there’s the einbrew now for example (yes a few Bob mind, but vs a new BT or BM etc) plus couple of kettles, decent pumps, elements etc - build in / aim for future proofing etc.

Coming from a boiler/cool box starter then to BM20 about 5 years ago, I’ve never done a 3v setup.

So for those that had 3V systems, what is the advantage of an aio is it 1)space 2)time 3)controllability 4)cost cheaper?

When you talk new BM 50/BT80 monies costs must be equivalent to a purchased controller plus some decent pumps n kettles - so that’s 3 and 4 equal.

Space is obvious a disadvantage, so is an aio a huge saving on time? (Eg clean as you go like clean a MT same as malt pipe) - what’s the time differential?

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Re: Braumeister or Brewtools??

Post by nickjdavis » Thu Oct 14, 2021 7:59 pm

I would say the primary advantage of an AIO is simply space.

The brew day isn't necessarily quicker....mash still takes time, as does boiling and cooling...yes you can clean the malt pipe whilst you are boiling but that's no different to cleaning out a mash tun in a 3v system.

In terms of cost...I'd say that 3v systems are bang for buck cheaper than AIO's and are also more flexible in terms of upgrading as you can chnage the individual vessels as and when you wish.

In terms of cost I reckon you could put together a 3v system for 60-70% of the cost of any given all in one and achieve the same level of functionality.

Perhaps an AIO might give a tad more controllability in terms of stable mash temperatures...but that's nothing that cant be replicated with a couple of hundred quid's worth of holes, tubing, pumps and heating elements.

No...for me....it pretty much boils down to space.

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Re: Braumeister or Brewtools??

Post by Mashman » Thu Oct 14, 2021 9:36 pm

I love my BM 20 but still hanker for a really nice 3V system. I spent a couple of decades building them. The BM is magic but if I could now buy a ready to go 3V brewery for a sensible price I would. Can't do all that tinkering building anymore ..
Two Valleys Brewery

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Hodda
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Re: Braumeister or Brewtools??

Post by Hodda » Thu Oct 14, 2021 9:49 pm

Mashman wrote:
Thu Oct 14, 2021 9:36 pm
I love my BM 20 but still hanker for a really nice 3V system. I spent a couple of decades building them. The BM is magic but if I could now buy a ready to go 3V brewery for a sensible price I would. Can't do all that tinkering building anymore ..
Thats one of my problems, I think I’ve forgotten how simple the BM makes the process and say, how hard can it be to build one from separate bits, It’s just a brew kettle, grain basket, controller, heater, pump…….but I can’t be arsed with tinkering, have enough trying to find time to brew as it is.

I like drinking the result, thinking wow I made that, I like researching, putting recipes together etc - the brew day itself for me anyway is that needs must thing - maybe I should learn to enjoy the er, buildup and not look forward to the finish line….

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