All in one all grain system

I'm in the market for an all in one system. I find I just don't have the time to give to the stove top setup I use today which needs constant attention for the whole 5/6 hours in a brew day. I'm looking for some advice. Pros and cons of what's out there. I see you have the BM, the grain father and brewvolution. I know there is a big difference in price but how do you rate these against each other. How much automation, how reliable and of course the quality of the end product. Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks...


  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Posts: 1,939Administrator
    Hi BrewNerd, the brewing systems are popular probably because as you say they can be reasonably automated and can make your brewing day so much easier. We offer the Brewolution Brewster and also the Grainfather, and also the high end Speidel systems, but these do cost quite a bit more due to the quality and heritage.

    Both units will brew your beers and lagers, the Grainfather does cost more and this is probably partly due to the way it is made, the components are more built in, whereas the Brewolution uses some off-the-shelf parts such as the pipework - perhaps not as good to look at. The Grainfather also has the control box that you can link to an app on your mobile phone if you are keen on the technology side of things, if technology is important to you then the Grainfather is ahead on that with the connectivity to your phone.

    Both get good reviews and issues are rare with either, both manufacturers are quick to resolve any issues. Whether or not it is worth the additional money we think often depends on how much use you will get from it and how regularly you will brew.

    Hopefully this helps, if you will get plenty of use out of it then it may be worth considering the extra for the Grainfather. We find much like other hobbies there are different types of home brewers - some who do it as a hobby and want the best kit so they really enjoy their brewing and do it as a craft - often prepared to spend more for the best available equipment, and others who just want to brew their own beers for enjoyment but also to save money - and with the difference in price you can buy a lot of grain and hops!

    The Brewster is currently on offer at a discounted price and also includes a grain ingredients kit for 1p to get you started:

    The Brewolution all grain refills are good and will work with other machines such as the Grainfather so they are worth considering too if of any interest. Both machines offer a similar brewing efficiency, we have used both and the beers have turned out great.
  • BrewNerdBrewNerd Posts: 33Member
    Thanks for the info I'm really undecided. What about the speidel? Is it worth the extra cash?
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Posts: 1,939Administrator
    edited February 2018
    The Speidel brand are known for their quality so you are paying for the premium brand, being made in Germany this often commands a premium compared to many of the Chinese alternatives. When you see the machines there is no denying that the Speidel is of a very high quality, all the welds are of a very high standard and you can see why they do cost more. Speidel have this promotional material on why they believe their system is better:

    The Speidel is known for their quality and they are used by micro breweries for small and test batches, although some have started to use Grainfathers too. The Speidel system does need a separate wort chiller coil which we stock, but has the advantage that it does not need separate sparge water so you don't need to add the water later, you can just boil water or Grainfather have a separate sparge water heater available for those who require it. The Speidel Braumeister is available in sizes, 10, 20 and 50 litres.

    One handy thing with the Grainfather, if you might consider making alcohol for spirits then the Grainfather also has an option of an alembic dome and condenser for distilling alcohol too.

    In essence all 3 systems do a similar thing when it comes to making beers and lagers, if you cost it up for each version allow for extras such as the wort chiller on the Speidel, or perhaps a separate sparge water heater on the Grainfather, the rule is though the more you pay the higher the quality, it is just down to individuals to decide if it is worth the extra for the amount of use/pleasure they will get from it. We quite often use a Grainfather for brewing here, but our resident all grain fanatic has a Speidel set up at home. The Speidel is probably the best but whether it is worth the extra money is personal preference based on usage and funds
  • BrewNerdBrewNerd Posts: 33Member
    That's an interesting point about the sparge water. Strickly speaking though, could you not also remove the need to sparge in a Grainfather if you used a high water to grain bill ratio? Thus only collecting a primary Wort for the boil?
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Posts: 1,939Administrator
    You would normally sparge with the Grainfather although you don't have to use a sparge water heater, you can just warm up some water in kettles/pans etc
  • BrewNerdBrewNerd Posts: 33Member
    So is it the different mashing method in the BM that removes the need to sparge? Sorry for all the questions but I'm wanting g to select he right kit. Too much money to make he wrong choice.
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Posts: 1,939Administrator
    No problem, BM consider that sparging is not usually necessary as the pump and wort circulation has already done this as part of the mashing process, this will be due to its design and efficiency, you can still pass some water over the grain if wanted. The Grainfather specifically says to sparge after mashing to get the maximum for your grain
  • BrewNerdBrewNerd Posts: 33Member
    I was seriously considering the BM but struggling to justify the cost. Also I don't want to loose too much of the process to automation. I'm leaning towards the Grainfather. Can you make smaller batches in the GF?
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Posts: 1,939Administrator
    The Grainfather can be used to make 10 litre batches by getting the 'micro pipework' option which is £19.99, unfortunately we have sold out of these and the manufacturers don't currently have them available, they should be back in stock soon though, hopefully the next couple of weeks:
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