With multiple choices of solid all-in-one brewings systems on the market, a lot of people are choosing these as their option when making the jump to all-grain brewing, and for good reason. They are compact and easy to store, making them an excellent choice for people with limited space. Most of them are electric, so you can easily brew indoor and avoid harsh weather conditions. They are reliable systems with a fair amount of automation, and are capable of making a consistent product. The majority of these systems use a basket within a kettle for the mash, and then you rest the basket above the kettle to perform the sparge. Some of the options include a pump giving you a RIMS system (Recirculating Infusion Mash System) which helps increase your efficiency and consistency. In this article I will break down some of the options we offer and go through some of the pros and cons of each system. We can talk about what each system includes and their price points.
The Grainfather is one of the first of its kind on the market and offers some of the nicest accessories. The newer, current version, called the Connect has Bluetooth capability so you can control the unit from you phone. It allows you to set up programmable step mashing temps, and features delayed heating so you can fill your Grainfather with water the night before and wake up to your water at strike temperature. The graphic display is waterproof and allows you to use it in manual mode or with the app. It also gives you alerts when your attention is needed for the next step of your brew so you can easily multitask or relax in between steps of your brewday.
The unit itself is constructed of 304-grade stainless steel and has a total capacity of 8 US gallons. The grain basket can hold up to 20 lbs. of grain, so you can certainly get away with brewing some monster beers. The US version runs off of 110-120V and puts out a whopping 1,600 watts. Some of the available accessories include a Conical Fermenter, Hop Spider, Insulation Jacket, Sparge Water Heater, Fermenter Cooling Kit, Glycol Chiller, and all of the replacement parts you may need.
The Grainfather Connect includes a counterflow chiller, making one less item needed for the entire process. This system is on the high end of the price range, but from personal experience I really think it’s the best in class. The company provides fantastic support and a 24-month warranty should anything go wrong with your unit, and the machine produces some really tasty results – $998.98 MAP (Minimum advertised pricing) .
The Robobrew V3 is another option that’s becoming more popular with their new release. It mirrors the Grainfather in some aspects, as in the stainless steel construction, inclusion of a pump and chiller. The stainless steel immersion chiller is a bit different, but serves the same purpose as the Grainfather’s counterflow chiller. Once again, the only thing you really need other than the brewing unit itself is a vessel for fermentation. The Robobrew also has the function of programmable stages, allowing you to set up 6 different temperatures and durations for step mashes or delayed start to heating of up to 23 hours in advance. This way you can have your water hot and ready to go when you get home from work or wake up in the morning.
The Robobrew is slightly larger with a total capacity of 9 US gallons, but they recommend not going over 18 lbs. of grain. Much like the Grainfather it contains dual heating elements that run off of a single 110 volt plug and have individual switches allowing for more control over the heating process. You can use both elements for rapid heating at a combined 1500 watts, or individually to maintain a boil or mash temperature.
You won’t get quite as many selections for accessories on this system, but some of the obvious choices are still available like the Insulation Jacket and replacement parts. This system comes in at a lower price while not lacking too many of the benefits of the Grianfather, so some are considering it a better bang for your buck – $449.99 MAP (Minimum advertised pricing).
The Mash and Boil from Brewer’s Edge is more similar to the Robobrew, but offers the system both with and without a pump for recirculation. This flexibility is nice, especially if you’re already in possession of a brew pump, or want to create your own recirculation set-up. Most of the other mechanics will work the same, but it is a bit smaller of a system overall. It has a maximum capacity of 7.5 US gallons and a recommended limit of 16 lbs. of malt. It also runs off the same 110V plug and bolsters a 1600 watts heating element. Similar to the other units, it features a delayed start timer, so you can program the Mash and Boil to turn on up to 24 hours after setting. Again, this allows you to wake up or come home from work with your water already heated to strike temps and ready to brew.
The unit itself is double-wall constructed with stainless steel and includes most of the features that our previous two systems have. One thing it is missing is a chiller, as neither counterflow or immersion is included. This sets our price down some making it the most economical option of the bunch. The standard Mash and Boil system runs $299.99 MAP and the version that includes the pump sits at $419.99 MAP (Minimum advertised pricing).
Whether you or someone you know is considering making the plunge into all grain brewing and looking for a compact, easy to use unit – these options should most certainly be considered. If you have any questions about some of the specifics of the units please feel free to email them to [email protected] – you can also check out more details on these and other all-grain brewing systems on our site anytime at – https://www.homebrewsupply.com/brewing-equipment/all-grain-brewing-equipment/all-grain-brewing-systems.html