Grainfather or Braumeister

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Morrie

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I am an extract brewer and am considering moving to all grain. Currently I am looking at all options including BIAB, Grainfather and Braumeister. I think I will skip the BIAB option and consider the Grainfather and Braumeister.

The Braumeister is considerably more expensive than the Grainfather and I am questioning is it worth the extra cost and if so why. I am trying to do as much research on both of these devices to decide on which to buy.

I've read good and not so good points about both. I would appreciate the opinions and comments of owners using these appliances to explain the good and not so good points about each one.
 

SBOB

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there's a few youtube vids of grainfather v braumeister which might help you make a decision

I think if its a money's no object choice, the braumeister wins
if you have to weigh up 'value', i'm not sure you will get 2.5x better functionality from a braumeister
 

gTrain

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While having a chat with a brewer about which one they would prefer, they said the Grainfather as it is less automated & more hands-on. This meant they had more control & input into the brewing process. Just a thought.
 

Roosterboy

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Morrie said:
I am an extract brewer and am considering moving to all grain. Currently I am looking at all options including BIAB, Grainfather and Braumeister. I think I will skip the BIAB option and consider the Grainfather and Braumeister.

The Braumeister is considerably more expensive than the Grainfather and I am questioning is it worth the extra cost and if so why. I am trying to do as much research on both of these devices to decide on which to buy.

I've read good and not so good points about both. I would appreciate the opinions and comments of owners using these appliances to explain the good and not so good points about each one.
Morrie , I don't have a grainfather or Braumeister , they are both variations of BIAB and my opinion is you can make a cheaper system than the braumeister.
You can make a more robust system than the grainfather and if you want bigger system than both. There are other variations on BIAB on the web and as someone
who has used several BIAB variations and I have a 3V system , I would look at those.
 

tugger

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Having used both I would go the brau.
That's a quality piece of gear there.
But that's my opinion.
I'm a bit more of an old school Brewer(chill in the pot) drain to fermenter.
 

danestead

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I have a 20L braumeister. It fits my purpose however you are limited when trying to do higher gravity brews which don't use DME/Sugars etc. I assume the grainfather has the same limitation however I haven't used one so couldn't give you exact figures. I can fit 7kg of grain into my malt pipe and achieve a mash efficiency of about 75% with that quantity of grain. Off the top of my head, that will give you about 25L post boil of 1.065ish wort.

I like the fact that the braumeister is somewhat automated as I can walk away for hours at a time during the mash etc.



gTrain said:
While having a chat with a brewer about which one they would prefer, they said the Grainfather as it is less automated & more hands-on. This meant they had more control & input into the brewing process. Just a thought.
The braumeister can be run in a fully manual mode as well as automated.
 

Cecilweetabix

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I went for the Grainfather (GF).The reason was the upfront cost. I believe the braumeister (BM) is a superior build quality - example ... can see that they have tooled up to create parts such as bottom mesh pieces whereas the GF is taking off the shelf mesh, cutting and using silicon seal. Normally I don't mind paying a bit more for quality, but the 2.5 jump was too much. The way I see it is I will go GF for now and could always sell in 1-2 years and upgrade once I have learned whole process, proved to myself I am still interested after so long and have worked out that the 2.5 x jump is justified. The fact that the BM has levels of automation does appeal, but again I feel I would not use that automation until I am more experienced, so no value in that feature for now. As someone mentioned earlier, if money is no object, go the BM. Just remember there is always kegs, fridges, C02 and Nitogen and all sorts of other goodies where the extra grand and half can be spent:)

I am 3 brews into the GF and love it.
 

MHB

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The BM from a great height, if you can afford it.
I have turned out 1.114 OG wort in a 50L Braumeister without adding anything (other than malt and water), like any system as gravity goes up volume comes down, cant figure why this surprises people.

I suppose its like choosing between a BMW and a Great Wall, one is German designed and built the other isn't and you get what you pay for.
What you will get from the BM other than the highest design and build quality is repeatability and consistency. If you put in the same ingredients and run the same program you will get the same wort as often as you like, you can fine tune recipes until you get them exactly the way you want. Then make them when ever you like. That was/is very important to me, not necessarily everyone else.

I will take exception to the notion that BM and GF are variations on BIAB, the BM came first, BIAB was developed by people (mostly Pat) who couldn't afford/choked at the price or just plain wanted to. Not a bad thing.
BIAB has been the biggest change in AG brewing in a very long time, It makes entry into all grain brewing inexpensive and very approachable. It has dam near killed extract brewing in Australia (not a complaint - an observation) and is now spreading around the world. Sorry NO-Chill wasn't an AHB invention either, Fresh Wort Kits have been sold in various incarnations since the 1970's.

I have seen references to comments by Fix on "Pillowcase Brewing" (not too complementary apparently) from the late 1950-1960's so BIAB could have a lot longer history than we think - if anyone can find the exact reference I would like to sight it (please).

I have never met or heard of anyone who regrets owning a Braumeister or has any complaints about their quality.
Mark
 

Benn

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Regarding Brau vs GF, well worth watching parts 1,2&3
...and any of his other videos for that matter.
http://youtu.be/Nr2Qlh5YKwo
 

wobbly

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On the Braumeister Forum there are a number of topics about issues with the current model controller.

Here is one of them relating to condensation in the control screen. https://forum.braumeisters.net/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=1657

Don't get me wrong I think there are an awesome piece of kit and I own a original style controller 20lt unit

Cheers

Wobbly
 

Ducatiboy stu

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I have seen a BM in action.... Bit like a modern breadmaking machine

Pour ingredients in, press start, then go and do something and come back when its finished...


Kinda takes all the fun out of actually making beer in many ways
 

Morrie

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Thanks and appreciation to all who have replied with their opinions. Benn - I had a look at the video and was surprised in the comparison between the 2 units and that the Grainfather was more efficient in the fact that the OG after boil completion was I think 6 points higher than the Brau. I'm not sure why, maybe some tweaking in the grain crush size would be needed. The Grainfather had pump intake foul up issues due to hops which would be rectified by using hop socks or a spider.

The Brau just looking at the videos does look a more quality item to me. I spotted surface rust stain on the Grainfather and wondered if the stainless was a slightly less quality than the Brau. Maybe they are both 304 grade but in my opinion a 304 grade stainless made in Germany would be better than a 304 grade stainless made in China. I'm not saying that it necessarily follows that the Grainfather materials came out of China but it is something that I am thinking.

The jury is still out for me but I am leaning towards the Brau at this stage. I don't think it would matter which one you owned, you would be happy with either. I like the full programability of the Brau and the fact that recipes can be stored and then re-run.

The only thing that has me miffed about the Brau is that the Grainfather came out ahead in efficiency and I'm not sure exactly why. Maybe it could be the Grainfather trickles the mash re-circulation from above and the Brau feeds it from the bottom up. Still you wouldn't think that would have an affect on the efficiency. I'd appreciate anyone's opinion on the efficiency differences and if the Brau process could be tweaked to bring it up to the Grainfathers. Maybe crush size could do this?
 
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Ducatiboy stu said:
I have seen a BM in action.... Bit like a modern breadmaking machine

Pour ingredients in, press start, then go and do something and come back when its finished...


Kinda takes all the fun out of actually making beer in many ways
Wouldn't be too many BM owners who reckon brewing with one isn't much fun.

And if you like being more hands on..........

danestead said:
The braumeister can be run in a fully manual mode as well as automated.
 

Ducatiboy stu

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Black Devil Dog said:
Wouldn't be too many BM owners who reckon brewing with one isn't much fun.
Yes but some brewers like to be more hands on....

It's ok BDD...its just MY opinion.....I am not saying dont buy one....
 

MHB

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Haven't watched the video, but could easily get over 80% efficiency - into the fermenter, which is better than a lot of micros do.
Given the same crush and the same L:G ratio its nearly imposable for the first running's to be a different gravity, the only change comes when you sparge (if you sparge) full volume the answer should be the same (or at least very similar).
Mark
 

manticle

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I love 'hands on brewing' but the bits I like most are sitting on my deck with a beer, record on the stereo, smelling the mash. I reckon you'll get that with all/most wort production methods.

If you want real hands on, make fresh fruit based cider using a home bench top juicer.

I won't comment on gf versus brau because I've not used either. I can't imagine you'd be disappointed with either and I reckon both would retain significant resell value if you decide to change.
 

danestead

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Ducatiboy stu said:
I have seen a BM in action.... Bit like a modern breadmaking machine

Pour ingredients in, press start, then go and do something and come back when its finished...


Kinda takes all the fun out of actually making beer in many ways
Ahhh operating in a manual mode compared to 'automatic' only involves pressing a button to turn the pump on and off or pressing 2 other buttons to turn the temp up and down. I'm not sure what you classify as fun but pressing buttons doesn't really get my juices flowing.
 

Ducatiboy stu

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danestead said:
Ahhh operating in a manual mode compared to 'automatic' only involves pressing a button to turn the pump on and off or pressing 2 other buttons to turn the temp up and down. I'm not sure what you classify as fun but pressing buttons doesn't really get my juices flowing.
Me either :)
 

Morrie

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Has anyone had any screen condensation issues with a current model Brau controller in Australia? I checked out the Brau forum which seems to be UK based and there is a truck load of owners of the current model with condensation screen issues and Brau haven't been all that co-operative in warranty rectification? Just wondering how any Aussie owners are faring with warranty with Braumeister?
 
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