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Grainfather or BrewZilla?

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G'day all,

I'm looking at making the jump to all grain brewing just not sure where to start equipment-wise.

I'm currently running a kegerator which fits the 3x 20L kegs or a 60L keg so I'd like to aim for 50-60L batch size.

I'm split between 1vs and 3vs as from what I've read:

BrewZilla 65 - has a batch size of between 30 and 50L which could be too small for what I want? (if someone could clear this up it would be great)

Grainfather - smaller batch size and the software(that splits this unit apart from the BrewZilla) is effectively useless at this stage(apparently buggy ect) so not really worth the extra since its suggested to buy jackets, cam locks and false floor on top of the already higher cost.

3v set-ups, maybe the way to go for batch sizing however a bit more involved in regards to monitoring temps? and not so much of a 'set and forget' for an hour or so? and more equipment to buy in hand making them more expensive?

Please give us your opinions and experiences starting out and possibly other things to think about.

Cheers,
Josh
 

mje1980

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Hey mate, I recently got a brewzilla. After having a few different setups over the last 15+ years, I love the fact it takes up hardly any room and works great. 3V is great but my old setup took up much more room than the brewzilla. My keggle BIAB was better than the 3V and worked fine, but my brewzilla is smaller and has everything built in. I have a 35ltr but am thinking of a 65l for double batches.

Whichever setup you go with will make you great beers
 
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Apologies for the incorrectly labelled title, it was the original post I was going to post then considered a 3v setup to the list.

Cheers MJE, I'm not entirely strapped for room at this point in time at least ahaha so room doesn't really bother me. My garage has a extension built in and is the only place with a 15AMP power point which is where I intended to do my brewing anyway so I've kinda dedicated that area to a setup if needs be however in saying that, if I can get my 50-60L batches out of the BrewZilla 65 then I'd be silly not to go that path! I just don't want to be pushing the limits of the unit increasing chances of spoiling my brews.

Thanks for your input!
 

kadmium

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Guten software is much better than Brewzilla, build quality is great, and they give a 3 year warranty.

Single vessel is much easier to learn on, jackets aren't needed but do help in cold weather.

I would highly recommend a Guten, I have a 40L and love it. Keg King have been great in terms of customer service too.
 

enoch

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Brewzilla 65 can definitely do a 50 litre batch (and up to 14-15kg grain at a pinch).
You aim for 55ish from mash and use some fermcap for boil over prevention.
 
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There is the 70 litre Guten, see post 2016 which is full volume mash.
GUTEN
Guten software is much better than Brewzilla, build quality is great, and they give a 3 year warranty.

Single vessel is much easier to learn on, jackets aren't needed but do help in cold weather.

I would highly recommend a Guten, I have a 40L and love it. Keg King have been great in terms of customer service too.
Cheers for the info regarding the Guten. There doesn't seem to be many reviews or info about them or atleast in video form in comparison to the likes of the BrewZilla/Grainfather which is pretty hard to judge one way or the other, it sounds like I've got a pretty cruisy night at work tonight so might read through some of the posts on here about them.

Alternatively if anyone else has experience with them good or bad let us know.


Brewzilla 65 can definitely do a 50 litre batch (and up to 14-15kg grain at a pinch).
You aim for 55ish from mash and use some fermcap for boil over prevention.
Cheers Enoch, good to know! If I don't go with the 70L above I'll revisit this thought.
 

Ferment8

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Definitely 3 year warranty on the brewzilla too. Not sure how the software is much better on the Guten though. Pretty sure they are similar
 

mje1980

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My brewzilla has done 30+ batches since November with zero issues with software or hardware
 

kadmium

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It's been discussed before but Brewzilla starts it's next step including heating time, while the Guten only starts the next step once it has reached temp. That means the Brewzilla you need to take into account volume, heating power, temp differences and use a calculator to work out how long heating is estimated to be, then factor that into the step.

On the guten, I set a 60minute mash, 10 minute mash out. It does the mash, heats to mash out and starts the 10 minute timer. Simple.

Also, the Brewzilla has two switches on the side for heating element control? The guten has digital heating control from 100w through to 3000w (on the 70L) in 100w increments.

So, in total I would say the Guten has the better control / software over the brewzilla.

Other than that, they are fairly similar. The Guten was a copy of the Grainfather, the Brewzilla is a copy of the Guten and the Grainfather.

There aren't many reviews of the Guten, but Keg King have done a video on it here:


And Dr Hans did an unboxing of the Guten 70 here:


I personally have a Guten, I don't work for Keg King or Keg Land or any home brew related fields. I have purchased from both, I just personally decided on the Guten over the Brewzilla after my own research etc.

Also, the Guten comes with Cam Lock parts already fitted, so no need to alter it. It also has a sight glass for easy visual on volume in the Guten, and it's 3000W.


Bear in mind though, with both the Guten and Brewzilla you will need a 15amp socket as they use a 15amp plug (you can buy an ampfibian, but it won't let you draw the full power)
 

mje1980

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It’s not overly hard to manually program, I’ve never used the automated mash steps. Set temp put timer on my phone and come back when the phone goes off. I don’t take into account heating time between steps and nothing bad has ever happened.
 

Ferment8

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And the software has been updated to work the same with the mash steps.
 
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Morgz

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+1 on the Brewzilla. Love mine, but if it doesn't work for you with batch size, then don't make the sacrifice. Don't make big ticket purchases that you're not sold on. As far as set and forget, yes the 1vs kind of is, but brewing is still a hands on experience. Especially if you are looking for time efficiencies.
My 2 cents for what it's worth.
 

kadmium

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Exactly, I can only speak as to the Guten, which I like. If Robobrew or Brewzilla or what ever has been updated, then that's only a positive for it. They are essentially the same item with a few minor differences.

I enjoy single vessel brewing having moved from a cooler, kettle etc. I find it simple (which is good for me) and it produces great beer!
 

Cloud Surfer

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Grainfather - smaller batch size and the software(that splits this unit apart from the BrewZilla) is effectively useless at this stage(apparently buggy ect) so not really worth the extra since its suggested to buy jackets, cam locks and false floor on top of the already higher cost.
The Grainfather has the 70L version to consider.
 

beer gut

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The latest version Brewzilla 3.1.1 only changes steps once the temperature has been reached. Although I have never bothered programming it, I only use it manually. I have both the 35l and 65l Brewzilla, I upgraded after a year of not being able to keep up with my thirst ;).
Highly recommend the Brewzilla’s but also seems like you can’t go wrong with the Guten.
 
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Also, the Brewzilla has two switches on the side for heating element control? The guten has digital heating control from 100w through to 3000w (on the 70L) in 100w increments.
That's pretty cool! I was wondering how the BrewZilla managed temps or if that was another manual step that could lead to a spoilt brew to begin with ahah
There aren't many reviews of the Guten, but Keg King have done a video on it here:
And Dr Hans did an unboxing of the Guten 70 here:
I did watch both of these! but I think they were about the only 2. Will try do some reading in the forums tonight though.


Bear in mind though, with both the Guten and Brewzilla you will need a 15amp socket as they use a 15amp plug (you can buy an ampfibian, but it won't let you draw the full power)
Yeah all good in that respect, I've got a couple of 15 Ampers in my garage.


And the software has been updated to work the same with the mash steps.
Good to hear!

+1 on the Brewzilla. Love mine, but if it doesn't work for you with batch size, then don't make the sacrifice. Don't make big ticket purchases that you're not sold on. As far as set and forget, yes the 1vs kind of is, but brewing is still a hands on experience. Especially if you are looking for time efficiencies.
My 2 cents for what it's worth.
Yeah that was my thought hence why I'm holding back on the purchase to see what's out there. Apparently the Grainfather comes in a 70L version but would imagine it would be quite expensive with little extra gain, similarly to the smaller models.

I intend to hang around but if I'm able to nip out and wash kegs or something while a brews on it's a bonus.


The Grainfather has the 70L version to consider.
Will look into it however I think they're slightly overpriced for what they are.


I have both the 35l and 65l Brewzilla, I upgraded after a year of not being able to keep up with my thirst ;).
If I can get the recipe from my local brewshop of one of their brews I reckon I'll be in the same boat!

Cheers for the replys. Looks like we're pointing towards the Guten at this stage!
 

Reg Holt

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I am biased towards the Guten, I have the 50 and 40 litre, seeing as there has been a thread on the Guten for 3.5 years they seem to be standing the test of time. BrewZilla has a long way to go to meet that milestone.
 

Grmblz

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Another major difference in the systems, and one of the reasons for the price difference is the Grainfather has a cooling jacket rather than an immersion coil, my preference is a counter-flow chiller so the extra cost isn't worth it for me for the GF.
not a Guten review but he uses a Guten 70L and shows his process, also 85% efficiency which surprises him, worth a watch, particularly the stepped removal of the malt pipe, don't know if the Zilla has the same function I believe KL recommend a pulley system so possibly not.
I have a Robo brew 35L (early Brewzilla) and after numerous upgrades it now works well enough, my main regret is not getting a bigger one.
I'm looking at the 70L Guten as my next major purchase, the extra 5L compared to the Zilla, and the observation that it appears to be a finished product rather than one in development.
My experience with the Robo has left me a bit cynical of KLs' approach to new products, the initial purchase price plus the cost of all the "upgrades" has worked out to be almost the same cost as a 70L unit.
 

kadmium

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Good video showing the Guten 70 on a brew day.
 

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