Well, it’s true. These Brew Dudes have entered the 21st century of homebrewing. We each have a BrewZilla All-Grain Brewing System in our respective (brew) houses. After brewing on them for a while, we came together on this video to talk about our experiences. Here’s all the good and bad stuff we have encountered using this piece of electric homebrewing equipment.
No Longer Old School
I remember a comment we received when shooting a live video on YouTube that Mike and I were brewing “old school”. Yes, we batch sparge in orange coolers and boil on propane burners. With all the investment needed for that set-up, it is hard to change your homebrewing style. Also, it works!
Certainly, all-in-one, all-grain electric brewing systems have been around for years. Finally, we’ve caught up with the rest of the world. Mike purchased his BrewZilla 3.1.1 when it was on discount. I got mine from our friend Kee Doery from Kegland.
Over the past 3 months, Mike has been brewing all of his beers on his system. I had one brew session under my belt. Based on this experience we have a few things to express about brewing on this gear.
The BrewZilla Pros and Cons
Let’s list the great things first:
We appreciate the temperature control as it reduces the need to babysit the brewing process. Set the control for the mash temp you want, add the grain, mix it well in your mash water and come back in an hour.
Mike has seen a mash efficiency bump in his brews. On his recirculating mash setup with propane burners, he gets a sugar extraction of 70%. With this system, he sees his range between 85 and 87%
He also likes using the timer so he can set the water to heat at some point in the future. It has allowed him to prep earlier in the day and use him time during the brew session to brew.
I like that I didn’t have to babysit the boil. Since I was brewing a world renowned 1 gallon SMaSH beer, there was no fear of a boil over in this system that boil up to 8 US gallons.
Lastly, it is really easy to use. Press start and set your temp. You’re good to go.
For the not-so-great thing, we don’t think the 110 voltage isn’t strong enough to produce a vigorous rolling boil. Watching my unit get to temperature and see it mildly bubbling made me want to go back to my burner. Wrapping it the right neoprene jacket and keeping the lid halfway on top could help the boil become more powerful. Certainly, we will be brewing and experimenting on these systems this year and beyond.