What am I missing about the Braumeister?

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What am I missing about the Braumeister?

Postby Mark » Wed Nov 04, 2015 18:10

It seems that this forum has many more Braumeister brewers than Grainfather brewers. Why is this?

I've been looking in to them in detail in the last couple of weeks. To me, it seems lunacy to spend that much more on a BM.

I know it's got a nicer display and the 2015 version has a few perks... and sure, it's automated - but you can brew bigger beers on a GF and it seems just as efficient and just as easy to use (with the exception of flicking a switch and pressing a few buttons). It also comes with a chiller which is rated well.

I know there was a few issues with the pump filter but this seems to have been sorted in the new model.

I watched the video of the Aussie bloke brewing on them at the same time. I know he said he would buy a BM, but I didn't think he justified a price difference really (also I know he wasn't trying to - he's not a sales rep... hopefully). There seemed very little between them, but they're a world apart as far as my wallets concerned.

So what am I missing?

Is it the brand? BM have been around a lot longer and it's German, so you assume it's going to be reliable? - or is there something I've totally overlooked?

Appreciate anyone's feedback.

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Re: What am I missing about the Braumeister?

Postby KevinS » Wed Nov 04, 2015 18:21

I don't own either, so cant really add anything useful - but I know what you mean...

I have always got the impression that the BM seemed more sturdy, more like it would last a lifetime compared to the GF. No idea really where this concept came from (maybe its just looks!) but would be interested in finding out more about those that have seen them both up close
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Re: What am I missing about the Braumeister?

Postby Mark » Wed Nov 04, 2015 18:25

KevinS wrote:I don't own either, so cant really add anything useful - but I know what you mean...

I have always got the impression that the BM seemed more sturdy, more like it would last a lifetime compared to the GF. No idea really where this concept came from (maybe its just looks!) but would be interested in finding out more about those that have seen them both up close

I have thought this too, but really, all it is is a stainless steel pot (both good quality) a pump, a temperature controller, an element and some pipes/tubes. With the Grainfather, it comes apart anyway, so if one part does, you can get a replacement from the UK. I assume it's just as easy with BM.

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Re: What am I missing about the Braumeister?

Postby mickthetrick » Wed Nov 04, 2015 19:07

having used a mates BM half a dozen or so times in the last year i decided im going to have one. we have brewed a big 11% beer on it maxing the malt pipe with grain. worked a treat. also managed to get a 36litre brew on it with sparging. so you can get a big beer too. the build quality is great on them too. i cannot comment on the grainfather as ive not used one but both machines seem very capable.
i picked up a BM first gen. that was brand new for less than the new grainfather. i was lucky, yes but i took my time until i could get a deal i was happy with. used it yesterday for its first brew and it went as smooth as my pals first gen.
im a very happy man.
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Re: What am I missing about the Braumeister?

Postby swiggingpig » Wed Nov 04, 2015 19:20

I own a BM which I purchased before the GF came out, I think I've had it about 3 years.

I watched some of the GF demo at the Festival this year and I've seen the side by side on YouTube. In all honesty I would still have bought the BM over the GF, the GF is too fiddly for me both in use and to clean in comparison to the BM.

My view/opinion is that the BM was designed specifically for its task, providing as much automation as possible to allow consistancy whilst I feel that the GF is an off the shelf collection of parts assembled to do a similar task.

In the end you pays your money and makes your choice :)
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Re: What am I missing about the Braumeister?

Postby Mark » Wed Nov 04, 2015 20:20

swiggingpig wrote:I own a BM which I purchased before the GF came out, I think I've had it about 3 years.

I watched some of the GF demo at the Festival this year and I've seen the side by side on YouTube. In all honesty I would still have bought the BM over the GF, the GF is too fiddly for me both in use and to clean in comparison to the BM.

My view/opinion is that the BM was designed specifically for its task, providing as much automation as possible to allow consistancy whilst I feel that the GF is an off the shelf collection of parts assembled to do a similar task.

In the end you pays your money and makes your choice :)

Thanks. Which parts do you think look more fiddly? Ive not seen either system in person.

From the demo online, the only difference looks like the recirc arm going in, which is just a screw connection. This is then taken off for the boil and the cfc is plugged into it after - again, just screw it on. Doesn't look too fiddly on the video.

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Re: What am I missing about the Braumeister?

Postby swiggingpig » Thu Nov 05, 2015 00:22

Mark wrote:
swiggingpig wrote:I own a BM which I purchased before the GF came out, I think I've had it about 3 years.

I watched some of the GF demo at the Festival this year and I've seen the side by side on YouTube. In all honesty I would still have bought the BM over the GF, the GF is too fiddly for me both in use and to clean in comparison to the BM.

My view/opinion is that the BM was designed specifically for its task, providing as much automation as possible to allow consistancy whilst I feel that the GF is an off the shelf collection of parts assembled to do a similar task.

In the end you pays your money and makes your choice :)

Thanks. Which parts do you think look more fiddly? Ive not seen either system in person..

The BM requires no change of recirc arm, no change of element heater settting, no timing of mash stage and change to new stage etc.

If you can travel to Huddersfield in West Yorshire I'm more than happy to show you a BM in 'action'.
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Re: What am I missing about the Braumeister?

Postby Mark » Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:02

thanks, that's really good of you to offer, but I'm in North Wales so a bit far away.

It's really helped anyway. I was thinking there might be something that I didn't know about which drove the difference in price, but I think i'm aware of the differences, and still don't think it justifies the price difference to me - just my opinion.

What you said about the the GF being an ensemble of parts put together, I can actually see some positives in. It's modular and upgradable. There's already been a few updates like a new pump filter, grain cap etc and next year a new cpu is coming out for it which includes automation. Existing GF users only have to pay the difference between the two units to upgrade. I wonder what else is to come.

Perhaps a joint brewday with a BM user for the benefit of other forum members might be in order, when it comes :)

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Re: What am I missing about the Braumeister?

Postby swiggingpig » Thu Nov 05, 2015 18:00

Mark wrote:Perhaps a joint brewday with a BM user for the benefit of other forum members might be in order, when it comes :)

Sounds good to me :thumb:
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Re: What am I missing about the Braumeister?

Postby PhatFil » Thu Nov 05, 2015 19:17

Just as you get folk who only drive brand new bmw's you get brewers who are BM fanboys too.

Me i drive a 20yr old rover 218 that cost me £100 7 years ago and flies thru mots without any work (last 2 years at least) ;) and have a grainfarther for small brews hehe .

the BM is made from thicker SS and has a more sophisticated controller out of the box, but no hop filter and no chiller, and has been established as The 1 pot homebrew machine for sometime now. None of which really justifies the price difference imho.

but both the BM and the G/F can be upgraded with a re-flashed stc1000 or any one of the open source brew-trollers floating about..

the results from the g/f are just as good as BM brews but thats more brewer dependent than kit dependent, a good brewer will brew a better beer with a BIab on the stove than an eeeeediot with a BM or a 3v rims/herms setup every time..

one thing i dont like about the G/f is the ??glass lid??? ffs who thought that was a good idea??, or is it a ploy to get you buyng new lids every time you drop, knock and break the glass.. :cheers:
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Re: What am I missing about the Braumeister?

Postby wezzel » Thu Nov 05, 2015 20:27

The BM is just very well made German engineering. Some brewers have made hundreds of batches on them without a hiccup. Some professional Brewers even use them. They are expensive but tried and trusted and should last a lifetime.

The Grainfather is a good machine too but is not quite so sturdy and, being new, its longevity is unknown.

If money isn't a problem go for a BM but if you have less to spend I'm sure the GF will do you proud.
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Re: What am I missing about the Braumeister?

Postby Fatbloke-Dim » Mon Jan 25, 2016 20:42

As they say....

yer pays yer money......I just splurged on a BM 20 ,nice and convenient and all that ,set and forget .-ish . But a GF is just as competent , but just more hands-on . In the late,great Time4anotherone's comparo , the GF got quite the better of the "Fritzmeister" on efficiency . You can't lose either way ,but the pump/pipe blocking thing on the GF might be a pain , but then again the hop strainer on the BM stops the conical hood sitting properly , and won't stop pellet hop mush probably , either . Not that I'd be caught d ead using pellets ,y' understand. Six od one , here , methinks . Money no obj....get the BM , but the GF won't disappoint . Fence-sitting? me? Not really . Well possibly. Maybe ,I'm not sure . Or am I? :hmm:

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Re: What am I missing about the Braumeister?

Postby PhatFil » Mon Jan 25, 2016 23:50

Im a GF owner so have some bias.

IMHO the BM has been around that much longer to establish a following and that following have tested and help refine the current product on the shelf. So there is much more in the way of BM taylored recipes and tricks provided by the brewing community

The GF is just over 1 year old on our shores in the UK. So has less in the way of user provided tips and tailored recipes..

The BM is made from thicker sheet stainless steel, has a cyclic bottom up recirculation , and a more sophisticated controller.

The GF comes as a more complete package with hop filter and cfc chiller as part of the bundle but has a thinner walled pot, recirculates the liquor through the grain from the top down using gravity. But has a simple controller requiring more input and external timing.


MY #1 concern prior to brewing with the GF was the probability of the recirculated mash liquor just returning to the pot bottom via the overflow drain and not through the grain bed, In practice after the initial 10-15 mins of the recirculation during the mash the liquor stops finding its way down the central overflow and feeds through the grain bed, and was crystal clear too ;)

Without having had any BM hands on experience my endorsement of the GF may nor carru as much weight as others but it gets it regardless , Yah GrainFarther woohoo!!..
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Re: What am I missing about the Braumeister?

Postby BarnsleyBrewer » Tue Jan 26, 2016 07:20

Love reading these posts about BM's & GF's and how easy it is to brew but I'd miss the thrill of 3 vessel brewing and being able to do 15 gallon in one brew.

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Re: What am I missing about the Braumeister?

Postby Eli_D » Tue Jan 26, 2016 19:52

I went with the BM and have never looked back.

I wanted to scale down-reduce kit to wash and store, checked out both BM and grandfather but felt the grain father was cheaply made and I didn't feel it would last.

First time I've been interviewed for a brewing podcast - was terrifying.
No laughing at me!
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Re: What am I missing about the Braumeister?

Postby chastuck » Tue Jan 26, 2016 22:47

It's also about looks for me. The GF looks like it's just been thrown together out of spare parts, whereas the BM looks more purpose designed.
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Re: What am I missing about the Braumeister?

Postby sram » Thu Jan 28, 2016 17:10

I have a Grainfather, and i looked at the Braumeister. It came down to the price point in the end. The one thing for certain is they will both make beer, which after all is what it's all about. Happy brewing! :-)
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