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Brewing Topics => Brewing Discussion => Topic started by: mrcmb on September 22, 2020, 08:22:14 AM

Title: Thoughts on all in one brewing system
Post by: mrcmb on September 22, 2020, 08:22:14 AM
I've been brewing for the last couple of months.  I started to look for a bigger pot to move from my 8 gallon.  I saw a few of these all in one systems especially the one by anvil.  Can i get some of your thoughts?
Title: Re: Thoughts on all in one brewing system
Post by: Oginme on September 22, 2020, 08:50:26 AM
Background:  I started out doing 2 gal batches and moved to a more traditional cooler mash tun doing 5 gal batches with propane burner.  I then 'downsized' to a 10 liter BIAB batch inside on my propane stove and found that better suit my style and brewing habits.  Last summer, I purchased a 6.5 gal Anvil Foundry to get off the propane and give myself the flexibility to brew on the same set up year round. 

Personally, I really like the Anvil Foundry.  I have not tried any other AIO system, so I cannot really give you a true comparison.  For me, having a system which fit my brewing preferences (10L batch size) comfortably was the biggest reason for the choice of the Anvil system.

I have helped several brewers with their 10.5 gal Anvil Foundry set ups, mostly in how to modify the profiles in BeerSmith.  The biggest plus in my experience is being able to set up the system well ahead of time and then having the strike water hot and waiting for me when I am ready to brew.  Downside is that it takes a bit longer to clean up. Net result is no real time savings, but the stability of the mash, lack of a need to move the kettle from the stove to the oven to keep warm and then to the sink for chilling, and the ease of use are the biggest gains.  I get nearly the same mash efficiency as I did with my stovetop BIAB set up: slight decrease from 86% down to around 83%.  I do not sparge with the system, but use it as a full volume mash and so far it has fit anything I have wanted to brew comfortably.

I do recommend getting a bag to line the mash pipe (or even bypass the mash pipe with a false bottom).  I have made great use of the optional pump to help with recirculating during the mash, setting up a whirlpool during cooling, and transferring to the fermenter.  On my smaller system, the boil at 120v is reasonable and at 240v it can be pretty vigorous.  I have heard people complain about the vigor of the boil on the larger unit, but it is still a boil and will make wort.  I have come over to the camp of a mild, rolling boil over a vigorous boil as better for stability anyway, so it does not bother me too much to be running at 120v at times.  I have dialed back the boil when running at 240v to around 80% power and probably dial it down a bit more.

Most of all my ability to move the unit from outside, to the garage, or even inside during the winter and keep the same system set up and profiles has been the biggest gain for me.

Title: Re: Thoughts on all in one brewing system
Post by: mrcmb on September 22, 2020, 09:06:25 AM
Thanks for the reply.  I'm currently doing a full mash with mash tun.  I have not done a brew in a bag in a while. You may have to refresh my memory.  Since you don't sparge do you add more water to your wort?    I think I was trying to cut back on the amount of cleaning the most, but it could be since a little less cleanup than the way I'm currently doing it. 
Title: Re: Thoughts on all in one brewing system
Post by: Oginme on September 22, 2020, 09:28:04 AM
I put all the water into the mash.  No need to top off or add water anywhere else in the system.  You do have a thinner mash since the water to grain ratio is quite high, but I have found that it works to my advantage when recirculating in preventing the mash from compacting in the Anvil.  Using a grain bag allows me to crush finer than I would if I were using a traditional mash tun or no bag in the Anvil.  A fairly fine mesh to the bag allows for good liquor flow through the grain bed but keeps any fine particles from getting into the boil. 

Title: Re: Thoughts on all in one brewing system
Post by: Kevin58 on September 22, 2020, 03:34:36 PM
For years I have been brewing 5 and 10 gallon batches in my unheated garage. Then in the winter I've been doing small batch BIAB batches on my stove top but it is not the ideal solution for me. So this past winter I began researching AIO rigs and after reading about Oginme's 6.5 gallon Anvil on this and other forums I have pretty much made up my mind that within the next few months I will buy one for this coming winter.
Title: Re: Thoughts on all in one brewing system
Post by: Hetken1 on September 23, 2020, 07:01:23 AM
Hi,  After hundreds of brew sessions with HLT - MT - Boil kettle on Propane,   "Hands Down" the Anvil is fantastic.  Brewing in my basement brewery (not outside) is a pleasure for sure.  I have done supporting plumbing so that I do not have to carry or pour water, either for the mash/boil/chill.  I just swap out hoses with tri clamp connections.  I also set up a pully lift to drain the mash.
Title: Re: Thoughts on all in one brewing system
Post by: merfizle on September 23, 2020, 08:33:20 AM
If it makes beer, all-in-one is fine. It depends on how much control you want to have in the process. You do sacrifice some details with all-in-one. I believe you have more control and options with separate mash tun, lautering, BK, etc.