Author Topic: Review of Anvil 6.5 Gal All-in-One Brewing System  (Read 332 times)

Offline Oginme

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Review of Anvil 6.5 Gal All-in-One Brewing System
« on: August 04, 2019, 02:16:57 PM »
I recently made the move from gas to electric brewing with an Anvil 6.5 Gal All-in-One brewing system with recirculation pump.  After conducting my initial brew, I have the following review of the system.  I have no comparison to any other electric brewing system, so comparisons are to my former brewing process of 10 liter batches on my gas stove top (high output commercial burner). 

My first impressions of the system was that it appears well made, though a little on the lighter side of what I expected. It was easy to put together, requiring a minimum of parts assembled. I did a 'dry' run with the system and at 120v it took 53 minutes to raise the temperature of water from 68 F up to the programmed strike temperature of 158 F.  This is a bit longer than on my stove top where it takes 35 minutes to bring around 60 F water to a 158 F strike temperature.  Offset this by the fact that the Anvil can be programmed with a delay start and set up overnight (which is what I do on my stove top BIAB) so that it would be up to temperature and ready fro grain as soon as I got up in the morning.  Definitely a time saving feature.

The system held mash temperature of 154 F with occasional dips down to 153 F.  My stove top BIAB holds within 2 to 3 degrees (higher than strike temp) in my pre-warmed oven or (lower than strike temp) when wrapped in insulating blankets.  A definite improvement in control of strike temperature and consistency of same.  The recirculation pump worked smoothly and kept a consistent mash temperature through the mash bed in the limited checking that I did at the end of the mash.

I did use my BIAB bag inside the mash basket and kept the grind consistent with my normal BIAB.  My calculated mash/lauter efficiency was 80.9% for the initial run.  I average between 85% and 86% mash/lauter efficiency for my BIAB system.  Part of this may be the slightly higher water retention in the grain.

From end of mash to boil, it took only 23 minutes.  On my stove, it is typically 42 to 48 minutes.  There is a difference in that on my BIAB system, I am doing my brewing during the winter and with the Anvil, I was able to brew on my back deck on a 70 F to 80 F morning.  My alternative is to drag out my mash tun and brew on a propane burner doing a more traditional mash tun with batch sparge process.  The set up for my mash tun system is one of the things that keeps me from making beer during the summer month even if I did have the time.   The flexibility of brewing on the same system inside and out is another plus in favor of the Anvil system.

I did use the chiller which came with the system even though it was smaller than my standard stainless wort chiller.    The small chiller took about 55 minutes to bring the wort down to 70 F.  My old wort chiller would bring my kettle down to 65F in about 30 minutes.  In fairness, my well water is much colder in the winter when I do brew, so that may have something to do with the difference.  On the plus side for the Anvil system, having the temperature read out meant that I could set the temperature and the system beeped when it reached that set point. Checking it, my old chiller would easily fit into the Anvil system, so I will try my old chiller next time to see what difference it makes in chilling time.

My first brew was a botanical using sweet gale and the sweet gale plugged the recirculation pump rather neatly when I tried recirculating the wort to aid in the chilling.  The Sweet Gale leaves are much larger than hop pellets, but some care will need to be done to ensure that the same does not happen with high hop loaded recipes.  Alternatively, I may need to go back to using hop bags or buying a hop basket.  Neither is a prospect I am excited about.

Having the drain valve made it much easier to transfer the wort into the fermenter in place of pouring into a funnel or siphoning.  If I had not plugged the pump with the herbal debris, I would have tried using the pump to make the transfer.  The rotating dip tube in the Anvil made it easier to drain off most of the wort from the coagulated proteins which had collected in the center well of the Anvil.

All-in-all, the system performed as expected.  My mash/lauter efficiency is on the high side of what users were reporting, so I was pleased with that aspect. 

Pros:  Consistent mash temperature, ability to set temperature delay, self-contained system, easy to operate and clean, heats quick enough on 120v and I will give it a try on 240v on an upcoming brew, wort handling with drain valve and pump is easy.

Cons:  Lower mash/lauter efficiency, boil rate at 120v is adequate at best.



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