BrewUKA bit like your local brewery, you should always hold your favourite home-brew suppliers dear.

As you probably know I tend to get my malt and hops locally (from Rob the malt miller as he’s local and has cut me a few favours on occasion)

But, for all my exciting sundries: kegs, pipes, buckets and all that jazz (and Wyeast!) I tend to go to Greg at BrewUK.  His prices are hard to beat and his range is pretty much unsurpassed.

The biggest draw to the BrewUK online presence, however, is the BrewUK forum…  I must admit that I wouldn’t be half the home-brewer I am today if it wasn’t for Saracen, Hamish and co.  They and the rest of the the community were the folks that set me off down the wort-splattered path of all-grain brewing.

I haven’t posted to the forum for ages, but feel I ought to if only to say “Hi” and also to ‘fess up to buying a Braumeister…will they ever forgive me?

So here’s the tip(s):  If you want some decent gear (including a *huge* range of extract/all-grain kits) go to the BrewUK store; however, if you need help, advice, or just a shoulder to cry on when you experience your fifteenth boil-over, you can’t go far wrong than join the BrewUK forum.


I have just logged on and said “Hi” – let’s hope there’s some Braumeister users on there.  I could do with some good recipe tips!

Speidel Braumeister

speidel_braumeisterLook at them, don’t they look tempting?

May the good Lord have mercy upon my wallet…I’m thinking of buying a Speidel Braumeister.

What is one of those, Jon?  I hear you cry.  Well I’ll tell you: it’s a German-made, full volume, all-in-one, single vessel, computer-controlled brewing system.

Computer-controlled and stainless steel mean that it’s borderline brew porn; Unfortunately with all good things, especially German engineered brew porn, it don’t come cheap…being an absolute non-snip at £1300 or so for the twenty litre version and £1900 or so for the fifty litre version.

But from what I can see the benefits kind of outweigh the cost:

  • One vessel means much less clean-up to do
  • One vessel means it’ll take up way less space than my current three vessel set up and temperature controllers, buckets and other random supporting tat
  • With computer control it’s possible to perform stepped mashes without having to heat a mash tun or fiddle about with decoctions
  • I can mash in and leave it to get on with it, no more intervention ’til a quick manual sparge and starting of the boil
  • The Braumeister produces crystal clear wort due to the recirculation pump and filtering screens
  • Less buggering about means I stand much more of a chance of actually getting an evening brew complete and done before 2am – which is what happens normally
  • My wife thinks it’s a good idea (Unbelievably, but I suspect this may require me to buy her something suitably expensive to even things up)
  • Easier automated brewing means more time to concentrate on creating recipes and focusing on making great beer, rather than spending lots of time “making beer”
  • I have tasted beer made in a BM ( and it was lovely.  And also probably a lot to do with Gary’s recipe too
  • It’s German engineered, so not likely to fall apart any time soon
  • It’s shiney.  My crikey it’s sooo shiney

On the negative side:

  • Will there be as much satisfaction as I currently get while piddling about with my current three vessel set-up? (most of which I built myself)
  • I understand that there’s a limit to the grain capacity – which could limit me to non-mental strength beers i.e. sub 7%
  • It’s a bit pricey
  • It’s a bit pricey
  • It’s actually more than a bit pricey

I’ve been thinking about the financials part of it.  Forget about the fact that I actually really enjoy brewing and just focus on the economics:

You can buy 3x bottles of decent beer from the supermarket on a three for a fiver deal, meaning 500ml of beer costs you about £1.67.

When I brew I estimate that it costs me about 45p for 500ml (note to self: must buy 25Kg sacks of malt in future) so minus that 45p from the £1.67 meaning that I’m reckoning that I need to cover £1.22 per 500ml.

Let’s assume that I’m going to buy a 20L BM for £1,275, I would need to brew 1045x 500ml bottles (or 522L) of beer to offset the cost.

Divide that by a standard 23L brew length and it appears that I only have to brew 24 full brews and either drink them myself or take them to parties, etc. and I’ve covered the outlay.

I reckon to drink/give away on average 5L of beer a week (light-weight, I know…think of the savings if you were a massive pisshead!)

So it’s safe to say that it’d only take a 100 weeks (circa. 2 years) in total to have paid off my “investment”

I am currently talking to a vendor about this product and will let you know if and when it all comes off and I buy one…did I mention that I’d pretty much sold it to myself after bullet point no. 5 of the benefits?

See here to watch the videos of how it works.  Prepare to want one: