I am in the process of going to a kegerator and 100% all grain brewing. I have done some all grain but bounce back and force from concentrate kits to AG.
In my search to upgrade my system and move to a simpler and faster approach, I investigated lots of systems. Here is a great comparison article https://beerandbrewing.com/VkIjIikAA...ms-2016-update
The Grainfather and PicoBrew caught my attention.
In conversations with my SIL (creative and handy), he said he would like to build the unit. He does not brew but knows a lot about baking and cooking. Since my objective is to brew in a simple and hands-off way, he challenged me to look at the assumptions of brewing so the system could be as simple as possible with still delivering results.
Perhaps like you, I had been taught the process of mashing, sparging, cooling, pitching and fermenting for specified times, temperatures, etc. But with a closer look, it seems that many of the "rules" we home brewers follow, may not be "required"
As we approach this project, here are the likely changes we are considering (you will see it is based on the approach of the systems in the article in one form or another)
- RIMS mashing approach (recirculating the wort through the mash bed)
- No Sparge
- 60-90 minute boil
- Automatic addition of hops based upon a room temperature cooling of the wort (still need to work on this based upon oil release of the hops)
- Overnight wort cooling at room temp in fermenting bucket (Aussie's might get credit for bringing this idea back. Picobrew also suggests it as an alternative. Brewing before refridgeration used this type of approach)
- Yeast added after wort cools the next day. Wort oxygenated at same time
The system will be hooked up with pumps and a control panel to move everything through the system, like the Picobrew. Limited human interaction with the process. One improvement to the Pico, we think, is placing the wort into the fermenter automatically right at the end of the boil. That is why I looked up any alternatives to the process of quickly cooling the wort. Room temperature cooling, will allow this step to be done by the pumps and not the brewer.
Before you react, take one second to challenge your assumptions concerning the brewing process. I know there are a lot of teachings of what could happen if X or Y is left out of the process. But, have you really seen the proof.? In my literature search, people are doing EVERYTHING and claim to be getting tasty beer. And, pointing out what does happen vs expected does not seem to be scientifically tested.
We will see how this will work. Thoughts?