An electric revolution is underway in the brewing world, with small, efficient systems at accessible price points attracting more and more brewers. How do these competing systems stack up? We took five systems into our brew lab (we added Speidel Braumeister for this update) and put them to the test to help you decide whether an electric turnkey system is for you.
An all-in-one electric homebrew system with a surprisingly deep feature set (recirculating mash), moderate power requirements (runs on standard 120v household current), and an integrated control system to maintain temperatures, all at a very aggressive price point.
Test Lab Notes
PROS: The Grainfather is compact, easy to use, and thanks to the built-in pump and recirculating mash provides the ability to brew all-grain recipes almost as convincingly as a system with dedicated vessels. The temperature and pump controller are simple and straightforward making it easy to set your temperature and walk away, but the system still requires hands-on participation in the brewing process making you feel as if you are actually brewing and not just pushing buttons. The included counterflow wort chiller is very effective at dropping the wort temperature quickly as long as your tap water is cool enough. While we have 240 volt, 50 amp power in our brew lab to power our custom-built electic test system, we didn’t need it for the Grainfather—it uses standard 120 volt household power.