BrewZilla/RoboBrew v3 Review:
Brewing System With Re-Circulation Pump
When you get ready to try your hand at all-grain brewing, the BrewZilla V3.1.1 has you covered while lending you a helping hand on brew day.
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More times than not, most homebrewers usually start their hobby the easiest way possible, and that is with extract brewing and basic equipment.
Then after a few brews, the natural progression is to eventually move to all-grain where you can make your own recipes. and have full control over the complete brewing process.
Stepping up to all-grain brewing takes extra equipment, and can seem complicated the first time around. But investing in an all-in-one brewing system will introduce you to brewing beer with the all-grain method, but much simpler than the traditional way.
So with this BrewZilla/RoboBrew v3 review, we hope to give you some insight on this piece of brewing equipment, and hopefully help you decide if it’s right for you and your brewing needs.
Table of Contents
Review of the BrewZilla All-Grain Brewing System with Pump
BrewZilla v3.1.1 (formally known as RoboBrew) is an electric all-in-one brewing system that allows any DIY homebrewer to make hundreds of advanced all-grain beer recipes without the need for the traditional brewing equipment.
The new version of this brewing system will let you mash and boil with the best possible efficiency, then cool the wort from just one piece of equipment.
Making a buying decision for any specific brewing product can be challenging. So in our quest to provide you with the most relevant information, we put together this BrewZilla buyers guide.
This automated brewing system certainly has various features and benefits that stand-out from the other similar products on the market, so you can determine if this is the right purchase for your needs.
Features and Benefits Of The BrewZilla
The BrewZilla has some features and benefits that will help you make an easy transition from extract kits to all-grain brewing
- 110 volt power (U.S. only) means that the unit can be easily plugged into any standard receptacle in the house or garage.
- Dual heating elements total 1500 watts (500/1000 watt): Having dual heating elements gives you more control over the mashing and boiling temperatures.
- Stainless-Steel walls and construction means the unit is easy to clean, won’t rust, and made to last.
- Using a re-circulation pump during the mash means better efficiency and a better chance of hitting your gravity numbers.
- Included immersion wort chiller will get that boiling hot wort cooled down to yeast pitching temperatures quickly.
- The extra handle towards the bottom of the tank makes it much easier for dumping, rinsing, and cleaning.
- Installed ball-valve makes transferring the wort to the primary fermenter much simpler.
- Programmable control module is water resistant and features automatic temperature settings for precise control. The timer will not start until the correct temperatures are reached.
- Reasonably priced
- 1500-watt dual-heating system
- Relatively portable at 30 pounds allowing you to brew almost anywhere
- Concealed elements make for easier cleaning
- A delayed start feature that allows you to program a start time up to 23 hours in advance
- Temperature settings and volume markings are not uniform, and some users will have to adjust
- The immersion chiller should be made of copper and the coils should be longer
What's Included in the Box
- Mashing/boiling tank with controller
- Stainless steel 1/2-inch ball valve
- Immersion wort chiller
- Stainless steel malt pipe/basket
- Glass lid
- False bottom
- (3) Grain screens
- Overflow inlet
- Grain blocker
- Re-circulation tubing
- Re-circulation arm
- Magnetic drive pump for re-circulation
Additional Items Needed
- 1/2 x 5/8 vinyl tubing for immersion chiller (in)
- 1/2 x 5/8 silicon tubing for immersion chiller (out)
- (2) Hose clamps
Here are a few items you may want to purchase to make your brewing process easier.
- The tubing for the wort chiller does not come with this unit. You can buy the pieces separate and make your own, our you can get a Wort Chiller Connection Kit all ready to go.
- A neoprene jacket which helps the boil go quicker, especially if your equipment is set up outdoors in a colder climate. The manufacturer sells a BrewZilla jacket which comes in 65L and 35L sizes.
- A whirlpool arm works with the internal pump to stir the wort instead of using a spoon or paddle.
- A hop spider can be used for your hop additions which will help unwanted sediment in your wort. Check out our list of other available hop spiders here.
- Lifting a heavy basket of water-logged grains is heavy and can be awkward. A BrewZilla rachet pulley will give you the leverage you need to lift the grain basket and allow it to hang while the wort drains.
Keep in mind that these items are optional, and you can use the Brewzilla perfectly well without the additional purchases.
Why You Should Consider The BrewZilla
Like with any hobby or vocation, the more you learn you realize there is even more to learn. Home brewing is no exception. While we all took
pride in our early batches using simple methods, we quickly discovered that with a little more effort the quality of the recipe can be improved.
Like with any food recipe, controlling the quality of the ingredients makes for a better final product.
All-grain brewing is certainly more difficult than brewing with extract. More equipment is required, as well as more steps and more time. An all-in-one brewing system is one way to make the all-grain process simpler, allowing you to control your brew while eliminating many elements that can mess up your brew.
Things To Consider Before Buying
All-grain brewing can certainly enhance your final product, but it does take more time and effort for your final product to be consistent. That said, all-grain brewing gives you far more control over the process than extract brewing can do.
The commitment is more than just time, but includes the cost of the all grain brewing system as a whole. While this product is reasonably priced for what it does, it is not exactly cheap.
If you don’t plan on brewing more than a few times a year, then you may want to wait. However, if you are a consistent brewer always looking to have more control, the time is right for you to make this purchase.
Another element to consider is the space. You could certainly brew on a table but keep in mind that lifting the grain basket is essential, and that is difficult to do if you need to lift over your head.
This system is best utilized when placed on the floor or any other low and flat surface. Don’t wait until you start your process to realize you have to lift the basket!
If you want to streamline your session, have less equipment, and more control, then a RoboBrew/BrewZilla is a great product for you. Since the mash, sparge, boil, and cool doesn’t involve different equipment for each phase, then your process is more compact, simpler, and potentially less messy.
Other All-In-One Electric Brewing Machine Options
If you want to have the all-in-one experience, there are certainly other products to consider.
All these models are similar and essentially do the same job, but some have more of a “hands-off” approach, while others have more bells and whistles.
If you want to look at other alternatives, we have put together a post on other popular all-in-one brewing machines that might be a better fit for your brewing needs.
Home brewing is a labor of love and there is certainly a lot of effort involved, but we know the results can be awesome. When you have more control over the total brewing process, the more satisfaction you can get with the final product.
Some home brewers find the results between extract and all-grain brewing negligible, while others see a clear improvement in quality when utilizing the all-grain brewing method, especially when using an electric brewing system.
If you do choose to go that route, this 35L/9g BrewZilla is certainly a solid option for those who want an electric all-in-one system without the higher price tag of similar models.
This system definitely gets the job done, and is a good value for the price.
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