Monday Night recap: “Hello, Dave” edition


Last night we brewed on our brand-new Brew-Magic last night for the first time.


Joel performed a few nifty modifications on Saturday, bolting one of the pumps we use in chilling to the base (it’s on the left) and strapping our propane to the bottom to give us some more shelf space. And while there are a few things we’re still trying to figure out and a few things we still need to troubleshoot, the Brew-Magic seems to be a significant improvement over our previous system. Some of our favorite things about it after using it once:

  • Finally! A better way to record final volumes with these sight gauges!
  • The built in pump takes a lot of the heavy lifting out of the equation
  • A huge red “EMERGENCY OFF” button is pretty much awesome. And hard not to press.
  • The crazy automation straight out of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Automated temperature control that keeps the mash within a couple tenths of a degree? Seriously?


Of course, these bullet points should change. After we brew on this thing a little longer, it is our hope that we are able to harp on repeatability and consistency a little more.

In other news, we got used our new 10 oz tasting glasses for the first time. They look pretty cool, and they drink pretty good too.


We had a good crowd last night, so thanks to all who came. I would also like to thank Jeanine for taking the photos for this and every Monday Night recap post.

16 thoughts on “Monday Night recap: “Hello, Dave” edition

  1. Wow! Did you guys look at the MoreBeer sculptures too? I was wondering what made you decide to get the Brew-Magic over the MoreBeer sculpture, if you did look at them?

  2. Hey, interested in DJs question and your answer. and did you buy the “full on” model from Brew-Magic? the one that cost half of 10?

  3. Guys, I certainlyhope those propane cylinders are not on their side with the valve submerged in LP. The vale is made for dealing with the gas in the headspace, not for dealing with straight LP. Look up up in teh interwebs, truly not safe.

  4. Whoa! Nice observation, Ward…
    Explosion of an LP cylinder = probably worthy of hitting the big red button

  5. DJ/BGuzman-
    Yes, we did get the “full-on” brew-magic. We did look at the MoreBeer Sculpture but once you add in the data package and other elements to bring it on par with brew-magic they’re about the same cost and from the research we did the brew-magic was the clear winner when it came to proven capabilities and track record. I can’t say I’ve seen a true head-to-head between the two systems but we’re pretty pumped about our decision and will see how it plays out.

  6. One more thing DJ and BGuzman – we did not end up using the brew-magic chilling setup as we have what we think is a better/faster/cheaper method.

  7. The best set up to have to hit pitching temps is a combination Immersion chiller and a plate chiller or just get a small glycol tank for the plate chiller .

  8. Chilling, like everything in brewing, is a matter of personal preference. Matt, we used to use a plate chiller but never felt comfortable with our beer going into that black hole and never being able to keep it clean enough. Once we stopped using a plate chiller we got more consistent results from our beer. On the commercial level plate chillers can be taken apart and cleaned, but for smaller volumes we’re much more comfortable with our current chilling setup. Plus it’s hard to beat 12 minutes, no matter how you slice it.

  9. I’ve used Alfa Laval gasketed heat exchangers in one breweries I’ve worked at which cool the beer really quickly but they are a bugger to pull apart once a in a while, but they work fine with CIP and a 1.5 speed back-flush .

    Im sure the Chill wizard could do the same as regards to CIP but as you say on a smaller scale a Immersion chiller combined with a whirlpool is probably a better solution and if you don’t have your plate chiller set up right you can have problems hitting target pitching temps and sanitation .

    When I eventually set up my Nano-brewery its something I will have to look at and sometimes the simplest (and cheapest) solution is the best.

  10. Careful with the propane tanks on there side. Even if not dangerous it could shut off due to OPD valve closing and shutting off gas flow. Unless your lucky enuff to have older tanks without OPD and someone to still fill them. :)

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