Recently Paddy and I purchased a Robobrew generation 3 for the suburban brewing headquarters. Previously we were brewing all grain BIAB using an SS Brewtech kettle.
First Impressions: The unit looks a lot bigger than expected. This is due to the magnetic pump and elements being housed in the base of the unit. I also have to admit that I was impressed with the quality of the Robobrew given it's position at the affordable end of the market.
I also thought the level to which customer feedback has been taken into account from the previous models was impressive, and the magnetic pump as standard starts pushing this unit into Grainfather territory at about a third of the price.
Initial Setup: The Robobrew gen 3 is very simple to setup, took us about 20-30 mins to unpack and put it all together, and that was with some time spent taking photos etc.
One of the big tickets for me was the inclusions of both the false bottom in main unit and the fine screens in the malt pipe, as well as a screen to go on top of the grain to aid recirculation. This give the home Brewer some really interesting options in terms of malt and adjunct selection, and even some flexibility in the processes they use on brew day.
Trial Brew: I managed to somehow miscalculate the amount of water needed for this initial brew (a simple pale ale with 2 row malt and Galaxy & Mosaic hops), through being distracted setting up and maintaining a spit at the same time (poor planning on my part I know, but man when you taste that chicken hot off the spit..!). What this error did do is expose a couple of small issues I'll have to plan for in future brews.
Firstly, even though this is an automated unit, you still need to be there to manually turn the elements and pump on/off (I lost a bit more water to evaporation than anticipated with both elements on most of the time).
Additionally, the immersion chiller included doesn't drop that far into the unit. So my reduced volume meant it wasn't fully immersed, slowing down my chill times.
The Verdict: This is a really cool piece of brewing equipment, and in our opinion well worth the relatively small investment. Can see many efficiencies available to us from using this system and also it's just genuinely a lot of fun. I'd recommend this to anyone looking to move into all grain brewing, or just looking for a new home brew toy, it's great.
We'll plan to report back over time on other brews we do on this system and also the performance/longevity of the unit over time, but so far, very satisfied with the purchase.
For more info visit https://www.kegland.com.au/robobrew-35l-gen-3.html