So I landed in a snow dusted airport in Slovenia to a cool minus 13, I'm brewing on the new Brewiks 1000 in Maiester Brewery and I'm getting a lift from the airport by Damir the owner of the Brewiks brand.
I have got to know Damir and his family well since we meet them a few years ago, I love that the extended family all work together in harmony. They have a wealth of experience amongst them and we have built a strong and solid relationship, I know the Brewiks brand is world class as we have a Brewiks 200 and 500 litre system in our showroom but I was eager to test the Brewiks 1000
The short journey to the brewery allows Damir and I to have a good chat about his exciting new plans, I'm greeted at the brewery with the dull sound of the sub woofer belting out tunes , the aroma of freshly milled malt and a few friendly smiles from the brewers. The new Brewiks 1000 is an impreasive sight i thought 'What a day to be alive'....read on as we brewed a double batch
We mashed in via an auger which came through the wall from the malt room, it was good to see a hose lock water connection port to moisten the grain as it enters the mash tun and to ensure the auger remains hygienic
So after we mashed in it gave me the opportunity to discuss with the brewers what it was like to upscale from the Brewiks 500 litre system to the new Brewiks 1000, right off the mark he said it's easier and the best bit is the mashing and lautering works better. He talked about a better clarity of wort, I explained that we had added an underback to the Brewiks 500 system that we had and it made the clarity much better. The head brewer explained generally all the brewers felt it made alot of improvements and was easier to use, the only negative they said was the hop revolver it allowed direct steam to release when opened but they had already found a work around and added via the glass lid.
I noted the guys had added a hop filter between the pump and the heat exchanger and they said it was an added extra that the Brewiks team made to prevent the heat exchanger getting blocked with hop debris . They also explained that initially the heat exchanger was a little too effective and they had to slow the pump speed but now they have found a workaround, they changed the cold water flow hose diameter to 25mm from the hose lock tubing and add a ball lock valve to allow them to control the flow, so the pump speed is set to 80% and the flow restricted using the ball valve and it chills a 1400 litre batch with ease.
The turnaround time from the first batch to the second batch was 30 minutes and the hot water generated from cooling the first batch was used to mash in with the second batch, an impressive 5 hour brew time for the first batch also, so I started to try and find problems as so far it seemed to good to be true, so wanting to give an impartial review I found an issue , it needs a light in the inside of the boil tank and lauter tun. I was slumming it with a torch and although I'm scraping the barrel to find an issue it was one.
The touchscreen brewing technology with live time diagnostics including all temperatures and live power usage rates may seem intimidated but it was very simple to operate , i have to admit it did seem too simple to me and I kept thinking I had missed something but it genuinely makes it simple to operate.
The pump speed can be changed at the touch of the button as with the smaller models and the stepped platforms make over seeing the brew insanely simple.
As the first brew of the day completed I enjoyed some pizza delivered to the brewery and a pint of IPA straight from the fermenter, Slovenian hospitality is always awesome .
During the second mash in for the 2nd brew of the day I noticed the mash temperature drop as the malt was augered in , I got the boiling button and the temperatire shot back up rapidly, I flicked it to reservoir heating one degree out and it stopped bang on target mash temperature. A simple moving of hoses and I'm connected up for transfer to the lauter tun.
The brewiks boost heating system is a beast of a machine it heats 1 degree in one minute. So when we transferred to the lauter tun, lautering took half an hour, yep I couldn't believe it either, so visually it has been manufactured robustly to allow for vacumm layering but that was designed for an hour and half of lautering yet it didn't need it.
The system brought the wort to a vigorous rolling boil and the steam was maintained with the condenser and adding the hops was simple, we whirlpooled and the brewers explained that after whirlpool they let it settle for 10 minutes before they commence the transfer from the kettle to the heat exchanger, the key here is to avoid excess bitterness in your brew is to simply have all your pipes connected prior to commencing the transfer.
Effiency was 95% and when I challenged that with the brewing team they said a bad efficiency rating would be 90%. This system is built to last it oozes simplicity and works effectively and efficiently I was impressed!!
So if a light gets added to the next model and wheels to the steps for ease of cleaning this has to be the best system on the market for anyone considering a 10hl or 20 hl brewhouse.