So,I’ve been trying to work through a dilemma for a few weeks now.

It involves two of my favourite things in the world … Beer and gadgets.

I guess a little backstory is in order..
I’ve been drinking craft beer for a while now and and believe my palate has improved , being able to pick out some flavours,aroma etc. so naturally this led me to want to try to brew something of my own.

A few months ago,I had a look around at small kits,which I was limited too as not a lot of space to store stuff and also SWMBO wasn’t keen on having masses of buckets,pans,fermenting vessels etc spread around the house and luckily enough the timing corresponded to a small homebrew kit being released by brewdog supposedly enabling you to brew their classic Punk IPA in the comfort of your own home…perfect!

This seemed like the solution I was looking fors as it was only a gallon demijohn (included in the kit) or so I thought,so stumped up the £40 and waited for it to arrive.

A few days later it arrived but on reading the instructions then realised I required further equipment (2 x 9L stock pot,large sieve),well,I was already half way there so these were duly ordered and then finally I was ready to get my brew on!

5 hours later (about 2 more than the blurb on the site would have you believe) my first brew was in the demijohn and happily bubbling through the airlock..I was stressed,faced with a lot of clean up and a grumpy other half as I’d tied the kitchen/cooker up for a lot longer than I’d anticipate…and I knew I was hooked!!

Fast forward a few more kits bought and brewed successfully (well,they were drinkable) and now feel I’m ready to take the next step and herein lies the quandary.

I’d like to brew bigger batches,the small kit is great and I’ll continue to use and maybe experiment with different beer styles,ingredients etc,but having no local homebrew shop to source ingredients I’m relying on online suppliers and the small quantities needed for a gallon brew are difficult to buy.

Which brings me on,if not in a rather long winded way,to the possible solution to all my problems… All in one kits!

These consist of a boiler and a tub (theres probably a proper term for it )that fits within which contains the grain so the mash,sparge and boil is all in the one unit,though I’d still need to buy a larger fermentation vessel (around £20-£30). After much deliberation I’ve boiled (see what I did there 😉 ) it down to two units…
The Grainfather…


All shiny stainless,but comes in at a hefty £600

Or The Brewster …



Looks cheaper,and is at £490
Now they both do the same things,and would need to buy a fermenting vessel whichever I went with, the Grainfather is better reviewed but both have their fans and think I’d be happy with either and they would certainly scratch my brewing itch,just worried that the jump is too big a step from where I am on my road to brewing a decent beer.
So there’s where I am…cost isn’t an issue luckily,space isn’t a problem as I’ve room in my parents Garage to get a brew day going even though SWMBO as given me a pass for kitchen brewing shenanigans (though that may be rescinded when it actually comes to it,lol) so guess it comes down to my confidence in the fact that I’ll keep at it and get enough brews on to warrant the initial hefty outlay.
…watch this space I suppose


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