I've been doing some research into pre-built electric all-in-one brewing systems (Robobrew, Grainfather, etc) vs DIY electric systems. The prevailing sentiment is that a DIY 110v 1500 watt system is not enough to achieve a full rolling boil, however the descriptions for the Robobrew and Grainfather systems are claiming that a full rolling boil can be achieved with this wattage. I've seen many reviews backing this up as well.

What are the fundamental differences between a pre-built system and what DIYers are doing? Are there links to any plans or reviews of DIY electric systems that achieve similar results and have similar specs to the pre-built systems?

  • Is there a reason you can't go 220v? Many people use their dryer outlet or oven outlet for 220v. I have a dedicated 220v outlet in my garage that I had wired for electric car. Most eBIAB builds are 220v because 110v has a really hard time getting to a rolling boil. But then rolling boils are overrated. Feb 11 '19 at 14:41
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    Use two elements? Obviously whether this works will depend on the the protection on your circuit (which should be appropriate to the CCC of your wiring), unless you can plug each element into a separate circuit. This is possible in a typical UK kitchen where the dedicated cooker circuit normally has a spare socket wired in, but then it's not a problem in the UK because it's all 250V anyway. Feb 11 '19 at 17:46
  • Thanks, I'm attracted to the portability of a 1500 watt system. After some further research, seems the robobrew (and presumably the grainfather) have double walled stainless construction. Seems that insulation is the key factor here? Feb 11 '19 at 20:56
  • Double walled kettle or use some Reflectix to insulate. It makes it much faster and easier to maintain temps Feb 11 '19 at 21:43
  • I have a Brewie+ and it can get to a light rolling boil using 110v. Certainly seems to be double walled steel. However if I were building one I'd got with 220v.
    – sniperd
    Feb 20 '19 at 14:45

I have a Robobrew and while it will run on 110V, it appears to be less than satisfactory (regardless of what their marketing tells you).

One thing that will help is buying the thermal jacket for it (it has an official thermal jacket) which will help to retain heat. Also as others have said, if your house has 2x110v phases from the main distribution get your local sparky to wire up a 220V outlet.

I live in a 230V country but if I was forced to live in the states with no access to 220V+ then I would probably use a propane-based system rather than an electric system.

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