Braumeister alternatives

You get what you pay for

Let’s be clear before we even start: there is no proper alternative to the phenomenal quality and homogeneity of the Braumeister

The makers of this legendary kettle advertise that they only use the best stainless steel possible, and when you have the device in your hands, there is no doubt about it

Most of all, the general simplicity and ease are unique and none of the alternatives described on this page remotely approaches it

This said, at $1,995 for the 20L version, it can feel a little pricey, indeed

So, we’ll show you a decent way to reproduce the features of the Braumeister for a fraction of the price at the bottom of the page

In the meantime, here is a review of the main Braumeister alternatives

Blichmann BrewEasy

Blichmann BrewEasy


The main (and only) advantage of the BrewEasy is that, if you already own some Blichmann components, like kettles, you just need to buy the rest of the kit

Other than that, the system is altogether super bulky, quite complicated to use and totally lacks the elegant simplicity of the Braumeister

Available with both propane and electric heating, it makes for a flexible solution depending on what you already own

At $1,925 it’s not even cheaper than the Braumeister

Definitely not an alternative in our opinion

Brew-Boss

Brew-Boss

Here again, a quite complex and lacking homogeneity system with plenty of stuff to screw and unscrew throughout the brewing process and a general build quality that only remotely reminds that of the Braumeister

At $1,200 it can hardly be considered as an alternative either

GrainFather

GrainFather


Now, this comes as a possible alternative, but it isn’t really

If you watch this video

you will learn that it’s indeed an OK device, but

  • It does not allow to program automatic mash steps
  • Has no handles or tap
  • Most of all, the pump tends to get clogged with hops additions, which really is a problem when it comes to chilling the wort with the included counterflow chiller
  • And just like with all other brew kettles introduced here, requires an external pump with all the pipes and screwing that this implies

With no surprise the guy concludes that the Braumeister is a better choice

The only real advantage of the GrainFather is its price
At $890, that’s less than half the price of the Braumeister and it certainly counts to some

Beer Brew by Brewferm

Brewferm Beer Brew


For about a third of the price of the Braumeister (€595), this electric brew kettle makes for a decent alternative, as long as you can cope with the absence of programmable mash steps

As opposed to the GrainFather, it includes handles and a tap just like the Braumeister, which are very convenient

The two main downsides are the lack of programmable mash steps and the required external pump if you want wort circulation, which is available as part of their “Combo Pack” for €739

This is still about half the price of a Braumeister and that includes a wort chiller, which might make it the best cheap alternative of this test

Klarstein Beerfest (best bang for your buck)

Klarstein Beerfest

This is an incredibly affordable solution for a clone of the Brewferm Beer Brew (above)
At a quarter of the price (€150) for basically the same device, that’s phenomenal, especially when you realize this is 12 times cheaper than a Braumeister

It includes a malt pipe you can lift, just like a Braumeister and with 2500W, it’s even more powerful, so it will bring 25L of wort to a boil without any problem

No display, pump or programmable mash steps, but you can improvise those with the temperature knob

By the way, this is a fantastic thermometer

Cooking Thermometer Probe

As long as you don’t mind adjusting your mash temperature manually, you can hardly beat this device in the bang for your buck department

Apparently only available in Europe unfortunately, which is why no video is available in English

Very cheap (and very decent) alternative

Hot water dispenser

If we assume that the key advantages of the Braumeister are

  • Programmable mash steps
  • Built-in pump
  • And general homogeneity

you can actually come surprisingly close to this with a “Hot water urn”, which are devices originally made to dispense hot water for drinks

For less than $100, the simplest models can keep a mash at various temperatures quite steadily (±2°C) and bring 5Gal/20L to a boil quickly, some feature a timer that allows for mash steps, and the fanciest ones have a LCD display with current and target temperatures for about $150, nice!

As opposed to the Braumeister, most models have a concealed coil, which means you can use the BIAB (Brew in a bag) method without risking to burn the bag and that also makes cleaning easier

A stainless steel version with thermo-insulated body and tap is ideal and gets you incredibly close to the features of the Braumeister, except for the pump and programmable mash schedule, for a fraction of the price

As far as we tested, the 1800-2000W models can be a little slow to bring 5 Gal (20L) to a boil (so is the Braumeister), but you can plunge a portable electric water heater to give more humph for a total of 3500-4000W, which is twice the power of a 20L Braumeister

These water boilers are much more readily available in Europe than across the pond, but there are options in North America too, like this one

Hot beverage water dispenser

This solution, hot water urn + BIAB, is very popular in Australia (where BIAB started) and in the UK, where you can find the best model available, the awesome Burco Cygnet 30L with its 3000W (actually 2500) power and a superb build

Hot Water Urn

When you think about it, the device + a 40cm BIAB bag make for a great alternative to a Braumeister for less than $150
That’s about 12 times cheaper and you can even get several of them if you want to take your brewing to some semi-pro level, like 25 Gal (100L) at a time

BIAB

If you are worried about the 70-75% efficiency of the BIAB method against the 80% of a Braumeister, think again, because high efficiencies increase the risk of off-flavors and you can easily compensate the lower efficiency by adding some grain to your recipe

Conclusion

For the budget-minded, the GrainFather, a hot water dispenser and most of all, the Beerfest, can come as decent alternatives, but the quality, homogeneity and general elegance of the Braumeister are still light years ahead of these devices

If you are looking for an electric brew kettle that features

  • All automatic mash schedule
  • Built-in pump
  • No external pipes whatsoever
  • Phenomenal build quality
  • General ease and simplicity

there’s no proper alternative to the Speidel Braumeister so far

As with everything, you get what you pay for, and, in the long run, cheap often turns out to be expensive

2 thoughts on “You get what you pay for”

  1. Hi,
    Nice review on alternative equipment, do you know anything about Brewers edge mash and boil and Robobrew
    Thanks

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