Should I Upgrade to a RoboBrew Generation 3?
The new RoboBrew Gen 3 is out, and it has a lot of RoboBrew owners upgrading. Whether to upgrade depends on which RoboBrew you currently own, and what you want to get out of brewing.
Original RoboBrew Owners
If you own an original RoboBrew, or the pump-free Gen 2 version, then there’s plenty of reasons to upgrade.
The built-in pump will result in more consistent, more efficient and clearer brews. Forget regularly recirculating wort with a jug to keep constant temperatures, once you have mashed in you can walk away and leave it to run its course, even performing multiple steps or a mash-out all on its own.
The sealed control panel and switches mean you don’t need to be quite as careful when it comes to boilovers or spillages, though you should still avoid spillages because they’re a pain to clean.
The larger malt pipe will help prevent stuck sparges. And the removable screens are also much easier to clean. Original RoboBrew owners all know how painful it can be to hose out those last few stubborn chunks of grain.
RoboBrew Gen 2 Owners
If you already own a RoboBrew with a pump, then there’s less reason to upgrade. The new control panel is the key benefit, with the ability to perform stepped mashes built in. The newly added mesh screen for the malt pipe should also help prevent stuck sparges, but this is a new feature that you could very easily create yourself with a sheet of stainless steel mesh.
The new camlock fitting on the sparge arm means you can easily connect other hoses, fittings and accessories to the pump, which is great if you want to use a chiller plate or counterflow chiller to rapidly cool your wort.
What to do with your old RoboBrew?
The only unfortunate thing with the vastly cheaper RoboBrew Gen 3 is that you’ll find it hard to sell your older model at a reasonable price.
But that’s not such a bad thing because your best bet is to simply hang onto it. Put it to use as a HLT (hot liquor tun) for heating your sparge water so you have it dialed into your exact temperature ready to go. A pump model can be placed side-by-side or below your main RoboBrew, while a pump-less model will either need to use gravity or manual pouring of .
If you’re planning a double batch or back-to-back batches you can save time on heating up water, or simply brew with both units at once.
Of course keep in mind the high power requirements of the RoboBrew. If you are running two at once you’ll want to keep them on separate circuits, or only run the second unit while you are mashing with only the 500W element running.