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I have brewed 3 times so far with the mash and boil. I have always mashed in a cooler and used a propane burner outside for over 10 years. I absolutely love this. One vessel to clean, and can have strike water ready for when I want to brew because of the delayed start timer. Iíve read reviews about it taking awhile to get to a boil, but once I am done sparging itís close to a boil so no issues. Saves me time brewing and I can brew inside!!
This thing works really well. It is built well and makes the small batch, all grain, experience way more relaxing.
Cuts down on the most tedious parts of brewing (watching temps, switching vessels, and cleaning!). I had my eye on this for years, glad I pulled the trigger. Everything works as expected.
When this product arrived I noticed a minor manufacturer's defect and reached out to AIH support. Within hours Aaron notified me that he was having a replacement shipped and emailed me a return label for the defective unit. Iím very happy with the no-fuss approach to customer service I get with AIH. As for the unit itself: I love it. I downsized from a custom three vessel ten-gallon electric system and I never want to go back. I was tired of all the prep, cleaning, and maintenance. Brewing became a chore. This little unit changed that. I've used it several times now and I've found it to be solid and consistent. I produce 5 gallon batches and have not done anything over 6%. The unit states that it has a grain bill limit of about 16 pounds but I have read that people go higher with a double mash. With the time start and no-chill I can complete a brew day in UNDER THREE HOURS. This thing keeps it simple in the best possible way. No hassles, no extras which don't actually bring anything to the table, and very little to clean. I also donít have to brew in my basement anymore; I can put it on the kitchen floor and brew while doing other things, like making dinner. I did not get the model with the integrated pump so I can't speak to its usefulness. I will say that I own several pumps and planned to attach one with tubing to make my own recirculation setup. But after doing a few brews and stirring and vorlaufing at 15-20 minute intervals during the mash, I'm not going to bother. Temps are holding in an acceptable range and I get 80% efficiency. I'm already getting the results I want. No reason to complicate things. Once chilled I transfer to a fermenter and scrub the kettle out. That's fifteen minutes of post-boil work. I think back on my clean-in-place procedures for my old system and I wonder why I ever bothered. With this unit I have also fermented directly in the kettle for added convenience. The spigot is positioned high enough that the hops, kettle break and yeast cake all stay put when I transfer to a keg. I use whirlfloc in the boil and cold crash after fermentation which I suspect is helping me get a very compact cake of sediment. Your mileage may vary based on your process but I'm getting good results. This thing is great. I've been brewing off and on for about ten years and I wish things like this had been around when I first started. Whether you're new to the hobby or have a ton of experience, this is a wonderful piece of equipment.
Brewed my first all grain beer with the Mash & Boil the other night (AIH's SMASH Downriver Dirty Blonde), and I couldn't be happier! This is a great budget friendly, all in one system with a small footprint, perfect for the homebrewer with limited space in which to brew.