After not-so-patiently waiting for the my Unibrau to travel from Vancouver, B.C. to Oregon, it finally arrived yesterday! My wife laughed as I skipped through the house after the post office employee dropped it off at my garage door.
I had another 2 insufferable hours of work calls (Coronavirus Zoom Meetings!) I was finally free to go unbox and setup everything. First order of business was to take an inventory of everything I had.
The unit arrived neatly packed and all the components were easy to remove, and unwrap. It’s telling that the folks at BrauSupply take their work seriously as every component was individually wrapped for safety and cleanliness during shipping. Here’s a photo of all the components unboxed.
- Inner grain basket/kettle
- Primary mash/boil kettle
- False bottom / dip tube
- Electric heating element and power cable
- Temperature sensor and cable
- PID Controller
- Hoses, connectors, and lid
Note: I opted out of the plate chiller and will instead use an immersion chiller.
Next up was assembly. I started by washing all the hoses, valves, TC Fittings, and silicon rings in warm soapy water followed by a short bath in StarSan. Afterwards, I assembled the components in the following order:
- Support ‘ring’ for primary kettle
- False Bottom / dip tube
- Heating element
- Temperature Sensor
- Wort re-circulation hose (inner kettle)
- Wort re-circulation hose (pump to top kettle)
Assembly took approximately 40 minutes as I took my time to ensure nothing was scratched or damaged.
The next order of business was to perform a leak test. I filled the unit with some PBW and ran the pump for approximately 15 minutes. Drained, rinsed, and repeated the process with some StarSan.
One change I’ll need to make will be the brewing stand. Re-using the old pallet I had lying around as a top surface turned out to be not-the-best-idea I’ve ever had. When disconnecting the hoses, there will be some leakage of wort. Having that spill onto the pallet top means I’ll end up having water damage over time. I will either replace that top with a more durable solution or purchase an stainless steel cart.
At the end of the day, I’m very happy with my choice of Brau Supply for this brewing rig. While slightly more expensive than the Clawhammer Supply unit, the equipment here is top notch and appears durable enough to last 10 years or more.
I’m planning to brew a Saison this weekend and will follow up with another post on the actual operation of the unit.
Until then, cheers!