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Brewer’s Edge Mash & Boil Review – Equipment Review

The Brewer’s Edge Mash & Boil review is something people should look for.   When shopping for a new piece of equipment, it is always good to check out reviews. The Brewer’s Edge Mash & Boil seems to be a great deal.  The versatility of the unit makes it a great choice for the 5 gallon and less brewer. I decided to pick up a unit to put it through its paces.  Is this all in one unit as easy as they say it is? Let’s give the Mash & Boil review a shot!

Ordering

So first of all, this is a MAP equipment purchase.  You won’t find sales on them…..unless you are a week before you are ready to order.  I missed a killer deal. The Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale was on the pump version. I wasn’t ready to order, so I missed out.  I would have saved $60. Instead, I waited a few weeks and snagged one off of eBay. The seller I got it from had a distilling top included.  This is normally a $30+ accessory, so that was a nice little plus.

Unboxing

The box was huge.  I immediately wondered what I got myself into.  The big shipping box had the distilling top on the top of the Mash & Boil  box. That was nice and snug in it’s own box. Each piece was well wrapped.  I opened up everything, and immediately read the manual. It was not a wordy one…but it has some important numbers for suggested water amounts for mashing and sparging.  From the reading I have done in forums and groups, this is a crucial thing for hitting efficiency.

When I was closely examining the unit, I was impressed by the clean welds on the handles, and I on the brackets that are internal for the mash pipe to rest on. There were no sharp edges, and everything looked and felt great.

The double-walled construction of the main unit is a great thing. As I found out for mashing and boiling, it is great to have that layer of insulation, and not have to worry about adding anything else to the unit to help you maintain temperatures. 

I was sure to give the unit a good pbw soak.  It is not that I thought it was dirty already, but I figured getting rid of any manufacturing oils and residue was important.  I wanted a nice clean brew to test the unit with.

I then gave a boiling test run.  For this, I did not put a lid on it.  I was curious to see how long the open vessel would take.  When going from the mash to a boil in the first run, I put a lid on to help it out…More on this later.

‘It took just over 2 hours to get from 70 degrees to 209 degrees.  I made sure to note the times in my video. Over all, since it was so much water, I am ok with how long it took.  After mashing, the temp will already be higher. They say about an hour, and that is not far off.

First Brew

So I put together a quick Short and Shoddy M&B brew.  I used 10 pounds of pilsner malt, half an ounce of Loral at 20 minutes left in the boil, 2 ounces of Amarillo during the “whirlpool” hop time, and 1 ounce of cryo Eukanot in the dry hop.  I figured this would give me a good mix, with a base amount of malt. This was going to be a no chill batch as the Tricoil 1.2 might be a bit big to fit the pot.

I ground the malt with my Cereal Killer Malt Mill.  The crush was set at the smallest setting that I usually use for my Brew Bag.  I was curious how much the false bottom would catch. I heated my mash water up to ___.  I stirred in the malt. I was careful to be sure I didn’t leave any dough balls, and subsequently stirred it a few times to be sure.  

At 30 minutes in, my temp was staying quite constant.  I took a few quarts off through the ball valve and re-poured them over the top.  I did not get the model with the pump, and this was suggested in the FB group that I had joined.  I figured I would introduce an exterior pump to the system at a later date. I was curious to see how it does without it anyways.

At the end of my mash time, I pulled the basket up easily and let it sit on the inside frame.  I then poured about 2 gallons of heated sparge water over the bed. It drained rather quickly. I did put it on an angle to help get the last of the wort out.  I was impressed at how well the gain bed stayed compacted and the false bottom did a pretty good job at holding the grain. I fired up the temp to get the boil going.  I did put on the lid to help it out. A closed system will heat faster than an open system.

During this time I did bring the grain basket to the sink.  I put a kitchen bag over it and flipped. A majority of the grains dropped right in.  Then I proceeded to try and clean the basket. It is not the easiest, but I did get it clean without too much sprayed water around the kitchen.  When trying to remove some of the last of the grain, I may have sprayed some water through the false bottom…oops.

The boil got close. The lid was still on. I was hanging out listening to a recent Phish show, and I heard this little noise that seemed to stick out.  I hadn’t continued to check the temp, and was unprepared. I achieved a “little” boil over. I am super glad I was right there. The cleanup was quick and easy.  The rest of the boil went off without an issue. I dropped my hop spider in, and added my first hops 40 minutes into the boil. I did this as I was planning a no chill batch….so I figured I would still pull a decent amount of ibus.  At the end of the boil, I shut the unit down. After about 20 minutes, I dropped in my next hop charge. I closed up the top and came back the next morning.

I pitched some Berzerker yeast from Mainiacal Yeast with some nutrients the next morning into the Mash and Brew.  I removed the hop spider and the hop trub. I changed the top to the distilling top, as it includes a 47mm hole. This holds a #10 stopper.  I dropped in my airlock and set the temp to 90. It was down to 88, so I was right on for pitching temp and fermenting temp for this kveik blend.

Fast forward 22 hours, the wort is bubbling away, with the airlock bouncing.  I love this part. I opened the top, and did some top cropping of the krausen to get some yeast to dehydrate.  I dropped in 1 ounce of cryo Eukanot hops. Close it up and let it roll.

When it came time to transfer to the keg, it was just 4 days in.  That is the beautiful thing about temperature controlled fermentation with kveik yeast.  I decided to try a gravity transfer, with the fermented wort going through the Bouncer MD to see what kind of trub that was there from the batch.  This worked for transferring about half of the batch. Then it came to an almost standstill. I paused, cleaned out the Bouncer MD screen, and hooked it up to the BrewSSSiphon for the rest of the transfer.  I got the rest of the batch into the keg.

Cleanup

It was super esay to clean it up.  I had already cleaned up the grain basket.  So this left the top and the main unit. It was pretty easy to use the sink sprayer and give it a wash out.  There was no sorching on the bottom from the boil and the fermenting at temp. This is a great thing. A simple wipe down on the outside removed some streaks from liquid along the way in the process.  There was some “residual” marks after it dried, but it should cleanup up more if I use a heavier cleaner.

The Finished Brew

For a quick and easy beer, it turned out pretty well!  It isn’t award winning, but it wasn’t meant to be. The Quick and Shoddy MB ale turned out quite tasty.  I think I will modify my hopping schedule a bit if I continue to use a no chill method, but this keg of beer will definitely be drank at a decent pace.

Pros

This Brewer’s Edge Mash and Brew is super easy to operate.  I love the simplicity of the unit, and the little things like how the grain bucket sits on the frame.  The designers were definitely on their game when they worked through the different aesthetics of the unit.  The temperature control seemed to be pretty consistent. I could see with recirculation it would be set, with smaller swings.  The delayed start timer is awesome. This is a feature that I will definitely use to my advantage to help jumpstart my planned brew time.  The price point is a definite pro for this unit. It is super affordable for the new brewer, and won’t break the bank if you want to add it to your current brewing equipment.  The ability to use the different settings for the heating elements is a great thing. There is a convenient switch on the base of the unit to flip on the heavier duty heating element to achieve your temperatures quicker.  

The ability to use your regular plug is a plus.  Some electric units require the higher 220v power, so this is more versatile for the brewer who wants to be able to plug in and go in multiple locations without having an electrical system upgrade.  I would suggest getting a portable GFI plug so you can plug in wherever.

Cons

The outside needs to be cleaned carefully to avoid it from looking like it is streaked.  I know this is purely cosmetic and petty…but I want my unit to look good in the pictures.  

Be careful when going from mash to boil.  Watch it. Don’t leave the top on…or you might experience more of a boil over then what I did.  

Some small particles did make it through the false bottom, so a change of crush or a brew bag is something that should be recommended.  I would also recommend filtering the finished product with something like the Bouncer to be sure to get some clearer beer.

You do get quite a bit of condensation on the bottom side of the lid. So a word of caution to slowly lift the lid, and tip it directly over the unit so you don’t get water all over the place. I think this is one of those you learn quickly items.

Overall Thoughts On The Mash & Boil

I think the Mash & Boil is a great unit for brewers of all levels. The price point makes it very affordable. the ability to do everything in one unit is awesome. The cleanup is a snap. I would wholeheartedly recommend this unit to anyone who is looking into getting into electric Brewing.  You can get one delivered quickly from Amazon here. Or you can grab one offer eBay through sellers that offer an extra little perk for buying from them like this one. 

What comes next?

 I think I will be looking into getting a brew bag for this. it will make cleaning out the malt pipe easier. I am planning on trying a kettle sour right inside this unit using a co-pitch of kveik yeast and lactobacillus. I want to continue to work on the no chill method.  I will also look into using an immersion chiller unit with this, such as the Cuss Brewing all in one chiller. I am curious about doing a parti-gyle brewing, with a super-strong stout to begin with, then moving on to the second runnings from the malt pipe for a lighter session ale.   I would also like to use a pump for recirculation and quicker transfers from the Mash & Boil unit to fermenters or kegs. 

Do you use a Mash & Boil?  What are your thoughts? Any questions about the unit?  Want me to try something out with it? Drop a comment below and let me know!

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