Ask The Guy Behind Bru Gear Anything


Bru Gear plans to produce tricked out stainless conical fermenters, kettles, RIMS systems and more up to 3 Barrels in size.

Phil Spivey, one of the guys behind Bru Gear, is watching this post and will be answering any questions you have in the comments section below.

Note: Q and A has ended, but is still available for you to read through.

Looking for up to date content?

Recent Great Deals [view more]:

77 thoughts on “Ask The Guy Behind Bru Gear Anything

  1. LuthersLagers

    Hi Phil, I see the 3BBL system didn’t include fermenters. What should I expect to pay for fermenters when hey become available. Best of luck on your new venture.

    Reply
    1. Phil

      The ProBoiler 15 is 16 inch diameter and 19.2 inch height & 15 US gallons 7.5 US pints
      The ProBoiler 20 is 18 inch diameter and 21.2 inch height & 22 US gallons 2.2 US pints

      Hitting the ideal diameter height ratio lead a little over the “marketing’ volumes !

      Reply
  2. Trey Thomasson

    Regarding the 7 and/or 14 gallon conicals, I have a few questions. (1) Are they pressurizable (not sure thats a real word) to ~5psi or so for CO2 transfer to kegs? (2) Are the handles rivoted or welded and would I be able to pick it up full (for a 5 gallon batch) (3) Your website says a thermometer is included – is this really a thermowell connection or does it include an actual gauge? could I use my Johnson controller here? – Thanks in advance for the reply – Congrats on meeting your funding goal already!

    Reply
    1. Phil

      We have a new lid design and we’re targeting 5PSI as a design goal, we’ll be testing over the next couple of months to see if we get there. The new design also includes a 3″ TC that will hold the blow off valve but also makes dry hopping and additions easier and safer than removing the whole lid. The handles are welded and you could pick up with 5 gallons. The website is behind the times (thanks for reminding me) we had overwhelming feedback to replace the NPT connector with a TC and so you now have the option to easily mount a thermowell and probe or whatever else you need in that connector. One thing others have asked, but not on here, is an ability to add wheels to the fermenter, we are putting standard threads in the bottom of the legs to enable you this.

      Cheers,

      Phil

      Reply
    1. Phil

      For the new lid design we’re targeting 5PSI as a design goal, we’ll be testing over the next couple of months to see if we get there. The existing design ‘might’ hold that pressure, others with similar silicon seal and clamp designs claim 5PSI, but to be honest we haven’t tested it

      Reply
  3. David Russell

    Can you clarify the positioning of the holes for the 20 and 15 gallon ebrewing set ups? How high is the herms coil, what holes are there for each? Also what sort of hole is there for the heating element? Can it be a TC connector so that a removable element can be used. Thanks in advance, I’m prety sure you’ll end up getting my business 🙂

    Reply
    1. Phil

      Right now we’ve put a 1 inch NPT connector in as that’s what we were asked for, we’d like to keep the design the same if possible, we have had one other request for a TC instead of the NPT for the water heater element, if we get enough requests and supporter demand we will put it up as a reward level

      Reply
    1. Phil

      For the KickStarter we’ve included shipping in the lower 48 States of the US, we’re chatting with brewers who would like shipping further afield, no bias to our friends in Hawaii but the shipping companies make it cost more !

      Reply
  4. chris

    One question/answer I may have missed – are there any type of warranty on any of the items?
    Will we be able to buy the false bottom separately at a later date to use on the kettles?

    Reply
    1. Phil

      On the warranty that reminds me we need to add one of those long legal sounding statements on our website ! We have a standard one year free from manufacturing defects in material and workmanship warranty.

      We will be selling the false bottoms separately after the KickStarter, we were going to add them as a reward level but found KickStarter doesn’t allow supporters to take more than one reward (Hence the large number of combo rewards now up) so we put complete Mash Tuns up there.

      Reply
  5. Anonymous

    I ordered a 10i HERMS with the idea that I would use it with propane while I built my electric brewery. Is that a bad plan?

    Reply
    1. Phil

      Chris,

      Thanks I appreciate that, for some of us June will come around quicker than others if I understand how time works !!

      Cheers,

      Phil

      Reply
    2. chris

      For an extra $40, I am actually going with the 15 gal. I know I am going to want to upgrade to 10 gal batches over the next few months.

      One question/answer I may have missed – are there any type of warranty on any of the items?

      Reply
  6. Anonymous

    Sorry…also re: fermenters…

    Can you provide dimensions/share thoughts in terms of fitting inside of a fridge in terms of temperature control?

    Reply
  7. Jonathan Lizenby

    Questoin about 20 gallon mash tuns: I see the two options for the 20gallon MT, one tri-clover and one with 3 piece ball valve. My question is that the 3-piece is more descriptive as far as features. Will the Tri-clover have the same features as the three piece ball valve mash tun?
    Also, on the TC Mash Tun you mention a port at 9oclock for a RIMS setup, which i plan on running. I’m confused about the 6 and 9 oclock reference. Do you have pictures of the 20 gallon prototype?

    Reply
    1. Jonathan Lizenby

      I understand the 6oclock and 9oclock orientation reference now. Still have a question about the features of the 20gallon MT tri-clover vs 3piece ball valve.

      Reply
  8. Anonymous

    Talking Fermenters…the stock photographs dont appear to show dump valves and racking arms for the TC connections. The web text indicates that the TC dump valve and racking arms are included on all fermenters. Do you mind validating that those will be included? Also…are those proprietary fits, or will ay 1.5″ butterfly dump or racking arm fit?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Phil

      The fermenters come with a racking arm and a butterfly valve, all are standard 1.5″ TC, I added a picture of the racking arm by request on the KickStarter page, it’s towards the end of the text, and I’m happy to add a picture of the butterfly valve as well.

      Reply
  9. davidanders

    Do the electric (HERMS) kettles include a heating element or just a welded connection to screw in a standard heating element?

    Reply
    1. Phil

      We were asked to put the welded connector in for the electric brewery combo’s to allow our supporters to screw in whatever standard electric element they had chosen, so we’re not supplying the element. The Induction iHERMS kettles need an induction plate to heat them, the advantage is less inside the kettle to have to clean IMO

      Reply
  10. Forgetfull & Confused

    Regardless of equipment, be it Fermenter, HLT, Boil…whatever. Any chance we can get 1/4 gallon engravings on each unit? It’s not always needed, but would come in handy i believe.

    Reply
    1. Phil

      Let me look at going more granular than 1 gallon and see if that’s good with the process we’ve chosen or we’d need to do things a different way, personally I’m a measuring stick guy, seriously thinking for a stretch goal of designing a paddle with 1/4 gallon marks and maybe a thermometer built into the handle !

      Reply
    2. Phil

      The Paddle ? If so I’m interested in what you would like, the more feedback we get on design (and KickStarter has been fantastic for feeedback) the better the design can be !

      The paddle has been a secret want to have for me for a while, replacing my old stick with it’s sharpie half gallon marks !!

      Phil

      Reply
    3. Anonymous

      I envisioned a SS etched paddle/spoon for the kettle with a built in thermometer. Even without the thermometer, it would be a great addition.

      Reply
    4. Phil

      On the thermometer I’m always reaching for mine and having it in the paddle would mean I lose less of them, I’m 6′ 6″ tall and being lazy I want one to hand instead of looking at the front of my kettle, I know but that’s me ! My one concern is I might break a thermometer in a paddle, I have been known not to put them down gently at every opportunity !

      Reply
  11. Ken

    You mentioned these Kettles are “over sized”. Would the 10 gallon kettle handle most 10 gallon batches? Or would you still suggest the 15 gallon to handle boil-over? 1 gallon of extra space doesn’t seem like enough for the average boil.

    Reply
    1. Phil

      Ken,

      They are a little oversized, most about 10%, so I would recommend a 15 gallon for a 10 gallon batch especially with higher ABV recipes

      Reply
    2. Anonymous

      Could you clarify based on that – what size batch would the 1 BBL equipment work for? (Your comment might imply you would recommend a 1.5 BBL kettle/fermenter for a 1 BBL batch.)

      Reply
    3. Phil

      Good clarification question, in the market there’s a cut off point at barrel size in terms of volume conventions, below a barrel the volume of the vessel (not batch size) is quoted, at a barrel and over it’s the batch size that’s quoted, so our 1, 2 and 3BBL’s allow you to produce 1, 2 and 3BBL of beer per batch respectively. Not sure why it’s this way but it is, maybe because of all those guys selling pots for other uses as brewing kettles ?

      Reply
  12. chris

    do the kettles have a dip tube included or a port that allows for one to be added?
    are the etched markings on the inside?

    Reply
    1. Phil

      The etched marks are on the inside so you can see the volume of water or wort you have, there is a dip tube that attaches to the ball valve port

      Reply
  13. Maverick

    Talking fermenters: I’d love to have a fermenter sized for 20gal batches, but also work for 10gal. Would the 21gal do this, or would that be too little for headspace? Any plans for a port on top to attach a CIP spray ball for cleaning/sanitizing?

    Reply
    1. Phil

      All of our vessels (Kettles and fermenters) are over sized, so the 21 gallon would work for your 20 gallon batches, as a home brewer I like a little extra volume to play with and so we followed the industry convention on ‘labeling’ our kettles and fermenters but gave a little more…We’re in the process of a lid redesign, I was chatting with a couple of supporters about this yesterday to get their feedback, the new design will have a 3 inch TC in the center of the lid, we’ll have a blow off that clamps into this TC and you will be able to add other TC’s to it, obviously this will also enable dry hopping and other additions. All the production fermenters will get this new lid.

      Reply
  14. TheRhill3

    Hello! You mentioned a plate chiller in a reward, but didn’t go into specifics about it. What will the specs be on that plate chiller mentioned in the $6.5K reward? I’m curious.

    Reply
    1. Phil

      We were asked to add a chiller and so we have priced one in, however, we’re going to be testing a number of units to ensure we have THE right one, it’s going to be in the range of a 20 plate unit to cool that volume in a decent amount of time

      Reply
    1. Phil

      We’re in the process of testing different units and so we’re not in a position today to comment today, I would recommend looking on the home brewing forums as there are threads out there from other brewers who have gone the induction route. You should know that getting a good boil going on induction requires a good induction kettle as well as the induction plate, we’ve seen slow boil times due to the structure of the base not being ideal, it’s a critical element in getting induction right

      Reply
    1. Phil

      The base for the induction kettles is a three layer “sandwich” with a magnetic stainless on the bottom with aluminum middle and our normal stainless 304 on the inside of the kettle, we’ve not tested them to destruction using gas to see if we can make them fail over time but we have boiled in them with gas

      Reply
    2. Anonymous

      I ordered a 10i HERMS with the idea that I would use it with propane while I built my electric brewery. Is that a bad plan?

      Reply
  15. Ryan Mann

    Can you make any suggestions on a good induction burner? I have a small 1800w 110v table top one now and it seems to barely be able to boil 3 gallons.

    Reply
    1. Phil

      We’re in the process of testing different units and so we’re not in a position today to comment, you should know that getting a good boil going on induction requires a good induction kettle as well as the induction plate, we’ve seen slow boil times due to the structure of the base not being ideal, it’s a critical element in getting induction right

      Reply
  16. Anonymous

    The nano-brewery systems listed on the Kickstarter seem like great values. Are there pictures available of the 1BBL, 2BBL and 3BBL brewing systems listed on kickstarter? I’m curious if the the kettles resemble professional brewery kettles or if they are just huge versions of regular homebrew type kettles with lids. Also an idea of what the control panel/touch screen setup looks like would be helpful.

    Reply
    1. Phil

      The prototypes of the nano’s look nothing like the finished design, so we really don’t have good picture at this stage. The kettles are somewhat different from the home brew equipment but at the end of the day what sets the pro kettles from the home brew is the thickness of the stainless and the additional features, the nano’s are designed to look good in the professional environment (or amazing in your garage !), we have supporters taking them for recipe development, pilot and small batch production. I can post some pictures of the control side of things, the panel itself looks pretty much like you’d expect, with PIDs and manual controls, we have a 10 inch touch screen that will offer a graphical view of the brewery for monitoring and control.

      Reply
  17. Phil

    We’re still very focused on the KickStarter and haven’t worked up the pricing for afterwards, what we’ve looked to do in the KickStarter is provide the most value we can, our supporters are helping us get into production with the right material buy prices and we’re giving that back through the reward levels so it’s a true win:win.

    Once the dust settles on the KickStarter we’ll start working on the pricing across all the products, our intention is to stay true to our stated goal of providing a high quality, reasonably priced alternative to what’s out there.

    Reply
    1. Phil

      Happy to talk about our products but we’re not here knocking anyone, some others can make similar claims to what we have in terms of product, whether anyone has everything is up to our supporters and customers to decide. We have designed from the ground up based upon over 30 years of brewing experience, we’ve tested with a lot of home brewers and made changes and frankly through the KickStarter process continue to make changes as we’re getting feedback, adding features that make sense to the wider brewing community. We use 18 gauge 304 stainless steel for the bodies and 16 gauge for the bases, we have what we think of as an ideal height to diameter ratio, our kettles are “over sized”, we follow the market convention of a 5 gallon label but ours is really a couple of pints over 6, I’m a home brewer and I like a little head room to play with. We sanitary weld, now there’s lots of discussion out there about whether compression or welding is best, guys that do compression argue their way is better, we would point everyone to the pro breweries that have all sanitary welds for the answer

      Reply
  18. davidanders

    I know this is trivial, but are the lids able to hang on the handles? This is a feature that is really handy so I don’t have to find a place to put them every time I take them off and on.

    Reply
    1. Phil

      Yes, we already have that effort underway, we’re really interested in taking induction mainstream in brewing across all of our products, this is a technology that’s been around a long time and is very widely used in commercial kitchens and other volume applications and we believe is a good solution for brewing. We’re testing everything up to the 3BBL nano with induction to ensure boil times and accuracy are acceptable, on paper things look good but we want to see it in real World testing

      Reply
    1. Phil

      Yes, we already have that effort underway, what we’re really interested in is taking induction mainstream across all of our products, this is a technology that’s been around a long time and is very widely used in other parts of the World and gaining acceptance in the USA. We’re testing everything up to the 3BBL nano with induction to ensure boil times and accuracy are acceptable. We also have interest from customers in using electric elements for heating, and if you check out our facebook page you will see The Perch Pub & Brewery in Chandler Arizona where we have installed an all electric 3BBL brewery. The issue is that there’s a lot of watts to heat 125 gallons of water, we used 56KW in that install, that requires a secondary power panel with a lot of expensive GFCI breakers and solid state relays so the cost is significantly more than the gas nano’s. Of course gas isn’t available everywhere you want to brew so we are looking at both induction and electric element solutions to come up with the best way forward.

      Reply
  19. Chris Brewer

    From a Reader: Once in full production, what do you expect the prices to be for the full Nano systems? (1-3bbl listed in the Kickstarter rewards).

    Reply
    1. Phil

      We’re still very focused on the KickStarter and haven’t worked up the pricing for afterwards, what we’ve looked to do in the KickStarter is provide the most value we can, our supporters are helping us get into production with the right material buy prices and we’re giving that back through the reward levels so it’s a true win:win.

      Once the dust settles on the KickStarter we’ll start working on the pricing across all the products, our intention is to stay true to our stated goal of providing a high quality, reasonably priced alternative to what’s out there.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *