Speidel’s Braumeister 50 in action (brewing in China!)

Speidels Braumeister 50

A collection of local brewers, tap masters and home brew hopefuls converged on The Pub, a taphouse in Shenzhen China, to test out the new Beer Lab. They have recently acquired Speidel’s Braumeister 50 litre model, and I was anxious to try it out. This was the first time I’d used the 50 litre model!

Read on to see where we went wrong and how we recovered. Or, if you just want to watch the video of our disastrous brew day, just scroll down.

Location

The Pub Beer Lab

The Pub is in an ultra-hip part of Shekou, the oldest part of Shenzhen. It shares a warehouse with a motley collection of restraunts, coffee shops and market style retailers. Their taphouse boasts over 50 rotating craft beers from all over china and a few international offerings. Upstairs, via a spiral staircase, is the Beer Lab.

Pub owner Mark has dedicated this space to trying out brews for himself, purchasing a Braumeister and fermentation incubator.

Speidel’s Braumeister 50

The Speidel Braumeister 50 litreAlthough I’ve used the 20 litre and 200 litre versions, this was my first time using the 50 litre model. With Mark deciding the recipe, Pat and Justin doing the hard work and me manning the controls, we managed to totally mess everything up!

Despite this, the Braumeister remains one of my favourite homebrew systems. To find out more about what it can do, check out my in-depth review here: Speidel Braumeister Brewing System Review

Issue 1: The Volume

It turns out the Braumeister 50 can not handle less than 45 litres of liquid. This should have been obvious to me just by looking at the system, but it wasn’t. The recipe we used was for a 20 litre batch of pale ale.

As soon as we added the malt, the automatic recirculation system trapped all the wort inside the malt
pipe (grain basket.) Because there was not enough liquid to reach over the top of the malt pipe, it couldn’t spill over the edges and cover the elements. It also risked damaging the internal pumps, due to them now running dry.

In the end, we had to solve the issue by raising the total volume of liquid to 45 litres and boiling for about two hours to reduce the volume to 35 litres. This meant we had a higher volume than expected and a lower starting gravity, therefore a thinner, milder beer.

Issue 2: The Power 

Dangers of brewingSpeidel’s Braumeister 50 draws about 13 amps, so allowing for a margin of error you need to have circuits that can handle up to 16 amps. This is usually not a problem, unless you happen to live in China.

The power socket we used had been connected on a circuit intended only for lighting, meaning it could not handle the draw we needed to operate the Braumeister. This inevitably led to a disaster – an electrical fire that melted the power socket right off the wall! We put it out with a fire extinguisher and called an electrician. A GOOD electrician.

Watch the video below to see the carnage…

Video not loading? Watch it on YouTube here!

Final Thoughts

Despite our best efforts to ruin the beer and burn down half of Shekou, the Braumeister 50 is just as easy to use as the 20 litre model. The automatic controls and overall ease of use are phenomenal. In addition, the 5% boil off rate we discovered is perfect for avoiding dirty tasting DMS in your beer.

If you would like to get one for yourself, you can find them on Amazon (here.)

CHEERS!

Have you tried the Braumeister 50 or have questions? Have you maybe had an even worse brew day than us? Leave a comment and tell us about it!

10 thoughts on “Speidel’s Braumeister 50 in action (brewing in China!)

  1. Thanks for the special note. Problem solving before there is a problem is a big help. This looks like a superior product. I have been thinking of getting into home brewing. I love craft beer!

    • Hi Rae,

      The Braumeister is perfectly suited to beginners! It takes all the trial and error out of building your own kit and figuring out how to hit the right temperatures. Speidel also have a bunch of recipes ready to go, so you can load those up for practice before having to worry about writing your own recipes.

      Check out my full review of automatic systems here if you want o know more!

  2. Nothing wrong with a learning experience! Thanks for sharing your wisdom. Sorry to hear about the electrical fire. At least nothing too serious became of that issue.

    Crafting my own beer has been a dream of mine. It looks like a lot of fun and furthermore to create something yourself give you a whole new appreciation for beer.

    I love the digital screen and the ease of use from the looks of it on the Speidel Braumeister 50L.

    Did you just recently pick this up?

    • Hi Justin, thank you for your message. Actually this one belongs to my friend, the owner of “the pub” in Shenzhen. He bought his from Amazon and had it shipped to Hong Kong (which is very close by.)

      You can get one for yourself here: Amazon

      Cheers!

  3. I really enjoyed the video with an awesome Chinese music! Although you guys have some challenges, it looks somewhat easy to brew by yourself. I thought it would be a lot more difficult and need a lot of equipment. Does the room need to be in certain temperature (and humidity) or you can do it in any environment?

    • Hi Kyoko,

      Excellent question. Fermentation should be temperature controlled, but that is actually very easy. You don’t need the whole room to be controlled, there is some inexpensive gear available which will control JUST THE FERMENTER temperature – click here to find some great options.

      Advanced home brewers can also build an incubator from a simple refrigerator and external thermostat, and add a heat-pad for winter brewing!

      Cheers!

  4. Hi Jesse,
    My husband has always wanted to start making beer. I didn’t even know you could get electric brewing systems for home use! This is really intriguing. I will show him your posts.

    The pictures and video really help a non-user get an idea of how this works. I am sure my husband would have a ball with this! We have the old fashioned glass set up but haven’t had room and time to use it!
    Thanks,
    Jessica

    • Hi Jessica!

      If you already have a glass carboy for fermentation, you can use it in conjunction with the Speidel Braumeister, assuming it has a high enough capacity. If you aren’t sure about the capacity, there are plenty of options for fermentation equipment at Homebrewing.org, including Speidel’s own fermenters designed specifically to go with the Braumeister.

      Cheers!

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