EINBREW – Controller

A professional controller for electric homebrew systems. No tinkering necessary. Simply ready for use out of the box. And then there is also a version especially for a classic HERMS & RIMS installation. I just had to test it!

German Version 👉 Klick!

EINBREW

[Advertise]

When I got mail from EINBREW, I was already excited. Because in the package was a new Brewing controller – the 3V2P. This is specially designed for HERMS. So it fits perfectly to my system. Of course the controller also natively works with RIMS. 3V2P stands for 3 Vessel 2 Pumps.
There are also other variants. The 3V3P version controls one more pump and the heating elements can be operated simultaneously, so a double batch is possible. The smaller 1V1P controller is perfect for brew in a bag, 2 vessel HERMS/RIMS or other electric 1 or 2 vessel systems. EINBREW also offers a fermentation control system.

Unboxing

First of all, let’s take a look at what’s in there. When I opened the package, the first thing I found inside was a T-shirt. Nice! Apart from that everything you need to get started right away is included:

  • 3 x Temperature Sensor, ¼” BSPP thread, 80mm length, with 3m lead
  • 1 x Power Lead, IEC C20 Socket
  • 2 x Heater output plug, C19
  • 2 x Pump output plug, C13
  • 1 x User Instructions
  • 2 x electrical fuses

What I really like is the clear structur. The user interface of the controller is kept simple and the thin white lines represent a classic HERMS. This structured overview is very similar to the controllers for professional brewing systems. I think it looks really nice.

You can buy it directly at EINBREW or at Craft Hardware.

Technical details and Installation

EINBREW is based in Northern Ireland. The controls are CE marked and comply with all relevant EU legislation. The 3V2P has two outputs for heating elements with max 3.6kW (15A, 230V), which can be controlled sequentially.
Furthermore there are two outputs for your pumps (2 x 1A). Of course you can also use them at the same time.

The controller has two fuses that you can change yourself if you believe that they have blown.

Before you can get started, some cabling work is necessary. If you think you can do it yourself, it will only take a few minutes. If you’re unsure, get help from a professional.

The two cables of the pumps, the heating elements and the power supply cable must be fitted with the appropriate plugs for the cold appliance. Now plug in the temperature sensors and then you can start.

The control unit has four holes on the back and can be placed on a wall, for example. I got an additional mount from Craft Hardware to place the controller even more comfortable.

Mount from Craft Hardware
Controller

Settings

Let’s go! Well, almost. Before you start a real brewday, you should first do a dress rehearsal. I have filled all three vessels with water and checked first if the pumps and heating elements can be controlled. I also went through the whole operation to make sure that everything works and is wired correctly. Then you are ready for the first brewday with the controller.

You can also use the water test to adjust some background settings in the menu. I only want to give you a few examples, a detailed list can be found in the manual:

  • Set Celsius or Fahrenheit
  • Pump exclusion: When this feature is set to „yes“, both pumps cannot be active at he same time.
  • Grain Rest: During mashing the pump is automatically turned off to let the wort run through the grain and prevent grain compaction. You can also define the length and intervals of the rests.
  • Boil-Alarm Level: Set the temperature level that the system will alarm on the way to the boiling point.
EINBREW Controller - alles verkabelt
So sieht der Controller aus, wenn ihr alles verkabelt habt und ihn zum ersten Mal einschaltet.

There are also other customization options. In the maintenance menu you can make settings that you don’t really need to change. Very interesting here is the item „Pump Venting“. Whenever a pump is switched on, the EINBREW control system performs an automated venting cycle and switches the pump on and off several times. The duration and length of this cycle can be set here. However, I have not made any changes, because the venting worked very well.

Recipe

Here comes some „clickety-clack.“ With the arrow keys in the HLT and MLT sections, you set the mash in and rest temperatures and in the „Timer“ section the respective duration.

Now to the BK section (Boil Kettle). Here only the boiling time is set in the timer section. It is not necessary to enter a boil temperature, because the controller has a so-called „Boil Detection“. Here you can also set the power of the heating element after the boiling point is reached.

Afterwards you can set up the hop insertions. The controller then reminds you with an acoustic signal that it is time to add hops. Due to the structure of the system it is not possible to enter first wort or whirlpool hopping here. You have to set a separate reminder for this. A small disadvantage.

In total you can set up 9 different rests and 9 hop insertions, which should be more than enough.

Now enter your cooling temperature and then the recipe input is finished.

It may sound more complicated than it is. Once you get the hang of it, it’ll only take you a minute or two to enter your recipe.

Brewing

Press „Select“ until Pre-heat/HLT is displayed and then „Start“. Snap! Ready to brew! Your preset mashing temperature is now reached automatically. Remember that you switch the pumps on and off yourself using the respective buttons. This is not done automatically by the EINBREW controller.

Controller mit HERMS

If you have mashed in, then select the MT range again with „Select“ and press „Start“, after that the controller will automatically run though the mashing steps. The controller has a proprietary algorithm that prevents the temperatures from overshooting. In my test with a three-step infusion the biggest overshoot was 0.3°C. Really nice. Since I activated the Grain Rests the pump switches off for 20 seconds every 10 minutes.

When you have finished mashing and lautering, you can start boiling. As soon as the heating rod is covered with wort, you can navigate to the BK section using „Select“ and start the boil automation. Now the control system really shines, I think. Because it warns me at 95°C to make last preparations. You can then prepare a hop addition, for example. I am also reminded to switch on the water for the condenser.
Then the controller determines when the wort has reached its bboiling point, starts the timer and then automatically reduces the power of the heating rod. The default setting is 30%.
With the arrow keys in the BK area you can set this „Boil Control Power“. I brew with the lid on and a steam condenser. According to experience, my required power is about 70%, in order to boil without overboiling. This setting can also be adjusted dynamically during brewing. In the test I did very well with 80% power.
No boiling over, no missed start of boiling, just a wonderful support during brewing.

The wort is then cooled. The Controller will monitor until the temperature you`ve setup previously has been reached, while you engaged your active cooling system. Of course this only works with systems that circulate during cooling and do not pump directly into the fermentation tank.
I use this function for my whirlpool hops and not for the entire cooling process. So I enter 77°C and let it circulate until it is reached. Now I add the whirlpool hops. The rest of the cooling is done by a counterflow chiller without circulating.

Pro

So I think you read it between the lines, I think the controller of EINBREW is really awesome. It is very compact and the design is rather minimalistic, but I personally like that a lot. You don’t need any accessories and after some cable work you can start right away.
I also think the workmanship is great. The controller makes a very valuable impression, nothing rattles and the buttons can be pressed well. The control is quite versatile. You can make many different settings and adapt the controller to your preferences.

What I particularly like is the automatic pump venting. So it can never happen that your pumps (only) draw air and maybe even break down. Especially with my mostly fixed piped system this is a really great feature.

Also great is the Boil Detection and the subsequent automatic reduction of the heating power to prevent overboiling. This is really a great help. Especially if – like me – you start cleaning when heating up and don’t keep an eye on the kettle all the time.

Contra

Honestly, this is now grumbling on a high level, but there is always room for improvement.
It would be great if you could also set a first wort or whirlpool hopping. This is certainly a bit difficult to implement, but it would be the icing on the cake.

To improve the design even further, the controller could be given new PID controllers with a slightly „nicer“ display.

It is a closed system and although you can make many settings, it is not as flexible as a CraftbeerPi based control system. Other algorithms cannot be created and the user interface is of course static.
For me these are not really disadvantages, because the controller – as it is – fits perfectly to my system and I would not make any adjustments. But I know the tinkering freaks out there.😉 You are probably better off with open source projects.

Comments

Anyone who decides on such a control system must be aware that it is a standalone solution. There is no possibility to import or save recipes. This does not have to be a disadvantage either. But I would like to have mentioned it. I’m happy with that, because I do not have a good WLAN connectionin the brewery cellar. And you can always use the controller without any restrictions. There are no background systems, on whose availability the use is bound. This means that even if EINBREW goes out of business or get bought up etc. the controllers will still run.

We can now mention the elephant in the room. The 3V2P controller costs about 700€. Sounds steep at first maybe, but compared to other controllers out there, the price is absolutely reasonable. You have to keep in mind that the controller automates your complete brewday and keeps the rest temperatures very precise. Furthermore, the controller is equipped with the appropriate certificates and is professionally wired. Together with the above mentioned advantages the price is justified in my opinion.

HERMS mit EINBREW 3V2P

Conclusion

I’m really happy with the control system and wouldn’t want to miss it anymore. With my self-built variants before it always hung here and there. With the EINBREW I don’t have such problems anymore. It controls my brewday reliably and precisely.

Cheers 🍺

Paul

Kommentar verfassen

Trage deine Daten unten ein oder klicke ein Icon um dich einzuloggen:

WordPress.com-Logo

Du kommentierst mit Deinem WordPress.com-Konto. Abmelden /  Ändern )

Google Foto

Du kommentierst mit Deinem Google-Konto. Abmelden /  Ändern )

Twitter-Bild

Du kommentierst mit Deinem Twitter-Konto. Abmelden /  Ändern )

Facebook-Foto

Du kommentierst mit Deinem Facebook-Konto. Abmelden /  Ändern )

Verbinde mit %s