Brewer’s Edge Mash and Boil Review
The Brewer’s Edge Mash and Boil is one of the many coffee urn based electric BIAB systems available these days. At $299.99 it comes in at the cheapest of them all. It is short a pump but does have one of the higher boiling capacities without going to 240v.
Let’s start with the features. The Mash and Boil holds up to 16 pounds of grain. Its total capacity volume wise is 7.5 gallons but I’d limit your boil to 7 gallons. It offers both 1000 and 1600 watts of boiling power. The cord is only 5 feet long but fits standard US plugs. It contains a ball valve spigot that fits 1/2 ID tubing. My only gripe on the features is the cord because if you have to use of an extension cord you’ll lose some of your boiling power.
I’ve been playing around with Brewer’s Edge Mash and Boil for a few weeks now. I originally got it for brewing during the harsh winter season but have actually settled on using it as my primary system. I’ve put three different types of batches through it to put it to the test it.
My first run was a simple 2.5 gallon test run. It’s important to note that 2 gallons are the minimum recommended batch size. This batch was a simple pumpkin maple wheat recipe. The strike water took about 25 minutes to heat up. Once heated it cycled 3 times during the mash. It took another 20 minutes to go from mash temperature to a boil. My final efficiency ended up being 66%.
For the second batch, I went for a full 5 gallon batch of a peanut butter milk stout. The strike water took about 33 minutes to get to temperature. Once I mashed out it took another 32 minutes to get up to a solid boil. I was very surprised on this batch as my final efficiency ended up at 83%. Amazing considering I usually had the same with my burner and mash tun setup.
My third and final batch was a Russian Imperial Stout that I utilized the mash and boil as my boil kettle while still using my igloo mash tun. The 7 gallons of strike water took pretty close to an hour to heat up to 170F. I simply used the spigot to drain into the mash tun and only lost 5F. Once the grain was added I had the 155F mash temperature I was shooting for. I collected 7 gallons after sparging and was able to get it boiling in about 40 minutes. It wasn’t a furious boil but was still good for being 7 gallons. All three batches went well but it’s important to note the temperature sensor isn’t 100% accurate. Note the difference in my sensor reading and my thermometer.
One of the biggest selling points for BIAB and these EBIAB is the ease of cleaning. First off the malt pipe provides an easy way to dump out your spent grain. It does, however, drip quite a bit if you have a long way to go to dump your grain. The actual malt pipe only takes a quick wash to remove any stuck on grain. Be careful of the sharp mesh on the bottom though!
The main chamber of the mash and boil is fairly easy to wipe off the most of the gunk. The bottom, however, has always had burned on wort / hard water every time I’ve brewed. A simple scrub with a non-scratch pad usually can get that off. Barkeepers friend easily gets rid of anything that sticks beyond that.
There’re a few safety concerns that I do have. The malt pipe uses tiny pegs to sit on top of wire holders when draining. It works but one wrong bump or misplacing your malt pipe will spill scalding hot malt and wort. The reset button is on the bottom so if you ever trip an error code you’ll have to either tip the filled vessel or transfer to another container before resetting. A milk crate or wire shelf will prevent the need for unsafe resettings.
There’s only one problem that I could see with durability. The control panel isn’t 100% watertight as you can clearly see a blue backlight behind where the plastic touches the stainless steel body. Careful pours should solve any issue but I do fear one spill could fry the whole thing. The switches are thankfully waterproofed so try to spill on that side if you do end up spilling something.
Overall I’m extremely impressed by the Brewer’s Edge Mash and Boil. It can boil the batch size I need and is able to contain most regular grain bills. If your space is limited or you want to ditch the outside then buy one. It’s the best option for both value and durability out of all the current EBIAB systems.
- Cheapest EBIAB system
- Quick and easy cleanup
- No need for a special outlet
- Double-wall helps hold heat
- The cord could be longer
- No onboard pump
- Bigger grain bills will still require a mash tun
- The temperature probe isn’t the most accurate
- Heats slower than a 240v or propane burner
One last note is I have heard a new version with a pump is coming out soon. Personally, I’d stick with an external pump if you want one but to each their own. My full comparison of the most popular EBIAB systems is available here if you want to research things a bit more.