threadstone wrote:I don't get it. At. All.
Why invest $200 in this when you could invest less than $100 in a nice 6-7 gallon stainless steel pot, a 6 gallon carboy with the proper airlock and actually brew beer properly. And Use the difference to buy high quality ingredients.
This isn't training wheels. This is the equivalent of buying an impact wrench and 80 gallon compressor to fix your leaking toilets. Sure, I could use it, but why?
And this thing sold for $500 at one time?!? Whoa...
There are a lot of different levels of brewing out there and this isn't going to work for everyone. But, for some people it does.
I haven't use one, but it looks easy to figure out. It's small, self contained and there is room to play with your own recipes. There doesn't seem to be much cleanup.
I've been a professional, award winning master brewer for years. I've worked on systems of all sizes. I started off with extracts on my stove and moved up to all grain.
Personally, I need a minimum of several large pots, temperature probes, fermenters, airlocks, transfer hoses, a wort chiller, hop bags, hydrometer, etc. I could easily spend $200 on just a wort chiller. A 7 gallon pot and a fermenter wouldn't be enough for me.
I'm not being critical of your setup. There is a lot of different equipment out there for brewing. It's a matter of what works for you and what can afford. I think it's great that you found what works for you.
I see this system for someone that likes to play around with recipes or wants to keep things simple...or both. This is not a serious, money saving production machine. But, if someone wants just wants to have fun, I say go for it. Besides, you never know where it may lead.