October 23, 2018

Apologia for a TopTier

(Fellow homebrewers, please feel free to cite, paraphrase, or cut and paste for your own birthday lists)


Let us consider the TopTier from Blichmann Engineering; more specifically, let us consider this particular TopTier - there are many like it, but this one is mine. Why?

  • I couldn't build something this nice myself.
  • Even if I could, I would rather spend that leisure time making beer instead of building something that would eventually make beer (or go fishing [that is to say, I would go fishing, not the device]).
  • It shipped FedEx Home Delivery and it arrived 3 days after I ordered.
  • Its modularity gives me flexibility; I am not tied down to one beer brewing method or batch size. I can do 5 or 10-gallon batches (or bigger, should I so choose), all grain or extract. Mount a pump and save my back - the only thing I lift is the grist into the mash tun. But if I get sick of cleaning a pump, I can loosen six bolts, raise a burner, and have a 100% gravity-fed system. I have been brewing for the better part of 2 decades and I know that change is a constant - the way I brew now may not be the way I brew in another 10 years. Or another year.
  • It's portable - just one thing to wheel out to the patio (or to the front of the garage in inclement weather). When I move, it'll move with me.
  • Those burners are hella nice.
  • It's efficient - and I don't mean ppg, citizens (although it hits 80% without trying): time is more valuable for the majority of us than another pound or two of base malt.  A 10 gallon AG batch with a single infusion mash takes about 4 hours from heating strike water to pitching yeast (a recent 10-gallon lager brew day with a triple decoction mash took 6 hours).
  • The utility shelf is utile - just lookit how it's holding that pint!
The utility shelf in action.