Great, as advertised!
It was a bit hard to have updates on the order but as soon as I opened the (very well packaged) box, my anxiousness quickly disapeared. I'm impressed at the quality of the TC welds. Can't recall seeing such quality for homebrewing equipment. For some it's pricey, but well worth the investment.
It well built and will last a lifetime!
Assuming 5 is "perfect," 4 is "works as described but with some problems," I'd say that 4.5 is "works well - with some unnecessary niggles." Decent communication before the purchase - but some problem with the on-line assistance messaging caused some delays and confusion. I ordered the single 120V option - with the butterfly valve upgrade and a Brau Supply bag. Order placed and shipping notice recieved - but then shipment tracking showed that the package was not picked up for several days. Once enroute - it arrived quickly. When questioned - was told that the DHL driver showed up earlier than normal and the box was not ready to go on the original shipping date. Everything well packaged and arrived unscathed. The manual needs an update for V2, IMO. No hose clamps are included for the silicon hoses. Not sure if they are needed or not - but got several warnings on-line when I poseted a video of the test run - about hose clamps. I've done two brews without clamps - but will add some when I remember next time at the hardware store. The hop block gasket came unlodged while I was doing my test boil. I use an induction cooktop to help ramp up temps and was later told that may have been the reason for the gasket coming unseated - as I am the first person reporting that problem. Though several folks on line report that it is a pain to get the hop blocker into position without the gasked coming loose.I ended up using straight pins to secure the gasket to the hopblock. Now it's not going anywhere. I had and continue to have a difficult time getting the dip tube seated and removed. The fist go around - one of the o-rings got trashed in the process. I end up using brew lube - but it is still a struggle to get the tube seated. Normally - I like a tight fit on things - but this seems excessively tight. First brew day I decided to not use a bag - and try the system as designed. My local brew shop mills to 0.043" and I asked for a double mill. As a consequence, the hopblock screen was continuously clogging during the mash recirculation. I had to keep blowing it out. I do not know if the double crush was the problem - but I imagine that a single pass through the mill probably would have resulted in the same kind of problem. Second brew day - i used the bag. The bag from Brau is not wide enough or flexible enough at the top to go around more than ~2/3 of the basket top so it looks a little awkward. I clipped it into place with some ACCO clamps and it held through the mash. Ordered a Brew Bag bag. Sorry for all the gripes - but they asked for an honest review. On the plus side - the first beer turned out very good - albeit quite a bit high in ABV than planned. I added 20% to the grain bill because I was going to no-sparge - and it turns out that was probably unnessary. Second batch is in the fermenter. I used the bag this time and would have hit my target OG if I had done a better job of managing my water. I ended up with more to the fermenter than I wanted. I could have boiled some more off and probably nailed the target OG - but i added cold steep dark grain runnings to the last ten minutes of the boild and did not want them boiling much longer. I racked the excess from the fermenter to use as a future starter wort. No problems with mash recirc using the bag. The system is extremely flexible - as advertised. That was the main reason I chose it over less expensive option for an all in one system. From hitting the mash button to ready to pitch (on a 60 minute boil) was well under 3.5 hours for the second batch. I am using a ss immersion chiller and running my swimming pool water through it. Chill time to 70F seems around 25 minutes. I'm still finding my groove on cleaning the unit afterwards. I think I can become more efficient with some more brew days in my rear view. Also - the unit looks extremely cool. Hope my comments are taken in the spirit in which they are offered. Great system. Keep up the improvments.