Homebrewers are likely familiar with the Spike Brewing System, which is the ultimate brewing setup for a homebrewer. Over the years, as those homebrewers ventured outside their garage, Spike noticed more and more of their systems were being used as pilot systems or as nano systems when making the leap to professional brewing. This has led the company to develop the Spike+ System.
The Spike+ System is truly turnkey — assemble, plug in and brew with no wiring needed. The Pro Style control panel allows complete control from one central location. The Spike+ retains everything you liked about the original Spike system but incorporated all tri-clamp (TC) fittings. While threaded (NPT) fittings are the standard on the homebrew side, due to the lower costs and ease of use, the TC fittings are standard for professional brewers. Having all TCs means breweries only have to stock one type of connection and could easily connect the system to pumps, conicals, etc.
Brewers can expect a fast brew day overall with quick heating times thanks to powerful stainless heating elements. No vorlauf is needed due to the constantly recirculating mash, and CIP can be performed on all process piping.
Behind the engineering
The system is based on a HERMS (Heat Exchange Recirculating Mash System) heating system which has been a staple in the home brewing community for over 10 years. This system slowly pumps the clear wort from under the false bottom through a heat exchanger submerged in the HLT to precisely heat your entire mash to a consistent temp. Since the tank is heated indirectly there is no chance of ever scorching your grain.
Four notable features:
1. The high quality stainless tanks are available in 5 sizes and the sanitary welds are done by on-staff welders at Spike’s facility in Milwaukee.
2. The accessories are all purpose-built to match the tanks they’ll be used in and are made from 304 stainless steel (again, welded in Milwaukee).
3. The false bottom is laser cut to the precise specs it’s been designed for and has a two-stage filtering design to filter 99.9 percent of all grain particles from your BK.
4. The elements feature an integrated 1.5” tri-clamp fitting so they can quickly attach to your tanks and can also quickly detach for easy cleaning. They are ULWD (Ultra Low Watt Density) to eliminate any scorching and are made from 316SS for easy cleaning.
The Spike+ System was thoroughly tested at its in-house brew lab by engineers over the last year. Several breweries in Milwaukee started to brew on the prototype system and provide feedback, such as 1840 Brewing Co., Mobcraft and Gathering Place if you’re curious to hear the perspective of a brewer.