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Old 09-24-2010, 01:30 AM   #181
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Cool.

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Originally Posted by halucin8 View Post
I was looking at designing some sort of "hopstopper" using a 9" false bottom in the kettle with some stainless mesh wrapped around it.
Here is the material I bought - and a pic of one:

B001CTV5DE 1 Stainless Steel Type 304 Mesh #14 X 14 .025" Wire Diameter 12" x 12"
$10.41

B00137UI9C 1 Stainless Steel 316L Perforated Sheet, ASTM-A-176-99, Staggered 1/2" Round Perfs, 11/16" Center Spacing, 0.0595" Thick, 12" Width, 12" Length
$13.02

The 1/2" hole material is the chiller table and the mesh is what I'm trying to make into a hop stopper. It's a wee bit more hefty/rigid than the bazooka screen material but fairly similar.

Smallparts.com (owned by Amazon). Nice source for small quantities of things (besides McMaster ...... who just rocks my world!). The pic is of the chiller setup which I'm still not getting the times I want out of. But the "Chiller Table" is awesome and that piece of metal is HD enough to hold a 2 Gallon starter in a pot with the chiller.

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Originally Posted by halucin8 View Post
The last time I brewed, I used my immersion chiller with ice water in the HLT as the system was designed. It worked pretty well, so I will try this method a few more times and see what happens. If unsuccessful with the immersion, I will probably switch to a Chilzilla chiller which has a much larger size flow diameter and would be less susceptible to hop debris or design the above mentioned hopstopper.
My chiller is a Stainless 50' coil of 3/8". It works fine in the beginning, but getting it down from 140 degrees is painful. I've tried using the ice method, but I guess I didn't have enough. Had six 1 quart blocks and they all melted before I was down to pitching temp. And, I sent the first runnings of hot water down the drain, and recirced after about 170 degree wort temp. Maybe that's not the best method, but I'd stirred enough.

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Originally Posted by halucin8 View Post
As far as having hot water in the HLT to clean with, just heat it up.
That takes time.... Still workin on that 4.5 hr brew day like I mentioned in the first place. I have about 8 hours to shave off of my original time estimate.
pastedgraphic.jpg  
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:42 AM   #182
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OK so this is now running $5600!! What has changed since your version to increase the price this much?

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Old 03-17-2011, 12:07 PM   #183
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That is really a question for the company. I'd direct you to the brewmation website. I really don't know all the specifics. I do know that based on mine and others feedback, certain things were done, such as that now the system is as 100% stainless as it can be, whereas my unit had a bunch of brass fittings on it. There are still a couple fittings that are FDA plated brass, which don't come in stainless, that are great and I wouldn't choose to replace them.

But, as I'm not a spokesman for the company, I can't say. Development of this system goes on and more parts = more money. Other than that, you'll have to ask brewmation. My assertion that it was at the end of it's R&D phase was a load of whooey- (as were a few other things I said.) It never ends. I'm going to do a 1 year w/ my brewmation followup to this review in a few mos, but in the mean time, here's a video that I (obviously) shot myself:


I'm sure you can tell I have a few more aesthetic tasks to accomplish but she's almost done. The beer turned out fantasmic. It's Yooper's Hoppy Amber, sort of like a Lagunitas type hoppy brown (uggh, have such hard water). That's 40 Lb of grain and 10 gal water in the brewmation (a bit of a thick mash) and that's about as much as I'd want to do. Having a pump on every tun makes for a 100% Clean in place event which I think is just great. I flush the break down the sink- (too tired to video that!).
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:21 PM   #184
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Cool thanks! The control panel has definitely been upgraded it looks like. The other big question I have is are 5 gallon batches and issue on this setup?

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Old 03-18-2011, 01:38 PM   #185
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I believe the float switch on the boil kettle is around like 3 gallons. I think 5 gals is pushing it as you won't have much liquid above the heating elements. I don't for see ever wanting to do a batch that size as I'm staunchly not a part of the carboy crowd, I ferment in 15 gal stainless vessels (sanke & corny).

Do my starters in a bayoo classic on the stove so I don't have to break out the entire brewery for boiling DME. That immersion chiller in the post above has been retired to chilling in my starter pot.

I'm working on somewhere around 10 mins chill time with the recirculating plate, but that's just per my calcs not experience yet. In that brew session, I put 1/2 the pellets in the bag, and half outside of it (22 oz total) to see if my tangential bazooka screen worked well. Well, I had a clogging problem, so next time I'm going to put them all in the bag (which I got a giant silicone o-ring for as a weight so the bag sinks to the bottom). I also got a screen gasket for right after the butterfly valve.

Oh, if you are referring to the 'control panel' being upgraded, I believe you may be confusing the semi-auto system and the full auto cause the control panel hasn't changed for the full. The semi- auto is really as automated as most 'automated' systems and the control panel has LOVE controllers married to the power supply. The Full auto is a step above that and you program in your temps and times and it guides you thru with boil alarms, etc... New software has a mash out step, fixed a few glitches and is more fool proof. I'm still waiting on my step mash and hop alarm timers upgrade that I mentioned and hope that is still possible in the code.

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Old 04-13-2011, 04:03 PM   #186
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I haven't really posted to much on my brewmation. it was more appropriate for the soda forum, but I have several shots of my system.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f95/orange-ginger-soda-239456/

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Old 05-22-2011, 06:13 AM   #187
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I would appreciate hearing from any of you guys who did a group buy on this Brewmation setup. By now, you should have been able to run about 13,000 brew sessions through that automated device

I'm in the market for a system, and although a build sounds very fun, I'm not really in a position to spend the amount of time required to do my own thing.
I thought I would do a little update on my Brewmation use. I didn't brew for about 8 months. Our second child was born and the space I utilized for my Brewmation indoors wasn't ideal (too small and ventilation poor). So I waited till spring and build a mobile stand and had a new 220V line run ($160 installed).

I have brewed another all grain starter and two batches since. Each brew has been more fun. I was very impatient when I first got the brewmation and brewed with not much planning - which just makes for a stressful brewday. Hobbies aren't supposed to be stressful. I now thouroughly plan my brew days and prepare before my brew day.

So, the system has been going good. I had an issue with my MT heater element creating a short due to moisture. Contacted Kevin and learned that he has modified the false bottom in the MT to protect better against moisture. I also requested to have him make me another false bottom that I planned to install in the kettle to support my IC and also act as a filter. Kevin offered to provide me with the new MT false bottom with heater element for the cost of only the heater element and I would use the existing MT false bottom for my kettle build.

I am finding my effieciences to be in the 80+ range. I think a lot has to do with the sparge rate. The control of the system is great and I don't miss the noise/heat of propane. I also love not having to lift/move water around (I know this is not unique to the brewmation).

As far as hot/cold break - for me I get a great chill using a 50 ft 5/8 copper IC. I am on a well and my water is in the high 50's to low 60's. I also whirlpool. I have done lagers recently and chill to about 60's. It takes about 30 min - which I am working on shortening. But I get a huge cold break and have no problem gravity feeding my fermentation buckets.

I plan to take some picks/video soon. It is nice to come back to this thread to see how others have modified their brewmation.
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Old 05-22-2011, 11:33 AM   #188
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The idea of electric brewing is very attractive to me, and for a number of reasons. $5600 is not one of them. The notion of DIY is right out, apart from the fact that so may people who build their own appear to end up spending significantly more than they anticipated by the time their rig is built.

The only thing on the electric brewing horizon that has any possibilities for me is the Speidels Braumeister, which still comes in at about $3200 for the 10 gal. version.

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Old 05-23-2011, 06:02 AM   #189
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The idea of electric brewing is very attractive to me, and for a number of reasons. $5600 is not one of them. The notion of DIY is right out, apart from the fact that so may people who build their own appear to end up spending significantly more than they anticipated by the time their rig is built.

The only thing on the electric brewing horizon that has any possibilities for me is the Speidels Braumeister, which still comes in at about $3200 for the 10 gal. version.
Price is always a consideration. The Brewmation was the right system for the right price for me. I do like doing a little DIY but didn't want to spend money modifying my system again and again and end up wishing I bought a complete system. I hadn't initially considered an electric brewery, it was the level of automation that initially attracted me. Having gone electric is my favorite part. My last brew session was all "manual" and I even did a decoction. It was a full fun brew day. My back was not sore from lifting, in didn't have to deal with the roar of a propane burner. I didn't have to connect multiple hose lines to move liquid around and I had complete control over my temps. That is very satisfying.

The Braumeister looks like a compact sleek system. Sort of an electric brew in a bag that one can easily do in a kitchen. Its size/capacity will limit some brews (will have to reduce batch size when going high gravity).
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:09 AM   #190
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Quote:
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The only thing on the electric brewing horizon that has any possibilities for me is the Speidels Braumeister, which still comes in at about $3200 for the 10 gal. version.
I got my entire electric system for around $2200 and that's all stainless, if you went plastic hlt and mashtun, it's around $1400, that's ready to brew with.


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