Brewzilla 35L or 65L

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Fidelity101

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Assuming price is not an issue AND you're only going to brew 5 gallon batches, which fermzilla would you purchase? Also, assume you already have a 220v line. :)

As simple of a question as this is, I just can't decide.
 

Cato1507

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Assuming price is not an issue AND you're only going to brew 5 gallon batches, which fermzilla would you purchase? Also, assume you already have a 220v line. :)

As simple of a question as this is, I just can't decide.
If you're 5 gal batches IMO you'd be better off with the 3500 w 17.5 gal brewzilla.

The 9.25 gal is only 2400 w and I'd think it would take quite a while to reach a boil that might be far less than vigorous once achieved.

Plus, on a full 5 gal batch I think you would be pressing your limits on a heavy grain bill.

I use a 10 gal ekettle for my BIAB with 3750w boil coil and I do 3.5-4.5 gal batches very comfortably, and could do a bit larger since my brews target 5-6% ABV. I'd likely want a 15 gal kettle if I did big beers in 5 gal batches.

Lol, my hoppy pale ales tend to fade quite a bit before i can finish 5 gal, which is why i prefer 4 gal batches.
 
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Fidelity101

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Thanks Cato1507. I came to the same conclusion after visiting my local brew supply shop. He sold me on the idea of a 16 gallon pot for 5 gallon batches.

Also, the batch I recently made resulted in the decision to go with the larger 65L tank and here's why:

I started with a 13 pound grain bill that required 9.25 gallons of water to include the sparging water. On this recipe, I used a 16 gallon pot I had as well as a 9 gallon pot and a 5 gallon pot. I put 5.75 gallons of water in the mash tun (9 gallon). I put 3.50 gallons of water in my sparge pot (5 gallon). After mashing, I transferred to the larger 16 gallon pot and added the sparge water before starting the boil. When I was done and turned off the heat about 90 minutes later, I was just under 6 gallons. After transferring this to my fermenter I realized that I had a LOT of hops and solids at the bottom of my fermenter (which made me wish I had a filter somewhere during the transfer to the fermenter rather than just dumping it in). After a week I transferred to the secondary and I was just under 5 gallons. I added another 2oz of hops directly to the secondary and let it sit for another week. Once that was done, I transferred to the keg and let it sit for a day at 30psi before chilling it. I ended up with about 4.5 gallons of finished beer so my next batch will have to be closer to 9.75 or 10 gallons of water. I realize that I could just add water to the fermenter but I like the fact that I can do the entire brew and transfer over from one vessel which is suppose to be the point of these all in ones right? Also, if I understand correct, I don't need a sparge tank as I can skip the step of sparging...correct?

My efficiency using the 3 pots and propane was 73%. That's the first time I've ever brewed an all grain recipe so I call that a success. I have materials for another batch but I'm waiting on the Brewzilla to arrive as the 3 pot solution took about 3 hours of prep time just to clean.
 

Cato1507

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Thanks Cato1507. I came to the same conclusion after visiting my local brew supply shop. He sold me on the idea of a 16 gallon pot for 5 gallon.
Also, the batch I recently made resulted in the decision to go with the larger 65L tank and here's why:

I started with a 13 pound grain bill that required 9.25 gallons of water to include the sparging water. On this recipe, I used a 16 gallon pot I had as well as a 9 gallon pot and a 5 gallon pot. I put 5.75 gallons of water in the mash tun (9 gallon). I put 3.50 gallons of water in my sparge pot (5 gallon). After mashing, I transferred to the larger 16 gallon pot and added the sparge water before starting the boil. When I was done and turned off the heat about 90 minutes later, I was just under 6 gallons. After transferring this to my fermenter I realized that I had a LOT of hops and solids at the bottom of my fermenter (which made me wish I had a filter somewhere during the transfer to the fermenter rather than just dumping it in). After a week I transferred to the secondary and I was just under 5 gallons. I added another 2oz of hops directly to the secondary and let it sit for another week. Once that was done, I transferred to the keg and let it sit for a day at 30psi before chilling it. I ended up with about 4.5 gallons of finished beer so my next batch will have to be closer to 9.75 or 10 gallons of water. I realize that I could just add water to the fermenter but I like the fact that I can do the entire brew and transfer over from one vessel which is suppose to be the point of these all in ones right? Also, if I understand correct, I don't need a sparge tank as I can skip the step of sparging...correct?

My efficiency using the 3 pots and propane was 73%. That's the first time I've ever brewed an all grain recipe so I call that a success. I have materials for another batch but I'm waiting on the Brewzilla to arrive as the 3 pot solution took about 3 hours of prep time just to clean.
Congrats on your all grain brew!

Yes the clean up on 3 vessels would be a lot!
I hear you on the hop sludge! I used to bag them but when I got my new ekettle, controller, and pump last October, I also got a hop spider.

Man what a difference. When I finish the boil I hang the hop spider from the hoist hook to drain back into the kettle. After whirlpooling while chilling the wort I have just a small cone in the center of the kettle and very little transfers when I pump into my 7 gal brew bucket.

My clean up from BIAB mainly is the 10 gal kettle, pump, and hoses. Those I'll run PBW through heated to 140F for 20 min while I spray out the grain bag and hop spider. Drain the system , flush with clean water, drain and done.

The system simplicity really appeals to me, and it produces very nice, clear, and comp worthy brews. Love it.
 
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Fidelity101

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So they threw a curve ball at me! I ordered the 65L and they shipped the 35L. Their mistake so they offered a $50 refund should I choose to stick with the 35L.

Does that change things? Is the 35L something I can grow with or am I really going to be kicking myself for not holding off for the 65L.

Thinner and less water to cool down would definitely make it easier for my copper immersion chiller. I rarely brew high gravity beers as I usually like beers at or under 6.5% ABV.
 

Carolina_Matt

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Only you can decide which is better, but I'll walk you through my thought process from last August.

I don't have 220V, but I was looking into installing it in my garage so that I can ditch propane for electric. It was about $250. One option was to get that done, and buy the 65L Digiboil for ~$200-250 (I was only looking into digiboils, not brewzillas). I liked the idea of being able to brew bigger batches if needed, and I liked the 3500 Watts. One problem was that my immersion chiller probably wouldn't fit well in it, so I'd need to find a taller one.

I wound up spending ~$150 on the 120V Digiboil, which is only 35L and 1500 Watts. Overall I'm really happy with it. I actually turn off the 500W element during the boil, as it only needs 1000W to keep a 5 gallon batch going. And I find the size to be more than enough for a 5 gallon batch. The downside is that 1500W can take time to get to a boil. I get about 2 degrees per minute with the neoprene sleeve on it. So if it's about 140 degrees after the mash (I BIAB, by the way), it takes close to 40 minutes to get to a boil.

The Brewzilla is 2400W? So maybe it would take about 25 minutes with that one, or closer to 15 minutes with the 3500W version. How important is that 10 minutes?

On the one hand, I hadn't considered the 35L 220V Digiboil. My feeling was that if I was going to spend $250 to install 220V, I would want more than 2400W. But I also wanted the option for bigger batches. In your shoes, if you know you want to stick with 5 gallon batches, and considering the discount you received, it's really a matter of how much you value the speed-up time. The size of the kettle shouldn't be a big factor with 5 gallon batches.
 
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Fidelity101

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Thanks Carolina_Matt. In anticipation of purchasing a 220v unit (35L or 65L) I decided to visit lowes and picked up an L14-30r outlet, a 40 foot extension cable, 14-30 to 6-30 converter cable and a GFCI unit from Amazon and made my own power drop. I ran a 40 ft extension cord because I'm in the process of moving things around in the pole barn and I didn't know exactly where I wanted the plug to end up. I went with a 14-30 connection instead of a 6-30 because I wanted to be able to plug in my generator down the road if I loose power to the pole barn but you could probably save some money if you went straight into a 6-30 plug like the brewzilla uses.

Anyway, for anyone who considers making a 220v line, here are the items I used:

30A 220v wall outlet:
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Legrand-Turnlok-Black-30-Amp-Round-Outlet-Industrial-Outlet/1000003630

Wall outlet cover:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000K2BZMA/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

40 foot extension cable:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FT4M77B/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Power adapter (It was easy to cut this in half and add a GFCI box)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M74Y9VF/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

GFCI box:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004SBV6BE/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 
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Fidelity101

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Well I spoke with Mike from Morebeer.com and he convinced me that a 35L brewzilla was plenty for what I was doing. I will have to report back after my first brewing experience but looking at this 35L in person makes me think it might actually be better than the 65L because I can make smaller batches and it will be easier to cool down the wort in the 35L vs the 65L using the copper immersion chiller I already own.

Time will tell if I made the right choice but it was definitely the cheaper option. $429 for the Brewzilla 35L vs $699 for the Brewzilla 65L allowed me to purchase a Tilt device with the savings.
 
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Fidelity101

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First batch of beer completed using the Brewzilla 35L. I was so overly focused on volume capacity that I WAY overdid the amount of water needed. I used the same amount of water (about 9 gallons) that I had previously used with the propane heater and a 16 gallon pot. This time, I ended up with just under 7 gallons of water. My efficiency was 78% which was pretty good for my first time out but the excess water caused my OG to be 1.042 which is pretty darn low for a Porter. Gravity prior to sparring was 1.056.
 

RePete

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Interested in your experience with the 35L 220v system. I have a 35L 110v Robobrew v3. Overall I like it. It does take a long time to bring up to boil. The process I have settled on is to do an initial boil with the full 8gals of cold water. I draw off 5gals of that into an old cooler, which is my HLT. Then add a gal of cold water to the Robobrew to bring the temp down to mash. Add the grain, mash, and then sparge with water from the cooler. Bring it up to boil from there. I find it difficult to know how much wort is in the vessel since there is no sight glass.
 
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Fidelity101

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I've only ever brewed all grain twice in my life. The first time was with a 16 gallon pot on a propane heater in my garage. That system lost about 1 gallon of water an hour during the boil. The second time ever brewing all grain was with this Brewzilla 35L and it looses 1/2 gallon per hour.

Wow, what a difference! Other than the volume loss calculation which is something I probably should have considered, everything turned out great. My efficiency was 78.2% making a Robo Porter from morebeer.com. Lautering was very simple and turning the valve made it easy to adjust the flow rate as well as allowing me to grab a quick sample for OG.

I used a total of just over 9 gallons of water in total. I started with 5.6 gallons in the brewzilla for mashing and then heating up 3.6 gallons of sparge water using the propane heater I had before...took about 15 minutes to heat 3 gallons using the low setting on that heater . Anyway, the total volume of water after mashing and sparging was just under 8 gallons. After the boil I was left with just under 7 gallons. Luckily I have a fermzilla to handle the volume but extra sparge water took my gravity reading from 1.054 post mash to an OG of 1.042 when transferring the finished wort into the fermenter. Since this is a porter, it's going to be a very light porter.

Thank you for the tip on the sparge water! That would definitely reduce a step needed as I could transfer the hot water out pre mash and store it in an insulated container. Alternatively, I was thinking about buying one of these induction heaters and heating the water to 175F about 30 minutes before mash out. https://www.amazon.com/Duxtop-Porta...jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==
 

RePete

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Sounds like you are on the right track.

Previously, until I got this Robobrew, I brewed extract on the kitchen stove and had multiple burners. But my wife wasn’t a fan of the smell in the house, and I wanted to move to all grain, so I bought this and moved down to the garage. I don’t have another way to heat sparge water. So this is the solution I came up with. The only problem is that the temperature isn’t very exact. When I’ve used this method for the sparge water the rest of the process takes long enough that the water cools quite a bit. It has generally been down to the 160-165 range by the time I need it. So, about right.

We have a Sous Vie unit I’ve thought of using in the cooler to heat sparge water, but I haven’t tried it yet.
 
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Fidelity101

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Brewfather tells me I should have 6.09 gallons of mash water and 2.5 gallons of sparge water.
Does anyone know why Brewfather is reporting measurements that contradict the norms? According to Sparge Water Calculator | MoreBeer I should be 4.3 gallons of Mash water and 4 gallons of sparge water.
According to grandfather.com I should be 5.13 gallons of Mash and 3.19 gallons of sparge.

I'm wondering if inadequate sparge water and too much mash water has caused my low efficiency issues...or at least contributed to them.
 
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