Brewzilla Gen4 Discussion/Tips Talk

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Yogi77

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I could never understand why it is necessary to purchase a tea kettle or an expensive sparge water heater. It is so incredibly easy and inexpensive to just heat sparge water in a pot on the stove. Why is that no longer an option?
hi all, might seem like a silly question but do you see a need to have to sparge water at 100c?
I use the hot water from my kitchen tap which comes out at 60c and always seems to be hitting my numbers so am not sure if that extra heat will benefit me or not.
 

DuncB

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@Yogi77
Some people sparge with cold water, I would take the chlorine out of the tap water before sparging and consider ensuring the water pH is around 5.5.
The theory is that hot water makes the sugars runnier so they come out. If you're happy with the numbers and your brew, you can stay the same or experiment. Sparging with the water at mash out temperature is the " recommendation " but some don't mash out either.
Certainly wouldn't recommend boiling water meant to leach more tannins out of the grain husks.
 

agentbud

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Does anyone know how many amps the 220v version of the Brewzilla Gen 4 pulls?
 

DuncB

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How big is the element?

Current ( amps ) is Watts divided by Voltage

So if 3000 watt element and 220 volts ( volts will be around this figure but can vary if you check it at supply but not significant)

You would have a current of 13.6 amp. If you were at 240v then it's 12.5 amp.

My 3000 watt guten I run off a 15 amp plug on a 30amp fused spur with this the only thing on it.

That would be at full power of course.
 

rtstrider

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Will be ordering the 9.25 gallon 110 volt unit next Friday. Figure I'll take it on a "dry" run first to get a feel for boil off and such before running a true batch through it. Was going to measure out 6.5 gallons of hot tap water, see how well the stamped lines on the inside line up with the actual liquid measurements, then let er rip/boil for 1 hour. Basically doing this so I can dial in the pre boil volume for mash/sparge water. Really excited to finally be moving to a much easier electric brew system!
 

rtstrider

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The big question I have is will a hop spider be needed for this and what grain crush size is used? Right now I crush almost biab fine but am thinking the crush may need to be a pinch larger so it does not back up in the pump.
 

amr

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Just got the 35L Gen 4 delivered (I live in India and was able to get the 240V one). Set it up on the RAPT portal and it there is already one OTA update (which I did). A weird thing though - when I first switched it on, the heating element went on and the temp went in excess of 126c. Hit the pause button but it seemed to not make a difference. So, I switched the power off, waited a bit and then put it back on and it seems fine now. The RAPT setup + OTA was after this.

So, word of caution for anyone who also experiences this. Do beware of this.
 

agentbud

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How big is the element?

Current ( amps ) is Watts divided by Voltage

So if 3000 watt element and 220 volts ( volts will be around this figure but can vary if you check it at supply but not significant)

You would have a current of 13.6 amp. If you were at 240v then it's 12.5 amp.

My 3000 watt guten I run off a 15 amp plug on a 30amp fused spur with this the only thing on it.

That would be at full power of course.
The 220v version has 2 elements, a 1900W and a 500W. So, with both elements on at full power I would be looking at 2400\220= 10.91 amps. Is that correct?
 

agentbud

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Will be ordering the 9.25 gallon 110 volt unit next Friday. Figure I'll take it on a "dry" run first to get a feel for boil off and such before running a true batch through it. Was going to measure out 6.5 gallons of hot tap water, see how well the stamped lines on the inside line up with the actual liquid measurements, then let er rip/boil for 1 hour. Basically doing this so I can dial in the pre boil volume for mash/sparge water. Really excited to finally be moving to a much easier electric brew system!
I'm interested in hearing some test numbers on temp ramp up times. I saw a video the other day where the guy at kegland said the elements in the gen 4 are sized so that you should get 1 degree per minute. That seems like a long time. I'm not that worried about the ramp up to mash temp since I usually brew at night so I have all day to let it get up to mash temps. But I am really interested in real-world testing on times getting from mash (ie 155) up to boil. At 1 degree per minute, that would be close to an hour.
 

DuncB

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I'm interested in hearing some test numbers on temp ramp up times. I saw a video the other day where the guy at kegland said the elements in the gen 4 are sized so that you should get 1 degree per minute. That seems like a long time. I'm not that worried about the ramp up to mash temp since I usually brew at night so I have all day to let it get up to mash temps. But I am really interested in real-world testing on times getting from mash (ie 155) up to boil. At 1 degree per minute, that would be close to an hour.
That will be modern day temperature measurement I expect. We're using something called Celsius or centigrade in the future. In the past they used something called Fahrenheit!
 

amr

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Just got the 35L Gen 4 delivered (I live in India and was able to get the 240V one). Set it up on the RAPT portal and it there is already one OTA update (which I did). A weird thing though - when I first switched it on, the heating element went on and the temp went in excess of 126c. Hit the pause button but it seemed to not make a difference. So, I switched the power off, waited a bit and then put it back on and it seems fine now. The RAPT setup + OTA was after this.

So, word of caution for anyone who also experiences this. Do beware of this.
Update: Heard back from kegland (through the distributor) and it looks like the unit should not even be switched on without water in it. Seems a bit weird seeing that they have a computer there - with which one can do OTA updates etc, but, well, that was the response.
 

agentbud

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That will be modern day temperature measurement I expect. We're using something called Celsius or centigrade in the future. In the past they used something called Fahrenheit!
Yes, Fahrenheit. It's the only way!
 

schmurf

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The 220v version has 2 elements, a 1900W and a 500W. So, with both elements on at full power I would be looking at 2400\220= 10.91 amps. Is that correct?
I'm a dummy when it comes to things like this, but I think 2400W is the theoretical effect, if you have 240V and 10 amps. If you only have 220V you probably only get 2200W... but I could be totally wrong!
 

warx

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220V & 110V are old terms in regards to the US. It's been 120V single and 240V split-phase for many years which matches much of the rest of the world I believe.
 

schmurf

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Where I live (Sweden) 230V is standard, but in practice it's about 224-226V at my house in the countryside.
 

DuncB

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Where I live (Sweden) 230V is standard, but in practice it's about 224-226V at my house in the countryside.
@schmurf
You are right about variance of voltage, it wanders a lot.
I think elements reduce in performance over time and certainly can fail.
Just replaced the element in the lower oven in the kitchen.
 

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jtrainer

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While I await for my BZ4 to arrive, I have a question... I currently use a March 109 pump, it's fairly strong non-self priming. If I plumb the BZ4 to use the internal pump for re-circulation, do ya'll feel the March 109 will be too strong for pumping out via the drain valve?

Or should I add it to my existing post where I'm selling off the old 3v brewing system?
 
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stealthfixr

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While I await for my BZ4 to arrive, I have a question... I currently use a March 109 pump, it's fairly strong non-self priming. If I plumb the BZ4 to use the internal pump for re-circulation, do ya'll feel the March 109 will be too strong for pumping out via the drain valve?

Or should I add it to my existing post where I'm selling off the old 3v brewing system?
In a recent video, Kegland commented how on the generation 4 models the pump was stronger than generation 3. So using your March pump sound certainly possible, especially if you switch the plumbing to the side drain valve. But, you just may not need it.
 

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Ordered the Gen 4 last night. Couldn't sleep! It's like a kid waiting to open presents Christmas day! It's supposed to be here Sunday :) Will be nice to finally do some real brewing! Ordered a hop spider too for giggles.
 

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Is there a recommended mash thickness for these systems? I couldn't find anything in the documentation so was thinking about going with a 1.5qt per lb water/grist ratio.
 

Teufelhunde

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Is there a recommended mash thickness for these systems? I couldn't find anything in the documentation so was thinking about going with a 1.5qt per lb water/grist ratio.
What software are you using? I use Brewfather and I believe it's default for the v3.1.1 is 1.35 to 1. I have mine set at 1.25 and it works just fine. The ratio should likely be the same for the v4.

Your software probably has a profile for the 3.1.1 if not for the 4 and that would be a good starting point to find what works for you.
 

Teufelhunde

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I'm using brewersfriend
Yeah, just looked at the robobrew profile and it doesn't have a figure in that box, it wants you to set it. I lowered mine to 1.25 because I wanted just a tad more water for the sparge. At 1.25 my mash is still soupy, I could likely go lower but it works for me so why mess with it.....
 

Sammy86

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Is there a recommended mash thickness for these systems? I couldn't find anything in the documentation so was thinking about going with a 1.5qt per lb water/grist ratio.

Most people I've seen using the 4.0 use anywhere from 1.5-2.0.

On my 3.11 i use 2.0...I like to mash thin...if it was good enough for the early German brewers, it's good enough for me.
 

jtrainer

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Just spotted a comment on the FB group that the U.S. 240V models could ship around end of October.
Saw that too... as someone said, I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas morning. I haven't been so excited about a new piece of brewing gear in 20 years.... then again I built my current setup nearly 22 years ago. But seriously, come on, I'm ready for my "will call road trip" to pick it up.
 

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Just made my first batch using the Gen 4 yesterday. A simple SMaSH with Citra hops. The setup was simple enough but there was a severe facepalm moment right up top. Once the mash temp was reached, I put in the grains and only after 5 minutes realized that the malt pipe was sat outside in all its glory! Some transferring to other vats and retransferring later, the malt pipe was in and the grains (most of them at least) were in and mashing.

Once that was done, it seemed to be fairly smooth sailing the rest of the way through. I, again, made a bit of an unnecessary decision by cutting the 60 minute to a 30 minute boil. Not much harm done anyway (except that I harried myself a bit much in cutting those 30 minutes down and hence had to rush through sanitizing the fermenter and other stuff). In the end, it almost all worked out alright except for the OG which was 11 points below expected (1.042 vs 1.053). I am guessing the malt pipe mishap contributed to that.

Some observations:
1. The system is remarkably simple for someone who is trying an all-in-one system for the first time
2. The valve that turns the recirculation arm on and off (the blue one) turns fairly hot and so, handle with care (also wondering about longer term durability - only time will tell)
3. In spite of mashing for 5-10 minutes without a malt pipe (and the recirc arm on), the pump did not get clogged. The false bottom is indeed superb.
4. I did not mess around with the PID settings (but did turn the PID option on) and I saw some wild overshooting of the temp, and correction thereof. Kegland has a video out and David Heath has said he is going to release a video shortly. So, those are perhaps worth a watch.
5. A tremendously vigorous boil was reached when the temp showed 98 itself. I put the target temp at 100 but it never got beyond 98.5. I had the jacket on (and I live in a place where the ambient temp is 30-32c now, so that might have had an impact).
6. The profiles did not really work for me, or, at least, I did not really understand them. There is so much work to be done on the RAPT portal (and Kegland did say that they are working on the profiles and will even have a video to go with the firmware update soon - so, looking forward to that).
7. Cleaning was remarkably simple. With the new CIP rotor that is in the works, this should be even simpler.


In all, the brewday was brutally efficient and I hope that if I cut out those mistakes, it should be even more fun.
 

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jtrainer

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Just made my first batch using the Gen 4 yesterday. A simple SMaSH with Citra hops. The setup was simple enough but there was a severe facepalm moment right up top. Once the mash temp was reached, I put in the grains and only after 5 minutes realized that the malt pipe was sat outside in all its glory! Some transferring to other vats and retransferring later, the malt pipe was in and the grains (most of them at least) were in and mashing.

Once that was done, it seemed to be fairly smooth sailing the rest of the way through. I, again, made a bit of an unnecessary decision by cutting the 60 minute to a 30 minute boil. Not much harm done anyway (except that I harried myself a bit much in cutting those 30 minutes down and hence had to rush through sanitizing the fermenter and other stuff). In the end, it almost all worked out alright except for the OG which was 11 points below expected (1.042 vs 1.053). I am guessing the malt pipe mishap contributed to that.

Some observations:
1. The system is remarkably simple for someone who is trying an all-in-one system for the first time
2. The valve that turns the recirculation arm on and off (the blue one) turns fairly hot and so, handle with care (also wondering about longer term durability - only time will tell)
3. In spite of mashing for 5-10 minutes without a malt pipe (and the recirc arm on), the pump did not get clogged. The false bottom is indeed superb.
4. I did not mess around with the PID settings (but did turn the PID option on) and I saw some wild overshooting of the temp, and correction thereof. Kegland has a video out and David Heath has said he is going to release a video shortly. So, those are perhaps worth a watch.
5. A tremendously vigorous boil was reached when the temp showed 98 itself. I put the target temp at 100 but it never got beyond 98.5. I had the jacket on (and I live in a place where the ambient temp is 30-32c now, so that might have had an impact).
6. The profiles did not really work for me, or, at least, I did not really understand them. There is so much work to be done on the RAPT portal (and Kegland did say that they are working on the profiles and will even have a video to go with the firmware update soon - so, looking forward to that).
7. Cleaning was remarkably simple. With the new CIP rotor that is in the works, this should be even simpler.


In all, the brewday was brutally efficient and I hope that if I cut out those mistakes, it should be even more fun.
As one that has simply dumped in my grains to my Mash Tun, I expect to make this same mistake once since I never had a malt pipe nor a bag... we learn from our pains.
The reduction of boil time probably has a big impact on your OG. With the 30-minute boil, did you adjust the hops to get the same/expected bitterness levels?

As for your observations: My only comment is about that valve. I actually missed that there was a valve there and had already thought to put a 3 piece ball valve there since I have spare parts to accommodate that currently. So maybe that's a mod/upgrade that can be looked into.
 

amr

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As one that has simply dumped in my grains to my Mash Tun, I expect to make this same mistake once since I never had a malt pipe nor a bag... we learn from our pains.
The reduction of boil time probably has a big impact on your OG. With the 30-minute boil, did you adjust the hops to get the same/expected bitterness levels?

As for your observations: My only comment is about that valve. I actually missed that there was a valve there and had already thought to put a 3 piece ball valve there since I have spare parts to accommodate that currently. So maybe that's a mod/upgrade that can be looked into.
Ha ha. Touche. I am used to dumping grains in my mash tun as well. Guess old habits die hard. And on that note, I am wondering if we can just leave the malt pipe in when the heating to mash temp is happening. In theory I do not see a problem with it but I have not really seen any videos where they do this.

Also, re. the valve, should look into a mod. At this point, it does not seem like plastic-melting-off levels of hot but still at the not-nice-to-touch level hot.
 

amr

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Sure can!
Well, that solves for human (read: my) stupidity then! The only potential issue I was thinking of was maybe some heat dissipation / retention issues in the small area between the malt pipe and the brewery's walls but perhaps I am overthinking it! Thank you, this is excellent news!
 

DuncB

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There could be plenty of reasons for that efficiency drop. But at least next brew you'll eliminate one potential.
I fill my all in one to my target volume. Put the malt pipe in and then the salts, recirculate and at strike temp dough in.

Check list helps a lot.

I only used to put the false bottom in my robobrew 3 after the sparge and don't have one at all in the guten.
 

Teufelhunde

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Ha ha. Touche. I am used to dumping grains in my mash tun as well. Guess old habits die hard. And on that note, I am wondering if we can just leave the malt pipe in when the heating to mash temp is happening. In theory I do not see a problem with it but I have not really seen any videos where they do this.

Also, re. the valve, should look into a mod. At this point, it does not seem like plastic-melting-off levels of hot but still at the not-nice-to-touch level hot.
You not only can, but you should. That way the malt pipe is at strike temp instead of room temp and doesn't suck any heat out of your water.
 

amr

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You not only can, but you should. That way the malt pipe is at strike temp instead of room temp and doesn't suck any heat out of your water.
That makes sense! Thank you. Will do.


Have you guys here played around with the PID settings? I typically brew only 10L (2.5G) batches. Is there a setting that has worked for anyone here?
 

DuncB

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From my experience of " playing around " with a PID on my brew system it's tricky. If I strove for perfection I'd never get any beer made.
 

amr

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From my experience of " playing around " with a PID on my brew system it's tricky. If I strove for perfection I'd never get any beer made.
Fair enough but there should be some solution for the wild overshooting, no? For instance, my mash temp was set for 65 but it went to 72 and then came down.
 

DuncB

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@amr

I think there is a design issue that is contributing to the brewzilla gen 4 problem. Not unusual for a kegland product have to evolve rapidly under user experience.

 

amr

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@amr

I think there is a design issue that is contributing to the brewzilla gen 4 problem. Not unusual for a kegland product have to evolve rapidly under user experience.


I did see this video but it didn't register that this might well be the thing. Interesting. Thank you,
 

warx

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With my 240V Anvil 10.5 I definitely use different power settings for each stage.
100% heat-up, 65% Mash, 75% Mash-out, 90% heat-to-boil, 65% boil for 90mins.
Likewise when distilling (100% to 55C at head, 60% after that)
 

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The Gen4 shipped yesterday! Now not too sure I'll be brewing yet this weekend. Had a failure with stepping up old Bells yeast. Ended up sacrificing a 6 pack of Bells for "science" over the weekend and am trying to culture up yeast from that. Also started WLP029 from the freezer stash this morning in hopes one of these strains takes off and is ready to brew by the weekend. Now that's miniscule depending on where Hurricane Ian ends up. We're all in wait and see mode right now as we're in FL but right outside the cone as of now.

Anywho I wrote the above yesterday. The WLP029 is showing major signs of life as of this morning. Bells not so much. Will probably end up moving the Bells yeast off the stir plate and into a jar or something to let it ferment out. Will probably just go the lazy way with this one for the time being. Guess it'll be Brulosophers Best Blonde Ale for the maiden voyage! Interesting mention of the Diversion plate. That and the insulation kit (both for the pump pipe...Whatever that's called...and the unit itself) are on the to do list as soon as they're available on Morebeer. May eventually invest in the wireless bluetooth Rapt thermometer but as of now I just want to learn the system :)
 
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