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PicoBrew Zymatic

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jm_maclaren

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Somewhere back in this thread I posted a quick recipe you could use to check your system, however, its not necessary. I'd just go ahead and disassemble the unit and do a thorough clean and top off the glycol. It can't hurt and will let you inspect the lower end since this is a used machine.

The procedure I sent you is only for topping off the glycol, not for any mods. However, for a fill port, you would place a "T" connector between the HEX and the Glycol pump and run a length of tubing up the left side of the unit to a bulkhead fitting near the top. It acts as a small reservoir and allows filling without disassembly in the future. Look back in this thread a few pages and you can see/read about the basics.
Mike, thanks for your help. I followed your guide and ending up adding about 3/4 of a cup of glycol/water mix to the loop to fill it. Clean cycle then ran with no issues after that! Thanks!!
 

Trevor Mack

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Screenshot_20201122-112343.png

Here is the result after the various custom slow ramp passthrough pbw deep cleaning sessions (6 in total). Got a nice smooth HEX graph with no sudden spikes so flow is back to what it should be.

Definitely going to incorporate this new deep cleaning into my routine. Likely will leave this recipe as a much needed Deepclean and not something to use frequently (shorter should be fine).
 

bunnyrat

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So, anyone else try a parti-gyle with the zymatic? I just did a batch a week or so ago. I did an IPA with 8.5 lbs of grain using the standard mash profile, which returned a 1.062 batch for about 55% efficiency. I then ran the same grain and hops though the high efficiency mash profile, which got me another 3 gallons of 1.032 wort. I fermented both with OY-001 and dry hopped with a 2oz mix of hops. I kegged these into 3 1.75 gallon kegs; one each of the individual batches, and one a mix of the two. They are carbing now. Just curious if anyone else has tried this and has experiences to share.
 

Vandammified

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View attachment 706796View attachment 706786View attachment 706789View attachment 706790
View attachment 706794

On Facebook “Picobrewer” Z owners are experiencing Error 6. It does not seam to be known yet I believe that it is just the Z’s version of the Zymatic “Error 1”. Basically, the machines are over heating due to a flow issue in the heat exchanger and/or low water in the heat loop. First, make sure the heat loop on the Z is topped of with distilled water. As for the Zymatic see Mike Howard’s Glycol top off procedure. The cause for pore flow on the Z is the heat exchanger gets build up and scaling.

It is basically in issue that Pico Brew tried to solve yet possibly failed to do so.

Mike Howard did tremendous work in identifying and solving the Glycol Loop issue. I believe one area of improvement upon his modification is to flip the Heat exchanger so that the Glycol loop is on the top ports as to allow air bubbles to escape, and beer loop is on the bottom so that sticky wort (beer) can fully be drained and cleaned away. If not otherwise, wort residue builds up in the heat exchanger. (See 5th picture)

How the Z is designed only exacerbates the Issue of Wort (beer) not being able to full drain and be cleaned out of the heat exchanger. The Heat exchanger needs to be mounted on its side with the beer loop on the bottom and heat loop on the top just like the Zymatic. You can easily do so with Zip ties. The “Error 6” for many machines are caused by restrictive flow in the heat exchanger due to wort build up!

Once you do the modifications, the final and ongoing solution is to build a basic cleaning vessel. I believe a basic Masson Jar is cheep and effective.

The 1st and 3rd pictures are Option 1 for a Zymatic or Z: Place the long hose into the return (inlet) , and place the jar under the bypass.

The 2cd & 4th pictures is a second option a Zymatic or a Z. (Update second option for Zymatic at the bottom of the post)

For Option 2 design for a Z, place the long hose into the return on the bottom of the machine (inlet) and the short hose in the out port of the Z on the ceiling.

This should resolve the issue of not being able to use stronger cleaners that will breakdown protein build up such as PBW , Oxi-clean, Beer Stone Remover; as the stronger cleaners can destroy the plastic Step filter.

You simply run a modifid “clean cycle with PBW” on a heated bypass of 150F for 30 minutes, then run a regular rinse with water only.

Also imagine how much more sanitary your machine will be !

If someone would source a “Pyrex Glass Step Filter” non of this would be an issue!

I hope this helps! Please share to the Facebook guys if you like.

View attachment 706797
P.s adding a piece of hose to the rotating arm will help with splashing. You can even make the option like Picture # 2 above for the Zymatic (sealed).
Cheers !
Great mod! Which size is the silicone tubing that you are using? I am looking forward to getting this going for my machine to see if I can keep it a bit cleaner. Thanks!
 

Brewinator

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So I have an unopened, never used, in-box Zymatic hogging space in one of my closets. I'd thought of finally tying to fire it up and attempt an IPA, but it seems that is the hardest style for the Zymatic, according to this most depressing thread (I thought the point of this machine was to make brewing easier,
not harder).

Sounds like a bunch of bozos ran this company into the ground through arrogance and incompetence.

Anyway, I'm in SoCal if anyone wants to buy this thing and free up space in my closet. :confused:
 

Trevor Mack

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@Brewinator Why do you say it is hard to make IPAs? I've made several with my Z2 setup (not a Zy, but "evolution" of sorts) from West Coast to New England to DIPA and even a TIPA. All turned out quite well except for 1 batch that got exposed to too much oxygen cold side and thus oxidized (tasted ok, looked awful) which was 0 fault of the Picobrew equipment and all my transfer and handling of the fermented beer (lesson learned).
 

Mike Howard

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So I have an unopened, never used, in-box Zymatic hogging space in one of my closets. I'd thought of finally tying to fire it up and attempt an IPA, but it seems that is the hardest style for the Zymatic, according to this most depressing thread (I thought the point of this machine was to make brewing easier,
not harder).

Sounds like a bunch of bozos ran this company into the ground through arrogance and incompetence.

Anyway, I'm in SoCal if anyone wants to buy this thing and free up space in my closet. :confused:

You can definitely make solid IPAs with a Zymatic. We use our Zymatics as brewery R&D machines. The biggest thing to understand is that Hop utilization is crap and it will most definitley not scale linearly. We have been brewing on our Zyms since 2016, so we know our formulas very well, but it does take some experimentation at first.

A good rule of thumb to start with a good IPA is to use hop containers 1, 2 and 3 with varying amounts of hops, having more as you progress and make sure to do a full 60 min addition, somewhere in the middle and at least a 10 minute for the finish. Obviously the exact times will change, depending upon which hop you are using, but that will get you close.

Then adjust as necessary, for each subsequent batch, until you reach your desired hop flavor profile.

I agree that the company had a lot of bozos in it for sure...still see some of them around.
 

Aalbaug

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After doing the detailed cleaning my zymatic is now giving me fault error #64. Does anyone know what this is?
 

Aalbaug

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So I have an unopened, never used, in-box Zymatic hogging space in one of my closets. I'd thought of finally tying to fire it up and attempt an IPA, but it seems that is the hardest style for the Zymatic, according to this most depressing thread (I thought the point of this machine was to make brewing easier,
not harder).

Sounds like a bunch of bozos ran this company into the ground through arrogance and incompetence.

Anyway, I'm in SoCal if anyone wants to buy this thing and free up space in my closet. :confused:
Interested in possibly buying. <Email removed> Send me a message if you have a price.
 
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Trevor Mack

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Are you connected to Picobrew [PROPER] or to a raspberrypi/local server? If the later, maybe your pi isn't turned on or the embedded server is failing to start up. If this is the case which beta image did you start with, could try to reflash beta5.
 

rpm2

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Well after not brewing for a few months I tried today and about 5 mins to heating the mash up I encountered the fatal error #1, I tried about a half dozen times to exit and re-brew but it kept failing within 2-5 mins :( I even tried circulating for several minutes to stabilize the temps first.
Assuming glycol procedure may fix things?

Mike Howard can you please send info regarding fixing/upgrading with fill port/reservoir etc. Thanks!
 

Aalbaug

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Still stuck on trying to get my zymatic started up again. When turning on it states the heat sensor fault. I go to circulate and its shows a negative on heat. Any ideas whats the the real problem?
20201206_105643.jpg
 

Mike Howard

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Still stuck on trying to get my zymatic started up again. When turning on it states the heat sensor fault. I go to circulate and its shows a negative on heat. Any ideas whats the the real problem?View attachment 709164
I have seen that before, but not on the zymatics...that is usually a DS18B sensor error. Check your board connections for the sensors and make sure they are plugged in. You can't switch sensors because one wire sensors are hard coded in the software. You could try entering the troubleshooting mode by holding down the rotary knob when you turn power on. I remember there being a heat check in there.
 

Aalbaug

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Its showing this one not working but I'm not sure which sensor that is.
20201206_142236.jpg
 

Mike Howard

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I believe heat 1 is the sensor in the Tee connector for the HEX loop, heat 2 is on the RIMS unit and wrt is the sensor on the upper left for the wort temp. Try disconnecting and then reseating all of your temp connectors (with power off) and make sure the sensor in the Tee is not damaged. I know of at least one person who pulled the sensor out of the silicone by the wires and damaged their unit.
 

mjc999

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A little different than most of the conversation, but related to the original Zymatic.
(Side note: Have had it since early 2017 and brewed semi-regularly over the entire time. Have brewed 4 times in the last two months. The only time I've had an error 1, it was related to a clogged ball lock post or connector, which when addressed, cleared the error. I continue to use the original PicoBrew server without issue as I have not had time to get a local server up and running)

However, one of my little black step filter plugs escaped. I've never understood why there are holes in the filter body only to plug them in use.
I'm thinking of just sealing the holes with silicone or something. What do the experts in this thread think? I can't seem to find spare plugs on the interwebs.

thanks,
Mark
 
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Many have plugged those holes with silicone. AFAIK they added those holes to help with draining when people put the step filter in the dishwasher. If you do plug them then you should make sure to clean the step filter by hand from now on. I have the original step filter so I don't have the drain holes.
 

Mike Howard

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@mjc999 @Stephane Jeffrey is right, they were there to prevent water buildup when you placed it in the dishwasher upside down...I'm sure their design dept thought they were awesome. I've long since filled mine with silicone and moved on, but I've always hand cleaned my step filters.
 

bunnyrat

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So, anyone else try a parti-gyle with the zymatic? I just did a batch a week or so ago. I did an IPA with 8.5 lbs of grain using the standard mash profile, which returned a 1.062 batch for about 55% efficiency. I then ran the same grain and hops though the high efficiency mash profile, which got me another 3 gallons of 1.032 wort. I fermented both with OY-001 and dry hopped with a 2oz mix of hops. I kegged these into 3 1.75 gallon kegs; one each of the individual batches, and one a mix of the two. They are carbing now. Just curious if anyone else has tried this and has experiences to share.
Nobody? Well, it worked fairly well. The first beer is a solid west coast IPA. The second running was thin, as you might expect from the ABV, but is quite drinkable with the dry hopping. The blend honestly was a bit lacking in hop character, but this was the first pour, so we’ll see this weekend.
 
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Rwilkinson

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I have a complete step by step procedure, with photos, that I have been working on with the help of about 10 or so others on here who have followed the procedure and added modifications/clarifications for each revision. I'd be happy to provide that info to anyone who needs to top off their glycol. Just shoot me a PM and I can get it to you.

For the glycol, I use this one from AMAZON, but I have three draft chillers so I need large quantities. As GP said, USP, Food Grade is what you need.
could you send me the instructions to add glycol. I have unsuccessfully troubleshot this issue with PB
 

ABV

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@Mike Howard - I started my first Zymatic teardown today due to seeing errors 1 and 17 (think it's just clogged up). Can you please PM me your instructions (plus the Glycol and mod) I would appreciate it very much. Would PM but post #1...
 

Rwilkinson

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@Mike Howard I am not able to PM you, but have a few questions. I did tear my Zymatic apart and was able to top off with Glyco and ran a recipe through the machine over my holiday break. Next issue I am having is possibly more website related, but I am not able to get the stored recipes from the website to sync to my machine. Any suggestions?
 

Nowhere Ranch

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@Mike Howard I am new to forums and new to PicoBrew. I bought one used and having the #1 and #17 errors. Can you send me the instructions on glycol top up and whatever else seems appropriate for a new owner of an old machine? Appreciate it!
 

Trevor Mack

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For those looking for a bit more hand holding or just some colorful commentary on how to install/flash a downloadable .img file from GitHub onto an SD card (ie raspberrypints, brewpi, tiltpi, etc).

I've done just that for the "chiefwigms" picobrew-pico server that had been referenced several times in places as a local offline capable server for replacing picobrew.com and untethering our devices. All the while pairing with PicoFree paks for enabling the smaller machines to be fully automated without a PicoPak line.

 

Mike Howard

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For those looking for a bit more hand holding or just some colorful commentary on how to install/flash a downloadable .img file from GitHub onto an SD card (ie raspberrypints, brewpi, tiltpi, etc).

I've done just that for the "chiefwigms" picobrew-pico server that had been referenced several times in places as a local offline capable server for replacing picobrew.com and untethering our devices. All the while pairing with PicoFree paks for enabling the smaller machines to be fully automated without a PicoPak line.


@Rwilkinson
 

DHumbug

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@Mike Howard I see you getting a ton of requests for your procedures ... I hate to add to the onslaught.... but..... could you send to me as well? Much appreciated.
 
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