PicoBrew Zymatic

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adguyer

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So, the machinist friend is in Florida, The welder can't look at it until next Friday and then you think, I'll bring it to the master plumber / pipe fitter I know. Here, it works perfect, but looks like this! LMAO :p The nut didn't clear the tank originally... The difference between art and functionality!
 

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Mike Howard

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So, the machinist friend is in Florida, The welder can't look at it until next Friday and then you think, I'll bring it to the master plumber / pipe fitter I know. Here, it works perfect, but looks like this! LMAO :p The nut didn't clear the tank originally... The difference between art and functionality!

Yea, someone on this thread drilled out the holes and then tapped them to a standard NPT thread size. Seems to be the best bet for this reservoir and allows you to put a hex plug in any port you don't want to use and get rid of those barb connections with the o-ring. It's on my list of "when I break my machine down again mods".
 

adguyer

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Yea, someone on this thread drilled out the holes and then tapped them to a standard NPT thread size. Seems to be the best bet for this reservoir and allows you to put a hex plug in any port you don't want to use and get rid of those barb connections with the o-ring. It's on my list of "when I break my machine down again mods".
That nut has the o-ring and loose threads like the barbs...
 

Trevor Mack

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If you haven't heard yet. I have secured ~150 luerlock sample ports and am offering them up for the community (all profits after fulfillment will be donated to a local charity out in the Boston / New England region).

Should be self explanatory, so here just go to the source and order at Luerlock Sample Port

If you have any questions feel free to reach out directly.
 

sbartelski

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I got 99% complete before work consumed all my time, we are in the process of opening a second location. Once that is done, I should be able to revisit this, say in a month or two.
Can I be added to the list of Zymatic owners interested in this long term solution for the step fileter, please?
Stefan
 

Mike Howard

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I will definitely revisit the step filter and the new motherboard, I'm just in way over my head with the brewery and the new restaraunt at this time...stay tuned.
 

mrjirey

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It's a simple two wire PC fan, 3 inch I believe. Measure the mounting holes to be sure you get the right one.
Thank you I’ll open it up and see. Figure as long as I’m in I’ll just replace both of them.

I added the Glycol reservoir previously so will also add a T junction for easier top offs.

Every time I brew it seems I need to do some repairs or upgrades 😞
 

rpm2

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I have an early zymatic and ran into issue with the return pump not moving any liquid.

Bought some replacement seaflo pumps for the zymatic (and I am trying to replace just return pump) but it appears the pump barb sizing is smaller and instead of straight connects they are 90 degree removable barbs which seem too small for the tubing.

They seem to be the proper size for the input side tubing connection for the step filter but that tubing is smaller diameter than all the other lines (I'm guessing 1/4 inner diameter) but all the rest of my tubing is larger 3/8 id? It slips right over the barb and doesn't fully touch, I'm wondering if it will leak when it heats up?

Perhaps if I left the barb completely I can increase the diameter somewhat maybe but I'm not sure if that is a better, wondering if anyone run into this and can suggest a solution ? thanks!
 

Mike Howard

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I have an early zymatic and ran into issue with the return pump not moving any liquid.

Bought some replacement seaflo pumps for the zymatic (and I am trying to replace just return pump) but it appears the pump barb sizing is smaller and instead of straight connects they are 90 degree removable barbs which seem too small for the tubing.

They seem to be the proper size for the input side tubing connection for the step filter but that tubing is smaller diameter than all the other lines (I'm guessing 1/4 inner diameter) but all the rest of my tubing is larger 3/8 id? It slips right over the barb and doesn't fully touch, I'm wondering if it will leak when it heats up?

Perhaps if I left the barb completely I can increase the diameter somewhat maybe but I'm not sure if that is a better, wondering if anyone run into this and can suggest a solution ? thanks!
What model seaflo pump are you using? This PUMP is the one I am using and has 3/8 barb connections, which fits both sides, as the smaller tubing can stretch.
 

rpm2

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What model seaflo pump are you using? This PUMP is the one I am using and has 3/8 barb connections, which fits both sides, as the smaller tubing can stretch.
it’s this pump

I thought it was the right pump for the zymatic but it looks like it’s 0.7 gpm vs 1.2 and has the wrong fittings.

Matched Pair of NEW SEAFLO 21-Series High Pressure Water Pumps -12v, 20PSI, ~0.7GPM for PicoBrew Zymatic / Z.
 

Mike Howard

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The actual pump that picobrew used was the SeaFlo SFDP1-007-020-21 (2.6LPM/0.7GPM), which I have not been able to find. A lot of us upgraded to the faster pump on the return, since it is readily available and no ill effects have been seen, also it has the right barb connections.
 

cmac62

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Anyone interested I have a Pico S I'll sell cheep ($100) to anyone who wants to pick it up in Riverside County CA. It has all the bells and whistles, my brother bought it awhile ago and used it like twice. I still have the box and everything, but don't remember how it goes in. Anyway, I'm not really interested in doing all of the mods to make it work. PM me if you are interested. Mods, move this to the for sale thread if it is not good here. Thanks :mug:
 

Mike Howard

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Mike do you have instructions or guidance for lubricating the stepper arm/motor as part of routine maintenance. Thanks
James
I don't have detailed instructions like I do for the glycol, but search this thread for where I had a leak from the stepper arm and tore it down for maintenance. I think there should be enough info in those posts to get the arm out, cleaned and lubed. Make sure you only use this lubricant:

Haynes Lubri-Film sanitary lubricant

Don't use anything else to lube the arm and gasket, just the Haynes.
 

jm_maclaren

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Mike I have found your post on the leak at the stepper arm and taken it apart. There are two silicone bits of tube or washers that seem to fit over the smaller tube that goes into the arm that distributes the wort through the stepper arm.
Do both of these have to fit into the larger tube? If so, how are they placed on the smaller tube before it gets inserted into large one. I looked at your photos and it seemed in one that one was further up and not in larger tube while in another it would seem that both are inserted. Which is right?
I have attached a picture of the arm as I reassembled it

Thanks
Ps. Also as my step filter has started leaking I’m interested in the stainless one you have mentioned.
 

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Mike Howard

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The lube needs to be applied both to the inside and the outside of those two pieces of silicone tube. The top tube needs to be inside the upper bracket, flush with the top.

Honestly, I'm not sure why they used two pieces of silicone tubing instead of just one solid piece. In looking at the design of the bracket and the optic wheel, I can't see a reason. However, it seems to work once it is cleaned and lubed, so I never pursued anything different. That whole stepper arm assembly is an engineering disaster that just so happens to work. I wouldn't want to be the engineer taking credit for that conglomeration...yikes. For anyone else, the important things to remember are that the order of the seals is important, so take notes on how they come off.

As for the SS Step Filter, I am going to the builder today at 1:00 PM CDT to approve the final prototype design. I'll know more about the timing of receiving that first model later today. Probably won't know much about pricing for several weeks, but I have talked to the manager about getting a group buy for the first order and hopefully getting a break with volume pricing.
 

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jm_maclaren

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Thanks. I was able to lube and put it back together and it seems fine. I used the test stepper position and seemed to let water through the step filter holes ok.

I look forward to hearing more about the SS stepfilter
 

Mike Howard

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We got the step filter put into the model builder application they use. Still have some final adjustments on dimensions before a prototype can be manufactured. Plan will be to make an aluminum one to prove out the build and also to get a better idea of cost. Once they build the prototype they will know more about how long each build will take. Still looking at about 2 or 3 weeks before they begin to build the model.

Going with two designs to compare build times and cost. One will be a simplified version of the step filter that looks nearly the same with a few tweeks to make it easier to build, but will use the original screens. The second will be a complete redo of the filter, which will require new screens, but will probably bring the cost way down and make production time much faster. The plastic step filter has some weird geometries that makes it easy for plastic but harder for stainless steel.
 

tshall.ads

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We got the step filter put into the model builder application they use. Still have some final adjustments on dimensions before a prototype can be manufactured. Plan will be to make an aluminum one to prove out the build and also to get a better idea of cost. Once they build the prototype they will know more about how long each build will take. Still looking at about 2 or 3 weeks before they begin to build the model.

Going with two designs to compare build times and cost. One will be a simplified version of the step filter that looks nearly the same with a few tweeks to make it easier to build, but will use the original screens. The second will be a complete redo of the filter, which will require new screens, but will probably bring the cost way down and make production time much faster. The plastic step filter has some weird geometries that makes it easy for plastic but harder for stainless steel.
Please keep me updated as well. My step has a crack as well.
 

Mellman

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Hey All,

cross posting this to the facebook group as well but..

I have an O.G. zymatic that hasn't been used in probably 4 years. I tried doing a clean cycle, pumps run, but nothing comes out. Followed the troubleshooting guide and finally was able to get both pumps to prime and it will drain (albeit slowly) and pump water out of the keg. in order to get the keg pump to prime i pressurized a keg and pushed water through the pump. some gunk came out and then it started flowing.

I tried running a cleaning cycle and got a fatal error #1. The wort temp was increasing, and the water was flowing in/out of the keg so not 100% sure why but decided to run a circulation cycle to ensure it was flowing through the pumps properly. That ran for about 30 min but it leaked a bunch of water somewhere out the bottom. When I opened it up to prime the drain pump and see if there was anything obvious it wasn't clear to me how to access the rest of the components.

how does the big main cover get removed? does it just slide off after removing the liquid/gas FFL fittings?
What would a common leak source be from underneath the unit? it wasn't a ton. and wasn't from the step filter area.
 

Mike Howard

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Hey All,

cross posting this to the facebook group as well but..

I have an O.G. zymatic that hasn't been used in probably 4 years. I tried doing a clean cycle, pumps run, but nothing comes out. Followed the troubleshooting guide and finally was able to get both pumps to prime and it will drain (albeit slowly) and pump water out of the keg. in order to get the keg pump to prime i pressurized a keg and pushed water through the pump. some gunk came out and then it started flowing.

I tried running a cleaning cycle and got a fatal error #1. The wort temp was increasing, and the water was flowing in/out of the keg so not 100% sure why but decided to run a circulation cycle to ensure it was flowing through the pumps properly. That ran for about 30 min but it leaked a bunch of water somewhere out the bottom. When I opened it up to prime the drain pump and see if there was anything obvious it wasn't clear to me how to access the rest of the components.

how does the big main cover get removed? does it just slide off after removing the liquid/gas FFL fittings?
What would a common leak source be from underneath the unit? it wasn't a ton. and wasn't from the step filter area.
I've sent you the instructions via email....
 

lemonsoju

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When I start my Zymatic now I get “Heat Sensor Fault” and when I recirculate the Heat sensor reads as -1. Eg Board 83F Wort 71F Heat -1F.

The glycol is all full. The Heat sensor is the one you remove to fill the glycol, right? I think at some point it in the past I must have over tightened it I guess.

Any way to “revive” a broken Heat sensor? If not, is there a spare part one can order?
 

Mike Howard

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When I start my Zymatic now I get “Heat Sensor Fault” and when I recirculate the Heat sensor reads as -1. Eg Board 83F Wort 71F Heat -1F.

The glycol is all full. The Heat sensor is the one you remove to fill the glycol, right? I think at some point it in the past I must have over tightened it I guess.

Any way to “revive” a broken Heat sensor? If not, is there a spare part one can order?

Unfortunately I don't believe you can swap out the sensors. It is my understanding that these are DS18B20, which are serialized in the code. I don't think PB has the search feature added to the code that allows dynamic swaps.

I, at one point, thought that because they have separate connections that maybe they searched the sensor on that connection for its ID, but my testing did not reveal that to be the case. You can test that by swapping the connectors and see if the problem moves. If it moves, then it probably means that you can replace the sensor. If it doesn't, then I'm pretty sure that means the sensor is serialized and can't be swapped without access to the code. And if that is the case and your sensor is at fault, or your board, then you have no option to revive the unit other than a board that I designed, but have had no time to completely finish.

I would try powering off and unplugging the Zym. Pop off the back and disconnect and then reconnect each sensor. Also, I know its a pain, but you might make sure the wire did not get pinched anywhere in the lower unit and also that you have seated the sensor in the "T" so that it is in contact with the glycol and that there really is no "air" in the system. I've seen DS18B20's be a bit finicky and they will read sometimes and sometimes not, however, sometimes a power cycle seems to do the trick.

Good Luck
 

lemonsoju

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Hi Mike. I swapped over the sensors and it’s still the heat sensor registering as -1F. I tried disconnecting the other sensors to be sure.

So obviously, as you say, the connector on the board is not being used to decide which sensor is which.

Are you thinking that the serial number is in the code? It certainly can’t be in the firmware because that’s the same for every machine. Somewhere in the same memory which is used to store the username details, internet connection. etc would be most likely. Has that been dumped by anyone?

Another possibility is that there’s a range of serial numbers or a slight difference in model numbers or another flag in the sensors themselves. Eg if they were seen by the Zymatic as DS18B20A and DS18B20B.

Has anyone tried taking the exact same sensor from another machine?

Thanks for your help
 

Mike Howard

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Hi Mike. I swapped over the sensors and it’s still the heat sensor registering as -1F. I tried disconnecting the other sensors to be sure.

So obviously, as you say, the connector on the board is not being used to decide which sensor is which.

Are you thinking that the serial number is in the code? It certainly can’t be in the firmware because that’s the same for every machine. Somewhere in the same memory which is used to store the username details, internet connection. etc would be most likely. Has that been dumped by anyone?

Another possibility is that there’s a range of serial numbers or a slight difference in model numbers or another flag in the sensors themselves. Eg if they were seen by the Zymatic as DS18B20A and DS18B20B.

Has anyone tried taking the exact same sensor from another machine?

Thanks for your help

They are most likely using the Dallas One Wire module in their code to read the sensors and in that case you must have the serial number. These sensors pass all their data over on a serial line and you collect the data by knowing the sensors serial number ID. They are not interchangeable with another DS18B20 unless you can access the code.

There are methods to read all of the sensors without knowing their addresses, but you have no idea which sensor is sending the data. The fact that switching the sensor to another port, which I have tested as well, shows that the ID is most likely encoded, so you know where in the unit the sensor is measuring. You can programmatically find the ID of all sensors on the serial buss, but again, you have no way to identify where in the system they are getting their temperatures from.

This is both a good and bad scenario, from a manufacturers point of view. If a user disconnects all of the connectors and switches them around, the system still works. However, DS18B20 sensors do fail and by hiding this part of the code, you force a user to send their main board back to mother so they can define the new sensor. They had no foresight when it came to longevity and repairability of the system, as exposing this to the user in the maintenance mode would have been very simple.

So you have few options at this point. Wait for my board and open source code to be released, or find a used Zym for parts (in which case you need a working MB and all 3 sensors.
 

tjikijiki

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I don’t know if this is allowed. I added a reservoir, did deep cleans, etc. I feel like I’m still getting an error 1 because I haven’t been able to work all the air out of the heat exchanger. That being said, I’ve exhausted my time and patience and am moving on. I now have a perfectly good Zymatic with all accessories that would likely make a good parts machine or for someone with more time/patience to work on it. $100 for anyone who is interested. Pics in the listing. Log in or sign up to view
 

Mike Howard

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FYI - I think I found a replacement belt for the stepper motor and I have ordered some to see if they work. Nearest I can tell is that the belt is a 6mm x 250mm, 12 TPI, 2mm pitch. The small pulley has 20 teeth, so I'm getting a variety of belts in the 200mm - 300mm range to find a source.

Several members on the Picobrew FB page are in need of belts.
 

brew79

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It provides an area where the air in the glycol can concentrate prior to entering the glycol pump. Improves the flow and reduces cavitation. It also gives you a place where you can refill the glycol without opening up the lower unit.
Hi Mike,
I'm new to the forum, found it while duckducking zymatic troubleshooting.
So I have an old zymatic from 2007 that I am trying to get back in shape. It needs glycol refill among other things, I understand from reading posts here. Also I get stepper failure error. The arm is moving and fluid circulating, however it doesn't hit the intended hole and thereby spilling a lot during attempting a cleaning session. I have red about entering a maint menu for adjusting the stepper, but I haven't found a description for how to open this hidden menu. I have removed the back lid and had a look, but before I go further on my own, just checking if there is a maintenance dismantle recommendation+description for dismantling steps. Also I wonder if there are any documents with lists of parts and dimensions for parts like hoses and so on. Thank you for your valuable contributions on the forum. I am also interested by the way, to sign up for ordering the controller card mod and steel step filter you mentioned earlier on when it becomes available.
 

brew79

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The actual pump that picobrew used was the SeaFlo SFDP1-007-020-21 (2.6LPM/0.7GPM), which I have not been able to find. A lot of us upgraded to the faster pump on the return, since it is readily available and no ill effects have been seen, also it has the right barb connections.
This might be of interest to pump replacers: SEAFLO 2.6LPM 0.7GPM 12V 1.2A 20PSI Water Pressure Pump SFDP1-007-020-21 735940184243 | eBay

SEAFLO 2.6LPM 0.7GPM 12V 1.2A 20PSI Water Pressure Pump SFDP1-007-020-21​

priced just under $5 a piece, it's a steal.. 143 in stock at the time.
 

Mike Howard

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Hi Mike,
I'm new to the forum, found it while duckducking zymatic troubleshooting.
So I have an old zymatic from 2007 that I am trying to get back in shape. It needs glycol refill among other things, I understand from reading posts here. Also I get stepper failure error. The arm is moving and fluid circulating, however it doesn't hit the intended hole and thereby spilling a lot during attempting a cleaning session. I have red about entering a maint menu for adjusting the stepper, but I haven't found a description for how to open this hidden menu. I have removed the back lid and had a look, but before I go further on my own, just checking if there is a maintenance dismantle recommendation+description for dismantling steps. Also I wonder if there are any documents with lists of parts and dimensions for parts like hoses and so on. Thank you for your valuable contributions on the forum. I am also interested by the way, to sign up for ordering the controller card mod and steel step filter you mentioned earlier on when it becomes available.
PM me with your email address and I'll get you the glycol refill procedure.

Sounds like you need to rebuild your Stepper Arm:

Read these:
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/.../picobrew.../post-8396270
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/.../picobrew.../post-9318472
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/.../picobrew.../post-8615801
 
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