Robobrew/Brewzilla Discussion

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DuncB

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Cloud Surfer wondering how big a grain bill you had for your first use?
I find that I too have trouble with keeping the grain covered with sparge water If I'm aiming for say 30 litres in the fermenter the grain isn't very deep so does wash through fast so I worry that I haven't managed to rinse all of the grains well. I get about 76 percent efficiency but am still tuning crush and mash control.
 

Sammy86

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Setting up the 65L Brewzilla tonight. Just got Fedex in.

Are there any good videos on sparging with this thing? My entire brewlife has been batch sparging in a cooler. Kinda confused how to do this properly with the brewzilla. We converted a kettle to be the HLT with a heating element. Figure we'll use that. But as far as fly sparging. Not too sure
Just pour water over the grain bed and make sure to spread it out and not pour over the same spot the entire time.

Funny anecdote...on my last brew I was getting a little impatient with the sparge and i was tired of pulling out a half-gal at a time and just poured two gallons over the top of the grain bed all at once...hit 81% efficiency...I'll probably do it again LoL
 

Cloud Surfer

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Cloud Surfer wondering how big a grain bill you had for your first use?
I find that I too have trouble with keeping the grain covered with sparge water If I'm aiming for say 30 litres in the fermenter the grain isn't very deep so does wash through fast so I worry that I haven't managed to rinse all of the grains well. I get about 76 percent efficiency but am still tuning crush and mash control.
It was only 6.5 kg of grain, so the grain bed wasn’t very thick. I realise that’s why it just gushed out the bottom of the malt pipe when I lifted it.
 
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rjhoff

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can you share your BeerSmith equipment profile? I could only find the 65l in the templates.
Try this. These are original 35L from Short Circuited Brewing. I thought they were standard now on BeerSmith.
 

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Panderson1

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Question: About to start 1st brewzilla. After chilling the wort, can I pump/transfer into the conical without worrying about hop/trub? Does it all stay above the false bottom?
 

Sammy86

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Question: About to start 1st brewzilla. After chilling the wort, can I pump/transfer into the conical without worrying about hop/trub? Does it all stay above the false bottom?
My first go around i had some trub hops get in there...didn't affect the beer any. I use a hop bag now so anything else going i I don't worry about.
 

Cloud Surfer

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Question: About to start 1st brewzilla. After chilling the wort, can I pump/transfer into the conical without worrying about hop/trub? Does it all stay above the false bottom?
My first brew was a IIPA so there was hop trub everywhere. On top of the false bottom and on the actual bottom of the unit. That was even with using a hop basket. But after whirlpooling, most of the pile was in the centre and clear of the pump intake. So I just pumped away and transferred to my conical, and it left a ton of junk behind in the BrewZilla. There was still a lot of break in the conical, but I dumped it out after a while.

Next brew is going to be a lightly hopped beer so I can see how it works without dealing with so much hop trub.
 

Panderson1

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1st night went pretty well. Only little issue was I got tiny grain bits in the wort/boil; kettle. I used to Vorlauf into a pitcher 1st running to avoid this. Any idea what I was doing wrong? Still working on how to sparge properly with the brewzilla (used to batch sparging). Maybe I had the sparge water running too fast?
 
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rjhoff

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1st night went pretty well. Only little issue was I got tiny grain bits in the wort/boil; kettle. I used to Vorlauf into a pitcher 1st running to avoid this. Any idea what I was doing wrong? Still working on how to sparge properly with the brewzilla (used to batch sparging). Maybe I had the sparge water running too fast?
I try to keep the grain out of the boil kettle by avoiding overflows during the mash. This works for me, others in this thread don’t worry about it like I do. I also use the fine mesh screen on the malt pipe bottom, some people don’t use that. Even so, the wort in the boil kettle will have some amount of matter floating about, this will settle to the bottom of the fermenter.
 

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I try to keep the grain out of the boil kettle by avoiding overflows during the mash. This works for me, others in this thread don’t worry about it like I do. I also use the fine mesh screen on the malt pipe bottom, some people don’t use that.
Mine came with 2 of the fine mesh screens. I use both of them in the malt pipe.
 

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Try this. These are original 35L from Short Circuited Brewing. I thought they were standard now on BeerSmith.
I use the Beersmith 3 app on my phone, and it has that 35L Robobrew profile. It's what I use.
 

Panderson1

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Mine came with 2 of the fine mesh screens. I use both of them in the malt pipe.
Mine didn't come with that screen. I heard guys on YouTube talk about it and how they never use it. Not sure why mine didn't come with one. I'll email them I guess.

Anyways, does anyone know of a video that shows a proper fly sparge using this thing? Almost all the videos they seem to skip/not focus on the fly sparging. Kind of mind boggling. Maybe cause I'm old school.
 

RePete

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Mine didn't come with that screen. I heard guys on YouTube talk about it and how they never use it. Not sure why mine didn't come with one. I'll email them I guess.

Anyways, does anyone know of a video that shows a proper fly sparge using this thing? Almost all the videos they seem to skip/not focus on the fly sparging. Kind of mind boggling. Maybe cause I'm old school.
There was some discussion on sparging earlier in this thread. What I do, I wouldn't exactly call fly sparging. When I pull up the basket, the mash drains slowly. There is a pool of water on top. I just keep adding water, heated to 170*, to that pool on top of the grain until I get the boil volume that is desired.
 

Panderson1

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EDIT: just saw above video. Sorry ignore my post. Can't figure out how to delete on mobile.

Thanks




There was some discussion on sparging earlier in this thread. What I do, I wouldn't exactly call fly sparging. When I pull up the basket, the mash drains slowly. There is a pool of water on top. I just keep adding water, heated to 170*, to that pool on top of the grain until I get the boil volume that is desired.
Thanks. I figured the top lid/screen helps "spread" the water evenly around the grain bed as you sparge. You lay the lid/screen on top of the mash before you lift it up? Correct? Do you keep a layer of water above the grain bed and lid?
 

DuncB

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Regarding the top screen I used to put it in after about 15 minutes of mashing and then keep the water recirculating so that it is just covered. I tend to find that the flow from the pump needs to be quite slow at first and then speeds up towards the end of the mash. Too fast at the start and it just empties the bottom and leaves the lower part nearly empty which isn't good. Then when I lift the malt pipe after mash out I sparge onto the mesh screen trying to keep say a cm or half inch of sparge on it. If it's covered like this it's all hopefully going down evenly to sparge the grains. However sometimes it does seem to run through very fast.

I suppose the lid/screen helps to spread out the force of the sparge water so it doesn't just jet in one place and channel down. A gentle sprinkling matching outflow with inflow is what I want but rarely achieve.
 

RePete

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I brewed my first batch using the new sight glass yesterday. Worked great, with no problems. Also used the new whirlpool arm. So, I just threw in the hop addition at the end of boil loose with no bag, and they bunched up in the middle of the false bottom without clogging the pump. I used the hop basket during the boil and took it out to add the immersion chiller. At any rate, I am happy with both these additions to my Robobrew.
 

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Looking for the right stand/table for a Brewzilla 65L that I just bought. I will be brewing on my back porch and want to just raise the assembly about 12-24" to make it easier to read the display (I am 5'8"), while still having enough room to lift the malt pipe out by hand. Any best practices in terms of table or stands just right for a Brewzilla 65L?
 

DuncB

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The lifting is easier the lower the Brewzilla is. So it's balance of can you lift the malt pipe at the levels you are planning.

12 kg of grain will absorb about 12 litres of wort so if you put that much weight in a dry brewzilla malt pipe and then see how easy it is to lift at the varying heights you are planning. Don't forget if you raise the Brewzilla 24 inches by the time the malt pipe is raised it will be fairly tall and you need to see in whilst sparging and to get the sparge water to that height.
Not that safe to have your sparge water on a stand at nearly head height?
 

Cloud Surfer

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Looking for the right stand/table for a Brewzilla 65L that I just bought. I will be brewing on my back porch and want to just raise the assembly about 12-24" to make it easier to read the display (I am 5'8"), while still having enough room to lift the malt pipe out by hand. Any best practices in terms of table or stands just right for a Brewzilla 65L?
I’m in the middle of my second brew with the BrewZilla 65. To be honest, having the display on the bottom is not as big a PITA as I thought it would be. But I sure do like having it as low as possible when I lift the malt pipe up and then sparge.
 

Cloud Surfer

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While I was just mashing in my 65L, I had the 1500W heaters turned on. The mash temp dropped so the heaters kicked in, but the temperature went up quite fast and overshot by a couple of degrees Celsius.

I think I’ll just use the 1000W heater from now on during mashing to provide a more steady temperature increase.
 

Cloud Surfer

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I saw a video where someone kept recirculating during the sparge by running the hose in the gap between the malt pipe and edge of the BrewZilla.

I did that again today, but I’m not sure what I’m achieving by doing that. I’m happy to get rid of unnecessary steps.

Does anyone else do this while sparging?
 
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ATLBeer

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Regarding a stand..

There was a post somewhere about using a hot water heater base from Home Depot. Raises it up 18 inches or so and is sturdy.
 
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rjhoff

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I saw a video where someone kept recirculating during the sparge by running the hose in the gap between the malt pipe and edge of the BrewZilla.

I did that again today, but I’m not sure what I’m achieving by doing that. I’m happy to get rid of unnecessary steps.

Does anyone else do this while sparging?
Isn’t it the point to run the wort through the mash? What am I missing here?
 

Cloud Surfer

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Isn’t it the point to run the wort through the mash? What am I missing here?
Sorry, I'll try to explain better. I'm talking about after you have finished mashing and have raised the malt pipe to start sparging. At that stage you don't circulate through the mash. But, I did see this guy keep the circulation going by sticking the hose through the gap between the malt pipe and the edge of the BrewZilla. He kept the recirculation going throughout the sparge, but he was pumping from the 'kettle' straight back into the 'kettle', so to speak.

I'm wondering what purpose that serves.
 
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rjhoff

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Sorry, I'll try to explain better. I'm talking about after you have finished mashing and have raised the malt pipe to start sparging. At that stage you don't circulate through the mash. But, I did see this guy keep the circulation going by sticking the hose through the gap between the malt pipe and the edge of the BrewZilla. He kept the recirculation going throughout the sparge, but he was pumping from the 'kettle' straight back into the 'kettle', so to speak.

I'm wondering what purpose that serves.
Yeah, I thought you meant during mash. The only possible benefit I see is to (slightly) speed up time to boil, assuming he‘s kicked the heat up, 168 to 212 degF
 

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Looking for the right stand/table for a Brewzilla 65L that I just bought. I will be brewing on my back porch and want to just raise the assembly about 12-24" to make it easier to read the display (I am 5'8"), while still having enough room to lift the malt pipe out by hand. Any best practices in terms of table or stands just right for a Brewzilla 65L?
I have a Harbor Freight Hydraulic Lift Table that works well for me. -- (500 lbs. Capacity Hydraulic Table Cart)
The rough specks are -- table length 27.75" X width 17 5/8". Table can be raised to a little over 27" and can be lowered to be just 9" above the floor. I just received my 240v 65L Brewzilla, so my 1st brew is a few days away but I have used it with a 240v Digiboil. For me this works great. The 27" height gets the controls up where you can see them, and it still drops down for ease of getting your spent grain out. I may make a 4 or 6 inch platform to raise it up slightly higher, but I won't know until I've did some brews with the Brewzilla. The price currently is $190, but I believe I paid around $150 when it went on sale.
 

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RePete

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Thanks. I figured the top lid/screen helps "spread" the water evenly around the grain bed as you sparge. You lay the lid/screen on top of the mash before you lift it up? Correct? Do you keep a layer of water above the grain bed and lid?
Just to be clear. I put the top screen on during the entire mash. Then put the lid on top, so it is all closed up, and recirculate through the hole in the lid. So there is water/wort on top of the grain bed the entire time. The overflow runs down the center pipe. When mash is done, I lift the malt pipe, and add the sparge water to the pool on top. For me, it has always drained slowly.
 

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water/wort on top of the grain bed the entire time. The overflow runs down the center pipe.
Wait. Isn't the little rubber piece supposed to go on top of the pipe to prevent anything running down the pipe?
 

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Wait. Isn't the little rubber piece supposed to go on top of the pipe to prevent anything running down the pipe?
That's only when you are dumping in grain at the start. Once you mash in, put on the top screen, with the center pipe extending above it. Then, mine came with a milled piece of stainless steel the sits on to the center pipe. Put that on top of the pipe, and push down until it contacts the screen. The idea is that this will give you around a 2 inch deep pool of water on top of the grain. I turn on the pump, and there is constant overflow going down the center pipe. With the neoprene jacket on the kettle, the lid on the top, and the circulation pump running, heat should be evenly maintained.
 

Panderson1

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^ Why Is this so difficult to get right lol. The videos I watched don't do this but that makes total sense. I had 3 guys with me (1 is an engineer) and we couldn't figure that crap out lol.

But still got pretty good efficiency.
 

RePete

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^ Why Is this so difficult to get right lol. The videos I watched don't do this but that makes total sense. I had 3 guys with me (1 is an engineer) and we couldn't figure that crap out lol.

But still got pretty good efficiency.
Originally I thought the center pipe was a safety feature, in case of the occasional overflow. So I didn't open up the recirculation valve as much. But now I think it actually is supposed to be part of the process, and have been using it as such.
 

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Originally I thought the center pipe was a safety feature, in case of the occasional overflow. So I didn't open up the recirculation valve as much. But now I think it actually is supposed to be part of the process, and have been using it as such.
I always thought it was supposed to be a safety valve in case a stuck mash left the heat element high and dry. If you circulate too fast it can turn on you and leave the heat element high and dry even for the case of merely a sluggish run-off.
 

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I always thought it was supposed to be a safety valve in case a stuck mash left the heat element high and dry. If you circulate too fast it can turn on you and leave the heat element high and dry even for the case of merely a sluggish run-off.
I don't leave it wide open. But enough that there is a constant flow down the center.
 

Panderson1

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If anyone has seen a video of this process done properly please let me know. Lol I'm a visual learner.
 
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