Robobrew/Brewzilla Discussion

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GoodTruble

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I think hop spiders just need to be large enough that pellets can fully dissolve. The more hops you use, the more space you will need.

I don't agree that nothing further happens after 15-20 minutes.

I like using the hop tubes with lids. I clip the chain to the side of the brewzilla (usually over the handle). That allows me to fully submerge at any any volume and swirl around the tube pretty freely (I sometimes use it to stir the wort). I can also easily pull it when need and add more.
 
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Teufelhunde

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Also, I have soemtimes just used a BIAB over the whole Brewzilla to throw in hops with no screen and then just pull the bag after the boil.
I just happen to have some 5 gallon paint strainer bags with elastic around the opening.........hmmmmmm.........200 microns if I remember correctly....
 

Teufelhunde

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Kai answered that question in the interview he did about the 4.0...you won't be able to upgrade...sad and silly mistake IMO.
Not from a manufacturer's point of view. You want all the new bells and whistles, open your wallet......
 

Teufelhunde

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thanks! Good info. Yeast is S-04. Temp is set for 68F but seems to be always a few degrees less. It would appear that I’ll mostly be heating my Ferm-chamber. I have a standup freezer on an inkbird controller. It’s located in a concrete closet under my front porch…ambient temp is 50 in the winter and 60ish in the summer.
After 3-5 days, I usually raise the temperature on my fermentation chamber by 2degrees (F) per day for 3-4 days, then it is removed to a room temperature spot (around) 74 degrees F year round to rest until it is 3-4 weeks old then bottled (dry hopped first, of course, if needed).
 

Teufelhunde

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I was thinking of trying something similar with a BIAB - what size did you use? No worries about melting on the heating element?
Shouldn't be, I would think. It is held away from the elements by the false bottom.

YMMV
 

Teufelhunde

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Finally made it through all 29 pages of this thread.....YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY

Lots of good information here.....now waiting the the BZ to arrive......
 

Sonofastu

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I am by no means an authority. I’ve only brewed two batches thus far. During recirculating I ran my hose into the hop spider. I’m not sure why hahaha, but that’s what I’ve done. Both batches turned out better than expectations. The hop spider filters out quite a bit of sediment.
 

cactusgarrett

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1) Some folks don't like them due to perceived or real under-utilization of the hops.
I tried it before changing over to the BZ and quickly abandoned it. I never did any perception comparisons, but seeing the kettle have a nice rolling boil, and the inside of the spider barely a simmer with no movement was very disconcerting to me. I would routinely (throughout the boil) pick it up to empty/refill it, but that's just too much hassle. I settled on hop bags and have never looked back.
If #1, it would seem that directing the output of the pump into the spider would help with the problem,
The problem is (and I tried this) is that the spider mesh get's clogged enough, that recircing thru it just fills it up too quickly, with it eventually needing to be dumped back into the kettle because it doesn't drain fast enough.
 

GoodTruble

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Kegland came out with new "heavy duty false bottoms" for digiboil and brewzillas.



I guess their intent is to allow people to use multiple units to make a three-vessel set-up. But I may get one just to replace the flimsier original and allow for biab sometimes instead of using the malt pipe.


 

Teufelhunde

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Completed my first All grain brew ever, done on my Brewzilla 35L. Write up and impressions here:

 

theredviper

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A supplier in Canada has the v4 for $689, meanwhile the 3.1.1 is on sale for $350. I really wanted to wait for the 4, but at this price difference, what am I missing out on?
 

Teufelhunde

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A supplier in Canada has the v4 for $689, meanwhile the 3.1.1 is on sale for $350. I really wanted to wait for the 4, but at this price difference, what am I missing out on?
The V4 has a lot of smart features with connect with an app that Kegland offers that would offer real time data logging if I'm not mistaken.

The controller is at the top, rather than the bottom, which would be nice, at least for us old farts. I don't have an issue getting down to the level where my controller is, but getting back up......not so much......

The power cord disconnects for cleaning.

It has a conical bottom with the pump/spigot at the bottom of the cone, so you get everything out of the kettle. This includes all of the sludge at the bottom. I'm not sure that is such a good feature.

I'm sure there is more. Here is a link for Keglands video on the v4.....

 

GoodTruble

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A supplier in Canada has the v4 for $689, meanwhile the 3.1.1 is on sale for $350. I really wanted to wait for the 4, but at this price difference, what am I missing out on?

Yeah, that's a tough sell. I already have the 3.1.1, and will be using some of the new parts to upgrade.

When available, I think I will get the new larger malt pipe and heavy duty false bottom to set it on.

It also doesn't seem like it would be a difficult mod to wire the new control screen through a plate and into the old 3.1.1.
 

theredviper

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Thanks guys, I have seen the videos. I'd hate to be paying double for the convenience of the controller location. The wifi stuff is cool but also hard to justify. Do you know if they have addressed any shortcomings on part that wear out quickly, or anything of that nature?
 

GoodTruble

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Brewzilla 4 has a larger malt pipe. I think that's the biggest thing not mentioned above. I "think" you will be able to retrofit the old 3.1.1 to also use the new, larger volume malt pipe, but but entirely sure.

There are some other interesting upgrades (like lower density heating (less scorching), multiple temp probes, digital control of pump speed, and eventually, a self-cleaning spray attachment). But that price increase is notable. I think I would still go 3.1.1 at those prices.
 

DuncB

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Having fitted a smartPID controller to my guten I am really pleased with the temp control. No overshoots can wlk away and letmitnget on mashing, links and alarms via brewfather, controllable by WiFi.
I believe the brewzilla 4 has a pid and this level of control a bonus but the cheaper unit can retrofit SmartPID and no hole in centre of your bottom!!!
 

GoodTruble

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I think they added the center drain because (1) many brewers want all the wort regardless and (2) it was necessary for the self-cleaning feature they will later push. Just my guess.
 

Sammy86

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Well fellow brewers, I finally pulled a trigger on BIAB bag for my Brewzilla 65L. Going to see on the next brew if I like it any better or not. If not, I’m down 46.50, if not I’m looking forward to the easy cleanup!
 

GoodTruble

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Well fellow brewers, I finally pulled a trigger on BIAB bag for my Brewzilla 65L. Going to see on the next brew if I like it any better or not. If not, I’m down 46.50, if not I’m looking forward to the easy cleanup!

Good luck. Are you still using the malt pipe at all or just straight BIAB?
 

Maalea

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I'm going straight BIAB...i want to see what the extra room without the malt pipe restricting...i also have a pulley already set up in the brewery so it shouldn't be a problem.
I did this for a high gravity DIPA (19+ lbs, no malt pipe) and the weight deformed the false bottom. Nothing major but something to keep in mind.
 

Maalea

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What do you mean deformed and how bad was it?
the weight pushed the center down , almost concave. There was a gap between the false bottom and the Zilla. Some pliers, a rubber mallet and about an hour of "adjustments" it is snug and it works well but it looks a bit worse for wear.
 

GoodTruble

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I also bent the false bottom doing the same. And also re-formed it. I now put the BIAB inside or outside the malt pipe. But I plan to try the new super-sturdy false bottom Kegland just released.
 

GoodTruble

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So I've been doing double brew days where I use some of the wort from the brewzilla to mix with DME in a second kettle to make a second beer (just to get more out of each brew day).

After not getting to brew in May or June, I am going to try a triple brew day in July. I have two different all-grains I want to do, plus a mostly extract using 1-2 gallons of extra wort.

So my question is - If I brew one batch in the brewzilla, how little cleaning could I get away with before starting a second batch right after? I'm thinking I could just take out and clean off the false bottom and then just sponge clean the bottom and sides and start the next round. Yay or nay?
 

Sammy86

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So my question is - If I brew one batch in the brewzilla, how little cleaning could I get away with before starting a second batch right after? I'm thinking I could just take out and clean off the false bottom and then just sponge clean the bottom and sides and start the next round. Yay or nay?

My vote is yay...quick rinse and good to go...you're going to boil the wort anyway right?
 

GoodTruble

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Well, new problem - I went to kick off brew day the brewzilla pump is not working. It turns on and hums, but does not more any liquid?

Any suggestions? It actually did this once before during cleaning after last brew day, but it then kicked on and restarted after the water level rose a bit. Now, it's not working at all with 9-10 gallons inside (using extender).

Let me know if there are any suggestions. I am just going to postpone/cancel brew day for now.

Update: As I was draining the water out in order to started taking the bottom off to look at the pump, I toggled the pump on and off a couple of times, and it suddenly kicked on and worked. I toggled it at least a dozen times earlier, and it didn't work. So I have no idea why it worked this time or if it will work again later. But for now, I am just going to proceed with brew day and hope it works again later when needed.

Second Update: The pump continued to work throughout the brew day with no further issues. Odd. But I'll take a finicky pump over a broken one.
 
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GoodTruble

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Broken Sight Glass No. 2 - So, this time was incredibly odd. I got through brew day just fine. But during clean-up, my sight glass shattered (second one to break in less than 1 year). I have no idea how it happened. After an initial cleaning and wipe down, I filled the brewzilla with water mixed with onestep and let the pump run as it warmed to 140F. After it ran for about 1 hour, I shut it all down and left it to cool down. I came back several hours later and found the sight glass split open (and leaked about 2 gallons of water+onestep all over the table and floor).

After my first sight glass broke, I was very careful to keep this one wrapped if soft paper towel around the bracket and keep the bracket loose. I have no idea how it broke this time,. As much as I like using the sight glass, mainly to watch the color change during the brewing process, I think I'm just going to go back to the original metal pipe at this point rather than try to replace the site glass a third time.
 

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DuncB

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Sorry to see another failure,f sight glass.
Maybe just fit the steel pipe back on and then get a bulkhead fitting and attach the sight glass to that.
It's worked well on my Guten this way, they did design it this way.
I do like the sight glass.
 

Cloud Surfer

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I went through so many sight glasses I've lost track. Must have been 5 or more. All split just like yours. They split from using the PBW cleaner and Kegland is aware of it because they offered me the solution to use a different cleaner that might prevent the tubes splitting. I never tried it as I like the PBW.

Final straw was the tube splitting just as I was about to mash in one brew day. It was a mad scramble to re-install the metal tube. I miss not seeing my volumes during sparge and boiling, but there's no more stress now wondering when the sight tube is going to split next.
 
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