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rjhoff

rjhoff

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Just completed my first batch on a Digiboil kettle with DigiMash upgrade. I used to use a 3 tier propane setup, and moving to the Digiboil I have never felt more in control of the brew day. I hit all the expected numbers using Brewfather software. I am excited to taste the results!

It did leave me with a question though. I used the default mash thickness in Brewfather of about 1.4 qts/lb which is thinner than I have ever used on my old setup. However, the mash was thicker than I have ever seen. Essentially the consistency of oatmeal with no flowing liquid. Is that correct? Should I work toward recirculating the mash as some water may be settled in the bottom below the false bottom? What mash thickness is everyone using?

Also, I saw some talk about thread types on the fittings. I wanted to add cam locks to my kettles, but the standard 1/2" NPT that was advertised wasn't a perfect fit. Through some research I found that the threads on the DigiBoil are actually 1/2" BSP threads, and this adapter helped immensely:

I’m not familiar with the Digiboil, but it looks essentially the same as the Robobrew/Brewzilla. I use Beersmith and with my profiles It always sets me up with a 1.7 grist ratio and I’ll go with 1.6 on bigger grain bills. My mashes aren’t thick like oatmeal and you also be aware the heating elements may overheat if you pump too much water/wort out from under the false bottom.
 

tmm786

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I always use the recirculation pump. Does the Digiboil have one?
Nope, I bought a small pump to use with it though. I chose not to use it on my first brew as I am not used to using one yet.


I’m not familiar with the Digiboil, but it looks essentially the same as the Robobrew/Brewzilla. I use Beersmith and with my profiles It always sets me up with a 1.7 grist ratio and I’ll go with 1.6 on bigger grain bills. My mashes aren’t thick like oatmeal and you also be aware the heating elements may overheat if you pump too much water/wort out from under the false bottom.
Thanks for the warning. One reason I didn't use the pump since I am not well versed in priming/using yet. I may try something like 1.7 on my next mash and see if it looks any different. Or I may manually circulate some wort by hand so I don't dry out the bottom of the kettle by pumping too much.
 
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rjhoff

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You Robobrewers have been silent for a couple weeks. I shut down my fermenters for an extended trip from NC to UT but have an imperial stout, barleywine, and rye IPA conditioning for my return :)
18 Robobrew batches in the books so far this year and plans for at least three more when I return. Next few weeks I’ll be looking for local microbrews to enjoy...
 

CUSTOM-441

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I haven't brewed in a couple weeks, but I just had a successful Friday night where my friends emptied both my kegs! Yesterday I tapped a Marzen style ale for early Oktoberfest, and my first attempt at a Gose. I had horrible efficiency for the Oktoberfest that I've already mentioned already in this thread (I can't be too upset, it tastes great!). I brewed the Gose next and after stirring the mash and properly fly sparging I hit all my numbers! The Gose is a delicious beer - very happy with the recipe.
 
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rjhoff

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I haven't brewed in a couple weeks, but I just had a successful Friday night where my friends emptied both my kegs! Yesterday I tapped a Marzen style ale for early Oktoberfest, and my first attempt at a Gose. I had horrible efficiency for the Oktoberfest that I've already mentioned already in this thread (I can't be too upset, it tastes great!). I brewed the Gose next and after stirring the mash and properly fly sparging I hit all my numbers! The Gose is a delicious beer - very happy with the recipe.
I’ve never brewed a Gose or even an Oktoberfest. Both are on my list however on my return I have a Belgian dark strong ale queued up that’ll probably get priority.
 

Sammy86

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I have no more room in the keezer otherwise I would be brewing... @bracconiere has some homemade malt which I will happily take once I can get through the 6.5-7 gallons I currently have left on tap.
 

sjfischr

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Yeah, in using the 65L design, I have decent numbers doing a 10 G batch with sparge using a different vessel. But when I do a 5 G batch - the grain bill is so small that we don’t need to sparge - my numbers are wayyy lower. Even with mashing out for 20+ min. So sparging using the BrewZilla makes a huge difference bar none.
 

bracconiere

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@bracconiere has some homemade malt which I will happily take once I can get through the 6.5-7 gallons I currently have left on tap.

you STILL have 6.5-7 gallons? lol, and i don't have it, i'd have to make it.....you might want to wait for @AJinJacksonville 's review though.....it's in his hands, just needs to brew it.....
 

Sammy86

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you STILL have 6.5-7 gallons? lol, and i don't have it, i'd have to make it.....you might want to wait for @AJinJacksonville 's review though.....it's in his hands, just needs to brew it.....
STILL...yes sir this whole life thing gets in the way ya know...teaching, and then having three kids of my own...and can't forget about the wife who doesn't drink beer but only cider, wine and bourbon...and the worst part is this damn pandemic...I have nobody to share with...family reunion this summer got cancelled which would during a "normal" brewing calendar year I would be brewing again in 3 weeks...

Yes, @AJinJacksonville I need that review!
 

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You guys are rough!!! Just so you know, I had a batch planned before I received @bracconiere 's grains...and I'm putting them aside so I can give the best review possible this week! Obviously, I won't know the results for a few weeks...but I'll even try to take pictures so you can see how purdy they are! (And they do still smell amazing). I plan on hitting the LHBS on Tuesday to get them milled...and then to find the best evening to do it (with three kids back in activities...)...haha.
 

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LOL...on a plus note i got a $5.50 refund from UPS for some reason....

(i forget, what's this thread about? ;))
Did you complain about the grains spilling out or something? I know I didn't complain. Although while blowing off the front porch yesterday, I noticed several grains on the bricks when I was about to hit it with the blower. Made me chuckle. Proves that it was their fault...haha.
 

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Did you complain about the grains spilling out or something? I know I didn't complain. Although while blowing off the front porch yesterday, I noticed several grains on the bricks when I was about to hit it with the blower. Made me chuckle. Proves that it was their fault...haha.
no, it was something to do with my mistake on the ZIP.......
 

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Nah, I do believe it was more than likely pinched or dropped, which compromised the bag. The rest of the bag was intact.
 

Sammy86

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Question for the group...is anyone raising their 65L up...and if so how?

Last time out I was gonna put it on a 6 ft table but after I realized how high it was I chickened out...I ended up stacking three foldable tables and put it up there so I wouldn't have to bend down so far for the controller. My biggest concern is lifting the malt pipe and sparging. While I have invested in a pulley I would still need to get up for the sparge.

Any ideas/recommendations?
 
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rjhoff

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Question for the group...is anyone raising their 65L up...and if so how?

Last time out I was gonna put it on a 6 ft table but after I realized how high it was I chickened out...I ended up stacking three foldable tables and put it up there so I wouldn't have to bend down so far for the controller. My biggest concern is lifting the malt pipe and sparging. While I have invested in a pulley I would still need to get up for the sparge.

Any ideas/recommendations?
Something like this?
 
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rjhoff

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The display is hard to read, very narrow viewing angle. I put my 35L on a milk crate, which helps a little.
 

ThenFalcon

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A fair and valid concern! I hadn't thought of that. It actually doesn't say that it's food grade. I may have to go back and get a proper food grade bucket.
I assume that is a Hofmann bucket from HD? Those are food grade HDPE.
 

CUSTOM-441

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I assume that is a Hofmann bucket from HD? Those are food grade HDPE.
Yessir, it's the 3gal version of this: https://www.homedepot.ca/product/e-...-gallon-graduated-measuring-bucket/1000784935

Is the Gose Great Fermentation's Breakin' the Law Gose Recipe? There's some leeway in that recipe; wondering what you wound up doing.
That's the one! I didn't get too creative; since it was my first Gose I thought I'd stick to the recipe and see what kind of beer it produced. I used Himalayan salt and bought whole coriander that I cracked myself. If I had any comments I'd say it could have used a bit less coriander (like 0.7-.8oz) and could be a bit more tart. These are my personal preferences though, it's still a great beer. I didn't use any lactic acid in the mash or to back-add after fermentation. I haven't ventured into mash Ph yet, and I've heard adding lactic after fermentation can be easily over done, and the result can be very acidic, almost chemical like.
 

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Question for the group...is anyone raising their 65L up...and if so how?

Last time out I was gonna put it on a 6 ft table but after I realized how high it was I chickened out...I ended up stacking three foldable tables and put it up there so I wouldn't have to bend down so far for the controller. My biggest concern is lifting the malt pipe and sparging. While I have invested in a pulley I would still need to get up for the sparge.

Any ideas/recommendations?
I put my 35L unit on a plastic box with a piece of plywood on top. It raises it up enough that I can get to the diaplay, but not so high as to make sparging difficult. Works for me.
 

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RePete

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I brewed a couple batches last weekend. A Boston lager clone, and then on Monday a DIPA. What I love about these units is that I can brew in the garage, and do other stuff. Just kinda half pay attention to it. I use the Beersmith app on my phone. The timer alerts me whenever I need to do something. It makes it so easy.

I’m thinking that the next improvement I would like to see is a way remove the hop basket at the end of the boil without having to stand there and hold it up in the air. I grap it with a pair of pliers, hold it up, and let it drain.
 
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rjhoff

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I always brew in the basement, year round, near the back door, and do my cleanup on the back porch. Agree on the hop basket, I hold mine over the kettle with a glove. Should be a pretty easy solution...
 

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I’m thinking that the next improvement I would like to see is a way remove the hop basket at the end of the boil without having to stand there and hold it up in the air. I grap it with a pair of pliers, hold it up, and let it drain.
I just bounce it a few times over the kettle to get the bulk of the wort out then throw it in a bucket. It may not work if you're doing lots of late hops, but at least for the beers I do (largely British and Belgian), I figure any oils and whatnot have already been pulled out into the wort, so no use in sitting there for 5 minutes letting it drain.
 

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My hop basket seems to get clogged and drain really slow. That's a big part of the problem.
 

Suburban Punk

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I mainly brew IPAs, usually with a very large whirlpool addition. The whirlpool arm is a good addition until the pump inevitably clogs. Hop socks and spiders just make it too expensive as I need to use way too many hops to get what I want when using them. I've come to find I just don't think this is the machine for me. I'll be keeping it as a kick ass sous-vide machine though! Moving to electric from brau supply (unibrau).
 

RePete

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I mainly brew IPAs, usually with a very large whirlpool addition. The whirlpool arm is a good addition until the pump inevitably clogs. Hop socks and spiders just make it too expensive as I need to use way too many hops to get what I want when using them. I've come to find I just don't think this is the machine for me. I'll be keeping it as a kick ass sous-vide machine though! Moving to electric from brau supply (unibrau).
Are you saying that you have to add more hops when using a sock or spider?
 

Suburban Punk

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Oops, my statement wasn't very clear. More expensive because I have to use more hops to extract the same flavor and aroma when using them.
 

RePete

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I mainly brew IPAs, usually with a very large whirlpool addition. The whirlpool arm is a good addition until the pump inevitably clogs. Hop socks and spiders just make it too expensive as I need to use way too many hops to get what I want when using them. I've come to find I just don't think this is the machine for me. I'll be keeping it as a kick ass sous-vide machine though! Moving to electric from brau supply (unibrau).
So, did you buy the whirlpool arm which is available, but doesn't come with the unit? I've thought about it.

What about just adding more screens to the mesh at the bottom?
 
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