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Derp

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My sight glass was looking a little shabby (bent, small non-leaking cracks) but I settled the issue once and for all by accidentally smacking it and snapping it in two. Hot wort pumping all over my garage floor and feet, frantic bailing into an old keggle, reinstalling the metal tube - what a lousy brew day. Beer turned out great, though.
 

NJL

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Hi All,
Just posting the recirculation head I made from a plumbing fitting for under $5aud. I don't like using the top screen, as it is a pain to remove to stir. Also, as it's low profile it can be placed just under the water level to reduce splashing and introducing o2 (if you're into that). It took about 10mins with a hacksaw, file and hammer.
Recirculation Head.jpg Copper Tee.jpg
I also picked up a copper elbow for 90cents that works well as a whirlpool arm. I only had to trim off the excess part of the fitting that wasn't necessary and now it is a really tight fit.
Elbow.jpg
Hope this is helpful for someone.
Nick.
 

DuncB

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The sight glass on the Guten is made of a tube with wall thickness about 3mm, the end of it is threaded so that it screws into the fitting that is through the kettle wall.
Perhaps a tube with a float and stalk on it a bit like a hydrometer inside the kettle would work. Easy to clean as well and unbreakable.
 

rootAndBoom

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think I'm just going to

Hi All,
Just posting the recirculation head I made from a plumbing fitting for under $5aud. I don't like using the top screen, as it is a pain to remove to stir. Also, as it's low profile it can be placed just under the water level to reduce splashing and introducing o2 (if you're into that). It took about 10mins with a hacksaw, file and hammer.
View attachment 773972 View attachment 773970
I also picked up a copper elbow for 90cents that works well as a whirlpool arm. I only had to trim off the excess part of the fitting that wasn't necessary and now it is a really tight fit.
View attachment 773971
Hope this is helpful for someone.
Nick.
How do you attach your elbow? Slip it over tubing or something more elegant?
 

CUSTOM-441

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Hey gang! I've neglected this forum and sub for a few months. Work is off the rails, wife is off maternity leave, kid is a 15 month old walking/running/suicide machine - good times! Today was my first brew day in roughly 3 months. Figured I'd keep it simple with a blonde ale I've brewed plenty of times. Only issue was I forgot to lower the overflow pipe and I accidentally drained my kettle during the mash. Doh! Thankfully I caught it quickly and shut the element off so there was no scorching. Other than that I nailed all my numbers - success! Feels good to brew again, looking forward to brewing more consistently and keeping up with things here. Cheers!
 

Sammy86

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I can’t wait to brew again! I just kicked the final keg of Vienna Lager/Altbier so it’s time to brew again. I have some ingredients showing up today and a few hopefully by the end of the week! My guess is brew day in 2 weeks but we’ll have to wait and see!

Good to hear you hit your numbers!
 

RePete

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I see some of you have had trouble with the polycarbonate sight glasses. Sorry to hear. I am still on my first one, and it’s been over a year. So they sometimes do last. I keep expecting it to break, but it’s hanging in there so far. I have brewed maybe 20 batches using it. The metal one is being held in reserve for when needed.

I haven’t been brewing near as much as I was for a while. Plan on another batch soon, as I’m nearly out of beer again.
 

Sammy86

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Alright fellow Robobrew and Brewzilla friends its story time from your favorite (or not) Brewzilla 65 L brewer!

Today was a momentous day at Big Three Brewing Co (my garage brewery). As i said in a previous post I pulled the trigger on a Brew Bag BIAB with some birthday money!

I awoke at 5:30 AM turned on the lights to the garage and found my strike water ready to go. Added my water salts, mixed and turned on the pump for absolutely no reason.

I then went to the basement grabbed my assorted grain weighed everything out (19 lbs) and milled it into the brew bag. I crushed super fine and completely forgot to wet the grain before milling but oh well I knew the BIAB could handle it.

What comes next may shock you...after reading that two of you had issues without the malt pipe using a bag I said to myself how can I reinforce the hop blocker false bottom? Well as a man with two Masters Degrees (None of which are in engineering) I decided to add the false bottom of the malt pipe on top of the hop blocker and connected it with the bolt and nut. I said to myself, Sammy, this is either genius or really stupid but F it lets give it a go.

So i put my bag on the pulley lifted it up and slowly dropped it down into the strike water...no issues.

Did my normal multi-step mash at 144 and 162 ( thanks @bracconiere) and slowly lifted the bag out and squeezed the heck out of it!

I then sparged from my Digiboil using my new pump (another birthday gift to myself and went about the boil.

Threw hops in as usual, whirlpooled and chilled using a CFC as usual and got everything into the two fermentors missing a half gallon because I forgot to update my profile in Brewers Friend...o thee well.

Happy to report the hop blocker false bottom didn't budge! Was completely flat as usual! Was it a little more pain in the butt to clean up with some hop material in between the two metal sheets...sure but it worked!

So fellow brewers, the moral of the story is you can use a bag in the Brewzilla 65 L without it concaving!

Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.

:ban:

Edit: 92% Efficiency 85% BH
 
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Sammy86

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with the double step 92% sounds about right, how much loss to the fermenter dropped BH down to 85%? i dump the whole kettle into the fermenter? just wondering? (and it was a fun read! and no i'm going to call you 'ted'...lol)

Lost half gallon to kettle loss and chilling...just updated the equipment profile to hopefully remedy this!
 

bracconiere

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Lost half gallon to kettle loss and chilling...just updated the equipment profile to hopefully remedy this!


i'm so cheap when it comes to brewing, i'd probably do a double brew in a bag and squeeze every last drop out of the hop bag too! ;) :mug:

(and hook some sorta thing to the pump that sucked from the bottom of the kettle, and use a shoe horn to tip it at an angle! 🤣)
 

Sammy86

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i'm so cheap when it comes to brewing, i'd probably do a double brew in a bag and squeeze every last drop out of the hop bag too! ;) :mug:

(and hook some sorta thing to the pump that sucked from the bottom of the kettle, and use a shoe horn to tip it at an angle! 🤣)

Dude, i squeezed and tipped the whole bloody thing...it was the 8 ounces of flamout hops that got me!
 

Maalea

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Awesome job with the false bottom. I may have to revisit large grain bill batches.
 

Sammy86

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Awesome job with the false bottom. I may have to revisit large grain bill batches.

Thank you! I can't even begin to tell you how easy cleanup was and how much easier the brew day went...was so smooth and the efficiency boost was an added bonus!
 

Sammy86

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@Sammy86 - Can you post a picture of the combo false bottom? And did you set the BIAB directly on it, or was pulley holding the weight?
I set the bag directly on top...and let it rest, didn't use the pulley to hold any weight. I did my standard 2 qts/lb mash and didn't even wait to start recirculating just flipped the switched and walked away! Which in hindsight i probably should have waited a few minutes but again no problems!

8F4506E3-8C09-4109-B17F-44C79C308AC4.jpeg

B86C18E1-3304-4F78-9099-C314C3AB2BC9.jpeg

ECA21FE2-F19C-41E4-BEF1-1E69C1AE2CBF.jpeg

A630FFBB-2B27-4FD1-A544-A6E7E4C170A5.jpeg

483C2AE3-69FA-4D38-A017-15CF87D2B017.jpeg
 

cactusgarrett

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Like I said it worked great
I've toyed with the idea of ditching the malt pipe for a bag, but I can't reconcile how the bag is better and I don't have means for a pulley system to easily accommodate a bag. People mention cleaning, but I think cleaning the malt pipe is a breeze. Could you lay out your thoughts more as to why the bag is better than the pipe?
 

Sammy86

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I've toyed with the idea of ditching the malt pipe for a bag, but I can't reconcile how the bag is better and I don't have means for a pulley system to easily accommodate a bag. People mention cleaning, but I think cleaning the malt pipe is a breeze. Could you lay out your thoughts more as to why the bag is better than the pipe?

Absolutely! First, I really don’t like the false bottom on the malt pipe. I don’t think the perforations are made in a way to really produce good flow through the grain bed. I also don’t like how it limits the space width wise. When using a bag I have more room for the grain bed to get set and have better flow extracting more sugars from the grain.

Second, I can crush finer with the bag and not need rice hulls anymore. I used 50% wheat and 3% rye on the recent brew and had no issues with gumming or any stuck sparge. As I said in my previous post, I dropped the bag in with grain essentially underletting the mash, gave it a good mix and started recirculating immediately.

Third, while I agree cleaning the malt pipe is easy, for the bag I literally dumped the spent grain in a garbage bag, hosed it down and let it dry. It was ready to be put away before the wort got to a boil. I didn’t have to wait for the boil to be complete and drained out before refilling the Brewzilla with water and PBW.

Lastly, lifting the bag even without the pulley was not an issue, especially with the Brew Bag handles. I also didn’t have to worry about mistakenly touching a hot malt pipe which was also nice since my almost 6 year old has taken an interest in brewing with me.

All in all, I would highly recommend doing what I did and switching to a Brew Bag, even if you do use it with the malt pipe. I’ve seen numerous people on the internet using the bags in AIOs and having good results.
 

cactusgarrett

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lifting the bag even without the pulley was not an issue
Don't you have to let it hang for a bit to drain the wort? (squeezing/not squeezing aside) You make compelling arguments, and I'd give it a shot but my lack of ability to rig a pulley system (ceiling joists in an unfinished basement) is keeping me from pulling the trigger. One big positive of the malt pipe (to me) is the feet and suspension process.
 

Sammy86

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Don't you have to let it hang for a bit to drain the wort? (squeezing/not squeezing aside) You make compelling arguments, and I'd give it a shot but my lack of ability to rig a pulley system (ceiling joists in an unfinished basement) is keeping me from pulling the trigger. One big positive of the malt pipe (to me) is the feet and suspension process.

If the pulley is holding you back, use the bag in the malt pipe...lots of Grainfather folks are doing it that way and I've seen Robobrew 35L users, Mash and Boil users, etc.
 

cactusgarrett

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If the pulley is holding you back, use the bag in the malt pipe...lots of Grainfather folks are doing it that way and I've seen Robobrew 35L users, Mash and Boil users, etc.
How is that different than just the malt pipe, then? I mean, you could still grind finer, but it's still be limited in flow and not seem to provide any benefits.
 

Wayne1

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I have ceiling joists in an unfinished basement. I was able to find a space where the joists were close enough to put a section of 2x4 between them and screw an eyelet into the 2x4. I use a pulley from Harbor Freight designed to hoist game up for field dressing. It has not trouble lifting a malt pipe.

I am 68yrs old and enjoy using the Brewzilla 65L. I have no problem with using the hoist to lift the mash pipe or lower it after draining. I easily empty the mash pipe with a hand held grain scoop into a 5 gallon bucket. I can then pull the false bottom and rinse and wash that in my utility sink. Next ,I hand scrub the mash pipe in the sink. All very easy and done while the wort is coming to a boil.

hoist.jpg
 

cactusgarrett

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I have ceiling joists in an unfinished basement. I was able to find a space where the joists were close enough to put a section of 2x4 between them and screw an eyelet into the 2x4. I use a pulley from Harbor Freight designed to hoist game up for field dressing. It has not trouble lifting a malt pipe.
I considered this at first, but after looking into it I shied away with the idea that those joists are meant to support downward force to their top, not support weight from below. I worried about compromising their integrity with significant weight in a vector they're not designed for. Additionally, my joists are the newfangled skinny "I" format ones, further minimizing area to drill into.
 

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I've done about 80 batches on my Robobrew 3 (35L) with a BIAB bag (no malt pipe). I do full-volume mashing, as well. No complaints. Super easy and very little to clean up. Haven't been using a false bottom, either, but I did just recently pick one up and will try it next time.
 

Sammy86

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How is that different than just the malt pipe, then? I mean, you could still grind finer, but it's still be limited in flow and not seem to provide any benefits.

You can crush the grain finer, meaning less grain and more sugar extraction.

Edit: Also, no grain in the pump, no stuck sparges and definitely no rice hulls.
 

Teufelhunde

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I considered this at first, but after looking into it I shied away with the idea that those joists are meant to support downward force to their top, not support weight from below. I worried about compromising their integrity with significant weight in a vector they're not designed for. Additionally, my joists are the newfangled skinny "I" format ones, further minimizing area to drill into.
Either way, it is downward force, and if the weight of that bag is going to be an issue, I would seriously be worried about those joists supporting the floor above them. JMHO

Lon
 

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I've done just BIAB/no malt pipe (which warped the bottom screen a bit), BIAB inside the malt pipe, and BIAB outside the malt pipe.

I think I liked BIAB outside the malt pipe best. But I am going to try Sammy's approach above (at least once).
 

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Morebeer just added the Brewzilla Gen 4.

35L is $599
65L is $799



Ah, just saw these are "pre-order".

Looks like Williams Brewing also has them listed (estimated in stock 8/31).


Williams also lists the 3.1.1 as "discontinued" - so might want to stock up on those spare parts as the go on sale over the next year.
 
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Sammy86

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Morebeer just added the Brewzilla Gen 4.

35L is $599
65L is $799



Ah, just saw these are "pre-order".

Pre orders galore! I'm sticking with my 3.11 mainly because I'm a poor dad of three children and I'm afraid of what Mrs. Sammy would do if that thing showed up at the doorstep.
 

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Not sure this is the best thread to tack these questions onto, but I pre-ordered a 35L Gen 4 and had a few logistics questions. I'm an experienced brewer coming from a HERMS. I sold my rig to simplify my brewday.
  1. I'm planning to batch sparge with my 35L. Any specific recommendations on mash thickness? I always opt for the more "wet" option of 1.75qt/lb.
  2. What is everyone using to sparge? I want to keep my setup SIMPLE. The reason I sold my HERMS was because I was tired of extra hoses and kettles and cleaning. But seriously, after you pull the malt pipe and allow it to drip dry, are most people just dumping hot water onto the grains to rinse them and reach pre-boil volume? Any suggestions on how to make this a little easier than lifting a pot of near boiling water over head?
  3. I plan to brew in my laundry room. It has a typical consumer-grade exhaust fan on the ceiling. Is that going to be sufficient to deal with boil off steam? I really don't want to add a full vent hood if I can avoid it. I've looked into steam condensers and as much as I'd love to build one, that would go against my goal of simplifying my equipment and reducing moving pieces. Any simple recommendations here?
 

DuncB

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Not sure this is the best thread to tack these questions onto, but I pre-ordered a 35L Gen 4 and had a few logistics questions. I'm an experienced brewer coming from a HERMS. I sold my rig to simplify my brewday.
  1. I'm planning to batch sparge with my 35L. Any specific recommendations on mash thickness? I always opt for the more "wet" option of 1.75qt/lb.
  2. What is everyone using to sparge? I want to keep my setup SIMPLE. The reason I sold my HERMS was because I was tired of extra hoses and kettles and cleaning. But seriously, after you pull the malt pipe and allow it to drip dry, are most people just dumping hot water onto the grains to rinse them and reach pre-boil volume? Any suggestions on how to make this a little easier than lifting a pot of near boiling water over head?
  3. I plan to brew in my laundry room. It has a typical consumer-grade exhaust fan on the ceiling. Is that going to be sufficient to deal with boil off steam? I really don't want to add a full vent hood if I can avoid it. I've looked into steam condensers and as much as I'd love to build one, that would go against my goal of simplifying my equipment and reducing moving pieces. Any simple recommendations here?
Wetter definitely better, good fine crush helps as you recognise, you'll need to dial that in.
I'm using a bigger unit 70 litre but for a 25 litre to fermenter I'm using 3litres per kg. I'm losing 0.65 litre per kg in absorption.
My unit stands on the floor so via a pipe from the water heater and sprinkle to sparge.
As you've ordered a gen 4 I believe the controls are higher than earlier models so no need to bend to floor to read the controls and adjust. So stand it on the floor.
I brew in my laundry and have an extractor in the wall, this could not cope with the steam production. Having the door to outside didn't help much either.

I built a condenser not too complex really, completely removed the liquid on walls ceiling floor from condensation of open boiling. Other advantages less power to boil, less boil off loss as well.

Bigger extractor fans are noisy, condensation occurs in them and they drip. Also if your kettle on floor you need a low extractor. Have a look at the boil kettle condenser thread.

Others will have different opinions about these issues.
 

ryanj

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Wetter definitely better, good fine crush helps as you recognise, you'll need to dial that in.
I'm using a bigger unit 70 litre but for a 25 litre to fermenter I'm using 3litres per kg. I'm losing 0.65 litre per kg in absorption.
My unit stands on the floor so via a pipe from the water heater and sprinkle to sparge.
As you've ordered a gen 4 I believe the controls are higher than earlier models so no need to bend to floor to read the controls and adjust. So stand it on the floor.
I brew in my laundry and have an extractor in the wall, this could not cope with the steam production. Having the door to outside didn't help much either.

I built a condenser not too complex really, completely removed the liquid on walls ceiling floor from condensation of open boiling. Other advantages less power to boil, less boil off loss as well.

Bigger extractor fans are noisy, condensation occurs in them and they drip. Also if your kettle on floor you need a low extractor. Have a look at the boil kettle condenser thread.

Others will have different opinions about these issues.
Eh, maybe you're right on the condenser. It's not too complicated and far cheaper than trying to add a hood vent, ducting, motor, and cutting hole in the side of my house.

How are you supplying the water to the mister? Are you using a pump or just tapping into a faucet? I plan to brew in my laundry room as well and was going to add a TEE fitting to the cold water supply so I can use it for the immersion chiller, but could also use it for the condenser.
 

Sammy86

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I'm planning to batch sparge with my 35L. Any specific recommendations on mash thickness? I always opt for the more "wet" option of 1.75qt/lb.

Everyone is different but I have the most success at 2.0 qts/pound. I believe a bunch of people use 1.75 qts/pound as well and have success.
What is everyone using to sparge? I want to keep my setup SIMPLE. The reason I sold my HERMS was because I was tired of extra hoses and kettles and cleaning. But seriously, after you pull the malt pipe and allow it to drip dry, are most people just dumping hot water onto the grains to rinse them and reach pre-boil volume? Any suggestions on how to make this a little easier than lifting a pot of near boiling water over head?

I used to run cold filtered water from the hose very low pressure, moved to a digiboil with pitcher and now im digiboil with pump over grains. Anyway you decide will be fine as long as you're getting to your preboil volume.

I plan to brew in my laundry room. It has a typical consumer-grade exhaust fan on the ceiling. Is that going to be sufficient to deal with boil off steam? I really don't want to add a full vent hood if I can avoid it. I've looked into steam condensers and as much as I'd love to build one, that would go against my goal of simplifying my equipment and reducing moving pieces. Any simple recommendations here?

I have a 65 L so can't comment with experience but from what I've seen on YT from the guys who have had it the boil isn't too vigorous on the 35L...anything like the exhaust fan will help I think.

Hope this helps and welcome to our little corner of the forum!
 
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