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CUSTOM-441

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I have the whirlpool arm, and I've used it for two brews so far. It works great, until the pump clogs. I've considered using a hop spider but I'm concerned about hop utilization as already mentioned. For now I just toss them in and hope the pump keeps chugging. A better solution to all these problems would be a better seal around the false bottom.
 
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RePete

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I have the whirlpool arm, and I've used it for two brews so far. It works great, until the pump clogs. I've considered using a hop spider but I'm concerned about hop utilization as already mentioned. For now I just toss them in and hop the pump keeps chugging. A better solution to all these problems would be a better seal around the false bottom.
Would definitely help. Or some sort of additional screen over the pump intake?

I use the hop basket for the boil. Then remove, and hold it up to let it drain at the end of boil. Then put in the immersion chiller. At that point, I thought that adding any whirlpool hops, and using the whirlpool arm, might at least minimize clogging, since most of the hops would have been removed with the basket. Only the late addition hops would be left. Last time I used a bag.
 

CUSTOM-441

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Would definitely help. Or some sort of additional screen over the pump intake


I actually use a dollar store strainer with the handles cut off and put that over the pump intake. It helps a bit, but I still get clogged pumps from time to time.

So using a hop spider for boil additions, and tossing post boil additions directly into the pot, you don't notice an issue with clogging during whirlpool/chill?
 
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rjhoff

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My goal is always to minimize trub every step in the process so I don’t end up with a big pile in the fermenter. I always use a hop spider, actually have two sizes and the small one fits in the middle of my chiller if I want to keep hops while chilling. That said, I separate whirlpool and chilling and lately have been doing longer whirlpools to add hops at lower temps, which definitely improves utilization. I suppose my recipes may be using more hops this way - I wonder how much more I’m using that if I just toss the hops in.
 

RePete

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I actually use a dollar store strainer with the handles cut off and put that over the pump intake. It helps a bit, but I still get clogged pumps from time to time.

So using a hop spider for boil additions, and tossing post boil additions directly into the pot, you don't notice an issue with clogging during whirlpool/chill?
That is what I had in mind. I was speculating, since I haven't purchased one of the whirlpool arms yet. I have done it as is, but got clogs. So since have used a hop bag.
 

Fish84

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I recently started to use the pump when heating up to boiling temp once mash is complete. I was very surprised how much quicker I reached temp. Just curious if anyone thinks it’s a bad idea to run the pump when it’s that hot ? (Not during boil, but just to get it to temp)
 

RePete

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I try not to use it at higher temps, such as when close to boiling. But don't really know what the limits are.
 
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rjhoff

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I don’t use the pump during boil or while the wort is heating up, but I do use my whirlpool attachment at flameout, while the wort cools down - so a few minutes at or near boiling. I suppose using it while the wort is heating up is the same, but in reverse...
 

Jeremydc

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Completed my first brew on the Robobrew 3.1.1 5 gallon 110v system yesterday and it wennt pretty well all things considering. (I moved earlier this year and still have a lot of brewing equipment in storage). I generally brew on a blichmann brew easy 10g electric system. I don't have power at my rental right now for that system so I invested in a robobrew to get me through the next year. I brew outside in and have more time to brew in the winter. It was 37* F yesterday and it took a bit of time to get to boil as well as having a less than vigorous boil. I am overall pretty happy, I do have the neoprene jacket. I was wondering if there is an aftermarket heating stick that I can put in the robobrew to get the temp up to boil quicker and have a more vigorous boil?
 

Sammy86

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Completed my first brew on the Robobrew 3.1.1 5 gallon 110v system yesterday and it wennt pretty well all things considering. (I moved earlier this year and still have a lot of brewing equipment in storage). I generally brew on a blichmann brew easy 10g electric system. I don't have power at my rental right now for that system so I invested in a robobrew to get me through the next year. I brew outside in and have more time to brew in the winter. It was 37* F yesterday and it took a bit of time to get to boil as well as having a less than vigorous boil. I am overall pretty happy, I do have the neoprene jacket. I was wondering if there is an aftermarket heating stick that I can put in the robobrew to get the temp up to boil quicker and have a more vigorous boil?
You could always keep the lid on that will definitely help...there is always the heatstick option as well.
 

RePete

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What temp do you set the unit at to boil? Just curious. I wonder if that makes a difference? I set mine to 219* and get rigorous boils.

I use a Sous Vide unit to heat sparge water. Maybe that would speed it up? I set the unit to boil as soon as I lift the basket. There isn’t a lot of wait time beyond sparging, because it takes a while for the basket to drain.
 

Jeremydc

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What temp do you set the unit at to boil? Just curious. I wonder if that makes a difference? I set mine to 219* and get rigorous boils.

I use a Sous Vide unit to heat sparge water. Maybe that would speed it up? I set the unit to boil as soon as I lift the basket. There isn’t a lot of wait time beyond sparging, because it takes a while for the basket to drain.
I set it at HH which I believe is the highest setting. I think it would have been inside or a warmer (summertime) temp, it would be fine
 

RePete

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Ok. I haven’t seen that on mine. I guess I haven’t tried to find the upper limit though. I had the V3.0, and the upgraded to circuit boards when the originals burned out. I think it is 3.1 now? Maybe it’s slightly different.
 

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Ok. I haven’t seen that on mine. I guess I haven’t tried to find the upper limit though. I had the V3.0, and the upgraded to circuit boards when the originals burned out. I think it is 3.1 now? Maybe it’s slightly different.
yeah, I'm not sure. I have the 3.1.1 and this was my first brew on it. I'm thinking of either doing a heat stick or a brewers hardware steam slayer and moving inside
 

RePete

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yeah, I'm not sure. I have the 3.1.1 and this was my first brew on it. I'm thinking of either doing a heat stick or a brewers hardware steam slayer and moving inside
I'm sure the cool weather didn't help. I brew in a garage and open the doors. Yesterday it was in the 60's? Was fairly comfortable.
 

Jeremydc

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I'm sure the cool weather didn't help. I brew in a garage and open the doors. Yesterday it was in the 60's? Was fairly comfortable.
Yes, I am 100% sure it would be fine if I wasn't brewing in near freezing temperatures
 

Fish84

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3.1.1 has a HH “high heat” setting which I think means it’s cranked out top end output. That’s one of the changes from 3.1. My 3.1 can be set at least to 215F, I haven’t tried any higher. I don’t think turning up higher will make the element any hotter at that point.
 
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rjhoff

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I think the two elements are either “on” or “off”, so if you set the temperature to a few degrees above boiling and as long as the relays aren’t tripping off and on, you’re getting max heat,
 

CUSTOM-441

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I recently started to use the pump when heating up to boiling temp once mash is complete. I was very surprised how much quicker I reached temp. Just curious if anyone thinks it’s a bad idea to run the pump when it’s that hot? (Not during boil, but just to get it to temp)
I haven't used the pump while the temp is ramping up to boil, but I always run the pump for a couple minutes during the boil through my recirc arm & whirlpool arm to sterilize them for use after the boil. Never any issues with the pump from heat, I have had clogs though...

Clogs are definitely my only complaint with this unit. That said, I have just been tossing the hops directly in the pot. I'm brewing a double IPA this week with 7.75oz of hop additions on brew day. I'm nervous lol...
 
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rjhoff

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I haven't used the pump while the temp is ramping up to boil, but I always run the pump for a couple minutes during the boil through my recirc arm & whirlpool arm to sterilize them for use after the boil. Never any issues with the pump from heat, I have had clogs though...

Clogs are definitely my only complaint with this unit. That said, I have just been tossing the hops directly in the pot. I'm brewing a double IPA this week with 7.75oz of hop additions on brew day. I'm nervous lol...
I brew a lot of hoppy IPAs, got a hop spider by my third Robobrew session and am pretty obsessed with keeping grain out of the boil. I don’t plug the pump any more (except once recently when I was convinced it was plugged only to realize later I had the valve closed)
 

CUSTOM-441

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So, double IPA complete. I ended up tossing all my hops straight into the kettle. I whirlpooled for 10 minutes before the chill. I turned the pump on with the valve closed, and slowly opened the valve until the pump was running full throttle.

For anyone on the fence about the whirlpool arm, here's an 8oz hops mountain, with no clogs...


 
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rjhoff

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So, double IPA complete. I ended up tossing all my hops straight into the kettle. I whirlpooled for 10 minutes before the chill. I turned the pump on with the valve closed, and slowly opened the valve until the pump was running full throttle.

For anyone on the fence about the whirlpool arm, here's an 8oz hops mountain, with no clogs...


That’s quite a pile! I just can’t bring myself to throw them in.
 

RePete

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So, double IPA complete. I ended up tossing all my hops straight into the kettle. I whirlpooled for 10 minutes before the chill. I turned the pump on with the valve closed, and slowly opened the valve until the pump was running full throttle.

For anyone on the fence about the whirlpool arm, here's an 8oz hops mountain, with no clogs...


That is something.
 
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That is something.
Was just wondering how you are able to use commando hops without clogs in the pump? I have had my robobrew for about 1.5 years and if I don’t use hop spider or similar I get clogs in the pump. I did notice the false bottom has just a little space between it and the walls of the unit (maybe 1/8” or less) so I think that’s the issue.

I’ve tried both pellets and whole cone and I get clogs every time. I don’t like using hop spiders/bags, etc., so I just stopped using the pump post mash. I would love to use it for whirlpool and chilling but I have not been able to. I currently only use the pump for mashing because as I mentioned, I prefer to toss in my hops loose. Maybe I need a new false bottom...
 

CUSTOM-441

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Was just wondering how you are able to use commando hops without clogs in the pump?
I usually get clogs - I think I got lucky this time. Right after the boil I whirlpooled for 30 minutes before the chill (the recipe called for this). I have the Brewzilla whirlpool arm, so with it connected I turned the pump on with the valve closed. I slowly opened the valve until it was running full throttle. This seemed to work just fine!

There's a gap around the edge of my false bottom and the kettle wall too. It's not ideal, but I think that's standard across the board with everyones robobrew. I've considered cutting a slit in some silicone tubing and making a seal around the false bottom, but I had good luck with my whirlpool arm last brew. I may incorporate a 5-10 min whirlpool prior to chilling as I mentioned above into my process from now on and see how it goes. I still can't get over that hop cone...
 

Sammy86

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Welp friends the last 10 gallon batch of 2020 has been ordered...gonna do a split batch 1/2 Helles 1/2 kolsch. Planned on a week from Saturday...got a bunch of new toys to use...new grain mill, plugged up the malt pipe center and a fresh new table to hold everything...hopefully a painless brew day awaits!

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276F282B-4E81-4032-A9D4-B730DB45F735.jpeg
 
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rjhoff

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Welp friends the last 10 gallon batch of 2020 has been ordered...gonna do a split batch 1/2 Helles 1/2 kolsch. Planned on a week from Saturday...got a bunch of new toys to use...new grain mill, plugged up the malt pipe center and a fresh new table to hold everything...hopefully a painless brew day awaits!
Awesome! I've been meaning to update, I've brewed 4 batches since returning from my road trip: mill gap set to 0.032", center pipe removed: double IPA, Belgian Dark Strong, ESB, Pale Ale. My brewhouse efficiencies have been 76%, 74%, 83%, 74%. I'm hoping to maintain that trend!

I'm real pleased with the center pipe removal, easier to manage the mash. I did get overflow on one of the batches (trying to multitask), it just flows over the top edge of the mash pipe, really no issue.
 
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Sammy86

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I'm real pleased with the center pipe removal, easier to manage the mash. I did get overflow on one of the batches (trying to multitask), it just flows over the top edge of the mash pipe, really no issue.
Glad to hear that! Im going with a 2.0 qt/pound of water and see what happens...looking forward to brew day!
 

Sammy86

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Awesome! I've been meaning to update, I've brewed 4 batches since returning from my road trip: mill gap set to 0.032", center pipe removed: double IPA, Belgian Dark Strong, ESB, Pale Ale. My brewhouse efficiencies have been 76%, 74%, 83%, 74%. I'm hoping to maintain that trend!
Forgot to ask what water ratio to grain are you using?
 
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rjhoff

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Forgot to ask what water ratio to grain are you using?
My default with BeerSmith has always been 1.7 but I’ll drop it when I have a large grain bill, maybe 1.6. Never higher than 1.7, I’ve never considered raising it. What have you been using up till now?
 

Sammy86

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A lot of people use higher ratios, above 2, but Robobrew 35L is limiting in that respect. Does it potentially improve efficiency?
You know I'm not really sure...i know the water amount effects the mash thickness...in my old cooler tun I always used 1.5/pound and always hit my numbers. I guess its a bit of trial and error to see especially with recirculation.
 
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