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rjhoff

rjhoff

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Can someone please explain what the top screen is supposed to do? Seems many people don’t use it so they can stir during the mash. So it looks like a part that’s not really required.
I‘ve shelved the center pipe and the top screen. My guess is it’s used to contain the grain within the malt pipe, especially if you’re using the center pipe for overflow.
 

Sammy86

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I've clearly changed my mind since August! Has anyone done the bolt mod, and can they say whether it has improved their experience? Since stirring my mash I've noticed a big increase in efficiency. I want to get away from using the top screen because of this, and the overflow pipe is just getting in the way now. Also, the holes for the malt pipe handle SHOULD act like an overflow if things go sideways...
I did the bolt mod as well and love it...that center pipe was a PIA and I've had no issues
 

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I've officially come full circle with my Robobrew... All I use anymore is the false bottom and a BIAB grain bag. It's way simpler, less equipment to clean, and without the malt pipe and overflow pipe in the way there's a lot more space. Plus no dead space between the outer wall and the malt pipe.
 
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rjhoff

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I've officially come full circle with my Robobrew... All I use anymore is the false bottom and a BIAB grain bag. It's way simpler, less equipment to clean, and without the malt pipe and overflow pipe in the way there's a lot more space. Plus no dead space between the outer wall and the malt pipe.
I get that. How big of a grain bill have you done with that approach?
 

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Today was my biggest, at 16.5lbs. I think the max grain bill with the malt pipe is something like 18lbs so you could probably get close to 20lbs without the malt pipe.
 

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I‘ve shelved the center pipe and the top screen. My guess is it’s used to contain the grain within the malt pipe, especially if you’re using the center pipe for overflow.
That explains it. There wasn’t anything written anywhere describing what the purpose of the top plate was. But preventing grain overflowing into the centre pipe makes sense. I’m going to pick up a 65L Brewzilla and get the bottom plate without the hole, and toss the top plate as well.
 
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rjhoff

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Today was my biggest, at 16.5lbs. I think the max grain bill with the malt pipe is something like 18lbs so you could probably get close to 20lbs without the malt pipe.
This is an interesting point. I also brew a lot of big beers in my 35L, never go higher than 17 lb in the mash, then add DME to the boil in exchange for a few pounds of base malt. I’ve got the brew house efficiency at 74% or higher and I appreciate the ease of use of the malt pipe, so I’ll stick with it, at least for now.
 

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I did a 22lb grain bill using both the malt pipe and center tube in my 35L unit when I brewed the Russian Imperial Stout. So, it can be done. I left off the top screen, and added a piece of silicon tubing to the center pipe to get the column up. It was a thick mash, but it worked. I swore I wouldn’t do it again. But it turned out great, so I might...
 
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rjhoff

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I did a 22lb grain bill using both the malt pipe and center tube in my 35L unit when I brewed the Russian Imperial Stout. So, it can be done. I left off the top screen, and added a piece of silicon tubing to the center pipe to get the column up. It was a thick mash, but it worked. I swore I wouldn’t do it again. But it turned out great, so I might...
That’s a thick mash! What was your grist ratio?
 

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I'm guessing closer to 1.3 qt/lb. In reality, I mashed in the grain, and just added as much water as I could. So it wasn't exact. It was right on the verge of overflowing the holes in the malt pipe the whole time.
 
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rjhoff

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I'm guessing closer to 1.3 qt/lb. In reality, I mashed in the grain, and just added as much water as I could. So it wasn't exact. It was right on the verge of overflowing the holes in the malt pipe the whole time.
I duct tape over the holes for the big ones.
 

Silver_Is_Money

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The more I read, the more a Digiboil with a false bottom, a bag, and an external pump makes the best sense for me.
 

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Why a Digiboil w/ no pump vs a Robobrew with a built in recirc pump?
 

Silver_Is_Money

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Why a Digiboil w/ no pump vs a Robobrew with a built in recirc pump?
The logic here is that if in the long run I'm going to end up using a bag in it to resolve multiple frustrations I might as well save about $250 right up front and go with the Digiboil 65L, plus a false bottom, plus a bag, plus an external pump.
 

Silver_Is_Money

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Does anyone know the proper bag dimensions for a Digiboil 65L with false bottom?
 
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The logic here is that if in the long run I'm going to end up using a bag in it to resolve multiple frustrations I might as well save about $250 right up front and go with the Digiboil 65L, plus a false bottom, plus a bag, plus an external pump.
For sure you should setup a system that addresses your needs and preferences. I’ve used the Robobrew 35L for about 50 batches over 3 years and I can’t see brewing without the mash pipe or internal pump. There’s no way I‘d switch from the RB malt pipe to a bag - the pipe provides a no mess, convenient way to sparge as compared to a bag. The built in pump is indispensable for me, used throughout the brew session. I wouldn’t swap it for an external.
 

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For sure you should setup a system that addresses your needs and preferences. I’ve used the Robobrew 35L for about 50 batches over 3 years and I can’t see brewing without the mash pipe or internal pump. There’s no way I‘d switch from the RB malt pipe to a bag - the pipe provides a no mess, convenient way to sparge as compared to a bag. The built in pump is indispensable for me, used throughout the brew session. I wouldn’t swap it for an external.
Same here.
 

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The logic here is that if in the long run I'm going to end up using a bag in it to resolve multiple frustrations I might as well save about $250 right up front and go with the Digiboil 65L, plus a false bottom, plus a bag, plus an external pump.
I love my 35l robo but am thinking of adding a 65l digiboil for double batches. I have my old Biab bag to use in it. Lots of really good beers have been made without recirculating the mash so I’m not too worried about no pump in the digiboil. And it’s not hard to add one.

I’d do fancy/different beers in my 35l, and do double batches of standard/house beers in my 65.
 

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For sure you should setup a system that addresses your needs and preferences. I’ve used the Robobrew 35L for about 50 batches over 3 years and I can’t see brewing without the mash pipe or internal pump. There’s no way I‘d switch from the RB malt pipe to a bag - the pipe provides a no mess, convenient way to sparge as compared to a bag. The built in pump is indispensable for me, used throughout the brew session. I wouldn’t swap it for an external.
Ditto. There's a reason the Robobrew exists at all - convenience in a small footprint. Otherwise the alternative would be to have everything external and use a bag, which is what Silver_Is_Money described above. It definitely costs more than a digiboil and pump, but IMHO the Robobrew is a worth while package.
 

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The logic here is that if in the long run I'm going to end up using a bag in it to resolve multiple frustrations I might as well save about $250 right up front and go with the Digiboil 65L, plus a false bottom, plus a bag, plus an external pump.
From reading other posts in the past, you want to avoid sparging, is that right? Seems like one advantage to not sparging is that there is no need to heat sparge water. So I can see how it seems easier. It was a quandary for me until I figured out to use my wife’s Sous Vide unit in a small cooler to heat water.
 

Silver_Is_Money

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From reading other posts in the past, you want to avoid sparging, is that right?
Yes, I've been doing no-sparge mashing in a cooler conversion with bag for a few years now, and really don't want to bother with sparging any longer. When I started all grain brewing back in 1992 I fly sparged. I've also done my share of batch sparging.

That plus to recover some of the efficiency lost to no-sparge I like a finer crush than a malt pipe will generally tolerate.
 
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rjhoff

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Yes, I've been doing no-sparge mashing in a cooler conversion with bag for a few years now, and really don't want to bother with sparging any longer. When I started all grain brewing back in 1992 I fly sparged. I've also done my share of batch sparging.

That plus to recover some of the efficiency lost to no-sparge I like a finer crush than a malt pipe will generally tolerate.
What mill gap are you using for no sparge?
 

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Nothing radical. 0.030 (~pre-chip credit card) to 0.032" (~credit card with chip) : Will that work in a 65L Robobrew with the malt pipe?
That's what I'm using...i throw in a handful of rice hulls just for added protection but didn't have any problems with the last brew and the gap being that tight.

EDIT: I also make sure to use 2.0 qts/lbs ratio for the mash. Thicker mashes don't seem to do well...just anecdotal evidence there though.
 
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Nothing radical. 0.030 (~pre-chip credit card) to 0.032" (~credit card with chip) : Will that work in a 65L Robobrew with the malt pipe?
I’m using 0.032” with the malt pipe and I’m getting 74%+ efficiency (35 L robobrew). I use a $3.00 feeler gauge set from Harbor Freight.
 
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rjhoff

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That's what I'm using...i throw in a handful of rice hulls just for added protection but didn't have any problems with the last brew and the gap being that tight.

EDIT: I also make sure to use 2.0 qts/lbs ratio for the mash. Thicker mashes don't seem to do well...just anecdotal evidence there though.
I‘m using 1.7 ratio, may look at upping that on my less-big-beers.
 

Silver_Is_Money

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I’m using 0.032” with the malt pipe and I’m getting 74%+ efficiency (35 L robobrew). I use a $3.00 feeler gauge set from Harbor Freight.
Is that with a batch sparge step? Good to hear you can crush that fine and use the malt pipe. I would have thought otherwise.
 
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Is that with a batch sparge step? Good to hear you can crush that fine and use the malt pipe. I would have thought otherwise.
Fly sparging. I was struggling with efficiency and tried a few things, but didn’t hit the target until I dropped the mill gap.
 

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So, what category of sparging is it with th Robobrew? In my case, I use the top screen. After lifting the basket, there is a pool of water on top of the grain. It slowly drains. I just keep adding water until there is a volume I am happy with.
 

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So, what category of sparging is it with th Robobrew? In my case, I use the top screen. After lifting the basket, there is a pool of water on top of the grain. It slowly drains. I just keep adding water until there is a volume I am happy with.
I'd call that batch sparging!
 

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So, what category of sparging is it with th Robobrew? In my case, I use the top screen. After lifting the basket, there is a pool of water on top of the grain. It slowly drains. I just keep adding water until there is a volume I am happy with.
Technically I believe it is fly sparging...me personally I just throw as much water on top until it pools at the top.
 

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Technically I believe it is fly sparging...me personally I just throw as much water on top until it pools at the top.
You may be right, since not all the sparge water is being added at once and it's not allowed to rest. John Palmer says...

"Batch sparging is where a large volume of sparge water is added to the mash all at once instead of gradually. In practice, the mash is completely drained of the first runnings, and then a second batch of water is mixed in and mashed for a short period of time. The grain bed is allowed to settle, recirculated for clarity, and the second runnings of the wort is then drained off."

This doesn't sound like what we do in the robo...
 

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Mr. Palmer also says..

"Continuous sparging, also known as fly sparging, usually results in the best yields. In continuous sparging, the wort is recirculated and drained until just under an inch of wort remains above the grain bed. The sparge water is then slowly added at the same rate as the wort is drained, such that you achieve a steady flow into and out of the grain bed. The idea is that the grain bed is never actually drained; instead, the wort is gradually exchanged with sparge water. The soluble extract yield is highly dependent on the uniformity of the fluid flow through the grain bed to ensure that every grist particle is fully rinsed."

This sounds more like our process.
 

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I have always thought of it more like fly sparging because it is continuous. But I guess that if you let it drain each time before adding water you could make the case for batch.
 
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rjhoff

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I have always thought of it more like fly sparging because it is continuous. But I guess that if you let it drain each time before adding water you could make the case for batch.
I’ve always understood batch to mean you empty the wort completely then add the sparge water. So I vote for fly sparging, I use the same process as @RePete
 

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Is anyone making 10 gal batches without sparging? That seems nuts. I am looking into the 65Land see noting about sparging on the product. I guess I need to watch a few brew day videos with this thing on youtube.
 
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Is anyone making 10 gal batches without sparging? That seems nuts. I am looking into the 65Land see noting about sparging on the product. I guess I need to watch a few brew day videos with this thing on youtube.
Quick math:
It comes down to mash capacity. All of my 5 gal/35 L high gravity batches require sparge (I sparge 100%). You could probably do any 5 gallon batch on the 65L but I’d guess that 10 gallons would require sparge.
 

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