Spike steam lid used on 65L Brewzilla?

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Iowayankees

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I hear that this lid can be used on the 65L Brewzilla- I currently use a 220v Brewzilla but place it outside due to the boil and condensation. Curious if these work and can brew wit it inside without an exhaust hood. Anyone using the 65L Brewzilla with the Spike steam lid with success indoors?
 

WannaB1

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I swear I seen this somewhere but now I can’t find it. Would you mind measuring the lid that came with the brewzilla?
 

WannaB1

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I found this on the brewzilla 65l user group on FB.

"I just used the Spike lid on a brew this week. The 15 gal lid does not fit perfectly on the Brewzilla 65l. It only seats about 1/2 way. I communicated this to Spike and they had me run some tests with water to see if it would work anyway. Even only 1/2 seated, it worked well. THEN, I remembered the clips supplied for the distillation lid on the Brewzilla and fastened those on the lid and the fit is very good. It consumes about 15 gal/hr of cold water and does a great job of keeping things steam free."
 

DuncB

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My GUten ( 70l very similar to Brewzilla) has a metal lid and so I could just fit the condenser on the top, works great. Made my own condenser as spike and brewtools condenser not available here in NZ.
Recommend that you make an extra hole in the lid for peering in and for additions.
I can brew indoors no problem at all with this setup. It's quiet, uses less electricity and less boil off so less liquid to start with.
Do you want a picture?
 

WannaB1

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My GUten ( 70l very similar to Brewzilla) has a metal lid and so I could just fit the condenser on the top, works great. Made my own condenser as spike and brewtools condenser not available here in NZ.
Recommend that you make an extra hole in the lid for peering in and for additions.
I can brew indoors no problem at all with this setup. It's quiet, uses less electricity and less boil off so less liquid to start with.
Do you want a picture?
I would be very interested to see it.
 

DuncB

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Okay
Have just popped down stairs and taken some photos.

Firstly Guten comes with metal lid and I cut a hole in it. This is important for A) peeking in to get the boil right
B) for any additions

You could cut this and get it the size for a 3 inch or 4 inch triclover ferrule. I didn't bother as this would have required a stainless steel weld and a few more parts. I had it cut so that the lid of kilner jar could rest on it. These come in various sizes, I just folded the rubber gasket on it down and it fits really well. Can get a bit hot and needs to be taken off to look in as it steams up ( as the proprietary spike one would I expect) and you need to shine a torch in to get a really good view.

All the parts I got off the shelf from a supplier to the dairy industry.

Next is a ferrule to BSP adapter the hole in the centre of the lid is 50 mm and the bore of the adapter is 40mm. This is loosely screwed on so that it can tilt with the weight of the further tubing and help the condensed water run away with the spray water.

There are a few combinations for assembly I use the elbow with the copper pipe inflow and then the other connectors. This suits me as with the Guten on a small box the water runs straight into my sink.
I had enough parts ( some from one I made for a 35l Robobrew) to show some other combos that are possible.

The spray nozzle I took from a garden sprayer and then soldered onto the copper pipe, it's important that the spray is far enough down the tube that no back flow can occur and the droopy angle of the condenser ( due to the loose ferrule fitting ) seen in the photos helps to prevent this. I have tried to show the loose fitting of the BSP ferrule adapter in the last photo from below

I have ordered some proper spray nozzles on Aliexpress not sure what size I need but the garden spray nozzle I adjusted to a nice open spray and soldered it in that position. The flow is varied with the water pressure input which is from my water tap. I aim for about 400ml a minute seems to work well.

When boiling I turn the heat down from between 600 watts and a 1000 depending on the volume in the Guten. I have an insulator jacket on the Guten and also put a towel on the lid and around the vertical and pipework up to the spray nozzle. This reduces the steam condensing before being chilled. Allegedly the venturi effect of the water spray and the change in volume of the steam causes a pressure lowering hence drawing the steam into the " chimmney " and away. Not so sure that the pressure is lowered that much but it works and thats what matters.

You certainly get a lot less boil off as well. If I have 35 litres in the Guten pre boil after an hours boil and hop additions + trub trapping I get just over 30 litres in the ferment vessel.

See other post about my trub trapper and break catcher.

I have not had any problems with DMS, you certainly can smell it in the air as it comes out with the water.

Please DO NOT pick up the lid using the condenser as a handle it is burning hot.

If using a hop spider ( I don't ) it can fit in under the lid hanging on the" ring "that the malt pipe rests on as you lift it to drain and sparge.

Don't forget to put in your trub trap / coil ( if you use ) etc before you pop this on at the beginning of the boil, saves an unclipping at 15 minutes.

The guten does have lid clips built in which I use to help the seal and to stop the lid toppling off. That stainless steel is quite heavy and creates quite a moment.

I do plan to get a better connector for the copper pipe to the water supply once the new jets arrive.

Haven't sent a picture of it in action as you've seen water trickling out of a pipe before.

Hope this helps.

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Heer4beer

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Wow very impressive write up. I am also on the fence I’m trying to start an “all electric” area in my basement for brewing on bad weather days and am very interested in purchasing a 65l brewzilla or digimash and was curious if I should pay the premium for the spike 15 gal condenser lid or go (somewhat) DIY with the steam slayer from brew hardware knowing if I purchase the distilling lid for the brewzilla that it would fit snug and properly..
has any one else experimented with either? From what I saw online it says the 65l units are 15.75” wide at the inside diameter and spike claims the 15 gal lid minimum width is 15.7”
 

DuncB

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@Heer4beer
I assume you mean get this lid for the brewzilla?

It's more domed than the one that came with the guten. I can't say whether the spike lid will fit well enough. The diy solution is really only you picking the parts off the shelf and assembling plus cutting a hole for peeking in. I'm still awaiting a stainless steel jet to arrive from china and some different connectors. Certainly the condenser changed my brew room from a steam bath full of moths and condensation to a pleasant brew space.
I do still have a small wall extractor which I use for general ventilation.
 

Heer4beer

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@Heer4beer
I assume you mean get this lid for the brewzilla?

It's more domed than the one that came with the guten. I can't say whether the spike lid will fit well enough. The diy solution is really only you picking the parts off the shelf and assembling plus cutting a hole for peeking in. I'm still awaiting a stainless steel jet to arrive from china and some different connectors. Certainly the condenser changed my brew room from a steam bath full of moths and condensation to a pleasant brew space.
I do still have a small wall extractor which I use for general ventilation.
Yes that one exactly. Thanks! Yeah I don’t want to put more humidity/steam in my basement then needed haha I may attempt to do the DIY with steam slayer and that lid. Thanks! When you end up completing the build if you end up taking any videos I’d be interested to see it in action! Happy brewing!
 

DuncB

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Yes that one exactly. Thanks! Yeah I don’t want to put more humidity/steam in my basement then needed haha I may attempt to do the DIY with steam slayer and that lid. Thanks! When you end up completing the build if you end up taking any videos I’d be interested to see it in action! Happy brewing!
I've been using it for months, just didn't have a brew on when I was using it.

Will try and get some footage this weekend, doing a baltic porter I think.
 

Heer4beer

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If you DIYed the SteamSlayer onto that lid, mind posting your process, parts, etc? I really want to get the Spike lid assembly with no DIY, but i'm getting mixed reports as to whether the 15 gallon lid will fit or not.
Exactly my dilemma.. actually found the person who posted saying they used it on a Facebook group but haven’t gotten a response. I don’t want to spend that kind of money if it’s not going to fit well.
 

cactusgarrett

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Nice, thanks @Bobby_M . I don't want to punch a hole in my kettle, as I want to retain the potential for max volume/grain whenever possible, so I'd go the lid route. I noticed in some other thread somewhere that an issue with the Steam Slayer is that if you don't orient the horizontal spool in a slight downward angle, the condenser actually puts moisture back into the kettle and you get no boiloff. How is this taken into account for this gasketed lid/condenser approach? How do people ensure that downward angle when fitting all the pieces together?
 

DuncB

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I just don't do the weldless tri clamp up tight and because of the rubber gasket on the inside and the weight I get an angle on the " horizontal " part, it's also a good 6 inches from the up part so mist doesn't roll back either.
I wouldn't want to lose capacity on my Guten with a hole in the side of it either.
 

Bobby_M

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Nice, thanks @Bobby_M . I don't want to punch a hole in my kettle, as I want to retain the potential for max volume/grain whenever possible, so I'd go the lid route. I noticed in some other thread somewhere that an issue with the Steam Slayer is that if you don't orient the horizontal spool in a slight downward angle, the condenser actually puts moisture back into the kettle and you get no boiloff. How is this taken into account for this gasketed lid/condenser approach? How do people ensure that downward angle when fitting all the pieces together?


That water ingress issue was related to a competitor product, NOT the SteamSlayer. My unit has never leaked anything back because the leading edge of the sprayer tip sits below the horizontal intersection in the spray housing. No water ever makes it into the horizontal.
 
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cactusgarrett

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That water ingress issue was related to a competitor product, NOT the SteamSlayer. My unit has never leaked anything back because the leading edge of the sprayer tip sits below the horizontal intersection in the spray housing. No water ever makes it into the horizontal.
Good point and great design. Thanks.
 

Mousetrapbrewery

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Anyone place a 1.5 weldless bulkhead in the opening of the brewzilla distillation lid? The lid description says it is 48mm which is standard size for 2 weldless bulkhead. That’s my only hang up on purchasing this.
 

DuncB

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Anyone place a 1.5 weldless bulkhead in the opening of the brewzilla distillation lid? The lid description says it is 48mm which is standard size for 2 weldless bulkhead. That’s my only hang up on purchasing this.
I've only got a robobrew and guten so wouldn't like to confirm for you.
 

cactusgarrett

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Just putting some closure on this one, at least for myself. With Bobby's help from above, I was able to incorporate the distillation lid + Steam Slayer onto my 65L BrewZilla. The only concern I have is that I'm uncomfortable with the amount of torque the assembled unit puts on the lid at the hole. To help with this, I cobbled together a support jig to support the unit with the lid itself at the lip.
 

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Mousetrapbrewery

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Just putting some closure on this one, at least for myself. With Bobby's help from above, I was able to incorporate the distillation lid + Steam Slayer onto my 65L BrewZilla. The only concern I have is that I'm uncomfortable with the amount of torque the assembled unit puts on the lid at the hole. To help with this, I cobbled together a support jig to support the unit with the lid itself at the lip.

Anvil makes a bulkhead now that fit it perfectly. That’s what I have and there is no issues with the torque on the unit. I exchanged my other one from Amazon so I could get this one.

 

DuncB

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@cactusgarrett

I would suggest that you want a negative angle on the horizontal arm of the condenser. You will get condensation in the vertical out and in the horizontal and that will trickle back into the kettle. I actually have my bulkhead triclamp fitting slightly loose but still steam tight with the gaskets on it so that it rests at an angle.
My condenser a bit bigger than yours but it doesn't seem to be doing any damage to the guten SS lid ( standard part ).

Further tip I place an old towel on the top of lid and wrap some more as insulation on the exit pipe and horizontal of my condenser so that the maximum amount of steam reaches the condensing spray part. Also protects / reminds you when you try and take the lid of and use it as a handle.
Also worth putting an access hole in the lid so you can look in and for additions, will save you a lot of hassle and steam escape. Various options for that including further bulkhead fitting perhaps bigger or just make it so that a kilner jar lid fits it.
Photos previously posted but here as a refresher.
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Mousetrapbrewery

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@cactusgarrett

I would suggest that you want a negative angle on the horizontal arm of the condenser. You will get condensation in the vertical out and in the horizontal and that will trickle back into the kettle. I actually have my bulkhead triclamp fitting slightly loose but still steam tight with the gaskets on it so that it rests at an angle.
My condenser a bit bigger than yours but it doesn't seem to be doing any damage to the guten SS lid ( standard part ).

Further tip I place an old towel on the top of lid and wrap some more as insulation on the exit pipe and horizontal of my condenser so that the maximum amount of steam reaches the condensing spray part. Also protects / reminds you when you try and take the lid of and use it as a handle.
Also worth putting an access hole in the lid so you can look in and for additions, will save you a lot of hassle and steam escape. Various options for that including further bulkhead fitting perhaps bigger or just make it so that a kilner jar lid fits it.
Photos previously posted but here as a refresher.
View attachment 748911 View attachment 748908 View attachment 748905 View attachment 748906 View attachment 748907

I think the angle is only if the spray nozzle doesn’t go past the opening, like the spike lid. The steam condenser spray nozzle go past the opening so the water won’t go back into the kettle. I’ve used mine with no issues.
 

DuncB

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I think the angle is only if the spray nozzle doesn’t go past the opening, like the spike lid. The steam condenser spray nozzle go past the opening so the water won’t go back into the kettle. I’ve used mine with no issues.
You miss my point, nothing to do with the spray but the fact that water condenses spontaneously in the vertical coming out of the kettle ( you can't do much about that other than keep that area as hot as possible) but also in the transverse / horizontal seen slightly tilted up in the photo of @cactusgarrett before it gets near the spray. This condensate will trickle back to the kettle if horizontal or tipped up. You won't see that unless you look in and can see that happening, I can see the difference ( through my view port ) if the transverse element is horizontal or tipped up ( no spray being used so it's not trickle back from that).
 

Mousetrapbrewery

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You miss my point, nothing to do with the spray but the fact that water condenses spontaneously in the vertical coming out of the kettle ( you can't do much about that other than keep that area as hot as possible) but also in the transverse / horizontal seen slightly tilted up in the photo of @cactusgarrett before it gets near the spray. This condensate will trickle back to the kettle if horizontal or tipped up. You won't see that unless you look in and can see that happening, I can see the difference ( through my view port ) if the transverse element is horizontal or tipped up ( no spray being used so it's not trickle back from that).

I didn’t miss your point. If you’re worried about condensation in the horizontal pipe area then shouldn’t you also be worried about the condensation under the lid? I think it’s inevitable that there will be some sort of condensation in there but this steam condenser system just helps it and minimizes it. I’ve never had an issue with off flavors by the lid. I have to lid mainly because I brew in a basement and don’t want steam down there. Some studies have shown DMS isn’t even a thing anymore with newer grain.

If you watch Larry’s video about the Spike lid, he talks about water going back into the kettle and why the pipe needs to be slightly tilted for the Spike lid. He had a prototype and Spike fixed it. He states the issue is that the spray nozzle is too high and if it was lower this wouldn’t be an issue. This is what I was referring to and the steam slayer doesn’t have this issue.

I think with homebrewing everyone has an opinion and most of it isn’t factual. So if @cactusgarrett isn’t experiencing any off flavor issues then his process is fine. I was just showing him a solution to his problem with the bulkhead issue.

 

DuncB

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Yep saw Larrys video and Homebrew Challenge and Portly Gentleman.
I haven't had any DMS issues either and I brew indoors, at ground level. The water dripping back from the lid is a constant really wheras the run back in if horizontal is probably a variable and so will affect your boiloff figure for consistency. I do certainly notice the DMS smell in the condensate mixture and also on the condenser so it does still exist but thankfully not in the beer. Others mention the smell on their videos so I don't think the modern malts have eliminated it.
 

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I'm so perplexed over steam condenser lids and overhead exhaust fans. The more I read and see via videos like Larry's, the more I lean toward the exhaust fan. While there are equipment and electrical requirements to utilize an exhaust hood, I'm coming to the conclusion the ventilation achieved from the vent hood out weighs that of a condenser lid. The lid uses a lot of water that has to be dealt with throughout the boil. The equipment used has to be handled routinely throughout the boil and because it is extremely hot, you have to use insulated gloves to prevent burns to the hands. In order to see inside you need a sight glass of some sort. The cost of the condensate lid and the attachments necessary to properly employ it also are expensive.

The biggest drawback of the exhaust hood IMO is a permanent mounting location and the ductwork necessary to vent it outside. Depending on the size, style and CFM of the hood assembly chosen, it too can be expensive. Undoubtedly more costly than the kettle lid. However, the hood only needs to be turned on and off respectfully.

The last comparison I will mention is wort savings of using a lid vs little to no physical requirements to operate the fan. While saving a small amount of wort that would otherwise boil off as condensation is a good thing, that's a lot of work and expense for a seemingly small return. With the vent hood you don't loose any more volume than without the hood. And you can relax more and have a homebrew.

That brings me to my current delima. I've already acquired a 1500 CFM exhaust hood. But I would like it to be controlled by a single controller that can run my 3v HERMS system, the hood and two pumps . So far I can find controllers to do everything except the vent hood. I know I can simply use a single item controller to run the hood alone but what's the fun it that?
 

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I would not swap my condenser for a hood, they are noisy, drip into your boil or over the countertop and pretty expensive for something that nearly can do the job it's intended for. All that damp is a good area between brews for stuff to grow. Yes you need water for a condenser but you can use that in other ways cleaning etc. I fit my condenser to the lid whilst the sparge is occurring and once fitted don't need to touch it until I remove it which is often during whirlpool or late transfer. It's easy to clean as well. I've seen more complaints about dripping fans than condenser issues. I do have a small bathroom type extractor fan which I use at times during the brewday but I don't tend to have any doors or windows open.
My brew system did come with a metal lid so I only needed to fit the condenser and make a hole in the lid to view through. For just over a couple of hundred us dollars I reckon it is fine.
 

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Every specific installation situation will carry more pros or cons than others. My Steam Slayer product uses between 6 and 9 gallons of water per hour for a 5 or 10 gallon batch.

Venting steam out with a fan requires that air be introduced into the space as well. If you're in an area that has extreme seasons, that's going to be a pretty big downside. If you're in a basement where natural gas or propane appliances require a flue/chimney you can actually cause a downdraft that causes a carbon monoxide problem if you don't plan for a cold air intake.

As mentioned, a 1500 CFM hood is going to be ear splittingly loud.

There's no concept of saving wort. IMHO Spike should have left that off their "pros" list because it's nonsense. The condensers yield less boil off so that actually lowers your brew house efficiency a couple points. Whatever...

I don't know what you mean about having to handle hot equipment. I can't speak for the Spike product but the Steam Slayer can attach to either your existing lid or in a new upper sidewall port and then you're just tipping the lid back for quick hop additions.
 

Murph4231

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Wolf 36" Pro Wall Hood - 24" Depth (PW362418) this is my hood. It's not ear splitting loud. Unlike a typical home kitchen hood this hood has adjustable fan speed. I agree that fresh air intake can be needed but you simply open a window. I appreciate everyone's comments but I'm gonna install it as part of my built in brewery in the house that I am building. It may prove to be over kill or a disappointment but I'll report back after it is all up and running. My electric BK sits atop a custom metal stand that is on rollers for mobility and cleaning purposes. Therefore it can be rolled out from under the hood and a BBQ grill rolled in its place for rainy day grilling etc. Plus I simply don't want a lid sealed up on top of my BK while it's boiling. The smell of homebrew boiling, smells like success.
 

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You miss my point, nothing to do with the spray but the fact that water condenses spontaneously in the vertical coming out of the kettle ( you can't do much about that other than keep that area as hot as possible) but also in the transverse / horizontal seen slightly tilted up in the photo of @cactusgarrett before it gets near the spray. This condensate will trickle back to the kettle if horizontal or tipped up. You won't see that unless you look in and can see that happening, I can see the difference ( through my view port ) if the transverse element is horizontal or tipped up ( no spray being used so it's not trickle back from that).
I worked with @Bobby_M on this issue before putting everything together. As he mentioned earlier, the spray nozzle sitting below the horizontal prevents water ingress. To me, any condensate on the vertical or the even the horizontal is no different than boiling with a kettle lid partially on and the condensate on that falling back into the kettle. Definitely not going to be a concern for DMS.
 
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Seems to be some misinformation about the Spike Steam Condensing Lid....

First, BBQ Larry and a few other YouTube'rs got pre-production prototypes of the lid. We did notice that if that kettle was not sitting flat that water could work it's way back into the kettle. That has since been fixed. The 'horizontal' tube has about a 3* downwards angle and we now use a mister that sits below the opening. TL;DR: there is no way water can make it back into the kettle.

As far as water usage our mister uses about 20gal/hr however the spent water can be recirculated until it reaches about 120F. Using this process the SCL uses only about 10gal of liquid during the boil and now you have 10gal of hot water to clean with. We see this as a time savings advantage.

Our SCL or Bobby's condensing option are going to be FAR cheaper than an exhaust fan. And can be transported far easier if you move, have multiple brewing locations, etc.

Finally, we know a lot of people are worried about DMS while using a steam condensing lid. We had the local university do a blind study on wort samples. You can see below that after about 30mins DMS levels were already below what can be detected by humans (~50ppb).
 
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