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Two questions re: all-in-one systems like robobrew/digimash, etc

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SanPancho

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so long story short, the wife is up my ass about clearing out brewing gear. so i'm thinking its time to just move to an all in one system. robobrew/digimash, etc. hoping to minimize excess gear, brew times, clean up, etc.

i've got two questions-
for those units that do the recirc during mash, is anyone seeing oxidation issues? seems to me that the overflow pipes on those units are a good place to really aerate your wort which doesnt seem ideal...


regarding chilling- are there hacks to be able to use the included IC chillers and still get decent chilling times? seeing folks chill for 30-60 minutes which seems like a long friggin time. is doing recirc/whirlpool enough to bring that into a decent range (say under 30min)?

ive looked at just using a 50' SS chiller, but the ones im seeing are too wide to fit in these guys. wanna keep it simple, and plate/CFC chillers cool quickly but take more time to set up/clean and break down. so prefer to stay with IC.
 

rjhoff

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I have the Robobrew 3.0...

Recirculation, no issues with oxidation. You can add a 3/8” silicon tube any length you like to avoid air, but I don’t see it as an issue. The main issue I and others have, depending on the malt bill, is poor recirculation flow through the tall/skinny malt pipe. I find that to be manageable though.

My stock chiller is in the cabinet, probably never to be used again. It works but is too slow. I have a Jaded Scylla IC that’s works much better - that model has a smaller diameter to work well with the all in ones.
 

Stonehenge360

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I have the digi mash 9.7 gal 110v. Only thing I don’t like is the time it takes to boil, but I don’t have access to a 220v plug so it is what it is

the rest of the setup is awesome. I don’t have the integrated pump on mine, but I bought a pump on amazon and rigged it up.Works great to keep the efficiency up and temps consistent. Oxidation really is not an issue. Hot water does not absorb much oxygen compared to cold, and some people say the wort needs to be oxygenated for the yeast anyway. If you are really worried about it, you can add a silicone tube to the spout as rjhoff
mentioned.

I bought a morebeer digimash kit that came with a 25ft copper cooling coil. It’s not the best thing in the world, but it does the job in 20 or 30 min using cold tap water. I am hesitant to go to plate coolers because of the additional cleaning requirements..but it is probably something I will do eventually. Anyway, the coil is adequate to get you started
 

verboten

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My robobrew is just fine, I tend to get the flow right some in not going down the overflow, that’s just a good way to get grains and gunk under the tube.

I use my SS jaded hydra in the robobrew.
 

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Grainfather here. I got rid of the overflow pipe and instead condition my malt, which gives good flow rates so no need for the overflow. I built a mashcap out of a SS cake pan so the recirculation is delivered under the mashcap - no oxidation. I use the counterflow chiller so I can't comment on IC.
 
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SanPancho

SanPancho

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I guess that’s the issue, the stainless OEM coils dont have enough surface area to do the job quickly. I’ve looked for other options but nothing fits in the pipe. Don’t feel like getting a custom coil made. Id prefer to avoid copper, but I guess I can just use brewtan to mitigate. So I guess copper it is.

I don’t have the integrated pump on mine, but I bought a pump on amazon and rigged it up.Works great to keep the efficiency up and temps consistent. Oxidation really is not an issue. Hot water does not absorb much oxygen compared to cold, and some people say the wort needs to be oxygenated for the yeast anyway. If you are really worried about it, you can add a silicone tube to the spout as rjhoff
mentioned.
It is an issue. I’ll avoid chumming the waters for the LoDo sharks, but let’s just say you wanna avoid any aerating and splashing until yeast are active, but that’s what the overflow pipe looks like it does.

the digimash doesn’t have an overflow does it? Nothing I’ve seen so far at least.

Recirc sounds nice, but i guess it’s just something you gotta play with. maybe I can just do a full-ish volume mash, get the neoprene jacket, and wrap an extra towel. Simplicity.
 
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SanPancho

SanPancho

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Grainfather here. I got rid of the overflow pipe and instead condition my malt, which gives good flow rates so no need for the overflow. I built a mashcap out of a SS cake pan so the recirculation is delivered under the mashcap - no oxidation. I use the counterflow chiller so I can't comment on IC.
Nice. Think I have an idea of how that would work.

Just remembered I wanna try the dehusked base malt from briess. Maybe that’s even easier to get good flow.
 

Sammy86

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so long story short, the wife is up my ass about clearing out brewing gear. so i'm thinking its time to just move to an all in one system. robobrew/digimash, etc. hoping to minimize excess gear, brew times, clean up, etc.

i've got two questions-
for those units that do the recirc during mash, is anyone seeing oxidation issues? seems to me that the overflow pipes on those units are a good place to really aerate your wort which doesnt seem ideal...


regarding chilling- are there hacks to be able to use the included IC chillers and still get decent chilling times? seeing folks chill for 30-60 minutes which seems like a long friggin time. is doing recirc/whirlpool enough to bring that into a decent range (say under 30min)?

ive looked at just using a 50' SS chiller, but the ones im seeing are too wide to fit in these guys. wanna keep it simple, and plate/CFC chillers cool quickly but take more time to set up/clean and break down. so prefer to stay with IC.
I own a Brewzilla 65L and love it! Made my brew day so much easier...not lugging around hot water and wort was like a dream!

I didnt notice any oxidation issues on my two in one batches...the recirculation was great...nice clear wort!

I went with a Copper CFC from Morebeer...you can go with SS if you're really paranoid about it but i got my wort down to 62 in about five minutes...my ground water was coming out at about 62-64 that day.

I wouldn't go any other way!
 

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I’m in the same boat as you.. I currently have a 3V propane keggle setup and I’m thinking about downsizing just for ease of use/making the brew day simpler. Life has gotten busy and if I was able to do some chores around the house while brewing I think the wife would stop giving me dirty looks when I say I want to spend the afternoon brewing..
From an oxidation standpoint I never really worry about oxidation fun till after the beer has been fermented. Is this a common issue with originating the wort?
 
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SanPancho

SanPancho

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Definitely. You don’t need to go as far as tthe LoDo guys do to stop it but you still wanna avoid it.
 

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I have the foundry unit. I did not get the recirc option, and tried using my riptide pump. The riptide is a bit overkill and it is fussy at the low flow settings needed for the narrow mash tube. To simplify the cleanup, I eliminated the pump, and achieve recirc by simply pulling 3 qts at a time from the spigot and pouring into the top once every so often. This removes the pump, and hosiery cleanup. I am sure this is sacrilege to the LODO brewers, but I have yet to buy into their dogma. To remain LODO, I would opt for a smallish pump with low flow and use rice hulls, otherwise the long narrow mash tube will likely lead to stuck sparges.
As to the chiller, I use the IC coils that came with the unit, nice narrow, SS ones, that I am sure would work for other brands as well. I either use tap water get to 80F, then use my fermentation cooler to take it the rest of the way, or I use tap water to get to about 100F and use a cooler full of ice water to get from 100F to 65F. This time is overlapping with other cleanup tasks so I don't really mind the extra time it takes using tap water.
 

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...

Just remembered I wanna try the dehusked base malt from briess. Maybe that’s even easier to get good flow.
Conventional wisdom say no husks will make it worse. Intact husks help keep the grain bed more porous for good flow. That's why rice hulls are added to "sticky" grain bills.

Brew on :mug:
 
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SanPancho

SanPancho

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Conventional wisdom say no husks will make it worse. Intact husks help keep the grain bed more porous for good flow. That's why rice hulls are added to "sticky" grain bills.

Brew on :mug:
check the reviews before you dismiss. Few folks here with positive results. Another local brewery used in pilot system with success.
quite often the words conventional wisdom end up batting .500.
 
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SanPancho

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I ended up ordering the digimash with the rubber jacket. I’ve got a high temp pump already, and fittings for a nice diy whirlpool setup.

I’ll start with a basic mash at full volume, then go to batch sparge if I want more efficiency. If that doesn’t work out high enough I’ll have to play with recirc. But grain is cheap by the bag so trying to avoid more gear/setup/cleanup.

im gonna just get some 3/8 soft copper and make a chiller. 50ft of tubing is only $40 at the wholesaler so seems cheapest and easiest. I’ll treat with brewtan b for stability.

i was thinking about the brewzilla as the timer seemed nice to be able to wake up to strike water at temp. But I already have a pump, don’t like the recirc arm design, etc. With discount I’ll be under $300 for everything so can’t complain.
 

doug293cz

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check the reviews before you dismiss. Few folks here with positive results. Another local brewery used in pilot system with success.
quite often the words conventional wisdom end up batting .500.
Is this the malt you are talking about?

1602381119737.png


This malt comes pre-milled only, using a special process that results in no flour (according to the .pdf from Briess.) So, with a completely controlled particle size distribution, it won't behave like traditionally milled malt.

Brew on :mug:
 

verboten

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I used the malt gems for my last 2 pilsners, I want more, but I’ll wait for another sale.
 

Jeremydc

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I have the Robobrew 3.0...

Recirculation, no issues with oxidation. You can add a 3/8” silicon tube any length you like to avoid air, but I don’t see it as an issue. The main issue I and others have, depending on the malt bill, is poor recirculation flow through the tall/skinny malt pipe. I find that to be manageable though.

My stock chiller is in the cabinet, probably never to be used again. It works but is too slow. I have a Jaded Scylla IC that’s works much better - that model has a smaller diameter to work well with the all in ones.
how quickly does it cool with the Scylla IC? I won't use the stock IC as well, but I have the blichmann plate chiller, but considering the better IC because of less cleanup
 

rjhoff

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how quickly does it cool with the Scylla IC? I won't use the stock IC as well, but I have the blichmann plate chiller, but considering the better IC because of less cleanup
I never time it but I’d say about 15 minutes or less. For sure faster than the stock cooler.
 

verboten

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My jaded Stainless Hydra also just fits in the Robobrew, I am thinking it was minimal time to cool with that, 10 minutes or so? It was way overkill and awesome to chill that quickly.
 

rjhoff

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The Scylla is smaller, a good amount of room in the robobrew. I’ll time mine when I brew next, although recently I’ve been letting the wort cool for quite a while on its own (with whirlpool attachment) to better utilize my whirlpool hops.
 

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Home brewers using all-in-one systems should look into no-chill methods. Many advantages to no-chill that fall in line with the reasons all-in-one brewing is attractive in the first place.

From what I understand, no-chill dominates home brewing in Australia.
 

rjhoff

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Home brewers using all-in-one systems should look into no-chill methods. Many advantages to no-chill that fall in line with the reasons all-in-one brewing is attractive in the first place.

From what I understand, no-chill dominates home brewing in Australia.
I’ve never considered no chill. What are the advantages that you perceive? Why does it fall in line with all in one brewing?
 

RufusBrewer

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I read about people considering going all in one and/or when people say why they are glad they went all in one if because of th simplicity, low equipment count, smaller footprint, easy to clean, predictable results.

No chill extends all of these ideas. No requirement to provide cooling water and/or a chiller equipment (IM, CFC, Plate Chiller). No requirement to provide an means to drain exhaust cooling water. Reduction of space required in the process. Boil your wort, transfer wort into fermentation vessel, wait to cool and pitch your yeast.

Your all-in-one becomes all-in-one plus a fermentation vessel.
 

rjhoff

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I read about people considering going all in one and/or when people say why they are glad they went all in one if because of th simplicity, low equipment count, smaller footprint, easy to clean, predictable results.

No chill extends all of these ideas. No requirement to provide cooling water and/or a chiller equipment (IM, CFC, Plate Chiller). No requirement to provide an means to drain exhaust cooling water. Reduction of space required in the process. Boil your wort, transfer wort into fermentation vessel, wait to cool and pitch your yeast.

Your all-in-one becomes all-in-one plus a fermentation vessel.
Agree, that JaDeD chiller cost some $$ and could drive people to no-chill. I don't think you can or should use the AIO system as a fermentation vessel though. I can see doing no-chill if you live in a drought-prone area, are paying $$ for your tap water, or if you're in a high heat area and the tap water is too warm. I'm lucky enough to have great ground water at a cool temp - my chill water comes from the ground and is returned to the ground :)
 
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SanPancho

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can someone get me a measurement of the malt pipe for the digimash or the brewzilla 5gal versions? mine still hasnt arrived yet, which is annoying as hell. in any case i decided to just suck it up and use copper for the chiller, and picked up 50ft of 3/8 for like 40 bucks. was going to wrap it into a double coil but realized that if i make it a bit tighter, i can fit it into the malt pipe, which means after brewday is done, the boiler, malt pipe, and chiller will all nest together into one spot and take up less room.

i know copper is soft and bendable, but i'd prefer to know what dimension i need to meet before i start rolling and coiling the tubing. nothing online describes the malt pipe, only the boiler.
 

rjhoff

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Robobrew 3.0
IDs - malt pipe 10.5”, brew kettle 11.75”
As you’re talking about chilling, assume it’s the brew kettle you’re interested in.
 
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SanPancho

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Nope, the malt pipe. Want the chiller to fit in the malt pipe so that when it’s all cleaned up the chiller is in the pipe is in the boiler. Compact and all stored together. Toss the pump and hoses in there too.
but I’m not sure the robobrew is same dimensions Digimash and brewzilla are tho.
 

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I don't think you can or should use the AIO system as a fermentation vessel though. I can see doing no-chill if you live in a drought-prone area, are paying $$ for your tap water, or if you're in a high heat area and the tap water is too warm. I'm lucky enough to have great ground water at a cool temp - my chill water comes from the ground and is returned to the ground :)
I guess you could chill your wort in you boil kettle. You have the challenge of sealing your kettle well enough to keep germs an nasties out, but allow for the reduction of volume that comes with the wort cooling. I assume that eventually you to transfer wprt from boil kettle to a proper fermatation vessel. Unless you also ferment in your boil kettle?

In my response I specifically say "transfer to fermentation vessle."

No chill is the most simple and easiest way to get wort to pitching temps. Some brewers bring up the idea that rapid cooling provides the benefit of cold break. OK, reasonable people can discuss that point.

Certainly if your goal is to simplify your process and reduce the length of your brewday, eliminating the wort chilling step goes towards achieving that goal.
 

rjhoff

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The predominant approach uses HDPE cubes for cooling the wort then transfer to a fermentation vessel after cooling. With plastic cubes you can compress all the air out of the headspace and touch all surfaces with hot wort for sanitizing purposes.
 
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SanPancho

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bump.

looking for interior dimensions of the malt pipe on a digimash or brewzilla.

thx
 

rjhoff

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The Scylla is smaller, a good amount of room in the robobrew. I’ll time mine when I brew next, although recently I’ve been letting the wort cool for quite a while on its own (with whirlpool attachment) to better utilize my whirlpool hops.
Brew day today: 20 min whirlpool (hop stand) - end temp 190 F. The JaDeD Scilla took it from 190 F to 70 F in 8 minutes. Last few degrees were slow (water temp was 64 F)
 
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SanPancho

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c'mon folks. i know somebody is brewing on a brewzilla or a digimash today, probably right now as i'm writing this.

just need the inside dimension (width) of the MALT pipe. not the boiler.

please and thank you
 

rjhoff

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c'mon folks. i know somebody is brewing on a brewzilla or a digimash today, probably right now as i'm writing this.

just need the inside dimension (width) of the MALT pipe. not the boiler.

please and thank you
I gave you that dimension a few days ago, for a Robobrew 3.0 (30 L):

Robobrew 3.0
IDs - malt pipe 10.5”, brew kettle 11.75”
 
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SanPancho

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I gave you that dimension a few days ago, for a Robobrew 3.0 (30 L):

Robobrew 3.0
IDs - malt pipe 10.5”, brew kettle 11.75”
on robobrew.

brewzilla and digimash are the same. are you sure the robo is the same as digimash/brewzilla? i know they're all similar, but is it the same?
 

rjhoff

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Robobrew and Brewzilla are 2 brands from the same company. Was Robobrew, now Brewzilla. I’m assuming that the Robobrew 3.0 35L (the one I measured) is the same as Brewzilla 3.1 35L however it’s up to you to verify that. I don’t know what a Digimash is.

EDIT: Williams Brewing puts the malt pipe diameter at 10.75”. Williams would probably answer your question directly and I recommend them for purchasing your system - great customer service!
 
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SanPancho

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Robobrew and Brewzilla are 2 brands from the same company. Was Robobrew, now Brewzilla. I’m assuming that the Robobrew 3.0 35L (the one I measured) is the same as Brewzilla 3.1 35L however it’s up to you to verify that. I don’t know what a Digimash is.

EDIT: Williams Brewing puts the malt pipe diameter at 10.75”. Williams would probably answer your question directly and I recommend them for purchasing your system - great customer service!
****, you're right. i got confused the all the names out there. i know kegland makes the digimash as well as the brewzilla. but wasnt aware robobrew was what turned into brewzilla. that explains it.
 

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****, you're right. i got confused the all the names out there. i know kegland makes the digimash as well as the brewzilla. but wasnt aware robobrew was what turned into brewzilla. that explains it.
I hear ya. I bought in 3 years ago and watched it evolve. Seems to me a lot of the parts are interchangeable.
 

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No chill extends all of these ideas. No requirement to provide cooling water and/or a chiller equipment (IM, CFC, Plate Chiller). No requirement to provide an means to drain exhaust cooling water. Reduction of space required in the process. Boil your wort, transfer wort into fermentation vessel, wait to cool and pitch your yeast.
Your all-in-one becomes all-in-one plus a fermentation vessel.
Cooling with an IC is my least favorite part of brewing (besides bottling) so I tried to no-chill once. I only have plastic and glass fermenters so I was not going to transfer hot wort into any of those - so I just turned off the M&B at about 8 pm and left it overnight to cool. It finally reached pitching temp about 3 PM the next afternoon. That sucked worse than waiting an hour on an IC and dealing with the water loss, hoses and cleanup IMO.

i realize it took longer to cool because it wasn’t removed from the kettle and did not get the cooling benefit of the transfer to the fermenter. I was just surprised how long it took. I might change my mind if I had a steel fermenter or transferred to plastic after temp gets in the safe range to do so. Once the boil is done, I’m ready to pitch yeast and seal her up ASAP.

What‘s your typical wait time once transferred to fermenter to reach pitching temp w/o chilling?
 
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