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Brew devil set up & test

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the baron

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Does seem too much on the recycling still to me Tom. Mine recycles for a short while when starting but soon settles down to a constant heat until it gets to temp then as I say it has to drop a degree before coming back on which can be 5 to 10 mins. I think the insulation will help and I would prefer the recycling than a constant full temp on the bonded element IMO. What yours model was yours is it the 1st Ace version did you say
 

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Yep, first generation Ace. The only problem I've had is one of the rocker switches failed. Got a replacement from maplins, it's just a tad too big for the hole but with a little trimming of the clips it fits ok. No other problems.

Regarding the scorching above the element. I had that while I was using some muntons propino malt. Was a sod to shift but since switching to crisp all is well. Just a good wipe and it's gone, even the worst scorching with crisp will shift with a 10 min soak of lemon juice. Job done

Cheers. Tom
 

the baron

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I don't get any problem with scorching using propino/Irish ale or lager malt I can just wipe mine with a sponge and its off maybe thats one of the benefits of using the element at a lower temp. I too had switch fail but it was only one side and I never replaced it as the switch worked it was the rocker part that would not stay on so i just put some sellotape on that side. I did get a replacement switch but never bothered fitting it. Nice to know somebody else has had good fortune with the Ace after all the negativity from some and only some of the Grainfather owners who felt they had to justify why there outfit cost twice the price. Good luck mate and I think insulation will go a good way to solve the recycling.
 

soupdragon

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It's a cracking piece of kit. I've no regrets about buying it at all. Mrs Soupdragon calls it the brewbaby :)

Cheers. Tom
 

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Does anyone know if the longer of the two overflow pipes, on its own, will be OK for a 6kg grain bill? Although I'm guessing the amount of strike water will also matter?
You will find that the 2 extensions together is what is needed, dependent on grain to liquor ratio, I prefer a fluid mash, so I go full volume with 'no sparge'.
I put an elbow on my tap outlet and made a reducer (down to 8 mm) and made another filter for that, the bazooka that came with it I put on the top of the overflow pipe with a silicone insert so only the tip of the bazooka is the overflow. I have also replaced the handle with a piece of 5/16" all thread to prevent any grain going through the handle holes.
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dan125

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You will find that the 2 extensions together is what is needed, dependent on grain to liquor ratio, I prefer a fluid mash, so I go full volume with 'no sparge'.
I put an elbow on my tap outlet and made a reducer (down to 8 mm) and made another filter for that, the bazooka that came with it I put on the top of the overflow pipe with a silicone insert so only the tip of the bazooka is the overflow. I have also replaced the handle with a piece of 5/16" all thread to prevent any grain going through the handle holes.
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That looks to be pushing the mash capacity to the max athumb..
What volume are you getting in the FV with that? I was planning on doing the same as I was for BIAB with my 1st brew on the new system - 30L mash & 14L sparge for hopefully around 29- 30L in the FV
 

foxy

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That looks to be pushing the mash capacity to the max athumb..
What volume are you getting in the FV with that? I was planning on doing the same as I was for BIAB with my 1st brew on the new system - 30L mash & 14L sparge for hopefully around 29- 30L in the FV
It is dependent on the grain bill how much I liquor I can get into the unit, I usually either go for 21 or 23 litre into the fermenter when I am using the 40 litre brew vessel, for 23 litre and aiming for around a 5% ABV beer I have to fill to 34 litres, which takes it to the max. I lose around 800 to 900 ml per kg to grain absorption and about 7 litres doing a 90 minute boil.
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dan125

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20190609_132003-1.jpg

Gave it a proper test today. All went smoothly apart from a minor panic when my extension lead conked out.
Did seem to get more small grain bits in the wort than with my biab bag but sparging is loads easier with the malt pipe.
Not convinced about bagging the hops but I've got loads less trub in the FV than before and there was a nice cone of trub at the bottom of the kettle after whirlpooling.
Pumped out into the fermentasaurus no problem but a dedicated fitting for this that comes straight up from the pump tube will be the first upgrade.
BH efficiency was almost bang on the 70% I'd planned for but OG was a couple of points low and volume was bit high for 30.5L at 1.043
Overall really impressed with the brew devil on its first outing
 

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Litmus

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Does anyone know if the longer of the two overflow pipes, on its own, will be OK for a 6kg grain bill? Although I'm guessing the amount of strike water will also matter?
This is the broad guide I use

Short 0 to 6.29 KG – 1/3 for expansion = 0 to 4.2 KG

Long 6.30 to 7.955 KG – 1/3 for expansion = 4.3 to 5.3 KG

Short + Long 8 to 14.245 KG – 1/3 for expansion = 5.4 to 9.4 KG

your other option is Angel Hombrew has telescopic one
 
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dan125

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This is the broad guide I use

Short 0 to 6.29 KG – 1/3 for expansion = 0 to 4.2 KG

Long 6.30 to 7.955 KG – 1/3 for expansion = 4.3 to 5.3 KG

Short + Long 8 to 14.245 KG – 1/3 for expansion = 5.4 to 9.4 KG

your other option is Angel Hombrew has telescopic one
Thanks @Litmus - that a handy guide.
The telescopic pipe looks good though - I'll defo be getting one of those.
 

foxy

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What you don't need is wort going down the overflow pipe, the wort needs to be washing through the grain bed, choke the return pipe so a constant level is maintained, wort going down the overflow isn't washing out the sugars from the grain. The only need for a top cover sieve is for sparging, the grain bed is the sieve.
 

dan125

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What you don't need is wort going down the overflow pipe
There was no danger of that with 30L & 6kg of grain. I used the top cover/seive as I was sparging but also found that the little handles on it were a good guide to the liquid level during the mash and I dialed back the flow to keep them just poking out of the liquid.
I've heard it mentioned on other youtube vids that its desirable to have a little liquid going down the overflow pipe though, to avoid possible damage to the element. Didn't seem likely when mashing yesterday though.
 

foxy

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The overflow pipe is a feature to be avoided, you are right Dan, what you don't want is a lack of wort at the base of the vessel. Choking back on the valve on the return pipe and keeping a close eye on the liquid level for the first 10 minutes or so will ensure that all your liquor is washing through the grain bed and plenty of wort above the elements.
 

the baron

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Once again Foxy is dead right the overflow pipe is incase the mash is not flowing correctly to allow water back to the bottom so the element does not run dry but it is a matter of getting the recirculation flow right so the wort level is constant without reaching the overflow pipe that is why it is called a overflow pipe
 

Litmus

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I always keep these around should the overflow pipe come up short you can add a little extra length without too much fuss.



I also make sure to factor in a "mash tun addition" to help avoid starving on the bottom of the unit or do full volume mashing.

A sight glass is also worth consideration, but bear in mind if you use one via a tap fitting you wont know whats going on once the level drops below about 6L (50L unit).
 

foxy

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I am not saying that there is a right or wrong way to brew on these SVB's, this is just my preferred method. I brew full volume mash, 23 litres is the maximum for an average ABV beer, this is todays brewday of an English bitter.
001.JPG Full volume for 21 litres 33 litres of liquor.
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Silicone tube coming up to handle which is 5/16" all thread.
007.JPG With the bazooka from the outlet.
009.JPG A Kaixin mag drive pump, same as the internal pump, cheap and ideal to whirlpool through the tap. Where I got the idea from.
 

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the baron

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I used to brew full volume on my SVB but had a problem with astringency which I attributed to my water so started using RO water to dilute my volume which worked. I have since reverted to a sparge method but I do brew to a high volume of water in the region of 4.5/to/5litres per 1kg of grain so the sparge is smaller than the general consensus of most SVB brewers. I do and have discovered that anything from a higher ltr to grain ratio or full volume is the way to go with these machine and a more fluid mash definitely helps for a better efficiency and less chance of a stuck mash
 

foxy

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It certainly does eliminate a stuck mash, even when I was sparging I would go with a fluid mash and go with 3 or 4 litres of sparge water. I have just re written my recipes on Brewers Friend dialling in the efficiency of 60% saves the guess work of additional grains.
 

the baron

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Hi Foxy what eff do you end up getting I generally get between 70% and 78% BH eff. I always calculate my recipe at 70% as I never get lower than that Ps thats with the Ace as I know you have more than 1 SVB Cheers Pete
 
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