Brewster Beacon

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Cwrex

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My Brewster Beacon has arrived! I got the Chiller as well. Any Top Tips?
I've never used any automated gear before so I'm all ears.

Thanks in advance - Conor
 
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My Brewster Beacon has arrived! I got the Chiller as well. Any Top Tips?
I've never used any automated gear before so I'm all ears.

Thanks in advance - Conor
First give a good clean, check the calibration of the temperature, follow the 'how to use instructions' after a few brews throw away the overflow pipe, get some 5/16 all thread as a handle, don't be afraid of using galvanised nuts to hold in position. The yeast will thank you for it then make your own way through the brewing process. These units are ideal for no sparge 21 litre brews.
 
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Hi @Cwrex

Firstly be careful when cleaning the mesh trays, they are sharp. I forget to wear gloves constantly and hack my hands to bits!

As above get the temp calibration done, personally I always sparge but you have options. Plus I use it in manual mode, never automatic.

These units are notorious with lifting the bottom filter during the boil allowing hop and grain debris into the pump. @Andrew Booth who kindly sold me the Beacon came up with a great plan of sitting a false bottom over the bottom mesh plate which works a treat. However I believe Brewolution are now offering a hop filter (similar to a bazooka) for the pump, interested to see if yours came with that.

This is a powerful heater, roll back close to mash and boil temps. Happy to share the numbers if you need them.

Great bit of kit, produced some fantastic beers so far.

Happy Brewing
 

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Let me know how you get on matey with that filter please.

At sparge set to 2500w, roll back to 1800w a few degrees before its achieved.

At boil set to 2500w, roll back to 2100w once achieved.

Don't press the top filter down to much on the grain bill, just lay it on top.

Also you will need more water in the mash then recommended on kits. This kit prefers a wetter mash to get 80% efficency.

Any questions let me know
 

Weatherman

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I am a recent AG brewer (6 or 7 brews) with this system and have also had issue with the mesh filter. Not only does it allow debris etc under it, the constant movement effects it coming to the boil and maintaining a decent rolling boil.

For my last brew (cross my loaf steamboats porter, tastes great btw) I have fitted one of these Grainfather pump filters
22EA3853-E499-4B5E-90E6-C89441D42E4D.png


Fantastic. Boiled quicker and smoother. Downside is that I lost more wort at the end as the pump started pulling to much sludge through. However, still achieved 21
Ltr of a 23ltr brew

I think the addition of a finer mesh tube from an un used hop spider inside this filter maybe my next fettle.

Also, as others have said, I would recommend allowing the power at 2500 to bring to the boil and then back it off. I have been boiling at 1900w. This has meant no wort burnt to the bottom where as it did at 2500w.
 
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Biggest problem with putting filters on the pump intake is any grain husks which manage to get out of the grain basket stay in the wort. If there is a significant amount of husk in the boil then one could end up with an astringency problem.
While the pump is free to do what it is supposed to do, dump any husks back onto the top of the grain basket there won't be a problem.
By all means tweak the workings of the SVB but don't hinder it.
 

Weatherman

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Biggest problem with putting filters on the pump intake is any grain husks which manage to get out of the grain basket stay in the wort. If there is a significant amount of husk in the boil then one could end up with an astringency problem.
While the pump is free to do what it is supposed to do, dump any husks back onto the top of the grain basket there won't be a problem.
By all means tweak the workings of the SVB but don't hinder it.

The issue of any husks not going through the pump back through to the top of the grain basket would occur if you used the supplied bottom mesh filter or Jerry rig a different filter, would they not?
 
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The issue of any husks not going through the pump back through to the top of the grain basket would occur if you used the supplied bottom mesh filter or Jerry rig a different filter, would they not?
Reading the other posts there seems to be a problem with husks blocking the pump. I have never had this problem in 5 years. Put a bazooka on the top of the overflow pipe but don't obstruct the pump intake.
 
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Well, I tried out the new gadget today and I'm calling it a success.

The day didn't start on time due to overdoing the malt-based beverages the night before and matters weren't improved by the printer's refusal to print. I like to print off the key figures and a checklist to smooth the brew's progress, but not this time. Time to wing it and dash indoors to the computer as needed. To make it worse, my co-brewer was out on the lash with her mates. So not only down to one brain, it was my brain.

The brew wanted 100 g of Saaz in the form of pellets as bittering hops so into the hop spider they went. For some reason, I'd partly covered the copper with its lid, which promptly slid into a fully covered position as soon as my back was turned (lunch). The overly vigorous boil propelled a good amount of hop sludge out of the spider and into the brew. No matter though, the pump didn't miss a beat.

Next hop charge was at power off, 38 g of EKG, leaf this time. Into the spider and I decided to recirculate onto them to get them nicely saturated. Big mistake as a good amount made a bid for freedom and joined the Saaz in the copper. Once again, the pump carried on regardless.

So without planning to, I'd given the false bottom replacement more of a test than intended. The hops in the boil made no difference to the pump and while there was some grain being recirculated through the generously sized holes in the filter, most of it was trapped by the top filter and the grain bed.

Sorry. It's a bit waffly. I seem to be overdoing the malt-based beverages again.
 
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The issue of any husks not going through the pump back through to the top of the grain basket would occur if you used the supplied bottom mesh filter or Jerry rig a different filter, would they not?
I don't know why you think grain husks going through the the pump with the bottom filter in place? The usual cause for grain husks being outside the grain basket is if they accidentally fall in while mashing in.
Well, I tried out the new gadget today and I'm calling it a success.

The day didn't start on time due to overdoing the malt-based beverages the night before and matters weren't improved by the printer's refusal to print. I like to print off the key figures and a checklist to smooth the brew's progress, but not this time. Time to wing it and dash indoors to the computer as needed. To make it worse, my co-brewer was out on the lash with her mates. So not only down to one brain, it was my brain.

The brew wanted 100 g of Saaz in the form of pellets as bittering hops so into the hop spider they went. For some reason, I'd partly covered the copper with its lid, which promptly slid into a fully covered position as soon as my back was turned (lunch). The overly vigorous boil propelled a good amount of hop sludge out of the spider and into the brew. No matter though, the pump didn't miss a beat.

Next hop charge was at power off, 38 g of EKG, leaf this time. Into the spider and I decided to recirculate onto them to get them nicely saturated. Big mistake as a good amount made a bid for freedom and joined the Saaz in the copper. Once again, the pump carried on regardless.

So without planning to, I'd given the false bottom replacement more of a test than intended. The hops in the boil made no difference to the pump and while there was some grain being recirculated through the generously sized holes in the filter, most of it was trapped by the top filter and the grain bed.

Sorry. It's a bit waffly. I seem to be overdoing the malt-based beverages again.
How clear is your wort going into the fermenter?
 
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