First brew with Brewzilla G4

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An interesting experience. I expected to learn a lot and I did. Overall the day went well, probably better than expected as there were no major events :D.

I couldn't decide if I wanted the BZ on the desk or floor and then realised the best height for me would be inbetween so I put it on a chair. I need a proper low table for this as the chair had a soft top which meant it wasn't 100% stable when the malt pipe was fully up.

I'd set the P factor for the PID half way between the recommended settings for half and full batch as I was brewing only 21 litres. Next time I'm going to use the full batch settings as the mash temp varied a bit.

I don't think I'm going to use the top plate for the malt pipe next time so I can get in there and stir it.

The main issue I had was that the pop up message that tells you how to either stop the current step or navigate to where you can stop the current step (which I've mentioned in the can't get to boil thread) is there for every step apart from the last. This means you can't see which step you are currently on at all and the temperature is obscured. I've raised this as an issue on the RAPT github site. It only needs to be there for a short while at the beginning of the first step (or not at all). It was an issue for me as some of my steps were essentially lead in to the next step and I had to use the mobile app to see where it was up to. So, until its resolved instead of having a profile that goes through multiple steps I'm going to programme single step profiles - Strike, mash, boil, whirlpool etc. and switch between them. It really is a problem that you can't see the screen.

Overall I think the main screen user interface could do with an overhaul. Why should up or down arrow stop the step, why is the enter key actually exit and why does the arrow in a circle key move between settings ? I think it should be up/down to go between settings (like it does on the other screens), the circle/arrow should take you to the main menu leaving the step running and the enter key should make the current setting editable. If you want to end the current step you can do that from the another menu anyway. Or they could have 4 stops on the setting cycle instead of 3 - temp, pump, heater, end step.

I found there is a difference between a test run with water and the real thing. With a small batch of water it got to the boil very quick, it wasn't so fast with a full batch. I'd switched off PID and the bluetooth temp probe for the boil and even when the internal probe is saying 102c it is nowhere near boiling. I put the second probe back in and used that instead and it reached exactly 100 as it started to boil. During the boil I played with the heater setting and I found 35% ideal for a nice rolling boil. 30% will do it too, but it was a bit too soft for me.

I liked the hop spider, going to always use that from now on.

I liked the push notifications on the mobile App.

I used the chiller (sorry no-chillers, I had to test it) and overshot my target chill by 6 degrees ashock1. As I was pitching 34/70 I wasn't too worried. Think I'm going to stick to no-chilling as I can just pull out the hop spider to prevent over bittering.

First recipe using Brewfather and I think the numbers were just about spot on so I'm going to subscribe.

Looking forward to my next brew.
 
If i ever get one which i will at some point this year, i will use it as i use my gen3 in manual mode i have never used any of the steps, that screen sounds like a right faff, anyway glad your brew day went well let us know how the beer turns out acheers.
 
If i ever get one which i will at some point this year, i will use it as i use my gen3 in manual mode i have never used any of the steps, that screen sounds like a right faff, anyway glad your brew day went well let us know how the beer turns out acheers.
Yes, I considered going fully manual but I like having alerts when temp/time has been reached.

Just checked the RAPT github and it looks like they are going to re-design the screen based on my feedback and suggestions. athumb.. to the RAPT gang.
 
Yes, I considered going fully manual but I like having alerts when temp/time has been reached.

Just checked the RAPT github and it looks like they are going to re-design the screen based on my feedback and suggestions. athumb.. to the RAPT gang.
Checked the status on github and the post about re-designing the screen was from another user agreeing with my post and adding to it, I'd thought a developer had picked it up. I've commented on the new post with suggestions to make the keys do what they do everywhere else.
 
I don't think I'm going to use the top plate for the malt pipe next time so I can get in there and stir it.

The main issue I had was that the pop up message ..... I've raised this as an issue on the RAPT github site....

Overall I think the main screen user interface could do with an overhaul. ....

... even when the internal probe is saying 102c it is nowhere near boiling.

I liked the hop spider, going to always use that from now on.

I liked the push notifications on the mobile App.

First recipe using Brewfather and I think the numbers were just about spot on so I'm going to subscribe.
Sounds familiar!

I don't use top plate for same reason, and because the weight compacts the grain bed.

Pop up messages a pain. But do you mean gitlab.com rather than github?
I'd not noticed the difference, and then spent ages trying to reset my password! (Having just been on github speaking with beer-analytics).

On gitlab, I've opened issue (#397) "RAPT app / web portal - clunky interface...". And issue (#395) "easy control of running profile" ... The more people support/comment, the sooner things might get looked at.
Also nudged issues (#6; #298; #393; #394; #396).

Boil temp. Have you set calibration point 2, to 100°C while boiling water? (Best upper cal point if using BT probe for mash temp control).

Yes, hop spider seems to work (Whirlpool {arm} seems ineffective, for me, maybe because of central drain hole).

I plan to try the quick steep method on next batch - dark roast grain in hopspider with circulation, as strike water heating, for maybe 30 sec. To get colour, but avoid astringincy from husks. Might get a better idea of final colour, than doing a cold steep (in a small volume).

Also like notifications, but still not compatible with my android 13 phone (still having to use old phone or tablet for alerts).
 
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If i ever get one which i will at some point this year, i will use it as i use my gen3 in manual mode i have never used any of the steps, that screen sounds like a right faff, anyway glad your brew day went well let us know how the beer turns out acheers.
Hate things that wont work without t'net.

As far as I can tell, I can't do anything with my g4, until it's registered on the RAPT portal (as menus are blocked).
Once registered, not sure how much is then possible without a connection. Certainly can't run locally stored profiles.

Add comment to gitlab (under issue #298) "ability to store more than one AP...." (access point) to encourage improvements.
 
Sounds familiar!

I don't use top plate for same reason, and because the weight compacts the grain bed.

Pop up messages a pain. But do you mean gitlab.com rather than github?
I'd not noticed the difference, and then spent ages trying to reset my password! (Having just been on github speaking with beer-analytics).

On gitlab, I've opened issue (#397) "RAPT app / web portal - clunky interface...". And issue (#395) "easy control of running profile" ... The more people support/comment, the sooner things might get looked at.
Also nudged issues (#6; #298; #393; #394; #396).

Boil temp. Have you set calibration point 2, to 100°C while boiling water? (Best upper cal point if using BT probe for mash temp control).

Yes, hop spider seems to work (Whirlpool {arm} seems ineffective, for me, maybe because of central drain hole).

I plan to try the quick steep method on next batch - dark roast grain in hopspider with circulation, as strike water heating, for maybe 30 sec. To get colour, but avoid astringincy from husks. Might get a better idea of final colour, than doing a cold steep (in a small volume).

Also like notifications, but still not compatible with my android 13 phone (still having to use old phone or tablet for alerts).
Yes, I do mean gitlab and like you hadn't noticed the difference and also wondered where my account had gone :roll: .

I haven't bothered calibrating anything yet, I'm basically ignoring the built in probe and just using the BT probe. Maybe I'll do that next time,.

I didn't try the whirlpool arm, I just lifted and dunked the spider a couple of time. I think I'll try it next time though.

The web dashboard isn't great and the bits you are interested in - current step, current and target temps are in tiny writing squashed out of sight by the graph.
 
Hate things that wont work without t'net.

As far as I can tell, I can't do anything with my g4, until it's registered on the RAPT portal (as menus are blocked).
Once registered, not sure how much is then possible without a connection. Certainly can't run locally stored profiles.

Add comment to gitlab (under issue #298) "ability to store more than one AP...." (access point) to encourage improvements.
I came across the single access point issue. I set it up in the house, then had to go through forget wifi settings and re-setup.

One feature I do like is that it checks for changes in a profile before running it. That means I can have a generic mash profile and just edit the target temp (and duration) the night before and it will get the new settings when it runs.
 
I know it goes against the thread title but - second brew with BZ G4 today. Overall better experience :-

The single step profiles work really well - one for strike, one for mash and one for boil.
Having a sloppier mash worked a lot better - I changed the setting in Brewfather from the default 3.2 ltrs/kilo to 4.

Discovered that I'm going to have to change the cleaning routine, when it was nearly at strike temp I noticed a load of hops floating on the surface. They were easy to scoop off as they were dried out. They must have been trapped in the pump or under the heat exchange dish or something and once the water was hot they loosened. When I clean it from now on I'm going to take the dish out and run it through with hot water.

Started the mash with the top plate off but the re-circulation pipe worked its way through the mash so I put the plate back on. I took the plate off a couple of times to stir the mash. I'm thinking of cutting the pipe so it is shorter as it seems awkwardly long at the moment.

The mash temp overshot even though it was under pid control. I'd changed a couple of the PID settings for this brew and I think the P factor is now too aggressive, going to wind it down a bit. It worked perfectly last time so why did I change it ? :roll:

Got an extra litre of wort by putting the grain pipe in a big stock pot while the BZ got to boil temp. I think I saw @foxy doing that in one of his pictures athumb...

The pre-boil volume and SG were just about spot on.

No chilling now and I'll pitch in the morning. Followed by straight into brew 3.
 
I didn't try the whirlpool arm
I'm a bit disappointed by the whirlpool arm. It doesn't actually seem to get much of a whirlpool going at all. I've seen there are modifications you can do to improve it though.

I've so far just been doing everything manually because I've not been able to get the mash temp stable yet, unless you're doing a step mash the profiles seem unncessary as well. Timing it on my phone is as easy without having to set up a profile. I'm going to buy a BT thermometer because there's such a difference between the bottom plate temperature and the grain bed, and I need to fiddle with the PID calibration. I've seen people mention they're able to achieve <0.5 difference in their mash when they get it right.
 
I've used the whirlpool arm a couple of times now and did get a decent cone of trub / hops in the middle of the bottom plate.

Watching the wort flow out of the BZ, it did seem to drain around the sides of the trub cone and until the last few drops it was clear wort. This was even with a counterflow chiller attached which seemed to further reduce the whirlpool speed. So it seems to be enough from my experience. With the bottom draining it probably isn't essential and you could also probably get away with a manual whirlpool if you wanted with a paddle.

I imagine mods to the whirlpool arm would be attaching something that restricts the flow out of the arm to increase speed? Any examples of what has been used out of interest?
 
Use tubing inside tubing getting smaller to reduce the outlet size( say 1/2inch to 3/8ths etc) would be a quick fix to start with. Some users have flattened the end of the whirlpool arm on other AIO's, me I would rather not flatten it.
 
Brew 3 done. Into the swing of it now. Set the P factor back to 0.58 and it was a lot more stable holding the mash temp, varied between -.2 and +.3.

I'm getting more volume than predicted in Brewfather - 23 litres instead of 21. Need to check the losses to trub because there aren't any really plus I'm recovering a litre from leaving the grain pipe to to drain.
 
.... I'm getting more volume than predicted in Brewfather - 23 litres instead of 21. Need to check the losses to trub because there aren't any really plus I'm recovering a litre from leaving the grain pipe to to drain.
The Brewfather partial mash, water calculation definitely seems incorrect, it doesn’t correct water volumes for any LME additions.

Recipe: batch volume 20L; boil time 60min; 3kg LME added at flameout.
Brewfather gave boil volume 26.38L. Equipment profile: boil off 4.5L/hour; trub/Chiller loss 1L; mash tun loss 0L.
After boil that should give 26.38 - 4.5 -1L = 20.88L, which is 0.8L over batch volume. But then adding 3kg LME at flameout, which (at 1.2kg/L) is 2.5L, giving 23.4L.

So now, I simply don't trust brewfather. Even with a modified equipment profile, it's obviously still going to give daft figures at times.
 
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