Fermenting in Brewzilla

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jayka
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Fermenting in Brewzilla

Post by jayka » Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:57 am

Hi All, I just got a Brewzilla for making my mashes in and I was planning on fermenting directly in the Brewzilla. However I have watched a few tutorial vids on YouTube and everyone seems to decant into something else for the ferment. is there anyone out there with a Brewzilla that can tell me if it is ok to do or not?
Being that everything is stainless I can't see it being a problem except for a few factors.

The inbuilt pump. The inlet goes straight down from the bottom of the pot so any sediment is going to go into the pump. I can probably just flush it when I clean but just want to know thoughts.

Also using the low watt element to control temp. My "distillery" (shed) can get a little cold in winter so I would like to use the element to keep my ferment temp in the right range. Can I do this or will the element scorch on the fermenting sediment.

Any thoughts appreciated.
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Re: Fermenting in Brewzilla

Post by SaltyStaves » Sun Aug 30, 2020 3:18 am

So you have a 30L pot still and you bought a 35L brewing contraption that you wish to brew and ferment in...?
Are you doing stripping runs?

I've got the same sized still boiler as you, but my mash tun is 76L. That is barely big enough for me.
I wouldn't dream of trying to make a decent single malt in one pass through my pot still.

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Re: Fermenting in Brewzilla

Post by still_stirrin » Sun Aug 30, 2020 3:43 am

jayka wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:57 am
...I would like to use the element to keep my ferment temp in the right range....or will the element scorch on the fermenting sediment?
Chances are....yes.
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Re: Fermenting in Brewzilla

Post by jayka » Sun Aug 30, 2020 3:48 am

SaltyStaves wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 3:18 am
So you have a 30L pot still and you bought a 35L brewing contraption that you wish to brew and ferment in...?
Are you doing stripping runs?

I've got the same sized still boiler as you, but my mash tun is 76L. That is barely big enough for me.
I wouldn't dream of trying to make a decent single malt in one pass through my pot still.
No I have a 30lt pot still and a 60lt fermenter.
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Re: Fermenting in Brewzilla

Post by SaltyStaves » Sun Aug 30, 2020 3:51 am

jayka wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 3:48 am
No I have a 30lt pot still and a 60lt fermenter.
Oh. 60L Brewzilla?

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jayka
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Re: Fermenting in Brewzilla

Post by jayka » Sun Aug 30, 2020 4:13 am

Yep. I haven't used it yet but I'm going from using a 70lt SS pot with a BIAB and while it did the job I did find the BIAB to be a bit of a pain in the ass. In a perfect world I would have a nice big 150lt mash tun but I hate anything plastic and 150lt SS tun with a SS BIAB would blow the bank by just a bit I think.
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Re: Fermenting in Brewzilla

Post by SaltyStaves » Sun Aug 30, 2020 4:24 am

The product pic you posted in your Brewzilla thread said 35L, which is why I was confused.

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jayka
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Re: Fermenting in Brewzilla

Post by jayka » Sun Aug 30, 2020 6:42 am

Yeh they were just downloaded from the website. Didn't even realise.
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Re: Fermenting in Brewzilla

Post by Smokee » Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:44 am

I have the 17 gallon (65L) BrewZilla but only cook my grains in it. I use the pump to sparge, which has made a nice increase in my SG over my old pot. I use the screens to separate out the grain and ferment off the grain in a 6 gallon bucket. I, personally, wouldn't ferment in a $700 pot.

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Demy
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Re: Fermenting in Brewzilla

Post by Demy » Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:12 am

I think it is not advisable to use the element during fermentation to maintain the temperature, risk of burning and the yeast in contact with the hot parts will have a bad end. You could use a heating band on the outside of the pot with a thermostat.

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Re: Fermenting in Brewzilla

Post by zapata » Wed Oct 07, 2020 12:36 pm

I think it's doable. I have a Foundry and have fermented in it, though I haven't had to use the built in elements to keep it warm. Used stock (which I don't for other reasons) the foundry has a fair bit of grain dust and sediment on the bottom after a mash, and it doesn't scorch bringing all the way up to boil. Is the Brewzilla similar? Sure yeast sediment isn't flour, but it's similar enough to give an clue. The foundry's drain is a side drain though, so it may be more prone to collecting that post mash sediment than the BZ with it's bottom drain?

If you don't try to heat up a wash from really cold, the element will only be on for a minute or so at a time. And most of that time there isn't much yeast sediment (because you just pitched, or because the yeast is rousing itself). Maybe keep a closer eye on it as the yeast starts to settle though. But in general, stainless is slow to heatup, and fluids are quick to disperse heat, I think your wash will hit it's set point well before the stainless has a chance to get scorching hot.

Can you set a power limit, I thought the BZ had 3 separate elements, are they selectable? The Foundry lets you do power by percentage, which virtually eliminates any chance of scorching.

Also, consider your pump. if you can set it (or rig it) so that the pump runs when the element does it will absolutely not scorch, and probably speed fermentation too. Be sure the return is in the wash to prevent foaming, and make sure it runs initially to purge the lines. This would solve the yeast sediment plugging the line as well if it runs once or twice a day. Just be sure to disable whenever you actually want it to settle. Heck, you could run it continuously, not sure what the pump is though in terms of continuous use or noise.

Don't wanna risk a wash to prove it? Throw some lees (or even just boiled bakers yeast) and water in it and see. I bet it works just fine, and scorched yeast will be hard to miss.

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jayka
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Re: Fermenting in Brewzilla

Post by jayka » Sun Oct 11, 2020 7:03 pm

It's all good, I have come to a happy medium with my mashing.
1. I make a 40lt/8kg mash in the Brewzilla.
2. Then drain and pump into my 70lt stainless pot which gives it about 30lt.
3. Sparge grain and use sparge to fill Brewzilla for second mash
4. Drain and sparge with 10lt
5. Pump into 70lt stainless pot.
6. Bingo I now have a good 60/70 Lt mash ready for ferment.

I have a heating band which I turn on after the initial high temp days just to help finish ferment.

It's coming into summer now so maintaining temp during ferment won't be a problem but will probably get a temp controller to plug heater band into for next winter. Just for easy temp control.
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jayka
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Re: Fermenting in Brewzilla

Post by jayka » Sun Oct 11, 2020 7:07 pm

IMG_20200902_175938~2.jpg
Also should mention the 3 pot system does look pretty good on the bench.
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Re: Fermenting in Brewzilla

Post by zapata » Sun Oct 11, 2020 7:33 pm

It does look pretty slick indeed.

But do you really need a koozie on that stump of a riser?

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jayka
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Re: Fermenting in Brewzilla

Post by jayka » Sun Oct 11, 2020 9:18 pm

Haha, Probably not but I have found that it makes it easier to take the lid off while its still hot.
I could probably lose the insulation altogether now that I have my power controller.
I almost doesn't seem worth it looking at how much it doesn't cover.
Sooner or later the people who run the planet all end up choosing one drink....

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