Author Topic: Sabco Brew Magic Owners - Thoughts, Processes & Mods  (Read 3245 times)

Online AmandaK

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Sabco Brew Magic Owners - Thoughts, Processes & Mods
« on: November 11, 2013, 11:54:16 AM »
Hey guys,

I just picked up a Sabco Brew Magic V350MS from a friend in the homebrew club. I've brewed on it once (with the previous owner) but would like to see other people's systems. I know there was an old forum dedicated solely to the Brew Magic but since it is now defunct, I'm asking here.

What is your process? What modifications have you done? Got any pictures?

Cheers!  8)
Amanda Kertz
Kansas City Bier Meister
BJCP National

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Sabco Brew Magic Owners - Thoughts, Processes & Mods
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2013, 01:15:51 PM »
NICE!

First off - I'd take a week off and just brew once or twice a day. Get 'er dialed in as-is before you start tweaking.

I looked into the Sabco systems a bit, but decided to spend cash elsewhere. Here's what I thought:

 - Add a 15A breaker to main box; install outlet in convenient location out of splash range (if outside, use outdoor outlet/cover.

 - Make sure that outlet is properly grounded.

 - I would like to see a whirlpool nozzle on the kettle.

 - I wasn't sure if I could mount more stuff to the frame: hop back, therminator ("Go Big or Go Home" is kind of the point here, right?).

 - If its not going to move, you can hook it up to NG. Sabco offers a conversion kit for $100

 - If you haven't used Tri-clamps before, you'll need plenty of spare gaskets. They're bound to get dirty/dropped/etc. I like Teflon over rubber. You can probably find them cheaper on Amazon or another trade website than on the Sabco page.
@southhousebrew

Indianapolis, IN

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http://southhousepilotbrewery.blogspot.com/

Online AmandaK

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Re: Sabco Brew Magic Owners - Thoughts, Processes & Mods
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2013, 01:38:26 PM »
First off - I'd take a week off and just brew once or twice a day. Get 'er dialed in as-is before you start tweaking.

I won't be taking off work, but I also won't be modding it for at least the first six-nine months.

- I would like to see a whirlpool nozzle on the kettle.

Okay, I lied about not modding. At least in the small sense. I'm going to attach my Hop Stopper screen to the dip tube and see how that works. I have pellet hops only, so the false bottom won't work very well.

- I wasn't sure if I could mount more stuff to the frame: hop back, therminator ("Go Big or Go Home" is kind of the point here, right?).

I was gifted a MoreBeer convoluted counter flow chiller on the stand with pump and TCs, so that's covered. But as for frame mounting, I was planning on mounting at least one (if not two) GAC filters in series to the stand so I don't lose them.

- If its not going to move, you can hook it up to NG. Sabco offers a conversion kit for $100

The conversion kit also came included with the system, so I will likely do that once I get settled into the new house.

- If you haven't used Tri-clamps before, you'll need plenty of spare gaskets. They're bound to get dirty/dropped/etc. I like Teflon over rubber. You can probably find them cheaper on Amazon or another trade website than on the Sabco page.

Good point on Amazon. Those little 1/2" TC gaskets are way expensive from Sabco. Perhaps McMaster-Carr will sell them too?
Amanda Kertz
Kansas City Bier Meister
BJCP National

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Sabco Brew Magic Owners - Thoughts, Processes & Mods
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2013, 12:39:00 PM »
First off - I'd take a week off and just brew once or twice a day. Get 'er dialed in as-is before you start tweaking.

I won't be taking off work, but I also won't be modding it for at least the first six-nine months.

Guess I just always wanted to take a Brewcation.

McMaster has pretty good gasket prices:
http://www.mcmaster.com/#plastic-sanitary-tube-fitting-gaskets/=pd4t85

@southhousebrew

Indianapolis, IN

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http://southhousepilotbrewery.blogspot.com/

Offline garc_mall

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Re: Sabco Brew Magic Owners - Thoughts, Processes & Mods
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2013, 02:45:07 PM »
First off - I'd take a week off and just brew once or twice a day. Get 'er dialed in as-is before you start tweaking.

I won't be taking off work, but I also won't be modding it for at least the first six-nine months.

Guess I just always wanted to take a Brewcation.

McMaster has pretty good gasket prices:
http://www.mcmaster.com/#plastic-sanitary-tube-fitting-gaskets/=pd4t85

Off topic, but I am totally taking a 3-day weekend (floating holiday) to re-stock my beer freezer after I move into my new house. I am out of beer  :'(
In a Keg: Flanders Red Ale, Rye Altbier, Cascade/Topaz Pale
Fermenting: Flanders Red, Saison

Offline jeffy

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Re: Sabco Brew Magic Owners - Thoughts, Processes & Mods
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2013, 02:50:56 PM »
Back to the original question, I have a really old SABCO unit, which I have been using for several years.  Here are some observations:
I no longer use the electric heater element, preferring to heat the bottom of the mash tun with a low flame while recirculating instead. 
I added a second pump, mostly for a chiller. 
I had an angled fitting welded into the kettle for a whirlpool. 
I use the hot liquor tun for additional cooling as an ice bath with recirculation. 
I added polysulfone quick disconnects, but in hind sight would prefer cam locks.
I installed a switched outlet on the control box for the extra pump.
I want to add a sight glass on the mash tun to see how the sparge is progressing.  It came with one on the hot liquor tun, but I don't know why exactly.
The newer units are about 10 inches lower than my old one, which is nice.  I may cut the legs off one day.  It needs new wheels anyway.
I'm also thinking of adding a grant out of the boil kettle to filter out hops and trub.  My main bottle neck is the therminator clogging with debris.

So I guess this isn't really a SABCO any more.  Every year at NHC I talk to the SABCO guy about what I did to it and he laughs at me.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
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BJCP judge since 1995

Offline Pinski

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Re: Sabco Brew Magic Owners - Thoughts, Processes & Mods
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2013, 03:20:52 PM »
Congratulations on your purchase Amanda. I brew on a MoreBeer 2100 and love it. I also have the MB ChillZilla counterflow chiller.  You may find that adding another IC that you can place in a bucket of ice and run in series with the counterflow chiller will cool your wort much faster. 
Have fun!
Thank you BEER!

Online AmandaK

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Re: Sabco Brew Magic Owners - Thoughts, Processes & Mods
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2013, 01:48:15 PM »
I no longer use the electric heater element, preferring to heat the bottom of the mash tun with a low flame while recirculating instead.
Any particular reason? Just curious.
I installed a switched outlet on the control box for the extra pump.
I like this idea. I may steal it in the coming months.
The newer units are about 10 inches lower than my old one, which is nice.  I may cut the legs off one day.  It needs new wheels anyway.
My God, man! How tall is that thing?  :o Mine is about 5'+ tall and I need a small step ladder to use it. I couldn't imagine using it much higher.


I also have the MB ChillZilla counterflow chiller.  You may find that adding another IC that you can place in a bucket of ice and run in series with the counterflow chiller will cool your wort much faster. 

I am planning on doing this once late spring hits. I have two extra immersion chillers laying around and an extra pond pump, so it should work out better than my stove top, 5 gallon ghetto-system!   :)



Jeff and Pinski, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I'm sure I'll have more as I get back to brewing.
Amanda Kertz
Kansas City Bier Meister
BJCP National

Offline jeffy

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Re: Sabco Brew Magic Owners - Thoughts, Processes & Mods
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2013, 03:24:27 PM »
I no longer use the electric heater element, preferring to heat the bottom of the mash tun with a low flame while recirculating instead.
Any particular reason? Just curious.

I had to replace the element twice due to short circuits.  I find that low heat with a burner works just as well.  I also cut out the diverter plate above the burner under the mash tun.

I installed a switched outlet on the control box for the extra pump.
I like this idea. I may steal it in the coming months.
The newer units are about 10 inches lower than my old one, which is nice.  I may cut the legs off one day.  It needs new wheels anyway.
My God, man! How tall is that thing?  :o Mine is about 5'+ tall and I need a small step ladder to use it. I couldn't imagine using it much higher.

I'm 6'2" and have to stand on a tall step to see inside the mash tun.  Even higher to attach the outlet tube inside under the false bottom.  With pumps it doesn't need to be this high.


I also have the MB ChillZilla counterflow chiller.  You may find that adding another IC that you can place in a bucket of ice and run in series with the counterflow chiller will cool your wort much faster. 

I am planning on doing this once late spring hits. I have two extra immersion chillers laying around and an extra pond pump, so it should work out better than my stove top, 5 gallon ghetto-system!   :)



Jeff and Pinski, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I'm sure I'll have more as I get back to brewing.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline singletrack brewer

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Re: Sabco Brew Magic Owners - Thoughts, Processes & Mods
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2013, 05:52:49 AM »
You may also be able to find the triclamp gaskets you are looking for from Brewer's Hardware: http://www.brewershardware.com/Tri-Clover-Gaskets/
Chris
Brewer, Push Brewing Co

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Sabco Brew Magic Owners - Thoughts, Processes & Mods
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2013, 12:45:16 AM »
You may also be able to find the triclamp gaskets you are looking for from Brewer's Hardware: http://www.brewershardware.com/Tri-Clover-Gaskets/
Thanks for the link - best prices/shipping I've seen, and I was looking for another 6 ptfe gaskets.
Tom Schmidlin

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Re: Sabco Brew Magic Owners - Thoughts, Processes & Mods
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2013, 04:57:56 AM »
no worries, glad to help out fellow brewers.
Chris
Brewer, Push Brewing Co

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Re: Sabco Brew Magic Owners - Thoughts, Processes & Mods
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2013, 06:32:20 AM »
NICE!

First off - I'd take a week off and just brew once or twice a day. Get 'er dialed in as-is before you start tweaking.

I looked into the Sabco systems a bit, but decided to spend cash elsewhere. Here's what I thought:

 - Add a 15A breaker to main box; install outlet in convenient location out of splash range (if outside, use outdoor outlet/cover.

 - Make sure that outlet is properly grounded.

 - I would like to see a whirlpool nozzle on the kettle.

 - I wasn't sure if I could mount more stuff to the frame: hop back, therminator ("Go Big or Go Home" is kind of the point here, right?).

 - If its not going to move, you can hook it up to NG. Sabco offers a conversion kit for $100

 - If you haven't used Tri-clamps before, you'll need plenty of spare gaskets. They're bound to get dirty/dropped/etc. I like Teflon over rubber. You can probably find them cheaper on Amazon or another trade website than on the Sabco page.
I would strongly suggest said outlet be GFCI protected.

Online AmandaK

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Re: Sabco Brew Magic Owners - Thoughts, Processes & Mods
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2013, 12:58:55 PM »
Question about center kettle tube pick ups.

The dip tube in the Sabco comes from the spigot straight to the center of the boil kettle. It has a false bottom in it as well. From what I can tell, this would be great for leaf hops. I use pellets exclusively.

I'm thinking of smashing my Hop Stopper screen on the stock dip tube (and hoping it doesn't lose suction) because the first batch came out with a lot of break material even though I used a hop bag in the boil.

What have other people come for this? And do you have pictures?
Amanda Kertz
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Offline brewhome00

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Re: Sabco Brew Magic Owners - Thoughts, Processes & Mods
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2013, 04:34:41 PM »
I've tried a few things on my Sabco to reduce debris getting into the chiller and/or the primary.  If I'm using all leaf hops, I go with just the false bottom and a ball of stainless scrubbies around the dip tube but under the false bottom.  If I'm using pellets, I use the hop stopper attached to the dip tube without the false bottom.  It's a tight fit with the center kettle dip tube and it does get kind of mashed, but it works great and I haven't had any suction issues so far.