Author Topic: Picobrew Zymatic  (Read 2772 times)

Offline majorvices

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Picobrew Zymatic
« on: January 18, 2017, 10:09:49 PM »


I've been having a lot of fun playing with this. It is not without its drawback but it can do some very complex step mashes. If you are scared of HSA this is not the system for you although I have been looking at some mods to cut down on the splashing.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2017, 11:41:37 PM by majorvices »

Offline Stevie

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Re: Picobrew Zymatic
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2017, 10:12:15 PM »
Broken link.


A length of silicone tubing on the gas tube should work. Or just use a second beer tube.

Offline denny

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Re: Picobrew Zymatic
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2017, 10:13:27 PM »
You mean when the wort returns to the keg?  If you want to do any serious mods, talk to Annie or Jim at Picobrew first.  There are a lot of things that kinda "balance" each other.  For instance, extending the "in" tube to reduce splashing _MIGHT_ impact the pumping.  Don't know for sure, which is why I say run it by them.
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Offline denny

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Re: Picobrew Zymatic
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2017, 10:14:01 PM »
Broken link.


A length of silicone tubing on the gas tube should work. Or just use a second beer tube.

Or it might screw up the whole system  I dunno....
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline Stevie

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Re: Picobrew Zymatic
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2017, 10:16:22 PM »
If anything I would think the extra pull from the syphon would be beneficial on the hardware. It could maybe cause a stuck mash if it pulled too hard.

Offline denny

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Re: Picobrew Zymatic
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2017, 10:27:10 PM »
If anything I would think the extra pull from the syphon would be beneficial on the hardware. It could maybe cause a stuck mash if it pulled too hard.

Ya know, it seems logical, but there is SO much going on in that thing....
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline The Beerery

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Re: Picobrew Zymatic
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2017, 10:28:05 PM »


I've been having a lot of fun playing with this. It is not without its drawback but it can do some very complex step mashes. If you are scared of HSA this is not the system for you although I have been looking at some mods to cut down on the splashing.

Funny you mention this. What's her name was talking about how much faster her beers were staling when using the pico. 

Offline majorvices

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Re: Picobrew Zymatic
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2017, 11:42:05 PM »
Updated now with picture!

Offline majorvices

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Re: Picobrew Zymatic
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2017, 11:46:35 PM »


I've been having a lot of fun playing with this. It is not without its drawback but it can do some very complex step mashes. If you are scared of HSA this is not the system for you although I have been looking at some mods to cut down on the splashing.

Funny you mention this. What's her name was talking about how much faster her beers were staling when using the pico.

Not sure who "what's her name" is but for my application this won't be a problem. It gives me opportunities to do lots of testing without having to dedicate entire days to small batch brewing. Plus, we have a fun tasters club that meets once a month so this will be very beneficial.

I have been doing pilsner malt experiments over the last week so it will be fun to taste all these pilsner malts side by side.

Offline brewinhard

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Re: Picobrew Zymatic
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2017, 11:51:41 PM »


I've been having a lot of fun playing with this. It is not without its drawback but it can do some very complex step mashes. If you are scared of HSA this is not the system for you although I have been looking at some mods to cut down on the splashing.

Funny you mention this. What's her name was talking about how much faster her beers were staling when using the pico.


I have been doing pilsner malt experiments over the last week so it will be fun to taste all these pilsner malts side by side.

That sounds fun. Same basic hop additions?

Offline The Beerery

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Re: Picobrew Zymatic
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2017, 11:58:33 PM »


I've been having a lot of fun playing with this. It is not without its drawback but it can do some very complex step mashes. If you are scared of HSA this is not the system for you although I have been looking at some mods to cut down on the splashing.

Funny you mention this. What's her name was talking about how much faster her beers were staling when using the pico.

Not sure who "what's her name" is but for my application this won't be a problem. It gives me opportunities to do lots of testing without having to dedicate entire days to small batch brewing. Plus, we have a fun tasters club that meets once a month so this will be very beneficial.

I have been doing pilsner malt experiments over the last week so it will be fun to taste all these pilsner malts side by side.


My bad. It took a bit of searching but I found it.
Aww, I'm honored that I was missed.  :) I will be at NHC 2017 in MN. It's only a 6 hour drive from KC!

I "ordered" it from National Homebrew, but they didn't take any payment info. Rather strange. Anyway, I've reached out to my LHBS to see if I can get a giant thing of it for the club. If it's only on the Wyeast commercial side, I'll hit up a few pro-brewer friends to see if they can snag it. (Edit: it is only commercial - dang)

Denny - I'll hit up Annie. I may be crazy (and that's a huge possibility), but I believe that the stability of the beers I've brewed this year with the Z are pretty poor compared with the stability of the beers I've brewed on my other systems. I'm talking like Pilsners that hit all the numbers, taste great, and then 2 months later are crap. Just stale. Maybe it has something to do with 2.5g batches in 5g kegs, but I'm flushing the piss outta them with CO2. (And our bottled beers have the same issue.) I closed transfer. The recipes are all similar before and after the brewery switch. I'm even lowering my pH to the low 4's to help stability and they just go oxidized anyway. I'm at a loss. Surely it's not the brewery itself, but I can't think of anything else.

I have one beer that I've made EXACTLY the same on both systems - our BGSA that's in Denny's book. The one we brewed back in 2014 for the wedding on the Sabco shows less age than the same beer, brewed at the end of 2015 on the Zymatic. Same recipe. Both were bottled. Same numbers in every aspect of the beers. Only the brewery changed. I don't get it.

So anyway, Brewtan-B is my next step. And maybe building a low-O2 brewery out of the kettles and parts I have laying around.

Disclaimer: I'm the only one that notices the oxidation in my beers. Never gotten a scoresheet back that had it on there (but then again, I'm not entering the crappy ones! ha) so I may just be crazy. So YMMV.



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Offline majorvices

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Re: Picobrew Zymatic
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2017, 12:29:55 AM »


I've been having a lot of fun playing with this. It is not without its drawback but it can do some very complex step mashes. If you are scared of HSA this is not the system for you although I have been looking at some mods to cut down on the splashing.

Funny you mention this. What's her name was talking about how much faster her beers were staling when using the pico.


I have been doing pilsner malt experiments over the last week so it will be fun to taste all these pilsner malts side by side.

That sounds fun. Same basic hop additions?

You can do any hops additions you want. You design step mashes and hop additions to your wildest imagination. Then you can repeat it nearly exactly. Makes for great repeatable results. The experiments have been a lot of fun because I am able to dedicate time and methods I simply haven't had the time to do since I went commercial. Plus having everything right there with minimal set up makes it super convenient. It's not without its drawbacks but the pros are very much outweighing the cons.

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Re: Picobrew Zymatic
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2017, 12:32:25 AM »
Broken link.


A length of silicone tubing on the gas tube should work. Or just use a second beer tube.

Yeah I have been kicking the idea of a second dip tube around, but like Denny said the thing is designed to splash. I have a few other ideas of things I may try but right now I'm not monkeying with anything much. I did take out the poppets because I couldn't see why I would want that restriction and clogging.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Picobrew Zymatic
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2017, 12:34:24 AM »

Denny - I'll hit up Annie. I may be crazy (and that's a huge possibility), but I believe that the stability of the beers I've brewed this year with the Z are pretty poor compared with the stability of the beers I've brewed on my other systems. I'm talking like Pilsners that hit all the numbers, taste great, and then 2 months later are crap. Just stale. Maybe it has something to do with 2.5g batches in 5g kegs, but I'm flushing the piss outta them with CO2. (And our bottled beers have the same issue.) I closed transfer. The recipes are all similar before and after the brewery switch. I'm even lowering my pH to the low 4's to help stability and they just go oxidized anyway. I'm at a loss. Surely it's not the brewery itself, but I can't think of anything else.


Thanks for finding the link. I will be at the luxury of not having these around longer than a few weeks..

Offline denny

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Re: Picobrew Zymatic
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2017, 05:02:09 PM »

Denny - I'll hit up Annie. I may be crazy (and that's a huge possibility), but I believe that the stability of the beers I've brewed this year with the Z are pretty poor compared with the stability of the beers I've brewed on my other systems. I'm talking like Pilsners that hit all the numbers, taste great, and then 2 months later are crap. Just stale. Maybe it has something to do with 2.5g batches in 5g kegs, but I'm flushing the piss outta them with CO2. (And our bottled beers have the same issue.) I closed transfer. The recipes are all similar before and after the brewery switch. I'm even lowering my pH to the low 4's to help stability and they just go oxidized anyway. I'm at a loss. Surely it's not the brewery itself, but I can't think of anything else.


Thanks for finding the link. I will be at the luxury of not having these around longer than a few weeks..

You have a much newer machine.  They've made some design revisions since then.  And I think it's also fair to point out that Amanda's situation is the first one I've heard of.  Nearly every report of beer made in the Z is that it turns out great.  I know mine does.  A beer made on the Z took home NHC gold with a score of 45.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2017, 05:07:37 PM by denny »
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell