Author Topic: Looking for automated brewery  (Read 2078 times)

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 22315
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: Looking for automated brewery
« Reply #45 on: April 05, 2019, 02:42:33 PM »
Denny, I believe your comment has to come with the caveat that most likely the company gave you a unit to test.  I would find it very interesting if you paid, waited, and brew with it as an independent consumer.  If so, your experience means more. If not, it’s an endorsement by a celebrity spokesperson which should be disclosed.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

I was sent a unit to beta test so they could get my comments.  I do not own it.  I assure you that I've been letti v the company know both the pluses and minuses.  I hope you are not implying that colors my objectivity.
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

Offline cubsfan16

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 8
Looking for automated brewery
« Reply #46 on: April 05, 2019, 05:51:30 PM »
I canceled my Z1 order around a year after my preorder.  I had a Zymatic I was planning on replacing.  I ended up buying the Brewie + and just recently sold the Zymatic.  I also have a eBIAB system which I do 75% of my brewing on but like using the Zymatic or Brewie for those days I don’t have time to devote to brewing.  I have been happy with both companies responses to my questions....usually 1-2 days.  Brewie has made some significant strides recently in CS and quality.   They appear to have a larger user base in Europe as they are based there.  I’m only 5 batches in on the Brewie but have had no problems so far.  I brewed probably 75 batches or so on my Zymatic....I had to send it back to Picobrew once for pump replacement, which was all covered under warranty...also went through 4 step filters due to cracking....also covered.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2019, 06:06:11 PM by cubsfan16 »

Offline BrewBama

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3462
Re: Looking for automated brewery
« Reply #47 on: April 05, 2019, 06:00:13 PM »
I am not questioning your integrity — if you say it does what it does I have no reason to doubt you.
“From man’s sweat and God’s love, beer came into the world.” — St. Arnold

Brewed in the Tennessee Valley. Rocket City — Huntsville AL

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 22315
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: Looking for automated brewery
« Reply #48 on: April 05, 2019, 06:17:43 PM »
I am not questioning your integrity — if you say it does what it does I have no reason to doubt you.

I truly appreciate that.
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

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 22315
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: Looking for automated brewery
« Reply #49 on: April 05, 2019, 06:21:32 PM »
I canceled my Z1 order around a year after my preorder.  I had a Zymatic I was planning on replacing.  I ended up buying the Brewie + and just recently sold the Zymatic.  I also have a eBIAB system which I do 75% of my brewing on but like using the Zymatic or Brewie for those days I don’t have time to devote to brewing.  I have been happy with both companies responses to my questions....usually 1-2 days.  Brewie has made some significant strides recently in CS and quality.   They appear to have a larger user base in Europe as they are based there.  I’m only 5 batches in on the Brewie but have had no problems so far.  I brewed probably 75 batches or so on my Zymatic....I had to send it back to Picobrew once for pump replacement, which was all covered under warranty...also went through 4 step filters due to cracking....also covered.

I have a friend here who owns a homebrew shop and uses a Brewie.  He tell me that it's great when it works, but in a year he's only been able to use it 3-4 times due to hardware/software issues. Seems like every time I see him he's waiting for parts.  FWIW, the Z uses totally different pumps and heaters than the Zymatic and is supposedly much more reliable. I have found the Z to be faster and quieter than the Zymatic, and the internet connectivity is much better.  Looking forward to brewing more on it to form a more informed opinion.
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

Offline cubsfan16

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 8
Looking for automated brewery
« Reply #50 on: April 05, 2019, 11:55:55 PM »
I canceled my Z1 order around a year after my preorder.  I had a Zymatic I was planning on replacing.  I ended up buying the Brewie + and just recently sold the Zymatic.  I also have a eBIAB system which I do 75% of my brewing on but like using the Zymatic or Brewie for those days I don’t have time to devote to brewing.  I have been happy with both companies responses to my questions....usually 1-2 days.  Brewie has made some significant strides recently in CS and quality.   They appear to have a larger user base in Europe as they are based there.  I’m only 5 batches in on the Brewie but have had no problems so far.  I brewed probably 75 batches or so on my Zymatic....I had to send it back to Picobrew once for pump replacement, which was all covered under warranty...also went through 4 step filters due to cracking....also covered.

I have a friend here who owns a homebrew shop and uses a Brewie.  He tell me that it's great when it works, but in a year he's only been able to use it 3-4 times due to hardware/software issues. Seems like every time I see him he's waiting for parts.  FWIW, the Z uses totally different pumps and heaters than the Zymatic and is supposedly much more reliable. I have found the Z to be faster and quieter than the Zymatic, and the internet connectivity is much better.  Looking forward to brewing more on it to form a more informed opinion.


Fortunately I haven’t had any issues with my Brewie.  They certainly had some early challenges but seem to be righting the ship.  I am happy that both PicoBrew and Brewie have  introduced products that have provided opportunities for people to brew who otherwise may not have been able......and for people like me that enjoy trying new things, that for me, make this hobby fun.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2019, 01:54:30 AM by cubsfan16 »

Offline MerlinBrewer

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Re: Looking for automated brewery
« Reply #51 on: April 09, 2019, 01:59:46 AM »
Just looked at that Fareo unit on their website.   It is far less automated than the Z.  Not really automated at all.  You have to put in the grain bag, manually stir in the grain with a spoon, scoop out the grain after mashing, manually add hops and any additional ingredients during the boil when you want... add the yeast and pop on an airlock after cooling... prime and bottle with a hose at the end of fermentation... in other words, it's a very expensive, giant thing that needs to be permanently connected to your plumbing and electrical systems, and does exactly what a cheap pot and a plastic bucket will do.  (Make really oxidized beer.) And they're apparently still looking for sufficient interest to put it into production.   I haven't the foggiest idea what the appeal of an automated system is, but this really has me scratching my head.  If you really have money just burning a hole in your pocket,  please send me some.
Yes, I see it. But, look at the specs. The fermentation range starts from 46F. I can make ferment lagers, easily. Plus cold crash mode.
Could you please explain, why the beer will be oxidized?
Oxidation because there is apparently no way to separate trub before fermentation,  and because you will be bottling just as you would with a bucket.  Some day there will probably be a system that ferments, carbonates, and packages all in a closed system.   If it separated trub, you could have very fresh beer.

Yes it is temperature controlled.  But you then have to wait for a batch to be bottled before brewing the next, since it's all in one piece of equipment.   For a lot less money, you could get a system (automated or not) to produce your wort, and also multiple,  temperature controlled fermenters, or a temperature controlled fermentation chamber.
Hmm. What about this?
"The results from the latest Basic Brewing Radio/BYO experiment on trub in the fermenter were interesting.  Most brewers appear to get clearer beer when they allowed the trub to go into the fermenter!
I participated and didn't get that result from my split batch with and without the trub, but my two beers were virtually indistinguishable.  I don't think I'll ever worry about dumping the trub into the fermenter again."
Source: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=11540.0

Offline BrewBama

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3462
Re: Looking for automated brewery
« Reply #52 on: April 09, 2019, 12:39:14 PM »
Hmm. What about this?
"The results from the latest Basic Brewing Radio/BYO experiment on trub in the fermenter were interesting.  Most brewers appear to get clearer beer when they allowed the trub to go into the fermenter!
I participated and didn't get that result from my split batch with and without the trub, but my two beers were virtually indistinguishable.  I don't think I'll ever worry about dumping the trub into the fermenter again."
Source: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=11540.0

There are numerous sources pro and con concerning trub in the fermenter. Many homebrewers aren’t concerned and dump everything in. Others want cleaner wort in their fermenter for various reasons. Fix, Kunze, citizen scientists (like your citation), et all.

I want clear wort in my fermenter. I have begun to recover my yeast so want to be left with almost pure yeast with no trub. I also believe I get many other benefits from transferring clean wort into the fermenter. Some disagree.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
“From man’s sweat and God’s love, beer came into the world.” — St. Arnold

Brewed in the Tennessee Valley. Rocket City — Huntsville AL

Offline Robert

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4213
Re: Looking for automated brewery
« Reply #53 on: April 09, 2019, 01:34:11 PM »
There are many distinctions to be made.  For the most part, removal at the least of all of the hot break is necessary to avoid difficulties in clarification, decreased foam stability, and rapid staling of the beer, while cold break removal may be less critical.   But in some cases a limited exception may occur; for example, with a weak yeast crop or inadequate oxygenation,  a small amount of hot break carried over may provide nutrients that improve yeast health and its ability, downstream, to bind proteins, resulting in clearer beer with better foam.  However, the same trub carryover can in fact lead to these very deficiencies in the yeast.  These are just a couple of illustrative examples. Many complicated factors must be considered together. (Hence I think many of those homebrew experiments comparing "all or nothing" are invalid, because they don't take enough variables into account.)  The same brewer may, in different circumstances, choose to alter his process.  She may choose to separate all the break after chilling, separate the hot break but carry over cold break, something in between, or not worry at all and let things sort themselves out.  And so on. 

But to the point:

What bothers me is this:  As a brewer, I want to make my own decisions and control my processes for sound reasons, addressing conditions I am confronted with and goals I set, founding my decisions on solid understanding  of brewing science and technology.  I don't want my choices to be limited or dictated by the inflexible design of a piece of equipment,  whose designers seem not to have taken any of these issues into account,  or possibly even have been remotely aware of them. 

[Note that it's not just about trub.  This applies to every element of your process from grain to glass.]

Consider this before investing in any monolithic, fixed brewing system.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2019, 02:08:53 PM by Robert »
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline hike20

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 52
Re: Looking for automated brewery
« Reply #54 on: April 09, 2019, 07:17:39 PM »
Denny, I believe your comment has to come with the caveat that most likely the company gave you a unit to test.  I would find it very interesting if you paid, waited, and brew with it as an independent consumer.  If so, your experience means more. If not, it’s an endorsement by a celebrity spokesperson which should be disclosed.

I'm a Zymatic owner that paid and waited for a Z1 machine. I've run 3 batches so far and am quite happy with the improvements that have been made. I enjoyed using the Zymatic for 3 years and 60+ batches. The new Z is a big enough improvement for me to make it worth the expense and wait.

And I honestly don't get the people who think they are losing some essential part of brewing by using a machine like this. It produces wort in a very similar way to the HERMS system I previously used. The ingredients and recipe you create still matters as much as anything. You still have to ferment and everything else. For me it provides more predictable control and I'm free to work on other tasks while it's running. But whatever, it's just another tool. Every brewing system/method has pros and cons. The person running it matters far more than the equipment.

At the end of the day, the Zymatic and now the Z have kept me brewing where I was previously losing interest. I make beers that I like, others seem to like, and even win a few medals in competitions. I don't feel I've lost anything or given up control of my brewing in any way. It's still very much a labor of love.

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 22315
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: Looking for automated brewery
« Reply #55 on: April 09, 2019, 07:59:48 PM »
Denny, I believe your comment has to come with the caveat that most likely the company gave you a unit to test.  I would find it very interesting if you paid, waited, and brew with it as an independent consumer.  If so, your experience means more. If not, it’s an endorsement by a celebrity spokesperson which should be disclosed.

I'm a Zymatic owner that paid and waited for a Z1 machine. I've run 3 batches so far and am quite happy with the improvements that have been made. I enjoyed using the Zymatic for 3 years and 60+ batches. The new Z is a big enough improvement for me to make it worth the expense and wait.

And I honestly don't get the people who think they are losing some essential part of brewing by using a machine like this. It produces wort in a very similar way to the HERMS system I previously used. The ingredients and recipe you create still matters as much as anything. You still have to ferment and everything else. For me it provides more predictable control and I'm free to work on other tasks while it's running. But whatever, it's just another tool. Every brewing system/method has pros and cons. The person running it matters far more than the equipment.

At the end of the day, the Zymatic and now the Z have kept me brewing where I was previously losing interest. I make beers that I like, others seem to like, and even win a few medals in competitions. I don't feel I've lost anything or given up control of my brewing in any way. It's still very much a labor of love.

Well said.
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

Offline BrewBama

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3462
Looking for automated brewery
« Reply #56 on: April 09, 2019, 08:49:13 PM »

Well said.

I agree


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 12:57:53 AM by BrewBama »
“From man’s sweat and God’s love, beer came into the world.” — St. Arnold

Brewed in the Tennessee Valley. Rocket City — Huntsville AL