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Keg King ROBOBREW 35L SINGLE VESSEL BREWERY

Aussie Home Brewer

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Bob_Loblaw

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For those that don't have the newer Robo's with volume etchings on the inside, what are you using for water measurements?

I made a crude measuring stick with 1L increments before my first brew but I fear that it may be inaccurate as I ended up with about 1.5L too much wort yesterday and undershot gravity by 11pts. My efficiency numbers from yesterday are included below:


Conversion: 66.4%


Pre-Boil: 84%


Ending Kettle: 64%


Brew House: 54%

As you can see I appear to be getting decent numbers out of my mash, but I can't quite wrap my head around where the extra water would be (too much sparge water, less lost to evaporation in the boil, too much in the mash, less lost to grain absorption etc) and whether that should affect OG.

Expected Volume - 20L
Volume in Fermenter - 21L
Volume left in Kettle - ~4L - note that this is not the volume of dead space as I turned off the tap once I noticed I some trub starting to come out and then noticed I already had 21L in the Fermenter.

I'm using the water calculations below:

Expected Volume - 20L
Dead space - 3.5L
Boil Off - 3.5L
Grain Absorption (1L/kg) - 5.63L

Mash Volume - 20L
Sparge Volume - 12.63L

Lately I have been placing the malt pipe (still with sparged grain in it) in the left over sparge pot while boiling and periodically pouring left over runnings from the grain back into the kettle to help with efficiency. I can see how this will give me a little more wort, but not a drastic undershoot of gravity - if anything it should be improving my efficiency.

It makes sense to me that I could be measuring out too much sparge water. Does that correlate to the numbers above?

Cheers in advance.
 

JayP

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Hi. New Perth member here. I am also interested to see the response to this Bob. Your expected volumes are consistent with the Gash Slugg Robobrew Water calculations video.

Overall are people happy with their purchase ? How many have ended up adding a pump ?
 

Bob_Loblaw

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JayP said:
Hi. New Perth member here. I am also interested to see the response to this Bob. Your expected volumes are consistent with the Gash Slugg Robobrew Water calculations video.

Overall are people happy with their purchase ? How many have ended up adding a pump ?
I suspect it's my sparge water measurements that are out - just trying to confirm if this would be the absolute reason for missing OG.

I am very happy with the purchase. I have a recirc pump too and given the low cost I believe it is a must have item.
 

Dredd

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Here is my experience

Prior to initial use I styled a cover from a reflective mat from Daiso and a Yoga mat from Target held in place with luggage and freight straps which held very well. Daiso also sell non-scratch toilet brushes which I find great for cleaning kegs/fermenters etc.

Setup was very straightforward, After cleaning the kit for first use, I heated up 15l of sparge water for later use and proceeded to heat up my mash water.

I measured the dead space and found that there is 1.65l between the base and the spout and started by filling the chamber up to the 20l mark with a strike temp of 71.

Grain addition was straightforward, the temp was reset to 65, but found the temp in the mash was between 63 and 64. I found the mash was quite loose and while it was in the mash stage, I found a few articles showing that while this is not a problem, a longer mash may produce a better result, so I mashed for 1.5 hours. I heated the system up to 75 for the mash out (If anyone can answer - does the grain bed need to get to 75? or just the wort?)

Sparging was straightforward. The pre-heated water was up to 75 degrees after a minute on the stove and sparged up to 27l for the boil.

Another lager article I read recommended a boil time of 90 minutes to reduce Dimethyl Sulfide impacts (beersmith.com/blog/2012/04/10/dimethyl-s...in-home-brewed-beer/) so went for 90 minutes boil with a few grams of Saaz added to minimise boil over.

The boil was straightforward and went with a 50g @60min, 25 @ 30min and the balance in the last 10 minutes. Worfloc added with 20 minutes to go.

The much derided Robobrew immersion chiller did a very good job. I connected this up to my spa which is not in use, so recirculating the water with a submersible pump got the wort down to pitch temp of 15 degrees in about 25-30 minutes, possibly sooner since I broke my probe thermometer during the boil stage.

At the end, I produced about 18l of Wort with an OG of 1.054. Probably higher than I was aiming at, I did consider adding a bit more water to hit 1.048, but decided to suck it and see. The wort tasted great, so it is a promising sign, I went with S23 yeast and activated it during the chill stage. If is already bubbling slowly in the fermenter 12 hours on which is again what I was aiming for.

So my estimate of efficiency is around 67% which isn't bad for a first effort.

So my final takeaways from the Robobrew

- At 1/3 the price of a Grainfather and 1/5 the Braumeister, it is a good toe in the water for those that want to go from extract to mash
- The unit is remarkably small and compact
- The niggles that other have pointed to such as the stand for sparging and the chiller are not as bad as what they make out, I coped with both fine
- The sensor doesn't seem to deal with low range temperatures too well. But I will look in to this later once I have a new probe thermometer.
- Emptying the hop spider made me question the effectiveness of extracting maximum from the hops. The colour was mostly uniform with pockets of lighter and darker colour.
 

Adam Howard

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pat_00 said:
Just did my first beer big beer in my RB over the weekend.

An imperial stout which was supposed to come out at 1.096 OG, but only hit 1.090.

I had to split the mash as I couldn't fit the 10kg of grain in the malt pipe, I think this is where I lost some efficiency as I could only sparge the second mash. Any tips for beers like this? I see myself making a few really strong beers over winter.
Perhaps mash as big as you can and goose up with a portion of extract/sugar. People may turn their nose up at the idea but it's endorsed by people like Jamil Zainasheff and Tasty McDole. On a big 1.080+ beer you're not going to notice a 10% addition of extract.
 

Siborg

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Apologies if its already been mentioned, but has anyone had an issue with kettle caramalisation leading to perceived diacetyl? I've entered my last few batches in a few comps, and they've all been slammed for diacetly, despite me doing a D rest at the end of each fermentation, and going from springling in dry, to rehydrating one packet, to using 2 (rehydrated) packets. All have been fresh packets of US05 bought from my LHBS.

It's been a while, but I think I've been running both elements to get a really vigorous boil, I might turn one off when it starts foaming, but fire them both back up once that calms down. During cleanup, there's usually a bit of wort scorched onto the bottom, but nothing I'd call excessive - maybe 1/5th of the bottom circle covered. I'm thinking that running both elements full blast is contributing a caramel-like flavour, which the judges are perceiving as diacetyl.
 

Bob_Loblaw

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Siborg said:
Apologies if its already been mentioned, but has anyone had an issue with kettle caramalisation leading to perceived diacetyl? I've entered my last few batches in a few comps, and they've all been slammed for diacetly, despite me doing a D rest at the end of each fermentation, and going from springling in dry, to rehydrating one packet, to using 2 (rehydrated) packets. All have been fresh packets of US05 bought from my LHBS.

It's been a while, but I think I've been running both elements to get a really vigorous boil, I might turn one off when it starts foaming, but fire them both back up once that calms down. During cleanup, there's usually a bit of wort scorched onto the bottom, but nothing I'd call excessive - maybe 1/5th of the bottom circle covered. I'm thinking that running both elements full blast is contributing a caramel-like flavour, which the judges are perceiving as diacetyl.
I've definitely noticed a bit of scorched grain dust on the elements when cleaning up. I can't say I've detected any caramel flavours in my brews though.

Efficiency and water volumes are still taking up the majority of my energy at the moment sadly.
 

pat_00

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Me neither, my most recent brew was a really dry pale ale which had a bit of crud on the element afterwards.
 

peekaboo_jones

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Bob_Loblaw said:
Efficiency and water volumes are still taking up the majority of my energy at the moment sadly.
Hi Bob, I've been researching the Robobrew recently and came across this helpful video for water and wort calculations from Gash on YouTube

I believe he's made a decent Beersmith profile for the Robobrew too, might be able to find it on his cellardweller forum?

I'm thinking the Robobrew is the right bit of gear for me to make the switch from kits and bits.
At this stage I'm not interested in a 3 vessel system, also can't spend all day doing a brew.

I was looking into an urn but, meh this one has a nice temp controller for mashing and heating, plus 2 heat elements, chiller and B malt pipe.

Robobrew ticks all the boxes for me!
 
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Ghizo

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Peekaboo_jones
Love my robo brew, brew day is 4.5 hours (using hot water to start).
I usually have 28-29 litres in the boil.
Mash in with 20 l and 13l sparge. Gets around 23 litres in the fermenter.
Lifting the malt pipe and sliding the stand under is a bit of juggle, not difficult but could have been designed better.
I use a hop spider bit wonder if a hop sock would be better, there is no boiling inside the spider, not sure if this is an issue
 

peekaboo_jones

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Just ordered a Robobrew for $405 from Grain and Grape in Melbourne. They have a sale on now 10-20% off most items.
My beer brewing journey is going to the next level and looking forward to it!
 

SBOB

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grain of salt, but this was just posted on the aussie home brewer facebook page

"So I popped into Keg King today and had a really good chat to one of the bosses, we can expect to see a 35L and 65L robobrew in the next couple of months plus late 2017 is going to be another evolution in the Robobrew and the whole range with wireless wifi control for the kegerator, heat vessle and robobrew all very exciting"

Will be interesting to see what they come up with..
 

hopnotic

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I was speaking to the guys at KK yesterday and they also mentioned to hold off on the Robobrew/GF purchase as the wireless app and hardware upgrades will be released in a few months. So they're obviously trying very hard to keep up with the GF upgrades that are around the corner, which is good news for us.
 

peekaboo_jones

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hopnotic said:
I was speaking to the guys at KK yesterday and they also mentioned to hold off on the Robobrew/GF purchase as the wireless app and hardware upgrades will be released in a few months. So they're obviously trying very hard to keep up with the GF upgrades that are around the corner, which is good news for us.
That's cool, looking forward to seeing what they bring out.

I was going to hold off but I bought one last month anyway. I'm happy so far, with a bit of forward planning I can get it setup, switch it on to heat the water up to mash and do other jobs around the house at the same time. Same goes with the boil, but having said that I always like to keep an eye on it rather than set & forget.

I'd also guess that new hardware and wireless Robobrew will have a higher price tag than RRP of $449 too.
I picked mine up on a fathers day sale for $400
 

bingggo

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The robobrew instructions say put the grain in the pipe, then put the pipe in the robobrew. Is that the best way, or is it better to put the empty pipe in the water and then slowly rain in the grain?

Cheers.
 

cliffo

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I fill the Robobrew with required water, put the grain pipe in and then pour in the grain.

Works fine.
 

TwoCrows

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Bingggo it depends on how you prepare your mash water.

Are you pre heating your water in the robobrew ? Or using a hlt to strike your mash in temp?
 

Bribie G

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Siborg said:
Apologies if its already been mentioned, but has anyone had an issue with kettle caramalisation leading to perceived diacetyl? I've entered my last few batches in a few comps, and they've all been slammed for diacetly, despite me doing a D rest at the end of each fermentation, and going from springling in dry, to rehydrating one packet, to using 2 (rehydrated) packets. All have been fresh packets of US05 bought from my LHBS.

It's been a while, but I think I've been running both elements to get a really vigorous boil, I might turn one off when it starts foaming, but fire them both back up once that calms down. During cleanup, there's usually a bit of wort scorched onto the bottom, but nothing I'd call excessive - maybe 1/5th of the bottom circle covered. I'm thinking that running both elements full blast is contributing a caramel-like flavour, which the judges are perceiving as diacetyl.
If they can't tell the difference between diacetyl and caramel they shouldn't be putting themselves up for judging. Really.

On the main topic, I may have posted earlier but can't be bothered scrolling through n pages. Is it possible to buy the system without the immersion chiller (my urn in 6 years old, and I'm pondering the idea of doing a switch before it finally goes to where all the good urns go, at least keeping the elderly urn for the sparge liquor).
 
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