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New Robobrew owner

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1 month 3 weeks ago #2764 by Brodiep
Brodiep created the topic: New Robobrew owner
Hi all, I have started home brewing again after a long time away for mainly work reasons. I have had the Robobrew for about 4 months and have done 5 brews, I started with 4 Porters of different recipes and my last brew (5) was a Pilsner, all of which turned out reasonably well. I originally did all grain many years ago but during that time I was doing brew in a bag it was not known as that so that may give you some indication of my age.
I love the Robobrew and hope to really get into using it on a regular basis and improving my knowledge of it and skill with it, I have watched all the videos and used them to get the 5 brews done with out many issues, one of the reasons I became a member of this forum.

I do have a general question and that is what do you all think about the grain loading of the Robobrew system, to get the best results I mean. I don't usually brew anything stronger that 5.5 to 6% but have had some stuck mashes at the loading above 6 kgs. I would be very interested in any information about the grain loading.
To improve the system I have changed my mill settings, tried 52 Enzymes, added Rice Husks and reduced the malt loading, as well as using Whirlflock tablets, not all at once. I have modified the equipment to reduce the overheating of the system on long boils in the Queensland climate. Even though my results have been good I would really like to get a better result and enjoy a very drinkable beer.
Regards
Paul

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1 month 3 weeks ago - 1 month 3 weeks ago #2765 by Gash
Gash replied the topic: New Robobrew owner
G'day mate, personally I've never gone above 6kg, not for any other reason except I don't brew big beers, most of mine are 5% and under. I have brewed a 10% but it was a 15L batch with a 2 hour boil, big imperial stout.

Rice hulls can help, but you've tried those.

I stir, I don't put the top screen on so I can stir when ever i want. So I usually stir in at the start, I then stir again once or twice every 5 mins if the water starts building up on top. After that it usually settles down and flows nicely. For mash out I don't like to wait so I boil one litre of water in the kitchen kettle and add that and stir again, you dont need to go right down to the screen, just sort of halfway. It brings it up to mash out within a few minutes and then let it recirc for 5-10mins if it needs it to clear, but if you haven't gone right down to the bottom it might be clear still. I then find the sparge goes easy.

Or alternatively brew as usual, and then when you pull the basket, take the top screen off and just break up the grain bed a bit, again maybe halfway down.

You could also try a more traditional crush, sometimes we all crush too fine these days, might lose a poit or two of eff% but thats nothing to worry about.

I'm actually going to mod my top screen. I think I'll drill some holes in the tabs on the top screen and make a handle for it, so if things get stuck I can pull off the top the screen easily, but truth be told I've hardly used the top screen or the overflow tube.

Also consider using sugars for big beers. Only takes 300g of sugar to add 5 points to a beer. You wont taste anything, can use belgian candy sugars, dex, table sugar or many things. Most breweries do, it's one of the first brewing myths they smash when you go to brew school that sugars add off flavours.

I could keep going on, it took me maybe 6 or 7 brews to get my head around things on the original robobrew, get my levels right and numbers right etc and I was brewing AG for years right up to getting mine. Thought I'd just switch straight over, but no I had teething problems lol.. These days all good I get the same mash eff% as I do in my 3V, total brewhouse eff% is up with the robobrew due to less losses compared to the process of moving wort around 3 vessels.

Besides stuck mashes, whats the issues with your beers that you aren't quite happy with?

Cheers!
Last Edit: 1 month 3 weeks ago by Gash.
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1 month 3 weeks ago #2767 by Brodiep
Brodiep replied the topic: New Robobrew owner
Thanks for the info Gash,
My main issue with the beers is head retention, the flavour of all the brews I have done to date has been very good and the head of the beer on pouring has been good but it does drop away very quickly. The last brew, the Pilsner, looks like it will be good but none of my brews had any off flavours and I have some very picky friends. These days everyone thinks they are a beer buff.
I will try my next brew with about 5.5kg of grain and see if things work better.
Thanks for the info.
Paul

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1 month 3 weeks ago #2769 by Gash
Gash replied the topic: New Robobrew owner
There can be a few reasons for head issues, usually soap in your beer glasses etc. Big beers can have trouble with head, but one place that is a big issue that people don't usually mention is the ferment, how are your ferments? Yeast that struggles or gets too hot during the ferment.

Here's an exert from BYO magazine.
"I think that most headless homebrews result from beers with too many “head killers” in them. Specifically, I’m thinking of some of the foam killing molecules — such as higher alcohols (or “fusel oils”) — that result from fermentation temperatures that are too high or worts that are underpitched. In most cases, I believe there are enough foam positive elements in the beer, but these are negated by fermentation byproducts that kill foam. (Note that Belgian yeasts and German wheat yeasts both reputedly produce lower levels of fusel oils than normal brewers yeast strains, especially at higher fermentation temperatures.)

In addition, when yeast are stressed during fermentation, they secrete proteases in larger amounts than unstressed yeast do. Stress may result from underpitching, underaeration or high-gravity fermentation. The resulting protease activity may decrease the amount of beer foam in the resulting beer."

Cheers mate

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1 month 3 weeks ago #2770 by Finnroo
Finnroo replied the topic: New Robobrew owner
Im sure all the above is correct, however don t over think it. In my experience higher alcohol beers take alot long to retain head retention. Im talking 6 to 7 % after say 2 months and a nice stable foamy head. I dont know why but that is what ive found.
Also, and Gash is going to have my guts for garters here, but use raw sugar.
Head retention is important for me and this is what ive found. Higher % beer ,raw sugar and time. Give it a go. All the best. cheers

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1 month 3 weeks ago #2771 by Brodiep
Brodiep replied the topic: New Robobrew owner
I have noticed that the one beer that had reasonable head retention did have some brown sugar in it so you may be on to something but I don't like to use sugar, I only did it as a test, always have to keep an eye on my blood sugars.

Thanks
Cheers

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1 month 3 weeks ago #2772 by Gash
Gash replied the topic: New Robobrew owner
hahaha Finroo , nah mate I'm good with sugars, no issue at all.

Brodiep Most sugars will totally be converted to alcohol, leaving nothing behind, your blood sugars would suffer more from the longer sugar chains, the unfermentables, that grain and dry/liquid malts leave behind I would think, though I'm no doctor hahaha but most beers they say are safer to drink with less carbs and for diabetes are the ones they ferment right out, simple sugars. Like Bighead and the very low alc% beers.

I wonder how your raw sugar makes a difference Finroo.. hmmm it could be the ferment going a bit better because of the simple sugars. I'll post a few articles.
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1 month 3 weeks ago #2773 by Gash
Gash replied the topic: New Robobrew owner

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1 month 3 weeks ago #2774 by Gash
Gash replied the topic: New Robobrew owner

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1 month 3 weeks ago #2775 by Finnroo
Finnroo replied the topic: New Robobrew owner
Its an interesting topic and I think it was summed up nicely at the end of one artical saying
Good foam seems to follow good general brewing practices. There is no silver bullet to getting good foam, so focus on making good beer and the foam should come naturally.
However.
If you can leave your beer for a couple more weeks in the fridge and see how that goes. Good luck.
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Drunken Ramblings

Gash's Avatar Gash - Fri 8 Dec - 16:05

Sounds like it went well mate, cheers!

Finnroo's Avatar Finnroo - Fri 8 Dec - 14:23

brew day done, 4.30 pmvery hot here in christchurch over 30degCmanaged to get wort down to 23degC before pitching my washed yeast. Scottish ale OG 1058, Im very happy with that. Cheers all an awesome brew day.

Finnroo's Avatar Finnroo - Fri 8 Dec - 09:16

Its finally brew day, Mash is just finishing and going well. Out there brewing it. Cheers :P

Finnroo's Avatar Finnroo - Wed 22 Nov - 16:24

David Cassidy Dead. Another rock icon gone.He was part of thye 70s glam promo thing with a tv show the partridge family. When the Sweet , Slade, T rex and Bowie were doing there thing some were pushed into the money making scams.RIP David. Ledgend :D

Gash's Avatar Gash - Sun 19 Nov - 23:30

dark day indeed!

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