Brewzilla 65 for distillation

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Brewzilla 65 for distillation

Postby Elgeezie » Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:36 pm

Hi, I recently purchased a brewzilla 65l all in one brewer. I know these are designed for beer but I like the idea of having the false bottom and malt pipe as I don't intend on fermenting on the grain. (also it will be handy to make beer obviously.
I completed my first ever brew the other day using pale ale malt and 2 kg of light DME. Did a 50 litre batch and hit a gravity of 1.062. Pretty happy with myself.

It's now fermenting on lowans yeast and bubbling like a spa bath. It's better than porn.

Spose I should get to my question.
I purchased also the alcotec distillation lid to suit the 65l brewer. A weld less 2inch triclover to fit the lid to build my still on top of. I am awaiting a modular still to arrive which I can run as a pot or a reflux.

I'm worried that without being able to control the voltage to the elements in the 65 it may be useless for distillation, it has auto mode where you can set it to change temp and hold temp for certain times and certain temperatures. It also has a manual mode that let's me set a temp and hold it. Will this be sufficient? Do I just set that bad boy to boil and crank up the condenser? It also has 3 element switches, a 2000w, a 500w, and a 1000w. I can have any one going on its own, or two at a time or all three.

Ps this forum has helped me get this far so thanks all. And thanks in advance for any replies.
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Re: Brewzilla 65 for distillation

Postby The Stig » Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:54 pm

What kind of column ?
The lids are really thin and even a 2” will “wobble” around , 1 bloke I know ended up having a few braces welded into the lid to stop the T500 from swaying
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Re: Brewzilla 65 for distillation

Postby Elgeezie » Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:33 pm

Pot still: 2" copper pipe 20 inches long, into a couple of right angles into a shotgun condenser.

Reflux still: same as pot still but from 2" to 3" reducer with up to four bubble tees, 3" dephlagmator then back to 2" then the right angles... Shotgun condenser etc.

Was afraid it might be too heavy. I think the pot set up should be fine.. Hopefully. Just wondering how to run that boiler as a still as I can't find any videos besides the 35l grain father with the t500 on top. They say just bring it to the boil then turn one element off.

I'll give it all a raz when I get all my gear and keep posting. Any advise on running a brewzilla 65 as a still would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers
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Re: Brewzilla 65 for distillation

Postby scythe » Wed Jul 08, 2020 7:15 am

I would advise a power controller.
Switching off elements may work or it may run inefficently and waste your time an effort produceing garbage product your not happy with.

So to run it have power controller pluged into the wall outlet, plug your still into the power controller with all elements on.
Then adjust the power that gets fed to your still elements with the controller till you get the dribble-drip to pencil-lead sized output stream and you should be golden.
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Re: Brewzilla 65 for distillation

Postby The Stig » Wed Jul 08, 2020 8:24 am

The KL controller wont work, these are a total of 3500W so thats 15amp and the controllers are 10amp.
Are these thermostatically controlled ?
Last edited by The Stig on Wed Jul 08, 2020 2:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Brewzilla 65 for distillation

Postby peter01010101 » Wed Jul 08, 2020 11:31 am

I own a Robobrew 35L which I've had for quite a few years now. I'm pretty sure the Brewzilla is just a later (and larger) version of the Robobrew. The heating elements are thermostatically controlled so you cannot use an external power controller. I had hoped to use mine for smaller batches as the elements are enclosed in the base so allow for smaller volumes (I need nearly 15L to cover the stick element in my 50L keg boiler).
Without a power controller I couldn't control the input power with enough accuracy for spirit runs. Its fine for stripping runs where you have things running flat out. I ended up buying a Mangrove Jacks (T500) boiler without thermostatic control which pairs nicely with my temp controller.
The three element settings on the Brewzilla may give a bit more control, the only way to know I suppose, is to give it a go.
Good luck. :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Brewzilla 65 for distillation

Postby The Stig » Wed Jul 08, 2020 2:28 pm

Thanks Peter.
I suspected that was the case
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Re: Brewzilla 65 for distillation

Postby Elgeezie » Thu Jul 09, 2020 6:38 pm

Awesome these answers are exactly what I was looking for. I will give it a go with a stripping run on my first go. Then a spirit run for my second go. If the spirit run goes balls up then I'll have to get a boiler that us controllable. Thanks I'll keep posting on the progress as I go along.
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Re: Brewzilla 65 for distillation

Postby tecki_trojans » Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:50 pm

Hey Elgeezie,
Planning for a similar setup like yours. Can u post some pictures of your custom modular still? How did you go about strip and spirit run?
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Re: Brewzilla 65 for distillation

Postby howard » Sun Aug 02, 2020 2:10 am

i bought the brewzilla 35l recently, i still think it will be useful for brewing and when my 2" CM arrives i am going to give a shot at distilling. :roll:
i won't be holding my breath as we know it only has a 500w and a 1900w elements.
if it all goes pear shaped (like i suspect it might) i am thinking that maybe i might be able to rewire the elements (voiding the warranty of course).
if i could route the element wiring through a 3-pole changeover switch and have one circuit as normal using the brewzilla electronics, the other circuit could be connected to a power controller.
has anyone thought of this, or done it?
i might take the brewzilla down to the workshop and have a little inspection.
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equipment: 35l brewzilla
2" modular CM arrived today 7/8/20 to run in reflux and pot mode.
extra 600mm packed section, parrot with ball valve & carter head on it's way.
changeover cam switch and voltage controller on way, to fit on brewzillas 1900w element.

Re: Brewzilla 65 for distillation

Postby RC Al » Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:50 am

Its has been mentioned and done before, Work best done/approved by a leccy though :law-policered:
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Brewzilla 35 for distillation modification

Postby howard » Fri Aug 07, 2020 2:44 am

removed the bottom of the brewzilla 35L today.
an inspection of the wiring suggests it shouldn't be too difficult to alter the wiring and incorporate a changeover switch with voltage controller on either element.
probably looking at only controlling the 1900w element.
nearly fell off my chair when i checked the price of 3-pole changeover switches in Oz, no wonder we buy from china.
howard
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2020 12:53 am
Location: perth
equipment: 35l brewzilla
2" modular CM arrived today 7/8/20 to run in reflux and pot mode.
extra 600mm packed section, parrot with ball valve & carter head on it's way.
changeover cam switch and voltage controller on way, to fit on brewzillas 1900w element.

Re: Brewzilla 65 for distillation

Postby wynnum1 » Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:23 am

Would not use a 65 litre as getting a bit big to use as a boiler as not going to cost a lot of money to get a keg boiler that would work better .
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