Tuesday 4 May 2021

BrewZilla - Accessories, Hints & Tips

I love my Brewzilla - and after several brews, and viewing plenty of YouTube videos and facebook group posts, I thought I'd compile some info on some of the common accessories for the Brewzilla, and a few hints and tips to help with your brew day.

Neoprene Jacket/Parker

The purpose of the neoprene jacket for the Brewzilla is pretty obvious. It helps to insulate the brewzilla boiler to make it more efficient. This means, faster to heat up water, and easier to maintain a constant temperature when mashing

35L Brewzilla with neoprene jacket

Tip: Remove the neoprene jacket when cooling your wort - you don't need the extra insulation to keep the heat in when you're trying to cool.

Hop Spider

The hop spider is a separate fine mesh cylinder that you use to contain your hops when adding them to your boiling wort. This one is very much subject to personal preference - some will argue that by having the hops 'free' in the wort, they get better utilisation from them - however, this does come at the expense of extra hop material in the trub which forms at the bottom. This can lead to problems with clogging the pump as the inlet for the pump is located on the base of the Brewzilla unit.

I've always used the hop spider so I can't compare it to not using it, but I can say that I've had great results and no lack of hop flavour/aroma in my brews

Brewzilla with hop spider attached with clip

Tip 1: Using the bracket on the hop sider over the edge of the Brewzilla has it sitting pretty close to the water level when starting a boil at full capacity (30L). Try using a bull dog style clip to attach the top of the hop spider to the top edge of the Brewzilla unit (see image above)

Tip 2: When waiting for your BrewZilla to come up to a boil after your mash, turn on the pump and run the recirculation hose into the hop spider. This will help filter out any stray grains that escaped the malt pipe.

Run the recirculation hose through the hop spider to filter out any grains before boiling

Whirlpool Arm Attachment

Whirlpooling is the process of creating a whirlpool/vortex in your wort during the cooling process (after the boil). The idea is it will settle all the trub in a nice cone at the base of your boiler making for an easier cleanup.

I've used the whirlpool arm on all my brews and can't say I've noticed this working particularly well. This could also be more problematic with the Brewzilla as the inlet for the pump is located towards the centre of the base, so covering it with a cone of trub could increase the chance of trub being sucked into the pump and causing a blockage.

The other use for the whirlpool arm attachment is to keep the wort moving/circulating during the cooling process. This is the main reason I use the whirlpool arm attachment.

Tip: Make sure you point the whirlpool arm attachment so the wort flows in the opposite direction to that which the water is flowing through the immersion chiller!

Tip2: Attach a small piece of silicon tube/hose to the end of the whirlpool arm to help guide the wort flowing out of it around the outside of the Brewzilla unit

Silicone tube attached to end of whirlpool arm (closeup)

Silicone tube attached to end of whirlpool arm

Immersion Chiller

The immersion chiller is a standard inclusion when purchasing the Brewzilla - which is great. It's made of aluminium, which is decent, but not the most efficient in terms of heat exchanging properties (copper is better, but more expensive), but there are a couple of tips I have for using the included chiller.

Tip 1: Even with compression fittings to attach standard garden hose fittings, I found the connections would leak slightly. I always put old rags/shirts over the connections to capture any drips and contain any spray to prevent anything getting into the cooling wort.

Immersion chiller in action - note the old shirts over the connections to help with drips/leaks

Tip 2: Try jiggling the immersion chiller up and down in the wort whilst water is running through it to cool. This can help speed up the cooling process

Camlock Fittings

Many Brewzilla users have reported issues with the camlock fittings (used to hold attachments onto the pump outlet such as the whirlpool arm attachment or standard recirculation arm attachment) coming loose. I noticed this as well with my Brewzilla - when pumping wort through the recirculation arm, the slightest bump on the arm would often be enough to dislodge it and lead to wort suddenly leaking out everywhere - far from ideal.

Tip: Use a zip tie (or two smaller zip ties connected together as I have) to create a loop that is then placed over the camlock arms to prevent them from opening

Zip-ties in a loop over camlock fittings to prevent them from opening unexpectedly (secured)

Zip-ties in a loop over camlock fittings to prevent them from opening unexpectedly (unsecured)

Boiler & Malt Pipe Extensions

You can also upgrade your BrewZilla with a boiler extension and increased malt pipe to allow more grain and water to be used in your BrewZilla. Check out our article providing more detail on these below;

BrewZilla - Boiler & Malt Pipe Extensions to Increase Capacity

No comments:

Post a Comment